DIY Black Streak Remover: How To Get Black Streaks Off RV

Black streaks do not look good. There may be a time when you will be faced with this situation. Black streaks can happen at any time and strike any RV or trailer. The key to having your RV looking good is to be armed with the right defensive material and clean those streaks right off.

The black streak cleaners can be expensive but if you do what one owner did and bought some blue liquid from a dollar store, you can save a ton of money. Or you may need to use one of the following options to make sure those black streaks are gone.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the topic so you have those cleaning options you can use. Take a few moments to see how this content can help you with a better and easier cleaning option than the expensive foams, etc.

What Are The Black Streaks On My RV?


These black streaks are a combination of different elements. Usually, they are made up of dirt, dust, and exhaust with the last element being the hardest to get rid of. But it can be done.

There are numerous products available at your local RV outlet but those may be a bit expensive and not up to the task. As some owners found out, the no-name brands or home remedies did the best job at getting rid of those black streaks.

The reason you get black streaks is that different pollutants and other bacteria have properties that help them stick to your RV’s surface. They may start at the roof and stick there but when a good rain comes, they wash down and stick to the sides of your RV.

That is when you see them. When you do, you need to have a good cleaner in your maintenance storage area. Just pull it out on the next warm, sunny day and go to work. If you have the right cleaner, then your task should be over fairly soon.

What Takes Black Streaks Off The Camper?

There are some product names that many RVers may be familiar with. We may mention them all but if we miss one or two, it can’t be helped. There is Simple Green, ProtectAll, Awesome, Purple Power, Regular glass cleaner, and any brand, and there may be more.

This seems to be a situation where you will have lots of companies cashing in on a common problem. But there are some home remedies you can try as well and they are reported that they do a very good job of removing the black streaks.

Vinegar and water, lemon juice and water, WD-40, Murphy’s Oil Soap, car Wax, toothpaste, any variety, baking soda and water, carpet cleaner, soft scrub, and ammonia.

The key to removing those black streaks is to find the best one that does not remove the wax. Even if you do remove the wax, it doesn’t take that long to re-wax your RV or trailer.

Make sure to start with your roof and work your way down to the tires. Just like washing a car, start at the highest point and end up at the lowest. Then let dry. After that, wash and wax your RV so it looks nice and new.

Will Simple Green Remove Black Streaks From The Camper?


One of the things we need to point out before we answer that question is, results may vary. You may have great luck with this product and other cleansers or you may not.

Success in this area is a depends result as it depends on many factors. Simple Green is an all-purpose cleaner. That means it handles just about any cleaning task you have on hand.

It seems to have a degreasing formula as well as stain-removing ingredients inside of it. That means it should be strong enough to handle those pesky black streaks.

Many RV owners have recommended this product to their RV friends because it has worked for them. It may work for you but if it doesn’t, you have plenty of choices mentioned above to help you clean up your RV or trailer.

When you go to clean your RV of these black streaks, make sure to use a soft cloth or a soft bristle brush. Anything harder will only scratch your RV’s paint and decals. Those are costly to repair or replace.

Some people say a microfiber cloth is the one to use but any soft cloth will work.

What is The Best Black Streak Remover For RVs?

The answer to this question will be whoever you are talking to at the time this conversation comes up or whose reviews you read. Everyone has their own favorite and what works for them is also the best cleaner.

That is why some recommended products get used without doing the job right. They just do not always work. If you like chemicals in your cleaners then you can try Camco 41008 black streak cleaner, Bio-Kleen M00509 Black Streak Remover, or Star Brite Black Streak Remover.

Those are the top three on one reviewer’s top 10 best list. There are many other options available and you may need to try a few to see which one works best for you. You do not always need strong abrasive cleaners to get those black streaks off.

Then if you like a DIY option, then you can try any of the ones listed earlier. Both vinegar and lemon juice have acid compounds in them so dilute carefully and do not make the mixture very strong.

Baking soda and water may be your best non-abrasive cleaner. And baking soda is supposed to be a miracle product that cleans everything. But try them out and pick the best one that does the job for you. That is the best black streak cleaner.

What is in Black Streak Remover?


