Just like with any house, it’s important to regularly clean your camper van interior. Not only does this prevent bacteria from growing, prevent mold, and improve air quality, but it is also important for preserving your sanity. In our van, we take pride in having a clean camper van. It’s something we work towards every single day.
As we say in Japan, “to clean your home is to also clean your soul.”
In this post, we share our top tips to clean a camper van interior. At the end, we’ll also provide some preventative tips and recommend some of the products we use every day.
Let’s get to it.
Sweep Out Floor Dirt
Every time you step into your camper, you bring dirt inside. Over the course of an entire day, you’d be surprised just how much grit is on the ground. Take a few moments, multiple times each day, to sweep out all the dirt and dust that accumulates on the ground. It only takes a couple minutes to do and it instantly makes your camper van feel cleaner.
Recommendation: A simple mini dustpan is a great and affordable option to remove dust and dirt from the camper van. But for hard to reach areas, a 12V car vacuum works great and can even remove tiny dust particles that a dustpan cannot get.
Clean And Wipe Down Sink
If you cook as much as we do, then you’re sink is bound to get grimy over time. That’s why we recommend washing down and wiping the sink interior every day. All it takes spraying down the sink interior with the faucet head and wiping the inside walls and bottom with a baby wipe. It takes less an a minute to do each day.
Read our camper van faucet review to know which one we recommend for van life.
You’d be surprised by how much dust accumulates on your bedding and rugs. Too much dust in a camper van reduces indoor air quality and can agitate your throat and lungs. That’s why it’s important to regularly de-dust any sheets, blankets, pillow covers, and rugs.
Once every week we remove all our bedding, one at a time, and shake give each a good shaking out. Just be sure not to inhale the large plumes of dust erupting into the air.
You can also do this for sweaters, throw pillows, rugs, and any other large pieces of fabric that can hold dust.
Clean Out Fridge (or Ice Cooler)
The bottom of a 12V fridge can get wet and grimy pretty quick. This is especially true if you are traveling in warmer and more humid environments. If neglected, a fridge can develop gross smells and even mold.
That’s why it’s important to clean out the fridge once a week and it takes less than 10 minutes to do. We start by removing all the contents of the fridge. Once the fridge is empty, we use a sponge to soak up any liquid that has accumulated at the bottom. Lastly, we use baby wipes to clean out the fridge’s interior. Once it’s clean, we put the food back in the fridge. It’s that simple.
Clean Vent Fan
Your vent fan is constantly working to remove dust and grease (when cooking). So if you don’t clean it regularly, dust start to clog the mosquito screen and the grease coats the fan blades. Every week, we remove the mosquito screen and fan blade and wipe the whole fan down with baby wipes.
Due to the grease build up, we recommend washing the screen and blades in warm soapy water. You can even bring these items into the shower if you’re at a campsite.
Re-Fold Clothes In Cabinets
When we’re in a rush, we have a tendency to shove clothes back into their storage cabinets. And over time, these cabinets get cluttered. Every week we like to take out our clothes, re-fold them, and place them back into the overhead cabinets. It improves organization and frees up space.
Rinse Out Grey Water Tank
If you have a removable grey water tank, we recommend filling it up 10% with warm water, adding several drops of dish detergent, and giving it a good shake. Do this at least once a month. It gets out the grime that builds up overtime and prevents mold from growing inside the tank.
Wipe Down Walls & Cabinet Fronts
Over time, grit accumulates on your walls and cabinet fronts. If, like us, you have white walls and cabinet, you’ll notice that these areas become less white over time. In our experience, wet wipes don’t work so well. But melamine sponges do a fantastic job in removing all the dirt and grime and getting back to the original paint layer. This gets are van interior back to it’s shining white.
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Rinse Out Sink Drain Pipe
The grey water that exits under the sink can make your pipes grimy over time. Whether you are using a Camco Drain or a traditional P-pipe, it’s a good idea to remove these drains and give them a thorough cleaning to remove food particles and other slime that has gathered inside.
We like to use a long drain brush to scrub the inside of the pipe and then soak the entire piece in a tub of warm water for a few hours. If you have a Camco Drain, like us, you can even unscrew the main piece that connects to the sink to reveal even more grime. Yuck!
Disinfect Water Tanks and Pipes
Every three months, we like to disinfect our fresh and grey water tanks with a mixture of water and bleach. Below are step-by-step instructions for how to clean a water tank.
- Prepare a chlorine solution by mixing ¼ cup of household, unscented bleach with one gallon of water.
- You will need one gallon of this chlorine solution for each 15 gallons of tank capacity.
- Never pour pure bleach directly into your water tanks.
- Pour the diluted chlorine solution into your water tank and fill the remaining capacity with water.
- Turn on the water pump and allow chlorine solution to sit in the pipes.
- Allow the solution to sit in the water tank and pipes for 3 hours.
After three hours, we run the faucet and allow the water and chlorine mix to drain into the grey water tank. We then let the mixture sit in the grey water tank for another 3 hours before draining it out.
Tips To Prevent Making A Camper Van Interior Dirty
While regularly cleaning a camper van interior is important, there are a number of tips we recommend to prevent the van from getting dirty in the first place.
- Get A Welcome Mat – Keeping a fibrous mat by the entrance helps to trap any dirt from shoes before they can get anymore inside.
- No Shoes Inside – We always leave our shoes on the welcome mat and never wear our shoes inside.
- No Food Scraps Down The Sink – Wipe all plates and cookware before washing them in the sink. Removing food scraps keeps pipes and grey water tank cleaner and reduces grime.
- Keep The Vent Fan On 24/7 – A vent fan is essential in expelling dust inside the van and improving internal air quality.
Useful Camper Van Cleaning Tools
Below is a list of products and tools we use to clean our camper van interior.
Final Thought About Keeping Your Campervan Clean
Keeping your camper van neat and tidy can be challenging task in van life. But rather than waiting until your van gets unbearably dirty so that you’re forced to set up a massive cleaning day, having a routine of cleaning and organizing a little bit every day is much healthier for your camper van, and for your souls.
If you have any questions or other cleaning tips you’d like to share, please send us an email to the address in our footer.