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What Is The Best RV Black Streak Remover?

This post was updated on March 27th, 2024

man cleaning off an RV with a pressure washer after using an RV black streak remover

How To Remove Black Streaks On Your RV

Keeping your camper clean is one of the hardest parts of being an RV owner. These vehicles require a good amount of maintenance and cleaning, and there always seems to be one more thing to take care of. One annoying thing you may have noticed is black streaks on your RV.

These black streaks are a common occurrence, and they frequently appear on the exteriors of RVs. Luckily, it’s usually possible to get rid of them and prevent streaks from forming, as long as you take the right steps.

We’ve compiled a guide of cleaning solutions below as well as some things you can do to save yourself some work in the future.

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How to clean black streaks on your RV

Black streaks are notoriously stubborn and hard to remove. However, there are ways to do it!

When it comes to removing these streaks, the sooner you begin, the better off you’ll be. If these streaks are allowed to sit for long periods of time, they will become extremely difficult to remove.

Wash your RV

To begin, give your entire RV a thorough wash. This probably won’t remove the streaks, but it will cut through the outer layer and will let you start with a clean slate. Use a hose or pressure washer so you can really soak through any dirt or grime on the surface.

Try WD-40

Next, try applying a layer of WD-40 on a small section of the RV. This product is often effective at breaking down grease and grime. It’s possible that it could work on black streaks on your RV as well. Spray the WD-40 on a specific section that’s affected by black streaks and let it sit for a few minutes.

After that, try washing the area with soap and water. In some cases, this is enough to remove the streaks. If this is effective, you can move on and use this same technique on your entire RV.

If WD-40 didn’t work, it’s time to move on to a more powerful cleaner. There are lots of products on the market for treating black streaks on your RV, but not all of them are effective.

Use an RV black streak remover

It’s a good idea to always follow the product instructions when you buy a new cleaner; test it on a small, hard-to-notice area before applying it to the whole vehicle’s surface. Try to avoid decals when you use these harsh cleaners because they could damage or rub away these decorative features.

Below we’ve collected a few products that have been successfully tested on black streaks. They have proven themselves to be effective when used properly, so consider choosing one of the following cleaners as your weapon against black streaks.

Bio-Kleen M00509 Black Streak Remover

This is one of the most highly-rated black streak removers on the market. It comes in a 1-gallon container and can be safely used on almost every RV surface. Some reviewers found that this RV black streak remover was most effective when it was used on warm days, but almost every customer has been satisfied with their experience.

You can view more details about this RV black streak remover and check the current price/availability on Amazon.

Camco 41008 Pro-Strength RV Black Streak Remover

This cleaning product from Camco has also been well received. It’s a powerful degreaser that comes in a spray bottle of either 32 oz or 1 gallon. This RV black streak remover does the majority of the work for you, so all you need to do is spray it on, wait for it to dissolve the black streaks, and wipe it away. However, if too much of it is used on rubber surfaces, it could cause some damage, so exercise caution in that regard.

You can view more details about this RV black streak remover and check the current price/availability on Amazon.

Protect All 54128 Black Streak Cleaner

Finally, Protect All is another good black streak cleaner to consider. This is a biodegradable product that is effective against black streaks, grease, bugs, mildew, and other substances that could gunk up the surface of an RV. Because it is something of a cure-all, it’s not quite as effective compared to the previous products. But if you need a good all-around option, this is a great one to choose.

You can view more details about this product and check the current price/availability on Amazon.

How to prevent black streaks on your RV

The main culprit behind the formation of black streaks on your RV is water. When water (especially hard water) combines with debris in the air and the chalky material from an RV roof, it can cause the characteristic streaks. Once the water evaporates, only the dirty residue is left behind.

This residue becomes stuck to the RV surface and can be a major pain in the neck to get rid of (especially if your RV has a corrugated surface that traps debris). If the streaks sit for long enough, they can become baked onto the RV surface and may even become oxidized so that even when they’re gone, an outline remains.

As we detailed above, there are things you can do to clean up these streaks, but it’s best if you can prevent them from forming in the first place.

Black streaks mainly build up when an RV isn’t washed frequently or if it sits outside without protection for extended periods of time. Both of these problems can be addressed.

You can protect your RV by beginning a regular cleaning schedule. Wash the RV on a regular rotation and make sure it doesn’t sit unattended for long stretches of time. This is when small, almost unseen streaks can start to form. By the time you notice it may be too late, so get ahead of the problem by washing the vehicle regularly.

Follow up these washing sessions with a fresh coat of wax! Wax helps protect the surface of your camper and will prevent a lot of the damage that may be caused by the flaking or shedding of the outer layers.

Next, consider where you are storing your RV. If it’s exposed to lots of sun, rain, dust, pollen, falling leaves, or other natural debris, it’s more likely to develop black streaks.

Don’t store your RV out in the open without a cover of some sort. You may consider using a carport, storing it in your garage, or just buying a cloth RV cover. Any type of protection will go a long way in your fight against black streaks on your RV.

Track your RV maintenance

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance from RV LIFE. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.

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