How Do You Get Rid of Black Streaks on Your RV?

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A man using black streak remover to clean his RV

Anyone who has owned an RV for more than a few months has probably noticed those black streaks that seem to appear out of nowhere. They’re a major eyesore. But what can you do to get rid of them? Is there some sort of magic black streak remover?

Keep reading for some tips on how to remove black streaks from your RV.

What Causes Black Streaks on Your RV?

There are a few different things that can contribute to black streaks on an RV. The primary cause is rain or water from an air conditioning unit. It usually pools on the roof and then runs down the sides of the RV. This leaves dirt, grime, or other pollutant streaks. Another common cause of black streaks is tree sap, which can be very difficult to remove.

Road grime is an additional culprit. As you drive down the highway, your RV is constantly exposed to dirt, dust, and other debris. Over time, this can build up and leave black streaks on the sides.

How Do You Get Rid of Black Streaks on Your RV?

Fortunately, you can remove most black streaks on your RV with routine washing with soap and water. It might, however, take a little bit of elbow grease to get the particulates stuck to the RV to come off.

Use a bucket of soapy water to dip a sponge or brush, then wipe the grime from the RV. You may have to scrub a bit to get the worst spots clean. Use an RV brush with a telescoping handle to reach higher areas.

If soap, water, and a little scrubbing don’t do the trick, it’s time to get a dedicated product.

How Do You Remove Black Streaks From Fiberglass?

A large portion of RVs has fiberglass exteriors. But removing black streaks from a fiberglass RV exterior is the same process as above. Your first attempt should be soap, water, and scrubbing with a sponge or brush intended for cleaning your RV. 

Again, if soap and water don’t work, it’s time to get a good dedicated black streak remover product. Be sure that whatever cleaning product you purchase is for the surface you’re cleaning — for instance, fiberglass or painted aluminum.

Keeping your RV’s roof clean can help prevent black streaks. But be careful when cleaning your RV roof. Many have a rubber coating you should clean with soap, water, and a soft brush that won’t damage the coating. Don’t use abrasive brushes or cleaning agents on a rubber roof. Any black streak remover or other cleaning agents should be non-abrasive. Additionally, they shouldn’t contain citric cleansers or petroleum distillate.

The Best Black Streak Removers 

These are some of the best products we’ve found. These are all great products to get your RV looking like new again. 

Our Pick: Camco Pro-Strength Black Streak Remover

Camco is a company widely regarded for its dedication to the RV industry and consistently provides excellent products for RVs, campers, and trailers. Their Pro-Strength Black Streak Remover is another one of those products that easily removes black streaks, bugs, tar, grease, oil, and dirt. DO NOT use this product on a rubber roof. Camco makes a different product specifically suited to safely cleaning an RV’s rubber roof.

Camco 41008 Pro-Strength Black Streak Remover - 32 fl. oz.
  • Easily removes black streaks, bugs, tar, grease, oil and dirt
  • Great for use on window trim, gutter rails, grills and much more

Runner Up: Duragloss Marine and RV Black Streak Eliminator

Duragloss Marine and RV Black Streak Eliminator comes in a handy 1-gallon size, which is especially beneficial for larger rigs. This cleaner sprays on and makes it easy to wipe off most black streaks with little to no rubbing. It’s also safe for fiberglass, metal, or painted surfaces and leaves most durable polishes intact.

Duragloss 582 Marine and RV Black Streak Eliminator, 1 Gallon, 1 Pack
  • Removes black streaks from fiberglass and painted surfaces
  • Safely cleans in one application

Highest Rated: Star brite Instant Black Streak Remover

Star brite Instant Black Streak Remover is a black streak cleaner with high customer approval. It’s a versatile cleaner that the manufacturer recommends for fiberglass, vinyl, metal, rubber, and most plastic or painted surfaces. Just spray it on and wipe it off to remove grease, oil, smoke, exhaust stains, and other grime.

