How do you get rid of black streaks on a caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you get rid of black streaks on a caravan? Besides explaining how black streaks appear on a caravan and how to clean them, we will also talk about the importance of properly maintaining your caravan. 

How do you get rid of black streaks on a caravan?

To get rid of black streaks on a caravan, you will first have to understand why they appear and then how to prevent them. Black streaks on a caravan come from dripping rainwater, either along with rubber seals or polluted with dust. And yet, it’s so easy to wipe them off with a sponge as soon as they appear, at least on polyester bodywork.

To get rid of black streaks on a caravan for good, follow our tips:

  • Do not wait until the sun has darted on the tracks, they will then be much more difficult to remove.
  • Of course, you will have to scrub a little bit, but there is no need for any special product: water the wall where the marks are well and rub with a wet sponge, you will see that the marks come off easily. There are also handy gloves for cleaning bodywork.
  • You can use dish soap, preferably biodegradable, diluted in lukewarm water, this mixture has a degreasing power. By wiping with a sponge dipped in this mixture and letting it act for a few minutes, the traces will go away more easily.
  • They seem much more stubborn on a metal wall and we can only mitigate them. To remove them, creams can be used to remove the scratches. Spread a tiny bit of cream on a piece of cotton wool and rub gently, the traces disappear. These creams and wadding are available from automotive accessory shops. This process also removes certain indelible marks on the polyester walls. 
  • When the traces have disappeared, smooth the wall with a piece of cotton wool to remove all traces of cream and to restore all its shine to the bodywork.

Whatever the method and the product used, do not forget to rinse the bodywork well.

What products to use to get rid of black streaks on a caravan?

Some caravaners use just about anything to remove black streaks. Remember that some products, although apparently effective, may be too effective: beware of the risks for the bodywork and especially for the environment. 

The best remedy is to clean the black marks as soon as possible and with a biodegradable product such as washing up liquid, without forgetting to rinse well with clean water. You may have to rub a little more, but the risks will be almost nil, both for the bodywork and for the environment.

How to properly maintain the exterior of your caravan

To prevent the appearance of black streaks on a caravan, you have to know how to maintain it! The sunny days are here and you can now drive freely, so it’s time to thoroughly clean your vehicle! Remember, maintaining your vehicle contributes to its longevity!

Let’s proceed:

  1. The roof of the caravan: Always start with the roof of the vehicle: the dirt that settles on it is the cause of the black streaks that we see on vehicles that are not stored away. These black streaks are difficult to remove if you do not do it regularly. In addition, the final wash of the upper part of your vehicle will mess up the work you have done before.

To wash it, use a bucket of soapy water and scrub with a sponge or a telescopic brush,

  1. The solar panels: Some caravans are equipped with solar panels, placed on the roof. They are particularly exposed to certain types of dirt such as a bird or insect droppings, dust, rain, etc. Take the opportunity to also clean them with a sponge and soapy water. Doing it regularly not only prolongs their lifespan but also preserves their productivity.

Pro tip: To optimize the performance of your solar panels and to keep them cleaner longer, you can apply a solar panel protector. It deposits a protective film that prevents dust deposits or water from sticking to the surface.

  1. The body of the caravan: For the bodywork, Karcher or high-pressure washing is not recommended because there are many places where water can infiltrate or stagnate (air vents, windows, grilles, etc.). 

Other questions you may be interested in

How do I test my caravan battery charger?

How do you clean caravan fly screens?

How do you get mould off caravan curtains?

Indeed, some parts of the vehicle are not waterproof. However, this can be very useful for cleaning the lower parts of the vehicle such as the chassis and rims. Use natural liquid black soap, or a specific bodywork cleaning product, a sponge or a microfiber cloth. 

The use of a telescopic boom is very practical to reach the top of the vehicle. There are also extendable brooms up to 1.70m or even up to 2.50m for large vehicles. Washing is preferably done from top to bottom.

Pro tip: There is a whole range of specific products for the bodywork depending on the use: 

  • the anti-black mark cleaner to easily get rid of the black marks linked to the runoff of rainwater, 
  • the anti-foam cleaner to eliminate the greenish appearance caused by foams, 
  • the mosquito repellent to dissolve insect and bird droppings, the scratch remover to erase small imperfections (scratches or light scratches),
  • the polishing shampoo which prolongs the benefit of washing and allows an impeccable finish or even body polish which renovates, shines and revives plastic and metal bodywork.
  1. The windows of the caravan: To wash the windows of your caravan, use a microfiber cloth to prevent scratches, as well as a window cleaner or plastic bay renovator. Go without pressing the microfiber on the windows to remove everything that is stuck to it. 

You can also use a telescopic squeegee/washer brush which will allow you to reach hard-to-reach places. Also remember to waterproof your windows, to prevent dirt from settling on them and water from leaving traces.

Pro tip: In case of scratches on a bay, there is a scratch remover kit that allows you to erase the scratches on acrylic and plexiglass yourself without risk. The material thus regains all its brilliance.

  1. The rims and wheels of the caravan: If they are not maintained, the rims of your motorhome will deteriorate and clog quickly. They, therefore, require special attention. From an aesthetic point of view, this is important but above all it helps protect them. 

You will like the acid-free rim cleaner, to be sprayed directly on the rims or plastic hubcaps. It removes black dust, grease deposits and makes it shine.

Pro tip: You can maintain your rims, chrome and bodywork, thanks to your silicone-free lubricant WD-40. By applying the product to a microfiber-type cloth, you can erase any black marks or tar before running your motorhome with clean water.

By properly maintaining and cleaning your caravan, you will avoid long-term damage or the appearance of any black streaks.

Do you have any comments, questions or tips on how to get rid of black streaks on a caravan? Let us know!

FAQ on How do you get rid of black streaks on a caravan?

How to clean the exterior of the caravan?

It is quite simple to clean the exterior of the caravan. To remove stains, streaks or bad odours, sprinkle generously with baking soda, let sit for at least 30 minutes, then vacuum to clean.

How to clean the body of your motorhome?

To clean the body of your motorhome take a sponge and soapy water as for the bodywork and voila. Tip: You can also use window cleaner. Doing it regularly not only prolongs their lifespan but also preserves their productivity!

How to remove stains from the body of a caravan?

To remove stains in front of the body of a caravan, mix 500 ml of white vinegar, 200 ml of lukewarm water and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Dip the sponge in this mixture and rub the fabric, insisting on the stains. Once the cleaning is done, rinse everything and let it dry.


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