If you’re on the road during the COVID-19 outbreak – or even if your RV is waiting patiently in the driveway – now is the time to give extra care to your usual cleaning routine. Using guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) we’ve put together some helpful tips to keep your rig clean and disinfected while reducing the spread of COVID-19.
1. Glove Up & Grab the Paper Towels
While you might not regularly use gloves in your cleaning, now isn’t the time to skip this simple step. Use gloves while cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in your RV and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands when you’re done.
We would also suggest using disposable cleaning products like paper towels instead of your trusty mop and sponge. Existing items already in your RV could be harboring nasty germs that you’re trying to avoid.
There’s a difference between simple cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning removes dirt, germs and impurities using soap and water. This step doesn’t kill germs, it simply removes them which helps lower their numbers and thus the risk of infection. Use soap and water to regularly clean surfaces. Be sure to pay extra attention to high touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, faucets and sinks.
After using soap and water to clean, now is the time to use a disinfectant to kill germs that remain. This separate step won’t necessarily clean your countertops or cupboards so don’t jump straight to using your favorite multi-purpose cleaner. Once everything looks clean, use a suggested surface disinfectant (here’s a handy list specifically meant for COVID-19) a diluted bleach solution or an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol.
Just keep the following in mind as you disinfect:
- In most cases you’ll need to leave the disinfecting solution on surfaces for a certain period of time – be sure to read labels carefully as instructions for cleaning and disinfecting uses can be different
- If you’d like to make a homemade bleach solution use 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water (leave on surfaces for one minute before wiping)
You can find a more detailed guide to disinfecting from the CDC HERE.
4. Don’t Forget Soft Surfaces
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting the solid surfaces in your RV, you’ll want to clean as many of your soft surfaces as possible. Think upholstery, drapes and carpet. While we know that sounds like a pain, there are many great products just for this purpose – here’s a few of them that meet the EPA’s criteria for COVID-19. When possible, launder items using the hottest possible water (be sure to pay attention to the manufacturer recommendations for each fabric).
And you guessed it, we’re going to suggest you wash all that RV bedding too. Mostly, this step is business as usual, but there are a few things to specifically keep in mind to ensure you’re reducing spread including wearing gloves and taking care to not shake dirty laundry. If someone is sick in your rig, you can wash their items with others, just keep in mind it’s suggested to use the hottest water you can.
5. Electronics Should Be Cleaned Too
We don’t often think about our phones, GPS units and tablets when it comes to cleaning, but these high touch items can be especially germy. Often electronics manufacturers will have suggested cleaning methods listed in manuals or online. If you can’t find these to follow, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol. after cleaning, consider applying a wipeable cover to your most used electronics.