STAR BRITE Instant Black Streak Remover - 1 GAL (071600N)
  • Quickly removes black streaks caused by water run off
  • Safe for use on fiberglass, metal and painted surfaces
Black streaks on an RV before using black streak remover
Source: Amazon

Budget Option: Dicor Powerful Black Streak Remover

Dicor is another solid brand that developed a budget cleaner aptly called Powerful Black Streak Remover. This powerful cleaner is stated explicitly as safe for RV fiberglass and painted metal sidewalls. It’s for use on fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, and painted metal surfaces with minimal scrubbing.

Keep in Mind: Have you washed your RV yet? This Is What You Need To Know

Dicor CP-BSR-1GL Powerful Black Streak Remover for RVs, Black, White
  • USE: Easily and safely remove stubborn black streaks, road grime and grease from most surfaces
  • POWERFUL: Strong cleaner to clean even the dirtiest RVs

Secondary Budget Option: Thetford Premium RV Black Streak and Bug Remover

Thetford is another brand that most RVers are familiar with and trust. Its Premium RV Black Streak and Bug Remover is a non-flammable, non-toxic, 100% biodegradable cleaner that’s safe on gel coats, fiberglass, decals, and painted aluminum. 

Thetford Premium RV Black Streak and Bug Remover - Black Streak Cleaner for RVs/Boats/Cars/Trucks/Vans/Motorcycles - 1 Gallon 32511
  • [Versatility]: Premium RV Black Streak and Bug Remover works on cars, trucks, vans, RVs, motorcycles, or boats
  • [Performance]: Effectively removes black streaks, bugs and other tough stains

Will WD 40 Remove Black Streaks From Camper?

WD-40 is a powerful degreaser that may work for many black streak situations. To use WD-40, first, clean the streak area with soap and water, then apply WD-40 to the streak. Let it sit for a few minutes so the WD-40 can break down the grime. After waiting a few minutes, wash off the WD-40, and hopefully the black streak, with soap and water.

WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant with SMART STRAW SPRAYS 2 WAYS, 11 OZ
  • Silicone lubricant provides a protective, waterproof and low-friction coating to multiple surfaces
  • Our quick-drying formula cures into a clear, stain-resistant hard film that protects your surfaces from the elements

Will Simple Green Remove Black Streaks From Camper? 

You might be familiar with Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner. It’s a general cleaner that’s non-toxic and biodegradable. It’s an environmentally friendly cleaner that can remove most black streaks from your camper. Be forewarned, however. It might also remove any wax coating or polish that you may have on your rig, unlike some of the other cleaners on our list.

Pro Tip: These are the most popular RV wash and wax that’ll keep your RV looking brand new!

How Often Should I Use a Black Streak Remover?

You should use one anytime you wash your rig and have black streaks. It’s really that simple. The sooner you wash them off, the less time they have to sit in the elements and become more of a problem. For instance, black streaks left baking in the sun will set and be harder to remove, even with a good streak remover.

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to combat black streaks is to try and stop them before they start. Keeping your rig on a regular cleaning schedule is a great start. Also, consider regularly waxing your RV. A good coat of wax will help protect the RV’s exterior from the elements and makes it easier to wash off the dirt and grime that form black streaks.

Keep Your RV Streak Free This Camping Season 

Keeping your RV clean and streak-free is important not only for aesthetic reasons but also because it will help maintain your vehicle’s longevity.

We’ve shared some of our favorite products for removing black streaks from RVs, so it’s time to get your RV clean and streak-free. Employ any of these awesome products, and you’ll be on your way to having a sparkling clean RV in no time!

What do you use to get rid of black streaks on your RV?

Last update on 2022-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  1. La Awesome from the Dollar Tree or the Dollar Store will take them off and it’s very cheap. Put it in a spray bottle take a micro fiber cloth and rub it off. Afterwards just wash off with a hose make sure you didn’t miss any spots. Then spray wax it.

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