How to Clean Mold Out of a Pop Up Camper
Effective Strategies for Cleaning Mold and Mildew in Your Pop-Up Camper
As the last days of summer approach and the school year looms, it’s time to bid farewell to the family adventures in your pop-up camper. Reflecting on the joyous memories made during camping trips, it’s essential to ensure your camper stays in top condition, especially when battling the inevitable intrusion of mold and mildew. Here are some guidelines on how you can clean mold and mildew out of your pop-up camper.
Cleaning Inside the Camper Surfaces
Maintaining a mold-free environment within your pop-up camper requires diligence and a bit of elbow grease. Here are some guidelines to follow:
Thorough Cleaning with Common Household Products
Use common household cleaning products and elbow grease to clean interior surfaces.
Ensure all surfaces are completely dry before storing the camper to prevent mold growth.
Know your surface type prior to cleaning to ensure there is no damage. You may have to pull the manual out for clarification.
Bleach Solution for Hard Surfaces
For hard floors, vinyl surfaces, counters, and tables. Wear cleaning gloves and use a sponge, scrub brush or old toothbrush to clean surfaces.
- Mix 1 cup bleach with 4 cups water in a bucket.
- Dip a rag in the cleaning solution and wring out as best you can so there is no excess dripping.
- Get to cleaning.
- Rinse all surfaces thoroughly with clean water.
- Completely dry surfaces when finished.
Bleach is highly alkaline and is caustic to your skin. Bleach can remove mold and staining with little scrubbing. Exercise caution to avoid contact with fabrics and carpets.
Borax Solution for Fabric Surfaces
For machine washable fabric surfaces such as: curtains, removable seat covers, bedding, etc.
- Dissolve 1 cup borax in 3 to 4 cups hot water.
- Pour borax mixture into the washing machine tub.
- Use your regular detergent.
- Fill washing machine tub with cold water.
- Add items to be washed and let soak for 20 minutes before starting the wash cycle.
- Repeat if necessary and dry according to manufacturer suggestions.
- I would recommend air drying.
Borax, like bleach is alkaline, but is not as caustic as bleach. It can remove stains without bleach, it is a disinfectant and kills germs and bacteria, and it helps get rid of mold and inhibits mold growth.
You may have to repeat this process before the mold is completely removed. If there is any staining left try washing with Oxiclean or oxygen bleach.
Cleaning Non-Removable Fabric Surfaces
Combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid, 1 teaspoon borax, and 1 quart warm water in a spray bottle.
Spot check for color fastness then spray the mixture on seat cushions. Scrub lightly, let sit for 15-20 minutes, rinse, and air dry.
Cleaning Mold from the Camper Canvas
Addressing exterior canvas mold requires careful attention, as bleach is not suitable for canvas treated with water repellent coating. Here’s how to tackle it and if you have any questions at all, check the manual.
Open the camper and let the canvas dry in direct sunlight for a day or more. The sun’s heat will kill active mold spores and dry existing mold.
Use a stiff broom or brush to remove dried mold. Vacuum thoroughly to ensure all traces are removed.
Mild Soap and Water
Mix mild soap like Ivory with water and clean the canvas. Wipe down with clean water, leave to dry in the sun with doors and windows open.
Apply a waterproofing product to the canvas or seam sealer if necessary after the cleaning process.
Preventing Mold Growth
To minimize the risk of mold and mildew, consider these preventive measures:
Open vents and windows when using the camper to prevent condensation during cooking or showering.
Ensure the camper is completely dry before storage, avoiding any damp items left behind.
Use space-saver bags to store curtains, sheets, and other items efficiently, preventing moisture buildup.
Avoid Tarp Directly Over the Camper
When storing the camper, avoid covering it directly with a tarp to allow proper airflow and prevent mold growth.
Maintaining a mold-free pop-up camper involves a combination of regular cleaning, preventive measures, and proper storage practices. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your camper stays in optimal condition, ready for the next round of family adventures. Happy camping!