At the start and finish of every touring season, it’s well worth giving your caravan a good clean to preserve its good looks. We know it can be tempting to leave your tourer dirty through the winter, perhaps hoping that rain will act as a power-wash, loosening any mud and doing some of the cleaning for you. But there’s a very big catch. Unfortunately any dust, mud and sticky marks on your caravan will encourage the growth of algae and mould on your van. The conditions are just right for these unwanted guests to set up home on your caravan during most British winters.

Fortunately it’s easy to nip it in the bud by giving your caravan a good wash with a proper caravan cleaner. But which one will you choose?

To find out which are the best caravan cleaners in the UK today, we assembled a few popular brands for testing, and you can read our cleaning accessory reviews here.

We tried Fenwick’s Caravan Cleaner Concentrate, £8.99, which has many devotees. Then we tested Care-avan Hi-Tec Shampoo, £7.50, a luminous yellow fluid in a litre bottle. We tested the bright pink MudBuster Caravan & Motorhome Exterior & Interior Wash & Wax, £8.99, too. Then we tried out the Blue Diamond Perfection Caravan Cleaner, £8.49. Finally, we tested a tub of Silky Cream Cleaner.

Most caravan cleaning products seem to be in the form of a concentrated liquid, but the one exception in our test is the Silky Cream Cleaner, which we found priced at £3.99 for a 480ml tub. The manufacturer quotes the price as £5.99 for the tub, incidentally, so it is worth shopping around for a good price on this and all your other caravan accessories.

Silky’s Cream Cleaner has been around for years and it was probably one of the first products that got to grips with the black streaks that caravan owners dread. It’s a non-abrasive cream cleaner, which will not scratch any of your caravan’s panels, because it’s even safe to use on plastic and PVC. You just apply the cream sparingly with a damp cloth, then rinse it off with a hose or a damp cloth and duster.

These days, its revised formula includes Sinsulak polishing powder and, therefore, promises that a treatment should give a degree of long-term protection, too. It has anti-static properties, which should help to repel dust. However, when rinsing off this mixture, we found that the water doesn’t bead at all. So, perhaps, a separate application of polish or weather-proofer would still be prudent to complete your tourer’s protective defences. 

In all other ways, using Silky is exactly the same as it always has been. It works well and there are few stains it doesn’t get to grips with eventually, but is it slow going. Then again, it’s proven to be caravan-friendly, the small tub lasts for ages, and if you shop around you’ll find it only costs a penny under four quid to start with.