How to Get Rid of Mold in Car

Mold prevention is not a concern for many people when they own a car. Only when black, gray, brown, or even green mold appear in your car with an unpleasant odor,  you will start to panic. Many car owners do not know how to handle the mold problem. Do not worry, because cleaning mold in the car is similar to cleaning mold in your house. This article not only helps you clean but also shows how to get rid of mold in car completely.

Reasons for mold appearance in your car

A mold is a form of fungus that can grow anywhere with above average moisture levels and multiply rapidly. Causes of mold appearance can be water and food spilled on the carpet and seat. Another reason is the moisture source. Mold will not grow if the humidity in your car is not too high. Even a ride under the rainstorms can allow mold to thrive in.

How to remove the moisture inside your car

Determine the source of moisture

Check wherever there is a porous or watery surface in the car to detect the mold. Of all the things in your car, carpet is a heaven to mold.

Carpet is a heaven to mold

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Where water gets trapped inside cars, the most is the place where the musty smell is most obvious. The second moldy area is the upholstery of the seat, where you drop food, and even your sweat down. Check all front and back of seats, belts, floor, wheel, and seams.

Drying removable parts inside the car

The interior of your car is a whole world of wet and damp things. Remove floor mats, carpet, pillows, as well as items in the trunk and dry them under the sun.

Drying non-removable parts inside the car

Several things are wet and cannot be removed from the upholstery on the floor and the seat. You can use a dehumidifier to absorb all the water vapor on all surfaces of your car.

If you do not have a dehumidifier, the desiccant package is not a bad choice. These packages will absorb all the moisture accumulated in your car, and then you just throw them away afterward. Rice stuffed in a sock also works similarly to a desiccant package.

Additionally, you can apply another dry-cleaning method of the removable parts by parking your car in a sunny and windy place with all windows open.

How to remove the smell of mold in your car

The following step on how to get rid of mold in the car is removing the lingering odors.

To remove musty smells that are slow to end in your car, you will need to use a vacuum cleaner, baking soda, and waterproof deodorant. Sprinkle a large amount of baking soda on all carpets and other odorized areas. Wait for several hours for the baking soda to suck off the unpleasant odors and then vacuum them. Finish by leaving waterproof deodorant inside the car to improve the smell.

How to get rid of mold in car

After you have finished with the moisture and unpleasant odor, you still have to remove the mold; otherwise, it will continue to come back. At this point, many people will think of using bleach or ammonia to remove mold. It is a big mistake. You do not want to leave several of stains all over your precious car.

Method 1: Use tea tree oil

Mixing a bottle of water with about 20 drops of tea tree oil will defeat any nasty mold on any surface, including on the upholstery. You just need to squirt or spray this mixture onto the moldy surfaces in quick, short bursts. Leave the solution on the surface for a moment and then wipe it off.

One thing to keep in mind is that the tea tree oil can leave some stains. Therefore, do not mix too many drops of water into the water bottle and test it on a small spot first.

Use tea tree oil

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Method 2: Use vinegar

This is the cheapest, safest, and no less effective method. Mix 4 liters of vinegar with 1 liter of water into a spray bottle. Depending on the mold condition you may have to spray on the entire interior of the car. Let it sit on the surfaces for 30 minutes to get enough time to kill the mold and dry the vinegar. Finish by using a vacuum cleaner to suck out the remaining vinegar. Do not worry about the smell of vinegar; it will disappear by air drying.

Use vinegar

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Method 3: Use salt

Salt is a natural cleanser product that is found in almost every kitchen in the family. You just need to mix the salt with the water in a sprayer and apply it to the molded areas. To remove all mold spores, you should also spray the solution into the surrounding areas. Let the salt solution dry naturally under the sun and wind.

Method 4: Use a steam cleaner with carpet shampoo

Although using steam cleaner will increase the moisture, it is very effective when it comes to killing mold. Also, the moisture generated by the steam cleaner will disappear quickly before the molds have time to develop. Pour hot water and carpet shampoo into the steam cleaner and wipe off all molded areas. Finish by rinsing the areas with water and vacuuming all residual moisture. Open all doors and windows of the car, so it is naturally dry in the sun.

How to prevent mold

Another step on how to get rid of mold in car is preventing mold from coming back.

The best way to keep your car away from the mold problem is to always keep the car dry inside. If the carpet is wet and damp, you should dry it by opening the door and windows immediately. Moreover, drying your car regularly on sunny days is a great idea to keep mold away.

Check the vehicle's cooling and heating system

Image source: AutoEducation.com

However, you may experience a situation when the weather is humid, and your car’s drying system is not working. In this case, you need to roll up all the windows and close the door, so moisture from outside does not penetrate into the car.

To avoid this situation, you should regularly check the vehicle’s cooling and heating system. Call a mechanic immediately when you discover a problematic system because poor air circulation is responsible for vapor accumulation.

In general, most mold comes from food; water spilled on the carpet. Therefore, it is best not to eat or drink while in the car, although this is a fairly common practice.

If you are serious about mold problem, do not hesitate to pay for some special equipment. Seat covers are not a bad idea to prevent mold from entering the upholstery. Fabric carpet is a preferable environment for molding so you can invest in a waterproof floor mat. A bacterial spray is another good choice to prevent the development of mold.

Some other tips

– Do not use liquid deodorant because it will be difficult to dry the carpet. And if your carpets are not thoroughly dried, mold will continue to come back and grow.

– You should do car cleaning routine on sunny and windy days. Open all windows and door widely to allow the wind to spread over into your car, thereby, reducing the drying time.

– Prepare a dust mask because microscopic molds in the air can adversely affect your breathing.

In short, even if your car is a cargo truck, a family car or even a modern expensive one, all vehicles are prone to mold. Although mold is almost invisible, it leaves a lot of problems, especially mold allergies to the passengers in the car. Because of these bad effects, every car owner needs to know how to get rid of mold in car to keep it under control.

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