How To Remove Mold From Your Car

Whether you or your kids, spills happen in vehicles, and sometimes those accidents lead to more significant problems such as mold. When this happens, you need to act quickly to prevent long-term damage. Let's look at common solutions that will rid your car of mold and get it back to its original condition.

In order to remove mold from your car, you will first need to remove all accessories from your vehicle, including floormats, mats, and seat covers. Next, you will need to vacuum the entire surface area of your car and use a mixture of water and household cleaner or detergent, including:

  • White vinegar
  • Non-iodized salt
  • Clove oil
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Store-bought chemicals

Finding mold in your vehicle can be frustrating, but you can remove it quickly and easily with the right tools and some elbow grease. In this article, we will walk you through the steps on how to remove mold from your car. In addition, we will answer other questions about mold in vehicles, so keep reading!

Mold on the car seat, How To Remove Mold From Your Car

How To Get Mold Out Of Your Vehicle

In today's age, we spend a lot of time in our vehicles, whether driving to work, driving home from work, or taking the kids to practice.

Mold isn't easy to spot. It can hide in all sorts of places you wouldn't think to look, from under your seats to beneath the carpeting on the floor.

Mold grows when moisture is present, and vehicles are especially vulnerable thanks to condensation and leaky sunroofs or windshields. The best way to prevent mold growth is through regular maintenance—keeping your car clean and dry will go a long way in preventing mold from growing.

Dirt on the matting of the car

One of the most important things to remember is that you need to act quickly when mold appears in your vehicle. Mold can grow very quickly, which means that the longer you wait before addressing it, the more difficult it will be to remove completely. If possible, try not to disturb the source of the mold, as this will increase its spread.

A few common approaches that are often effective in getting rid of mold include cleaning and disinfecting the area and using a special cleaner specifically formulated for vehicle interiors. Let's take a look at how to use each of these approaches.

Remove All Items In The Vehicle

When dealing with mold, it's important to take a thorough approach. This means that you'll need to remove all items from your vehicle, including floor mats, seat covers, and other removable accessories.

Leaving these items in your car will make it more difficult to clean the mold, and it could also lead to cross-contamination, meaning that the mold could spread to other parts of your vehicle.

Wear Protective Gear

Mold is a toxic substance, so it's important to take precautions when cleaning it out of your car. Make sure you wear protective gear such as a mask, gloves, and clothing covering your arms and legs.

This will help prevent the mold spores from getting into your body where they can cause health problems such as respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

Vacuum The Area

Car technician cleaning the driver seat using a vacuum

Once you have removed all of the accessories from your car, it's time to move on to cleaning.

The first step is to vacuum the entire surface area inside your car. This will remove any loose bits of mold and other debris that may be present, which can help prevent cross-contamination.

If possible, try to use a handheld vacuum cleaner with a long, thin nozzle. This will make reaching tight spaces in your car easier and reduce the risk of spreading mold spores around.

Spray The Area With A Cleaning Solution

After vacuuming, you can move on to spraying the interior of your car with a cleaning solution or detergent. You can use several different products for this step, including white vinegar, non-iodized salt, clove oil, baking soda, lemon juice, or a store-bought cleaner.

Let's look at each of these solutions and how they work to get rid of mold.

White Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can kill mold spores. Simply mix 8 parts of white vinegar with 2 parts water, then spray the mixture onto any mold spots. Let the solution set in for a few minutes, then wipe it away with a clean cloth.

Non-Iodized Salt

Saltwater helps dehydrate and kill the mold, making it an excellent option for removing mold from your car. Simply mix 1 part salt with 3 parts water, then spray the mixture onto any areas of mold in your vehicle.

Let the saltwater dry in the car, then sweep or vacuum it out of your vehicle.

Clove Oil

One of the most effective ways to kill mold is with clove oil, which has strong antimicrobial properties. To use this method, combine a quarter teaspoon of clove oil and a liter of water.

Spray the mixture onto any areas where mold is present, then let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural deodorizer and disinfectant that can be effective in removing mold from your car. Sprinkle baking soda onto the moldy areas, then let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming it away.

You can also combine the baking soda with the white vinegar solution or clove oil to get better results.

Lemon Juice

Another natural option that can help remove mold from your car is lemon juice, which has long been used to kill bacteria and other microbes. Combine a cup of water with 1/4 cup lemon juice, then spray the mixture onto any areas where mold is present.

Let the lemon juice sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean cloth.

Store-Bought Cleaner

If you don't have any of the above ingredients on hand or it didn't work, you can also use a store-bought cleaner to remove mold from your car. Look for a product that contains bleach or another powerful disinfectant, then apply it to any areas of mold in your vehicle.

Auto detailing technician fogging the interior of the car

Whatever cleaner you choose, make sure to read the safety instructions on the label and take all necessary precautions when cleaning your car.

Once you're done with this step, your car should be free from mold and ready for use. However, if you are still having issues, keep reading for some tips on preventing mold from growing in your car.

Can't Get Mold Out Of The Car - What To Do?

If you have tried all of the above methods and you're still struggling to get rid of mold in your car, it's time to take further action. No, we don't mean setting your car on fire (although some might advocate for this).

The first thing you should do is consult a professional. They will be able to take a look at the situation and recommend more targeted methods that can help get rid of your mold problem once and for all.

It may cost you $200-$400 to have a professional detail your car, but it's still much cheaper than buying a new car.

How Do I Prevent Mold In My Car?

The best way to prevent mold from growing in your car is to keep it clean and dry. When you have your car shampooed, make sure that it completely dries before you drive it again.

You should also remove any food, drinks, or other items that can cause mold to grow and take regular care of your car's upholstery and ventilation system to reduce build-up risk.

In addition, if there is a spill, even if it is small, clean it up immediately. Finally, if you live in a humid climate, use a dehumidifier in your car to prevent mold from growing.

Talk to your kids and let them know that accidents happen, but spills need to be cleaned up right away. Children may be afraid to tell you about a spill, but it is important to be aware of any risks so that you can take action.

A huge mold infestation inside the car

If you live in a humid climate, park your car in a garage or under a carport when you're not using it. Keep your windows and sunroof closed, and if necessary, use a dehumidifier in your car to keep the air dry.

Lastly, investing in good floormats and car covers can help keep your car mold free and looking new for years to come. With these tips, you can take back control of your vehicle and keep it free from pesky mold growth!

Final Thoughts

Mold on the car seat

Taking action to remove mold from your car is important for both safety and comfort reasons. However, remember to be patient, persistent, and careful when trying any of the above methods, and consult a professional if you continue to have problems. With proper care, your car should be free of mold in no time!​

Made it to the end? Here are other articles you might find helpful:

How To Remove Mold And Mildew From Leather Car Seats

5 Best Paper Towels For Cleaning Car Windows

Do Car Dealerships Detail Cars? [With Other Pertinent Info!]

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