Clueless about how to get mildew smell out of cars? You’re not alone!
Unless you’re intentionally fostering a mobile ecosystem, there’s almost nothing worse than finding mildew in your car. Yes, it looks and feels disgusting, but there’s also a great chance that it smells revolting and could lead to health issues.
Humid temperatures, rainwater that leaks through a window, drinks that spill, windows left open while off-roading, storage of a wooden item in the car over a long period, liquids that fall on the trunk when transporting the vehicle or parking the car in a damp storage area, wet or damp clothes in the vehicle or damage due to flooding.
All these are favorable environments for mildew to grow and multiply quickly. As the mold thrives in your car, it can pave the way to skin and respiratory irritation, asthma, lung infections, and many other serious ailments. Some of the symptoms that people often experience include wheezing, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, shortness of breath, and fever. This is why it is important to know how to get mildew smell out of cars completely.
At Blogoguide, we encourage our readers to become independent by learning the basics of car care. Besides saving a considerable amount of money on maintenance, it also helps in undertaking fun DIY projects, which in turn make for great YouTube videos. And that’s on top of the valuable knowledge you learn along the way. So, what better way to embark on a DIY project today than making your vehicle odor-free?
If you find yourself in a situation where you are losing sleep over getting rid of mildew in your car, don’t worry. Here are some simple tips and tricks that will help you bid adieu to the mood-dampening and hazardous mold. Come, let’s take a step-by-step look at how to get mildew smell out of the car.
Items you will require:
Here’s a list of all the things you will need for this DIY activity.
- Vacuum cleaner
- Spray bottle, normal bottle, or bucket
- At least two clean clothes – one for wiping and the other to apply cleaning solutions.
- A dozen rags (at least)
- Masks and gloves for your safety
- Cleaning agent – white vinegar, non-iodized salt, oil of cloves, dish soap or baking soda. Optionally, you could check out your hardware store for chemicals called ‘ mildew inhibitors’.
- Cleaning brushes & q tips for hard-to-reach corners
Note: Be careful about what cleaning agent you use to clean your car. Different chemicals react differently to the variety of surfaces in a car.
How to Remove Smell From Car?
Finding the mildew spots
First, remove all your personal belongings, and take the vehicle out of the garage or the shade into a brightly lit area. Next, roll down the windows and keep the doors open. If the musty smell of mildew is the result of heavy rain penetrating inside your vehicle, the first thing you should do is remove the visible water using sponges and rags. Next, remove all damp items or items (like floor mats) that cause dampness from your car.
Next, leave the car to dry in the sun, with the windows and trunk open. Let the odor dissipate. And finally, conduct an in-depth search for mildew in all corners – seat belts, dashboard, ceiling, trunk, everywhere. Usually, it can be identified as a circular patch, which can be in different colors.
So, without further ado, here’s how to get mildew smell out of the car.
1) Clean the floor mats thoroughly
Take them out and shake vigorously to loosen any embedded dust and dirt particles. Next, apply a mixture of two liters of hot water and half a cup of carpet cleaner. To remove every iota of dirt possible, scrub with a brush with a few drops of vinegar. Then rinse the mat completely with a pressurized water hose and let it dry in the sun. It is important that you not put them in the car until they are completely dry.
2) Removes moisture from seats
The next step is to clean the seats. Spray the interior of the vehicle with baking soda, focusing especially on the most humid areas. Let it act and after about two hours, remove the excess bicarbonate with a vacuum cleaner.
Afterward, clean the fabric thoroughly with a sponge soaked in water and mild soap. Remove the remains with a dry microfiber cloth or, if possible, use a vacuum cleaner for liquids.
3) Check the other parts
In addition to the mats and seats, you must clean the rest of the interior.
Vacuum the floor and wipe a cloth moistened with water and mild soap over the steering wheel, pedals, doors, glove compartment, etc. Dry it with a clean cloth and use a hairdryer for the most humid areas.
4) Dry the car completely
If you’ve completed the above steps correctly, it’s time to take a break and pat yourself on the back. You now know how to get mildew smell out of car upholstery.
Leave the car parked in the sun with the doors and windows closed. This way, the adequate temperature will be reached and any moisture absorbed. However, if it is monsoon or winter, you can turn on the heating so that the temperature inside the car increases.
5) Sanitize the air conditioning ducts
If the odor is still permanent and pungent, it is most likely due to mildew in the air conditioning ducts. That accumulation is not healthy for your respiratory system, and you must act as soon as possible to eliminate them.
Use cleaning brushes and q-tips to fit in between the narrow slats where most of the dirt and dust are gathered. Then spray a mildew inhibitor on each air conditioning inlet and outlet. Apply according to the instructions; the vapors spread throughout the ac ventilation system and inhibit any fungal growth.
Next, start the system and let it run for at least 30 minutes. And that’s it! You’re done!
How to avoid humidity in the car
Here’s a bonus tip you learned in your journey about how to get mildew smell out of cars. If you often find too much humidity in your vehicle’s interior, we recommend using calcium chloride. All you have to do is place the granules in uncovered plastic containers and put them under the seats. The product absorbs moisture by depositing the liquid at the bottom of the containers, which you should empty periodically.
People go to great lengths to keep their cars clean and shiny on the outside. But they forget that the interior also needs as much attention. There can be multiple ways in which mildew can occur and grow in your car. Initially, it might be negligible, but the fungus can grow quickly on different types of surfaces.
Remember that mildew grows where there is moisture. So, you need to be aware and alert of any visible spots. Check the area where you park the car. Use a dehumidifier, do not eat or drink inside the vehicle, keep it clean and dry, and above all, ensure the windows and doors are shut properly.
We hoped this post provided valuable insights on how to get mildew smell out of cars and bid farewell to the mood-dampening and hazardous smell. If, however, the above steps did not work well for you, we highly recommend you seek professional help without delay.