Acetone On RV Rubber Roof: Is Acetone Safe For Rubber Roof?

The first impression you may get when RV owners say do not use acetone on rubber is that it will dissolve the latter like acid. Won’t happen but it is also not the right product to use when you want to clean your RV’s rubber roof

Acetone is not made for rubber or rubber roofs. It is a strong chemical that will start the deterioration process. But it will not eat away the rubber-like acid that can do with different materials. It is best to use mineral spirits instead of Acetone when you clean your roof.

To learn more on this important topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can keep your RV’s rubber roof in top condition for many years to come. Spend a few minutes to get this information and avoid creating problems for yourself.

Acetone On RV Rubber Roof


This is not a good idea. It seems that acetone is higher on the food chain than rubber is. What this means is that if you apply this product to your rubber roof, it can start eating away at the rubber.

It won’t be a quick process and you may not notice this deterioration right away. However, given enough time, you could ruin your rubber roof if you use acetone for cleaning the dirt off.

We did suggest using mineral spirits but some owners have had unique experiences where even a mineral spirit-soaked rag caused the roof to buckle temporarily. The roof returned to normal shape overnight.

If you use mineral spirits make sure to rinse the roof right away and get that product off as fast as possible. Just don’t use acetone though. It is not rubber complimentary.

Can Acetone Be Used To Clean EPDM?


Over the years, RV makers have found new ways to make RV roofs. They use different materials to make those roofs lighter and stronger. The problem with these new roofs is that it is difficult to know which products will clean them safely.

One of the companies that make EPDM roofing material for RVs has very bold words in its description on cleaning their roofing material. They said in bold print-- ! DO NOT USE ACETONE OR ANY PRODUCTS CONTAINING PETROLEUM DISTILLATES ON THE ROYAL ROOF !​

That message should be plain enough for anyone to see and obey. Don’t listen to those owners who said they used acetone and had no problems. They may not see the damage yet and your results may be worse.

This is a time when you stick with what the manufacturer says especially if you are still under warranty.

Does Acetone Ruin Rubber?


Yes, it can. Acetone is not rubber-friendly and if you use it, you will be contributing to the loss of value to your RV or trailer. You will also be setting yourself up for a roof repair expense.

However, acetone is not strong enough to dissolve rubber. You will not see the material disappearing before your eyes once you put it on. Also, acetone will not dissolve the rubber entirely.

At worst you will see some chipping, and some dents, and these issues will take some time to develop. Acetone is one of the weakest ketone chemical solutions you can use so you will not always see bad results show up right away.

If you are going to use acetone anyways or even mineral spirits, put those solutions on rags first. Do not pour them on the material directly. You should avoid petroleum-based products anyways when cleaning your RV’s roof.

Is Acetone Safe For RV Rubber Roofs?


No, it is not. Even though it is a slow-acting solution, the damage will occur and it will lower the lifespan of your roof. It may even cause leaks to form that is difficult to find.

The best way to clean or repair your rubber roof is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They are the ones that made it so they are the ones that know the most about what will or will not work.

If you decide not to follow those instructions, it is best to not directly apply the solution to your roof. Use an indirect method or dilute the solution down so you cut its strength even further.

However, we are not recommending that you use an indirect method of any sort. Just find a rubber roof-friendly cleanser and use that.

Can You Use Alcohol on The RV Rubber Roof?


It is possible but it is not recommended. When you see that type of answer, it is best to not use this product on your rubber roof. While not as strong as acetone, alcohol can cause some damage to your roof.

You also have to work harder to clean that roof when you use this product. The best way to clean your RV or trailer’s rubber roof is with mild soap. But do not use Dawn.

The grease-fighting ingredients in that soap product will strip off the protective coatings your roof has. Believe it or not, you may be able to use bleach. It is said to be one of the best cleansers for this type of roof you can buy.

Avoid all cleansers made from harsh chemicals and petroleum products. Household soap, if it is mild, and some warm water is your best option.

Some Final Words

Cleaning your rubber roof will take some doing. It is not that it is a difficult task to do. It is because you need to find the right products to use. Some people will cut corners and use the wrong product simply because they are only doing a ‘small area’.

That small area can get damaged and cause leaks if you are not careful. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning and protect your roof at the same time.

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