How To Remove Mold From Car Interior

How To Remove Mold From Car Interior

Mold growth in car interior is not unheard of. In fact, it’s quite common. Car owners that have toddlers know the struggle of dealing with spills in the car. If the spilling goes unnoticed, the moisture can lead to mold. Mold spreads, it’s unpleasant to look at, and it’s unsafe to breathe in, you need to remove it as soon as possible.

To remove mold from the car interior, use white vinegar or essential oil. Due to its strong acidic properties, white vinegar is highly effective for removing mold from car upholstery and car seats.

Dealing with mold, as you can expect, it’s very exhausting. If you are not thorough, no matter how much you clean the car, mold will appear again. Follow this step-by-step guide to get rid of mold on the car interior.

Locate The Source

Locate The Source

Moisture is not the only necessary condition for mold to grow. Mold requires three things, moisture, the right temperature, and a food supply. That’s why the kitchen and the basement are the most likely places to get mold growth in a house. These places have moisture and a food source.

So, the first thing to do is find out why mold is growing in your car. It goes without saying that there is excess moisture in your car, probably from a spilled drink. But that also means you have a lot of food in your car, or, at least, food crumbs.

You have to be absolutely sure that there is no excess moisture in your car after you are done cleaning the car. If you are riding with a toddler in the backseat, it’s best to remove the seat. Check under the seats for any old spills. Check the trunk as well. Also, check for any moisture coming from the hood.

[Related Article: How To Remove Mold From Car Window Seals]

Remove Trash From The Car

Start off by cleaning the interior of the car completely. You need to make sure there is nothing in the car left. Remove all trash, papers, devices, bags, clothes. Leave nothing in the car.

This is a prepping step. When removing mold, it’s best to have nothing in the car. That way, you are making sure there is nothing that will recontaminate the interior. Being thorough here is crucial.

Vacuum The Car

Another prepping step you need to do is vacuuming. By doing this, you are cleaning surface dirt and moisture. We already mentioned that mold growth needs a food supply. Getting rid of those food crumbs will decrease the chances of mold growing again.

Again, be thorough here. Vacuum everything, the seats, the upholstery, the mats, get every nook and cranny.

Prepare A Cleaning Solution

Once you are done prepping the car, you need to get a cleaning solution for removing the mold. Mold is quite persistent and can easily come back after being cleaned. That’s why it’s best to use something strong that can completely eat away the mold.

White vinegar is the most effective at removing mold.  It’s a strong acid that can eat the mold and stop it from growing again. Essential oils like tea tree oil, citrus oil, and clove oil can be used as well. These are not as effective though.

Get a spray bottle and mix the white vinegar with water.  You can be generous with adding vinegar. A good ratio is for every 8 cups of vinegar, add tw0 cups of water.

Removing The Mold

When you have everything ready, you can start removing the mold from the car. Here’s how you do it.

  1. Spray the solution on affected areas. 
    Thoroughly cover each affected part of the interior. Don’t worry about ruining the interior, spray as much as possible on each area. Don’t skip parts that have small amounts of mold.
  2. Scrub the affected areas with a brush. 
    Help the mold removal by scrubbing hard on affected areas. You can spray white vinegar again while scrubbing.
  3. Wipe away with a clean towel or baby wipes.
  4. Spray the solution on the affected areas again.
  5. Pour baking soda where you sprayed.
  6. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Vacuum the baking soda. 
  8. Let the interior dry completely. 
    It’s best to open all four windows so air can recirculate.

This should remove the mold from your car’s interior. However, there is still a chance that the mold will come back.

You will have to wait and see whether mold will appear again. If that happens, make sure that you haven’t missed the source of the moisture.

Repeat this same process if mold starts growing in your car again.

Getting Rid Of The Vinegar Smell

Once you are done, your car will have a strong acidic smell because of the white vinegar. To get rid of this, you need to clean the interior of your car.

Get dedicated car cleaning products for the seats, the upholstery, and the dashboard. Clean everything thoroughly.

By doing this you are decreasing the chances that mold will grow again and you are removing the smell of the white vinegar. Basically, you are disinfecting the car.

[Related Article: 11 Clever Tips To Wash And Polish My Car Interior Fully]

Professional Help

Even after all this, there is a high chance that the mold will not be completely gone. It really depends on how bad the situation is.

I’ve seen car seats completely covered in mold. Eventually, that mold will come back. If this happens to you, I recommend getting an expert to help.

Deep cleaning can completely remove the mold. professionals know how to remove mold and stop it from coming back.

So, if you don’t feel like cleaning the car or if you weren’t successful at removing the mold, contact a professional.

Related Questions And Other FAQs

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Mold From Car

Automotive mold removal costs more than the usual deep cleaning and detailing. On average, it costs somewhere around 800$-1200$ to remove mold from a car. This includes the mold removal and the detailing afterward.

Does Insurance Cover Mold In Car

Car insurance companies do not offer insurance for mold remediation and mold damage in a car. If the mold is caused by a related accident that the insurance company covers, then it will pay for the mold damage.

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