I suspect most every RVer reading this carries some form of patio mat with them during their travels.
While many of you spread them on concrete, asphalt, grass, or other relatively clean surfaces, occasionally we deploy them on rather ugly surfaces to make our “patio” (space under the awning) a bit more appealing than the unimproved surface we find in nature.
If you boondock a lot, like my wife and I, you may be rolling your mat out over dirt, tree duff, mud, or maybe even areas where livestock have “done their business” recently. Or if you’re not the boondocking type, maybe a rainstorm brought mud flowing into your space spoiling your clean patio mat. You may have also dirtied your mat using it for roadside repairs like I have shared in the past. Whatever the case, how many of you actually take the time to wash your mat?
Given my preference for out-of-the-way places and boondocking, my patio mat needs a bath on a regular basis. Add the fact that there will now be grandkids crawling/playing on the mat, it has become an even higher priority to keep it clean.
Being that you can’t take your mat to the laundromat, here is what I do when my patio mat needs freshening up.
I have placed two screws into the fascia board at the front of my carport about 16 feet apart that allow me to hang my patio mat lengthwise by two of its corners. It is secured by the stitched loops normally used for staking it down at camp. (Your mat may have grommets, but the principle is the same).
Once hung, I take my garden hose with a spray nozzle attached and give it a good hosing off, starting at the top and working down. Be sure to pay special attention to the creases where the mat folds as the dirt really concentrates there.
The advantage of having it freely hang from my carport allows me to hose down both sides of the mat without remounting/flipping it over. When it is really dirty, I anchor the bottom to something heavy like the equalizing bars from my travel trailer and take the extended handle wash brush I normally use to wash the RV and give it a good scrubbing with soap and water.
For greasy spots, I use a spray or two of Simple Green, let it soak in, then hose it off. Once clean, I leave it hanging in the breeze to dry for a couple of hours. When it is dry, I take it down, fold it up, and put it back in the RV so it is ready for it the next adventure in RVing!
Follow Dave’s RV adventures as he travels the West in search of forgotten and unique places. For Dave, home is where you park it, the more remote the better!