How To Remove Mildew Smell From Car – Your car is one of the least likely places you’d expect to see mold growing, but under the right conditions, these pesky mold spores will thrive. Especially when the weather gets colder or if you store your car in a cool place, some mold spots quickly turn into an infestation if not taken care of immediately. Knowing how to effectively remove mold from car interiors will quickly solve any problems before they get out of hand.
In many cases, all it takes to start mold growth is a few pieces of discarded garbage or a small pile of wet clothes to create the perfect growing conditions. Removing musty odors from a car is just as important, especially since you don’t want to risk inhaling mold spores or letting them infiltrate other parts of the car.
How To Remove Mildew Smell From Car
Understanding the basics of how to clean your car from mold will not only keep your car’s interior clean, but it will also ensure that you and your family have a safe and healthy driving environment.
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Before you begin, prepare a few supplies to kill mold growth in your car’s interior. Depending on the method you choose, you may not need to use all of the supplies listed below.
But for more effective cleaning and to ensure you remove as much mold as possible, mix and match these strategies and materials.
When it comes to using a HEPA vacuum versus a regular vacuum, it all comes down to preference and availability. HEPA vacuum cleaners capture small particles such as dust and allergens that conventional vacuum cleaners often miss. So while HEPA vacuums are perfect for cleaning mold, especially if you have allergies in general, a vacuum cleaner is great for smaller cases.
The first line of defense you must have when removing mold from your car is vacuuming. Not only does this remove loose mold particles, it also absorbs dirt and grime from the car’s surfaces.
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More dirt means spreading the nasty water around, making it much more difficult for you to treat moldy areas. When vacuuming, go deep into and under the crevices of each car seat.
You can also use a wet-and-dry vacuum, which works exceptionally well when there are wet spots or spills in the car that encourage mold growth. This type of vacuum cleaner also comes in handy when you want to vacuum the areas of the car that have been treated with a cleaning solution to prevent moisture building up in the cushions.
A great way to get rid of mold is to sprinkle the fabric with baking soda. Baking soda is a great way to kill mold and mildew and also works as a fantastic air freshener. When using this method, you can combine it with other mold remover cleaners such as vinegar or lemon juice, or you can use baking soda alone.
Start by sprinkling baking soda on the affected area to get rid of the musty smell in the car. Allow the baking soda to absorb moisture and shape for about 20 minutes.
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Finally, vacuum up the dusty remains. Even if you don’t have mold problems elsewhere, this is a great way to deodorize the entire car while you clean.
No matter how much mold you have, vinegar is one of the best solutions. It is not only a great stain remover, but also a powerful disinfectant that kills black mold. This solution is great for cleaning all car interior surfaces, from seat belts to upholstery and dashboards.
When using this DIY car cleaner, use equal parts water and vinegar and add them to a large spray bottle. Depending on how much surface you cover, you can always increase the amount.
Spray on the moldy surface, then let the vinegar soak in for about five minutes. After that, clean the area with a soft toothbrush and wipe it with a dry cloth.
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Be sure to check all areas of the car for mold or other stains. Clean seat belts, armrests and even headliners with this solution to get rid of mold or coffee stains.
If you don’t like that vinegar smell, a vinegar substitute, like lemon juice, works best. Not only does lemon juice smell good, but the citric acid in the ingredient is also a good mold killer. For particularly difficult areas, try lemon paste made with salt to remove mold.
Use a scrub and apply some to the moldy area. When cleaning or handling mold directly, it is always best to wear a face mask over your mouth and nose to prevent spores from being inhaled, especially in an enclosed space. Wipe any remaining moisture from the juice, then vacuum up any remaining solids.
One of the best ways to reduce mold in your car is to prevent it from forming in the first place. If you have already treated your car for mold or are concerned that it may show signs of mold, airing your car is a great way to prevent mold spores from breeding.
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Although it may seem like a simple solution to ventilate your car, it is a great way to improve air circulation. Proper ventilation is essential to prevent mold growth in the first place, and it’s as simple as blowing fresh air through windows or a sunroof every now and then.
Another great way to improve air circulation and reduce high humidity levels in your car is to use a dehumidifier. These dehumidifiers reduce the amount of condensation in vehicles, especially as a result of temperature changes.
Think of all the times you’ve started your car in the morning, only to find the windows incredibly fogged up. A dehumidifier helps to solve this problem and also regulates the humidity level inside the car.
As with airing the car, finding a nice sunny spot to clean the car is a great way to get it ready for washing. Let the car dry in the heat for approx. 15 minutes before cleaning to deodorize it and expose the mold to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
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Because mold spores cannot photosynthesize the sun’s ultraviolet rays, placing them in direct sunlight is a great way to reduce their activity.
When cleaning your car with whichever solution you prefer, letting it dry in the sun will also increase its effectiveness in killing mold permanently. This method works best in combination with other methods and should not be relied upon as the sole means of mold removal.
Another wonderful way to remove mold and mildew, Borax works on multiple levels. As an ultra-absorbent compound, borax absorbs excess moisture and eliminates the ideal cold and damp conditions that mold loves. It also maintains a high pH, which kills mold quickly and reduces musty odors in the car.
The best way to clean with borax is to dip a soft brush into the solution and then use it to clean the area. When the mixture has had enough time to wet the fabric on the car, let the borax soak into the fabric for approx. 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water, then dry.
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Learning how to remove mold from leather seats and interiors can seem like a daunting task, but it only requires a few simple ingredients. In most cases, proper brushing or vacuuming of the leather will remove mold from the smooth surface of the leather. However, follow it up with these simple ingredients.
To clean the leather surface, first dampen a clean cloth with soapy water. You can use saddle soap or a mild detergent without additives. Sal soap is preferred, however.
After cleaning the surface, if there are still traces of mold on it, you can apply one or two drops of rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab to clean the skin. Dry it immediately after use, then use a leather conditioner to restore moisture and prevent cracking.
Now that you know how to clean mold from car interiors, you may still have questions about preventative measures and identifying mold warning signs. These final tips will help clear up any remaining questions about mold removal.
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There are some visible signs to look for when it comes to determining if you have a mold problem. The first is visible mold growth, such as dark spots, which may indicate black mold. Other sensory indicators include an odor that often resembles spoiled milk or mold.
However, not all signs of mold in your car require proof that you can see or smell. In some cases, you may notice an increase in allergic reactions or respiratory problems that get worse when you get into a car. Whether mold or not, a leap means a leap in these matters
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