Date Published: 2024/05/16

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Top Ways to Get Rid of Odor in Your RV

Woman washing the stove in her motorhome with the door open.

When you open the door of your RV, you want to smell a fresh and pleasant aroma. Damp conditions, excess trash, the black water tank, and even forgotten food spills can create unpleasant smells. Your RV might also smell musty after being in storage all winter. Now’s the ideal time to learn how to get rid of odor in your RV. Before your next adventure, discover tips for keeping the inside of your RV smelling fresh year-round.

Remove the Odor’s Source

Carefully inspect your RV to find what smells. Maybe you forgot to vacuum the floors or overlooked a trash can under the sink. Once you know where the smell originates, you can take steps to eliminate the offensive odor.

Care for the Toilet

Sometimes, the toilet is the source of unpleasant odors. Thankfully, the proper chemical treatment can reduce odors from your traditional toilet’s black water tank. Likewise, utilise RV toilet paper since it decomposes quickly, which could further reduce unwanted smells.

Clean Your RV Often

In small spaces, unpleasant odors can quickly invade the entire area. So, prioritise cleaning as you get rid of RV odor. You could wipe up spills immediately, place dirty laundry in airtight containers and empty trash cans daily. Likewise, wash surfaces and vacuum rugs often. You can also clean shelves, drawers, and appliances every week. Sanitise your grey and fresh water tanks at least once every six months. Plus, deep clean the entire RV, including curtains and furniture cushions, before storing your RV for the winter.

Open the Windows

Better airflow can move stale and unpleasant odors out of the RV and allow fresh, clean air in. When possible, open windows and doors. You can also turn on fans to improve ventilation.

Absorb Odors

Some products can absorb RV odor and neutralise unpleasant smells. So, stock these items and use them to ensure your RV smells fresh.

Here are some examples of items to have on hand.

  • Set charcoal sticks or packets inside enclosed spaces like cabinets, drawers and shoes.
  • Shake baking soda on carpets or rugs, wait 30 minutes and then vacuum thoroughly.
  • Place an open box of baking soda in the fridge to keep this appliance smelling fresh.
  • Use a cleaning solution of vinegar and water to cut dirt and remove strong smells.
  • Sprinkle unused coffee grounds or cat litter on spills to absorb the liquid and remove any lingering odors.
  • Arrange dryer sheets under furniture cushions and inside trash cans and shoes.
  • Cut limes, lemons or oranges and arrange the citrus slices in bowls throughout your RV.
  • Seal a few slices of bread inside smelly containers for a few hours.

Cover RV Odor

Temporary yet stinky kitchen, bathroom or musty odors will dissipate over time. Until then, cover any unwanted odors with air fresheners.

First, you could cook stew or simmer a pot of herbs and spices to conceal unpleasant odors. Next, fill a diffuser with essential oil or plug an air freshener into an outlet of the stinky room. And apply a fabric-safe spray solution to fabrics like sofa cushions or curtains. Also, spray air freshener into the air or garbage cans. For ongoing dampness and mildew odors, run a dehumidifier and your RV fans to reduce moisture. Arrange basil, dracaena, English ivy, lady palms, lavender, lemongrass, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, snake plants, or thyme throughout your RV since these plants can freshen air as they filter odors or produce a pleasant smell.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

With a new RV season around the corner, now’s the best time to get rid of odor in your RV. In addition to spring cleaning, make sure your RV insurance is up to date. Request a quote from Orbit Insurance Services for RV insurance and ensure your policy meets your specific needs. Already have a policy with us? Contact and Orbit insurance broker to make sure you have the proper coverage. Then, enjoy your travels with peace of mind and pleasant aromas.