Posts tagged: odor removal

Odor Be Gone!

By , December 30, 2009 9:34 am

As with any brick and mortar place (aka house), it may take some time after you have moved in before you can call it “home”. There is always cleaning (again!), some painting and maybe some remodeling. The same applies to living in an RV. 

This RV has the layout and scheme we wanted. It has good “bones”. But it stunk! There was cigarette smoke, stale air, gaseous odor and a “funky” smell we couldn’t put a finger on. It was a challenge!

So we took action to root out the smell. After some time and effort, we finally got the cigarette smoke, stale air and the gaseous odor out. But the “funky” smell was still there!

We have done the following:

Jonathan realized I was going to ‘drive him crazy’ or ‘break his home’ by rooting behind things I shouldn’t if we didn’t find the “funky” smell.

So, he set to work. He removed the tool rack behind the holding tank bay and inspected the area for leakage and cracking. Nothing was amiss, no leakage or cracking. Excellent! There was a seal or caulking around one of the tube that could use some resealing so Jonathan took care of that.

While Jonathan was working outside, I set to working inside. I found in the washer/dryer manual under "maintenance” about the checking the ‘pump in the pre-chamber area’.  It stated that this area can occasionally get clogged. I opened the pump and it smelled to high heaven! I cleaned the areaimage and wiped it dry.

So, that  “funky” smell was the smell of sour water. I am leaping for joy that we no longer have that “funky” smell. The “funky” odor is GONE! It’s finally “home sweet home”. 

Here is the pump in the pre-chamber area.

 PreChamber2 Pump


For good measure, we have ordered Xtreme Vents from Coiln’ Wrap to replace the old roof vents.  We are also going to replace both vent caps under the sinks (one under the galley, one under the bathroom) with the Studor Mini-Vent cap.

We have already replaced the cap under the bathroom. The one under the galley/kitchen sink will have one soon.

 vent_New Vent_Old 

Here is to an odor free home! Odor be gone! 🙂

RV Toilet and the Geo Method

By , December 28, 2009 11:48 pm

RV water tanks (fresh, gray and black) are critical to the RV house system. The fresh water is self explanatory. The gray water is waste water from your sinks and shower. The black water is water from the toilet. The smell from the black water tank can be quite challenging and absolutely odorous (“I don’t want to go in the RV,  I’ll stay out here”), especially on a hot day. The goal for the black water tank is to have no blockage and no odor… And to keep it clean.

To address the smell from the black water tank, we have used various blue chemical solutions (that we have purchased from both Camping World and Walmart). During our visit in Sarasota, we met up with Jessica and Duncan from Traveling On the Skirts. We asked them what they do to treat the black water for their old fifth wheel. They clued us on the Geo Method for maintaining the gray and black water tank.

After some research, we decided we definitely want to try this method.

The Geo Method uses three basic household products:CalgonDetergent

  • Water softener (some recommend the non-precipitating type like Calgon, White Rain, Blue Raindrops, and Spring Rain)
  • Laundry detergent
  • Chlorine bleach (used infrequently compared to the other two ingredients)

Water softener helps remove the gunk from the tank and prevent it from sticking to the tank. Laundry detergent cleans the tank. Chlorine bleach is used to deodorize, sanitize and disinfect.

Water softener falls into two groups:

  • Precipitating (Arm and Hammer Washing Soda, Raindrops, Blue Dew, Borax, Climalene, Melo, White King Water Softener, and Borateem). This group is not recommended for the Geo Method as it does not work quite as well but you can use them if you cannot find the non-precipitating kind.
  • Non-Precipitating (Calgon, White Rain, Blue Raindrops, and Spring Rain). This group is recommended for the Geo Method.

The Geo Method is not necessary for every time you dump the tank. Once the tank has been “cleaned”, reduce the frequency as appropriate.

Regarding the toilet bowl, the Star manual specifically states:

 Do not use chlorine or caustic chemicals, such as laundry bleach or drain valve opening types, as they will damage the seals in the toilet and dump valves.

So, we will be foregoing the use of bleach in our implementation of the Geo Method for the black water tank. 

Thus far, we have emptied the black water tank and used the Geo Method (minus the bleach) three times. On the way from Sarasota back to Ocklawaha; the black tank had only water, detergent and water softener. It had a good sloshing on the way home.  

It’s still too early to judge its effect but we are hopeful…

We are clean people

By , December 18, 2009 10:11 pm

You must be holy, because I am holy.          1 Peter 1:16

Cleanliness is next to godliness.                  John Wesley, 1778

Cleanliness requires tireless effort. And we sure put a lot of effort and time into getting the Star clean.

The dealer we bought the Star from did a good job in cleaning out the coach (we saw what it looked like and what it smelled like day after he got it from the auction). The dealer took a week to clean the Star. But we can still smell the cigarette smoke in the coach; it was pervasive. We are non-smokers.

We were not going to get too comfortable until it’s been cleaned to our satisfaction. So, we set about to cleaning our new home. 

We have done the following:

  • Fumigated the RV (“basement” and living quarters)
  • Bleached and sanitized kitchen and bathroom
  • Cleaned the leather feature, cabinets and walls
  • Bleached and sanitized all appliances (microwave, stove and washer/dryer)
  • Steam cleaned the carpet and upholstery (“hot water extraction” method using RugDoctor)
  • Aired out the Star
  • Vacuumed tirelessly

These are some of the products we used:

  • Bleach and water
  • Baking Soda
  • Raid Fumigator
  • Simple Green
  • Lysol Sanitizing Wipes (from Costco)
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
  • Febreeze Extra Strength
  • Meguiar’s Gold Class Rich Leather Cleaner/Conditioner
  • RugDoctor steam cleaner with upholstery attachment  (rented from Lowe’s)
  • Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator (from Home Depot)

Smoke Odor Eliminator, 16 Oz.Simple Green 13022 All Purpose Cleaner. 22 oz.Lysol  Sanitizing WipesExtra Strength Fabric Refresher,Lightly ScentedArm & Hammer Arm   Hammer 84104 - Baking Soda, 16oz Box - CHU84104


Note of interest:

  • We went through one pair of yellow cleaning rubber gloves
  • We went through one can of Lysol Sanitizing wipes (110 wipes)
  • Zep Smoke Odor Eliminator is good stuff
  • Baking soda is a fantastic product (cleaning, cooking, odor removal, etc…)
  • Lysol sanitizing wipes and Simple Green are also great at removing grime

We steam cleaned Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The cost of the steamer is about $46/day ($25 for steamer, $3 for upholstery attachment, $18 for cleaning solution)

jwk_cleanDR RugDoctorSolutions jwk_cleanUnderJLounger jwk_cleanValance

We have been “cleaning”  for about two weeks now. We are almost there. We are waiting for everything to completely dry out before we get too comfortable.

The effort will be worth it when can finally enjoy our thoroughly and deeply cleaned home.

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