Proper Cleaning of RV Fabrics, Materials & Appliances
General tips and best practices for cleaning your motorhome or travel trailer.

By: GoLife Staff

While keeping your RV clean and maintained is important, using the wrong supplies or methods could actually do more damage than good. Before diving into a deep clean of your motorhome or travel trailer, make sure to read your manual carefully to make sure you are cleaning the fabrics, materials, and appliances in your RV correctly. 

Each model is different; however, here are some general notes to keep in mind when cleaning the common materials and appliances used in many Winnebago RVs:

  • Wooden Items: Wood is used for many Winnebago cabinets and can be cleaned with a soft cloth and a good quality wood finish cleaning product.
  • Vinyl Fabrics: These include vinyl simulated wood panels and decorative vinyl wall paneling, and can be cleaned with a mild, water-based cleaner and a soft cloth. Do not use solvents. Solvents may damage the surface of the vinyl.
  • Leatherette: This material is easy to care for. To clean, only use mild soap and water, rinse with clean water, then air dry. For stubborn spots, an alcohol-based solution can be used.
  • Plastic: Solvents and harsh cleaning products can be damaging, especially to high-impact plastics like your dash. Plastic parts should be cleaned with the mildest cleaners first before moving to stronger options. Never use acetic acid, acetone, aromatic solvents (such as lacquer thinners), benzene, or butyl alcohol because these will cause damage.
  • Draperies and Curtains: Professional dry cleaning is recommended to avoid shrinking and damage.
  • Countertops: In most circumstances, you can clean your counter with warm soapy water or an ammonia-based cleaner (not window cleaner) then rinse and wipe dry. You should also be able to use liquid or gel-type cleaners containing bleach. Because countertop materials are nonporous, stains cannot penetrate below the surface and will nearly always disappear using these cleaning methods. (Check your manual for more specific notes on cleaning and other troubleshooting notes for your specific counter material).
  • Stainless Steel Appliances: Typically, excellent results can be obtained by washing stainless steel with mild dishwashing liquid and hot water, followed by rinsing thoroughly and drying with a soft cloth. Drying is particularly important if the tap water is very hard and leaves scale deposits.
  • Vinyl Flooring: After sweeping or vacuuming up any debris, use a non-abrasive cleanser and rinse with clean water. Floor cleaners containing waxes, brighteners, or gloss agents are not recommended. Also note that regular cleaning with solvent-based chemicals may adversely affect the topcoat performance.
  • Tub and Shower Walls: Clean with mild soap and warm water. Do not use an abrasive cleaner on the shower walls and tub, as scratching and discoloration may occur.

A few additional best practices when cleaning your RV:

  • Always test a cleaning product on a hidden area to be sure it will not cause damage to the appearance of the part or fabric.
  • Do not use citrus-based cleaners on polycarbonate finishes. Citric compounds will damage the high-gloss surface, causing it to appear dull or “flat.”
  • In general, the best practice is to use a mild cleaner. Be sure to check before using anything abrasive or containing harsh chemicals.
  • Some water-based household cleaning products are not formulated for use on fabrics and may cause excessive shrinkage or fading.
  • Protective pads on the bottom of furniture or doormats at your entryway can help protect flooring against damage. Closing curtains can also help prevent sun damage to flooring, upholstery, and other fabrics.
  • As with any stain, a quick response is the best, especially when done in conjunction with the proper cleaner for the type of stain.

Helpful Note: Manuals for Winnebago motorhomes are available here. You can scroll through the table of contents to find what you are looking for then click on that topic to go directly to that section.

Be sure to read over the cleaning section in your manual before using any products on your RV’s fabrics, materials, and appliances. If anything is unclear or you are not sure what types of materials you have in your RV, you can call the customer care team directly at (641) 585-6939.


Comments on this post are moderated, so they will not appear instantly. All relevant questions and helpful notes are welcome! If you have a service inquiry or question related to your RV, please reach out to the customer care team directly using the phone numbers or contact form on this page .

User commented on January 15, 2023 8:17 PM
I love my Winnebago, but the counter tops and table surfaces are becoming slightly scratched and dull. What process do you recommend to bring back the luster and shine?
User commented on January 17, 2023 2:12 PM
Thank you for your comment! Recommendations depend on what type of RV you have, but this will be outlined in your manual. Manuals are available online here: If you have any questions, please reach out to the customer care team directly at (641) 585-6939.