Aluminum is an easy metal to work with, but when it comes to cleaning it, it helps to have a few pieces of knowledge that go beyond “rub down with soap and water.” Plus, if you use the wrong cleaners for aluminum, it can sometimes lead to damage. Make sure that your labor is worth the time by learning how to clean an aluminum travel trailer the right way.
Cleaning an Aluminum Travel Trailer: Mistakes to Avoid
Before you get started, it helps to know some of the common pitfalls when cleaning aluminum:
- Avoid acid wash. Acid washing aluminum is actually highly effective in cleaning its surface. So what’s the problem? The acid wash gets into the outer layers of the aluminum as well, leading to lower-quality aluminum that can even affect the resale value. While it does clean the surface extremely well, it also damages other areas of the aluminum.
- Use more than ordinary soap and water. Using soap and water is generally a fine way to clean most items. That being said, if your only purpose is to wash away debris, you can likely get away with just using these two products. However, this may not be the best solution when cleaning areas around the aluminum. If you’re cleaning the entire exterior of your travel trailer, certain materials such as fiberglass could be negatively affected with just soap and water. Soap and water can lead to the removal of wax from the fiberglass.
Since you’re cleaning an RV travel trailer, you’ll have less surface area to clean. This is already an advantage, so you shouldn’t make more work for yourself by using too many cleaning products for every single surface area. You’ll want to use versatile products that won’t harm aluminum or wax.
Avoiding these common mistakes is easy as long as you equip yourself to clean your aluminum travel trailer the right way.
How to Clean an Aluminum Travel Trailer: Products and Tips
Here are some of the best ways to clean aluminum with minimal fuss:
- Try Suds. A general RV cleaner such as Suds is great because it allows you to clean aluminum exteriors without the acidity problems of the aforementioned acid wash. It will also be versatile enough to handle cleaning additional exterior surfaces. You can feel confident that it won’t remove the wax from your fiberglass or damage any other materials it comes in contact with!
- Rinse down your aluminum first. Aluminum is great because of its resistance to rust and corrosion. This allows you to rinse down your aluminum before cleaning. An initial rinse will help carry out debris and dirt, even if you don’t see that debris coming off right away. This also creates a slick surface that makes it easier to wash the aluminum itself, especially if you’re doing it by hand.
- Remove adhesives carefully. If you have adhesives and stickers on your aluminum, you should be careful about using abrasives to get rid of them. These can sometimes scratch the aluminum and leave unsightly marks. Instead, use Release Adhesive & Sealant Remover to safely rid your aluminum of any adhesives before you clean.
Purchase the Best Cleaning Products from RVbyLIFE
Aluminum is a sturdy metal, but it helps to know its individual quirks before you clean. When you use our top-quality RV cleaning products from RVbyLIFE, you’ll be sure to keep your aluminum—and the rest of your travel trailer—in great shape.