Removing Mold From Your Car

Perhaps you left your car sitting for an extended period of time in a humid environment, left the windows down only to have it rain, or had a leak somewhere in your car. Whatever the situation, you now find yourself trying to get rid of mold that has found a home inside your car. Aside from unpleasant odors, mold can cause serious health risks and should be dealt with immediately. Fortunately, this guide will cover all of the steps in getting rid of mold from your car.

Finding the Source

The first step in dealing with mold and mildew problems is to find the source of moisture that is leading to the mold growth in the first place. In cars, this is typically pretty straightforward. Any leaks should be obvious, but a pressure washer can be used to find them if necessary. It is imperative that any leaks are fixed, as any further efforts will be in vain if water will continue to find its way inside your vehicle.  If you simply live in a humid environment or spilled something, you need to find a way to dry out the car’s interior. Running the car’s heater will work, but an external heater will be much quicker if you have one available. Once the inside of the vehicle is dry, it is time to begin the cleaning phase.

Removing the Mold

It is important to note that breathing in mold spores is a health hazard and you should consider wearing a respirator and protective gloves while cleaning the interior of your car. If possible you should also clean in a well-ventilated area. Ultimately, the interior of the vehicle should get a full detailing. Begin by vacuuming all of the carpet and upholstery. All other surface areas should be scrubbed and wiped down. Your specific vehicle and interior components will determine which cleaning products are appropriate, and most auto parts stores will carry items specifically to deal with mold. However, simple homemade cleaning products can also be effective. White vinegar and water in a spray bottle is a popular option. The ratio of the mixture should be about 1:1. Spray liberally on nonporous surfaces and let sit for about fifteen minutes before wiping off.

The next area to turn to is your car’s ventilation system. There are odor eliminators and neutralizers that can be used directly at the intake source or you can use ones designed for car cabins. It is also a wise choice to change your car’s interior air filter if it has one after this is done. Finally, depending on the severity of the problem and any health conditions, a mold testing kit might be a good idea just to be sure that everything is safe. Now that you have removed all of the mold from your car, it is time to focus on prevention.

Preventing Future Mold Problems in your Car

Hopefully, if a leak or a spill was the source of your problems you will be lucky or careful enough that the same problem won’t occur in the future. If a humid environment is the cause, there are a number of precautions that you can take to prevent any mold or mildew problems in the future. You will want to air the interior of the car out as often as possible and should consider running the car’s heater when it is practical. In the case of a humid environment, using moisture absorbers is also a cost effective and simply way to help keep moisture under control.