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Forget Store-Bought? Try the Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner

| Updated Sep 12, 2023

Want to DIY your roof cleaning? Here is the best homemade RV roof cleaner that's as simple as it can get…

In a recent article, we shared our Top 3 Picks for the Best Commercial RV Roof Cleaner. Those products are tried and true, but there is also a homemade alternative you can consider.

In this article, we'll share the simple homemade solution that you can use on any type of roof. Yep, that's right. You can use it on a TPO roof, EPDM roof or rubber RV roof, and even an aluminum roof. 

Keep in mind that commercial cleaners often include treatments that leave a protective layer on the roof of your RV. This homemade RV cleaner does not! So, you may need to add a protectant for UV rays or to help prevent water damage once you have a clean surface.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

The Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner

Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner

The best homemade RV roof cleaner simply uses dish soap and water… and elbow grease. Using a homemade cleaner typically requires a bit more scrubbing, but a good scrub brush will get you through it.

Here is the ratio that works with most dish soaps:

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) dish soap

 We recommend considering eco-friendly options for your dish soap, as some contain harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment. 

​Best RV Wash Brushes

Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner

Be careful which type of scrub brush you use! Check your RV owner's manual to see if it specifies a soft bristle brush or if a medium bristle brush is okay to use. If it doesn't specify, err on the side of caution and use a soft brush.

We do have an article on the best RV wash brushes. It's a list that covers a range of RV brushes for cleaning your RV, so pay attention to the various applications for your RV's exterior.

The CAMCO RV FLOW-THROUGH WASH BRUSH and EVERSPROUT 7-TO-19 FOOT SCRUB BRUSH are good options for most RV roofs. Go to the FULL LIST of the Best RV Wash brushes…

Preview Product Price
Camco Flow-Through Wash Brush Camco Flow-Through Wash Brush $53.93Amazon Prime

Should You Use a Pressure Washer?

It is not a good idea to use a pressure washer to clean your RV roof. Sure, it will get the grime off, but it can also damage your seals, making your roof more susceptible to water damage.

​If you have a particularly dirty roof, we recommend the following:

  • Sweep away or remove big debris by hand
  • Rinse roof off with a garden hose to remove small debris and most dirt
  • Use warm water, if possible, on tougher stains
  • Fill a spray bottle with a more concentrated version of the above cleaning solution to use on stubborn stains

How Often Should You Clean Your RV Roof?

Best RV Roof Cleaner Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner

Most people clean their RV roof 4 times a year, once each season. But there are a couple things that could change how often you need to do it. 

If your RV is kept undercover when not being used, you may not need to clean as much. The roof won't get as dirty sitting out of the weather. 

But if you're hitting the road very often, the roof could collect more debris that needs washing away more regularly. So consider your RV's storage and how frequently you travel to determine if you need to clean the roof more or less than four times per year.

The Best Way to Clean Your RV Roof

We recently wrote another article on how to clean your RV roof. It walks you through from the first step all the way to the end. 

Plus, it discusses what RV roof cleaners are best based on roof type, and whether or not you need a protective coating.

We recommend you read the full article by clicking here.

What About Tree Sap?

Forget Store-Bought? Try the Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner 1

Tree sap and even some bird droppings can be very difficult to remove. The good news is there are some clever hacks RVers use to deal with these “gifts” from Mother Nature.

Believe it or not, there are items in your RV fridge that will likely work better than your homemade solution or even a commercial cleaning product, like Simple Green

Go to the full article to see the clever hacks REAL RVers use to get rid of sap.

The Best RV Sealants & Caulks

After washing your roof, you should always check the seals and caulks. Even a small gap can lead to big problems. Your wallet can be hit hard with some serious water damage. 

Plus, a leaky roof puts you in danger. Mold and mildew are an obvious concern, but that's not all. Various materials like electrical could get messed up from roof leaks. Crossed wires could start a fire!

We have an article on the Best RV Sealant that's worth checking out.

Great Product for Removing Bug Splatter

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

Speaking of cleaning your RV, Jennifer shares an effective product for removing bug splatter. Watch the video to learn more!

Preview Product Price
Bugs Off Pads Bugs Off Pads $22.98
Forget Store-Bought? Try the Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner 2

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Every time you move your RV it's like driving through a hurricane during an earthquake. Parts break and many items need to be maintained, this program will show you how you can save time and money by gaining the confidence to take on the majority of the issues you’ll come across. Don’t get caught with your RV in the shop! Learn how you can maintain and repair your RV at your own pace and at the most convenient time for you! This course is produced by the National RV Training Academy.


Forget Store-Bought? Try the Best Homemade RV Roof Cleaner 3
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.


Last update on 2024-04-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-09-12

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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