How to Clean Aluminum RV Siding

Spring RV cleaning

For many first-time RV owners, the idea of cleaning aluminum siding seems intuitive. Apply some soap, a little elbow grease, and you’re good, right? Unfortunately, aluminum siding can sometimes be more fickle than that. If you want to remove debris and stains, you’re going to have to use specific products and tips to ensure that the aluminum doesn’t only clean thoroughly, but that it remains protected after you’re done cleaning. Here’s how to clean aluminum RV siding the right way.

Cleaning Aluminum RV Siding: Products to Use

It starts with looking at the RV siding itself. We recommend giving your aluminum a once-over before you get started. There are a few reasons for this:

  • There might be adhesives, stickers, and other items getting in the way. You can’t very well clean your aluminum siding if you forgot about that outdated park sticker. The problem is that too many RV owners put off this step because they’re sick of having to peel off adhesives that never seem to want to remove. Use Release Adhesive and Sealant Remover to get them off easily and effectively before cleaning.
  • Debris. If there’s anything stuck to the aluminum, then you’re not going to do a great job cleaning the underlying metal unless you get rid of it first. This is a quick step that will make sure that the rest of the cleaning goes smoothly.

Once you’re finished prepping the RV siding, you should be able to move on to your RV cleaner. We recommend Suds for general RV cleaning. One important note from the label: this is safe to use on painted surfaces, which can sometimes be a hangup for RV owners who haven’t dealt with painted metals too often.

How to Clean Your RV Siding Effectively

With debris and adhesives removed from the aluminum, you should have a relatively clear portion of aluminum siding ready for cleaning. The problem is that RV siding can be notorious for requiring a heck of a lot of elbow grease. What are some ways you can reduce the labor of cleaning the siding, especially if you have a larger RV?

  • For starters, give the product some chance to do work on its own. Some RV owners recommend applying your cleaner and then waiting a while as water and soap do some of the work of dissolving the very things you’re going to clean. This is one reason you want to get the right product: as you leave the soap and water on, you don’t want it to do underlying damage.
  • Apply water with something more than elbow grease. You don’t have to pressure wash—a simple spray from a hose will help you use the natural action of water and gravity to work your way down the RV siding. Again, the key here is to let the water do the work of finishing up the washing, and then rinsing away the remaining debris.

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Now that you know how to clean aluminum RV siding, want more great ways to keep your vehicle in top shape? Browse our RV products available right here at RV by LIFE.

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