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How to Remove Oxidation from RV Fiberglass? – 4 Ways

Writen by Dane Heldt

Fact checked by Robert Clark

how to remove oxidation from rv fiberglass

Gel coat on the RV helps protect your fiberglass exterior surface from being damaged and has a shiny look. However, after some years, you may notice that it starts to lose its shine and appear dated. The chalky white appearance is the result of oxidation of the gel coat.

It’s undoubtedly that frequent washing and waxing are necessary affairs to protect it, but the fiberglass exterior will eventually confront oxidation and color degradation. Therefore, please follow our article if you want to know how to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass and make your old RV look new.

Causes of Oxidation on Fiberglass


Oxidation is a common chemical reaction of oxygen in the atmosphere with substances, and the gel coat from your RV fiberglass is not an exception.

Oxidation can also be worsened by prolonged exposure to various weather conditions such as sun rays, rain, high heat, and air pollution.

Fiberglass oxidation is inevitable, and without maintenance, the old glossy look from the fiberglass covering will surely disappear, and your RV will become dull and less attractive as well.

Ways to Remove Oxidation From RV Fiberglass

RV fiberglass restoration can be easily done at home. The first and most important thing is to counteract the effect of oxidation and then apply coat wax to form a protective and polished layer.

And depending on the low or high oxidation level, you can use different methods to deal with this issue. The methods below will be shown according to increasing levels of oxidation, so please read it carefully to make proper choices for your RV.

Method 1: Using vinegar


Using vinegar is the easiest way to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass as it’s a common condiment in your kitchen.

However, it only performs well just in case of low oxidation levels, and minor and newly appeared stains. With intense oxidation, the acid in vinegar is not powerful enough to remove it and is able to provide any shielding layer to your RV exterior.

What to prepare

  • Vinegar
  • Non-scratch sponge
  • Water
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Copper basin
  • Gloves (optional)

Step 1: Mix water with vinegar

Combine water and vinegar in equal proportions using a copper basin. For better results, it’s recommended to use hot water.

Step 2: Scrub your RV with sponge

Apply the mixture to the oxidation spots. Wait for a couple of minutes then use a soft sponge to clean it.

Step 3: Rinse and wipe dry

Once being scrubbed, rinse your RV with clean water until all oxidation and dust disappear without a trace and use cleaning cloths to dry it.

Besides vinegar, baking soda is also a great ingredient to create homemade fiberglass oxidation remover.

Baking soda itself is a cleaning agent, if combined with vinegar, it will become a good polishing compound to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass. The proportions are similar and you should use gloves to protect your skin.

Method 2: Hand buffing


Hand buffing is also a method when it comes to RV oxidation removal, and it will take a lot of hard work. There are numerous qualified polish and wax products in the market, so you should look for some recommendations before purchasing.

What to prepare

Step 1: Clean the exterior

To begin with, use soap to clean the surface and make sure that there is no dirt left on the fiberglass. Rinse with water and move to the next step.

Step 2: Polish and wax

Pour the right amount of liquid oxidation remover on the sponge and then scrub the oxidized area to restore the previous appearance and color of your RV. After polishing, let it sit for some minutes.

Once the surface is dry, use a cloth to remove any residue from the polish compound and your RV is now glossy like new.

In order to maintain its shiny look for a longer time, you should use wax for oxidized RV fiberglass as the last step. Similar to applying polish liquid, you have to wait until the wax is dry and wipe your RV with another cloth.

  • Note: You can also use RV fiberglass oxidation remover in the form of powder, but you need a fine sanding pad for the task, at least 1200 wet-and-dry sandpaper.

Method 3: Power buffer


If you own an electric buffer, it would be less exhausting to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass, especially when your RV has a big size or suffers from a severe level of oxidation. It will save a lot of time.

What to prepare

  • Electric buffer
  • Cleaner and polish product
  • Wax
  • Buffing pads/brushes
  • Cleaning cloths

Step 1: Apply the polish

Install the buffing pad/brush on the electric buffer and apply the polish liquid on the buffing pad. Make sure it is spread evenly on the pad.

Step 2: Power up and start polishing

Turn on the device and polish every oxidized spot on your RV fiberglass. Continue this process until the shiny look appears.

Step 3: Remove the residue

Wipe the surface with a cleaning cloth to remove the polish. You can also apply wax as the aforementioned hand buffing method at the end.

Method 4: Wet sanding


Wet sanding is the most serious resolution to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass to deal with heavy oxidation.

You should use this method only in case the fiberglass oxidation is too tough to be eradicated thoroughly or this phenomenon returns after taking several measures. This may be due to old age or improper protection.

Carrying out this method is also time-consuming and requires lots of effort. Cautiousness is always a priority, otherwise, your RV exterior can be scratched and lead to permanent damage. It’s recommended to hire an expert if you are not confident to do it yourself.

What to prepare

  • Sandpaper
  • Cleaner and polish product
  • Wax
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Cleaning cloths

Step 1: Clean your RV

Use soap and water to wash your car until there is no dirt left.

Step 2: Soak sandpaper in water and rub

Moisturizing the sandpaper will make it easier to rub and affect the smoothness of the fiberglass surface. Using finer sandpaper can help you reduce the risk of being scraped but also diminish the efficiency in removing oxidation. Remember to rub with gentle pressure and movement to have the best result.

Step 3: Rinse and wipe dry

After finishing the most difficult mission, it’s time to take out the impurity from your RV by rinsing it and then using a cleaning cloth to wipe it dry.

Step 4: Polish and wax

It’s essential to polish your fiberglass RV to eliminate any abrasions and recondition your RV look. Last but not least, cover your RV with a layer of wax to create a long-lasting glossy coverage.


Removing oxidation from fiberglass can be easily implemented in several ways. Oxidation is unavoidable due to environmental factors, so the best thing you can do is to directly deal with it and frequently take care of your RV.

There is no perfect solution, it depends on your RV’s current constitution. That’s the guide on how to remove oxidation from RV fiberglass. We really hope that our instructions will be helpful to you and don’t be afraid to leave any comments below. Thank you!

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