One brand we did not list is called Bugs N’All and they claim their cleaner is-- Non-Toxic, Biodegradable, Petroleum-Free, Non-Flammable, No Harsh Chemicals, No Strong Odors, Non-Abrasive and Non-Corrosive.

The Camco product we mentioned above is filled with harsh chemicals and you do not want to get it in your eyes. We could not see the back label on the Bio-Kleen option but the warning is that it can remove paint.

The Star-Brite version has a form of acid and a form of salt inside but it is not supposed to take off the wax on your RV. There are mild cleaners you can use as well. The best thing to do is read the labels and see what formula was used.

If you are not a fan of harsh chemicals, then you may want to find a product that does not contain those chemicals and use one of the DIY options. Those products will have natural acid and other abrasives as well so pick your cleaner wisely.

We cannot recommend or guarantee any cleaner we mention here will work for you without damaging your RV, paint, or wax.

DIY Black Streak Remover

There are different versions of this DIY cleaner category. We mentioned a few already. Another one would be mixing water, powdered dish washing soap, and bleach together. Make sure to use hot water.

The formula goes like this: fill a 1-gallon bucket with hot water, add in 1-cup of the dish washing detergent, then add in about 5 tablespoons of bleach and mix well. If you do not have powdered dish washing soap, you can substitute borax or baking soda.

If you want to use vinegar, then add 3/4 cup of vinegar to every gallon of water you have in the bucket. If you use WD-40 then spray on the chemical and wait a few minutes. It will need time to absorb into the black streak. Then wash the WD-40 and black streak off. Use soap and water when washing off.

The other DIY options may be used in the same manner as the vinegar and water. Just be forewarned that the acid or abrasive ingredients in some of those options may remove the wax.

Not everything is going to be perfect when you use different cleaners on your RV’s exterior.

How To Make Homemade RV Black Streak Remover


This is not hard and all you really have to do is find the best ingredients and then mix until you find the right formula. Water is going to be your largest ingredient in most cases.

Start small and mix a little bit together with small portions of your other ingredients. Then find a test area on your RV and see if you got the formula correct.

As you can see from above, you do not need a lot of vinegar or lemon juice, or even bleach to get the job done right. At best you are looking at a few tablespoons to no more than a cup per gallon of water depending on the ingredients you use.

Products like WD-40 need no dilution but should be wiped off as soon as possible after application. Test out different products and keep a record of the formula. If it works then figure out the proportions you will need for a larger batch.

It might be a good idea to keep a record of what does not work so you do not re-do the same failed experiment. Once you get a winning formula you can keep it a secret or share it with friends.

How To Remove Black Streaks From Aluminum RV

One formula consists of equal parts of water and dish washing soap, as well as 1/4 cup of vinegar. There was no mention of how much water and soap to use but it should be more than the vinegar.

Then use a soft bristle brush or a clean cloth and wash that black streak away. The issue you have to watch out for will be how hot it is outside. If you delay washing the formula off it may dry in place and be hard to remove.

Work in small patches that give you enough time to wash and rinse before the formula dries. When you are done, wash and rinse the areas again and then dry them with a nice clean cloth.

Or you can buy a black streak cleaner made of aluminum and follow the instructions. There should be some of those products we mentioned that will work on this metal.

Tips For Removing Black Streaks From Aluminum Camper

The best tips to give you will be on the preventive aspect of this issue. Keeping the black streaks away is the best way to get rid of them. Here are a few of those tips:

1. Clean your RV regularly by wiping the dirt and grime off before they set in

2. Use wax or a sealant regularly. This will keep those pollutants from getting a grip on your RV’s surface. It will also prevent dirt and grime build-up.

3. Wash your RV regularly. It is a big job but if you do not want to do extra work and clean off those black streaks then do this step.

4. Cover your RV. When not in use buy an RV cover made for your RV or trailer and keep it covered. This will keep a lot of dirt and pollutants off the exterior of your RV

Unfortunately, black streaks on your RV or trailer may never go away. Once you clean them off, they can form again.

Some Final Words

Keeping those black streaks off your RV means you need to apply some elbow grease. It is only tough work when you let those streaks remain for long periods of time.

Watch out for those cleaners with harsh chemicals. If you do not rinse them quickly, they can damage your RV in one way or another. Pick the cleaner that works the best for you and stick with it. That is how you keep those black streaks away.

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