How To Clean RV Carpet When You’re Traveling With Pets
We all love our pets and want them to join us on our RV travels. But whether it’s a dog, cat, or even a hamster, pets can make a mess in a small space. We have to clean up after our pets because they can’t do it for themselves. One of the areas that takes the biggest hit is the RV carpet. Although we know how to clean up after ourselves, it can be hard to know how to clean RV carpet when your pet is involved.
Even the cleanest and best-trained pets will leave a bit of a mess in your camper. Whether it’s fur, urine, vomit, or just tracking in dirt, you’ll need to clean up every now and then. We’ll break down how to clean each of these pet messes, and provide some recommendations for cleaning products and regimens. Soon you and your pets will be able to enjoy a clean, fresh RV carpet!
Pets shed; it’s just what they do! Luckily for us, fur is the most surface-level mess to clean up. Most RV carpeting is fairly flat and doesn’t have much room to trap thick layers of hair.
A basic vacuum should be able to help you with average fur buildup. I like to use lint rollers as well, especially if you do have fairly flat carpeting. Line rollers are cheap and they’re very effective at picking up hair, fur, lint, and other fuzzy items that may be stuck in your carpet.
A vacuum is your best friend for cleaning up fur. Simply run the machine over the carpeted areas, adjusting the brush setting for each carpet thickness. If you have a bare-floor setting, it also doesn’t hurt to do a quick vacuum of the solid flooring as well.
If you want to clean furry furniture or have very stubborn hair spots, you can use a vacuum attachment that is designed to suck up pet fur. Using one of these will make the vacuuming take longer, but you’ll be able to get a more thorough clean.
Unless your pet is a very heavy shedder, fur probably won’t be a big issue in your RV. Just make sure you vacuum about once or twice a week and you should be good!
Urine is a lot less fun to deal with. When you’re first learning how to clean RV carpet, you’re probably thinking more about dirt and dust. But once pets have been added to the equation, you’ve got to know how to clean up after them if they have an accident in the vehicle.
Although you can wait for a while to clean up fur, urine will need to be addressed as soon as possible so you can avoid staining and prevent the smell from locking in. There are several methods and products you can use to clean up these messes.
Generally, you will want clean towels (white to prevent any color transfer), water, a spray bottle, and some kind of cleaner. You can use Dawn dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and/or baking soda. There are also lots of great sprays and solutions for this very purpose, so keeping a bottle of one of these on hand is a good idea.
Blot the area thoroughly with towels, then liberally apply your cleaner of choice. Give it enough time to soak in (at least 5 minutes) then add some water and blot with towels again. Repeat until there isn’t any sign of urine left. If you’re working on stubborn old stains, a strong solution like an enzymatic pet stain remover might be needed.
The smell may linger even after the mess is gone, but you can treat this by spraying the area with Febreeze or a similar odor eliminator. Adding a bit of extra baking soda to the carpet will minimize the smell and discourage the pet from returning as well.
Vomit is a less common occurrence, but it’s still one that every RV pet owner should prepare for. Sometimes our little friends get motion sick, eat something bad, or just have a hairball that needs to come out! Whatever the reason, every pet owner should know how to clean RV carpet that has been affected by vomit.
First things first: Clean the topmost layer as well as you can. Use paper towels or washcloths to wipe up the biggest residue. Once you’ve gotten all the solids that you can, you can use one of the cleaning mixtures detailed above to clean the carpet. Continue to blot the carpet until the spot is gone. For good measure, it’s smart to do a deep clean of all the carpet in the area, just to make sure there aren’t any bacteria or bad odors remaining.
Tip: If your pet vomits on a solid surface, you can use coffee grounds to clean it up! Coffee grounds will absorb the fluid and reduce the smell. If you sprinkle coffee grounds over the vomit and give it a few minutes, you’ll be able to easily sweep up the mess and clean the floor beneath it.
Using the strategies above will help you spot-treat your carpet when your pet makes a mess. But if you want to thoroughly clean your whole carpet, you’ll want to do a deep clean every once in a while. If you have pets, you may need to pick a regular time to do this, just so it doesn’t get too nasty in-between cleanings. If you want to know how to clean RV carpet all the way down to the base, we’ve got you covered!
There are a couple of ways to do a deep carpet clean. Of course, you can use an automated carpet cleaner, which is what a lot of industrial-level cleaners will use. Steam cleaners are very effective tools that can blast germs, dirt, and all kinds of gunk out of your flooring.
There are many models that are small, portable, and perfect for RV users. Check out this Bissell 3624 Carpet Cleaner if you’re looking for a good RV option. If you use a machine like this, just spray the cleaning solution from the wand, then suction it up. You can repeat this process across the whole carpet surface, or just focus on a particular stain or messy area.
If you don’t have a carpet cleaner and/or don’t want to buy one, there is a way to deep clean by hand as well. All you need is dish soap, baking soda, a bucket, towels, and a stiff-bristled cleaning brush. Start by vacuuming the floor and cleaning away as much surface debris as you can. Then sprinkle the baking soda over the area you want to clean and spray it with a mixture of dish soap and water. Use the brush to mix these chemicals into the carpet until you see bubbles. Gently scrub the floor with the brush and push it all in the same direction.
Once you’re satisfied with the cleaning, press towels over the damp carpet and blot-dry the area. Do this until the carpet is mostly dry, then spray a new layer of clean tap water. Repeat the blotting process until it’s dry enough to vacuum again. After the second vacuum, you’re done!
There are lots of ways to clean carpets, and RV experts are always coming up with more solutions. For another carpet-cleaning strategy, check out the video below!
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