The Green RV: Chemical Free Cleaning Products

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The Green RV: Chemical Free Cleaning Products

The Green RV: Chemical Free Cleaning Products

It’s no big secret that the majority of our household cleaners are laden with chemicals. My SPD makes me extremely sensitive to them, but I also prefer to avoid them when I can. This is especially true in an RV. The close quarters can make it seem like there is a toxic cloud hanging over your entire living space – and some of it is toxic.

Related Read: Natural Cleaning Products for the RV

Going green with your RV cleaning makes it a much healthier place to live. You won’t be breathing in chemicals that could make you sick or even cause injury to your nasal passages and lungs. The can also cause asthma, allergies, and other health conditions. Green products are saver overall and provide better air quality for a purer environment. You know what’s going into your products and there are fewer antibacterials (antibacterials can actually lead to more resistant bacterial growth). One of the real perks, though, is the cost. When you are using lemon juice, salt, vinegar, baking soda, and olive oil to clean, it is not nearly as expensive.

Related Read: Money Saving Tips: 5 Ways to Save in your RV

Some time ago I went through and tossed all the chemical products and have replaced them with greener, healthier versions.
Windows – Witch hazel, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and a lemon mixture of a 4 tablespoons lemon juice to a half gallon of water. The newspaper thing is too messy for my taste. I like to recycle my husband’s old cotton t-shirts or socks instead.

Air freshener – A few drops of your favorite essential oil in a small spray bottle of water makes a great air freshener. I have a tiny crock pot that I like to fill with water and add some sliced lemon or orange (with the peel) and a cinnamon stick. During cold season I heat lemon slices with some eucalyptus oil. It clears your head right up. If you don’t have a tiny crock pot, a small pot simmering on the stove works just as well. Make sure you keep an eye on it and don’t let it get away from you.

Vinyl floors or furniture – Straight lemon juice on a rag works great for getting stains out. Saturate the cloth and rub the area. It also leaves a nice smell behind.
Scouring without scratching – Adding some baking soda to your cleaning mixture will give you a nice scouring action without scratching surfaces. It is great for sinks, tubs, and just about anywhere else that has tough dirt.

Microwave – Put some white vinegar in a cup (about ½ cup) and spin it in the microwave for about a minute to a minute and a half. When it is finished, all you have to do is wipe down the inside Everything will come right off; nothing will stick. It’s pretty amazing.

Wood furniture – Lemon and olive oil make a great, safe furniture polish. Use one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil then use a soft cotton cloth the rub it in. It smells nice and works great.

Counters and other surfaces – A vinegar and water solution works great to clean counters, cabinets, walls, drawers, and cupboards. It is a great all-purpose cleaner. You can also add a little lemon juice for a fresh smell.

Laundry – I always put vinegar in my laundry, especially if it is smelly. If you have towels that have been sitting or smelly clothes, a little vinegar in the wash takes the smell right out. You can’t smell it after they’re dry either. It works wonders though.

Related Read: Mastering the Art of Laundry in Your RV

Black tank and Grey tank – We use vinegar or lemon juice (Realemon is great!) to keep our black take and grey tank fresh. Each time we empty the black tank I pour a little down the hatch. Often, I will put some lemon with the vinegar so it will have the fresh, lemony smell. It works great.

If you do find that you have to purchase some household cleaners, look for those that don’t have the chemicals, especially fragrances.

What green cleaners have you used in your RV? If you’ve found any natural product lines I would love to hear about them!

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Stephanie A. Mayberry


Stephanie A. Mayberry

Stephanie A. Mayberry escaped the hustle and bustle of city life in Washington, D.C. where she worked as an analyst, FOIA officer, and technical writer for the U.S. federal government to pursue her first love, freelance writing, full time. She has been a writer, author, public speaker, and photographer for more than 25 years; now she, her husband, and little dog Gizmo enjoy the laid back lifestyle as RV full-timers going wherever the wind takes them. Learn more about Stephanie at

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