Can I wash my RV with Dawn dish soap?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can I wash my RV with Dawn dish soap? We will discuss the use of Dawn dish soap for cleaning the outside and the inside of the RV, what areas to avoid and what are some alternative cleaning solutions for cleaning your RV.

Can I wash my RV with Dawn dish soap?

It is not recommended to wash your RV with Dawn dish soap as you may strip away your motorhome’s coating. Instead, use any car wash or RV wash products. A soft brush and a sponge are both good to clean your RV.  A Dawn-style dish soap can be good as a way to degrease your vehicle BEFORE using a neutral PH soap and a protector.

Best washing liquids and waxes for RVs:

Wash the fiberglass with a sponge using a solution of 1 cup of liquid laundry detergent and 1 gallon of lukewarm water. Rinse off the soap by spraying the RV with a garden hose. Allow the surface to dry naturally. Use a product called MEK and wipe the fiberglass with it to remove grease and oils. Simple as that!

Can I wash the interior of my RV with Dawn dish soap?

While it is not recommended to wash the exterior of the RV with Dawn dish soap, don’t throw it away! This product may be useful for other areas, such as the sink, toilet or even for washing the RV windows.

Use the following mix of white vinegar and Dawn dish soap to clean some areas of the RV:

  • 1 cup of water.
  • 3/4 cup of vinegar.
  • 3/4 cup of rubbing alcohol.
  • A few drops of Dawn dish soap.
  • 10 to 15 drops of essential oil of your choice (lavender, lemon or orange are good choices).
  1. Dawn dish soap is a powerful cleaner against grime and to make the taps shine:

Heat 250 ml (1 cup) of white vinegar for 1 minute in the microwave and mix it with 250 ml (1 cup) of Dawn blue dish soap. Use this formula to wash the tub and faucet.

  1. Use the mix to remove all stains from fabrics:

In a bowl, mix 30 ml (2 tbsp) of baking soda, 60 ml (4 tbsp) of hydrogen peroxide and 15 ml (1 tbsp) of Dawn blue soap, mix well. Apply the mixture to the stain, scrub with an old toothbrush, leave on for 1 hour. Machine wash normally, repeat if stain is still visible before putting in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will cook the stain.

  1. Use Dawn dish soap to wash the RV windows:

Fill a spray bottle with water and add two drops of Dawn blue soap to wash the windows of all the windows in the house. You will never find such an effective cleaning product for this price.

  1. Wash the RV carpets or the place mat:

Mix 170 ml (2/3 cup) of hydrogen peroxide with 85 ml of Dawn blue soap. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use this solution to wash the carpets before scrubbing them with a scrub brush. Rinse with clean water and dry in ambient air.

These are just a few alternatives for the use of Dawn dish soap!

Cleaning the inside and outside of your RV: a few tips

To avoid corrosion problems, waterproofing or simply to keep its aesthetic appearance close to new, we will see together how to thoroughly clean the interior and exterior of your motorhome. 

Subject to bad weather and atmospheric pollution, the body of your vehicle suffers year after year. But this is not inevitable ! Regular and well-done cleaning will keep your motorhome as beautiful as it left the dealership.

Position your vehicle on level ground near a city water tap with a garden hose. It is not recommended to use water from an artesian well which could leave traces and damage the bodywork (water that is too hard or too ferruginous depending on the region). Fill the 20-liter bucket and add 150 ml of an RV washing product. Be careful not to exaggerate with the detergent which could damage the surface of some polyester bodywork.

Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean the roof of the RV?

It is not recommended to use Dawn dish soap to clean the roof of the RV, instead, use a special cleaning product.  All the facades and the rear of the motorhome must first be watered to avoid black drips that could get stuck on a dry surface while washing the roof. 

We do not recommend going up on the roof because once it is wet, with the soapy mixture … it slips and it is guaranteed to fall! Make sure your stepladder is stable and at the correct height so that you can access the entire roof surface. 

You can use a ladder that will sit on the top corner of the vehicle, making sure to protect it with pipe insulation foam to prevent side slipping and possible scratches.

Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean the solar panels and skylights of the RV?

NO, under no circumstances should you use Dawn dish soap to clean the solar panel and skylights of the RV. This liquid could damage the coating of the solar panels and cause costly damages. 

To clean the solar panels and skylights of the RV, wash from back to front with the telescopic brush, not hesitating to top it up with special soap for social panels.Be careful, the product is not very foaming and should apply for several minutes before being rinsed off. 

As a rule, dirt stagnates at the junction of the profile cap or sealing fittings. Emphasize these parts. This will save you trouble and allow you to see the quality and wear of the gaskets. Rinse the roof thoroughly before attacking the facades.

Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean the RV kitchen?

The answer is yes, you can use Dawn dish soap to clean the RV kitchen, but avoid the wooden area.  Like at home, the kitchen is the place that is likely to generate the most soiling due to projections of grease or even spatters. It must therefore be perfectly cleaned between two uses. 

Use white vinegar slightly diluted with water and a few drops of Dawn dish soap on all surfaces: stove, sink, cupboards, drawers, etc. Be careful not to scour the gas plate with an abrasive sponge, this could scratch the stainless steel. 

Instead, use baking soda on a slightly damp sponge. Also remember to run over the joints between the wall and the kitchen unit as this is a place where dirt collects. Finally, vacuum drawers and cupboards and remove stains from furniture with the lightly wet magic sponge.

Can I use Dawn dish soap to clean the RV fridge?

Yes, you can use Dawn dish soap to clean the RV fridge.  First, wait until the refrigerator is at room temperature before cleaning it. All grids and plastic bins can be removed and then washed in a bucket with a mixture of Dawn dish soap and a cupful of bleach. 

This will prevent mold growth during the period of non-use. Remember to clean the door gaskets as well as those in the freezer compartment. The interior walls should also be washed with the household detergent bleach mixture. 

Before closing it, let it dry and put the parts back in place. It is advisable to keep the door open during the period of inactivity (less unpleasant odors).


As we have mentioned, Dawn dish soap can damage the coating of your RV, thus it is not recommended to use it on the outside. Inside the RV, however, it is a different story. You can mix a few drops of Dawn dish soap with vinegar, bleach or baking soda for a quick wash and great results.

What products do you use to clean your RV? Please feel free to share with us your cleaning tips!

FAQ on Can I wash my RV with Dawn dish soap?

What should I clean my RV with?

You should clean your RV with lots of water, a soft sponge and a car/motorhome wash soap. . Rinse off the soap by spraying the RV with a garden hose. Allow the surface to dry naturally.

What can I use to clean the RV carpet?

To clean the RV carper, you can use either a special carpet solution or a DIY mix. Here are just a few common options:

  • Hoover Oxy carpet cleaner
  • Carpet Miracle carpet cleaner
  • Hoover Free & Clean Carpet
  • Hoover Revive & Renew carpet
  • Rug doctor oxy steam carpet cleaner
  • Zep Carpet Shampoo.

Can you wash RV curtains?

Yes, you can wash RV curtains, just as you would wash your house curtains. Most RV curtains are made from cotton and polyester, so make sure you wash them at the right program. 


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