How to Get Mildew Smell Out of a Car

How to Get Mildew Smell Out of a Car

The fresh scent of a clean car is like a new adventure on wheels. But when mildew strikes, we're here to help you reclaim that freshness. With this guide, we’ll take a detailed drive through the lanes of locating, understanding, and eradicating that stubborn car mildew scent. Buckle up because a cleaner, fresher ride awaits!

To get rid of mildew smell in your car: Clear out the car, vacuum and wipe down upholstery, address any moisture in the cabin, air out the car, use mildew-fighting products, clean the air conditioning system, and clean upholstery and carpeting. 

Required products to clean mildew

Products You'll Need:

  • Mildew remover spray
  • White vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking soda
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Activated charcoal bags
  • Air conditioning cleaner and deodorizer
  • Professional upholstery and carpet cleaning services (optional)

Gather your products, and follow the steps below:

Clear out the car

Begin by removing your personal items, trash, and debris from the vehicle to make cleaning easier and more effective in the coming steps. 

Target any large items such as bags, accessories, or cords. 

Vacuum and Wipe Down 

Thoroughly vacuum your car's interior, including the seats, carpets, and floor mats. Use a soft brush attachment to remove dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas. After vacuuming, wipe down surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust and grime.

Address any moisture in the cabin

Identify the source of moisture and address it. If there's a leak, fix it promptly and store your car in a garage or other covered area. If wetness has accumulated due to rain, leave your car in a sunny, well-ventilated area to dry out.

Air out the car

Roll down the windows and let fresh air circulate through the car. Park your car in a sunny spot with the windows down to facilitate thorough ventilation. If you have a garage, you can place fans or extra ventilation to speed up drying. 

Utilize mildew-fighting products

The proper arsenal of products is paramount in the quest for a fresh-smelling car. Whether you're leaning towards store-bought solutions or favoring tried-and-true household remedies, there's a mildew-fighting champion for every preference. 

Mildew Remover Spray

Opt for a mildew remover spray designed for automotive use. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.

Vinegar Solution

Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away.

Baking Soda 

Sprinkle baking soda on carpets, seats, and floor mats. Allow it to sit for a few hours before vacuuming it.

Activated Charcoal

Place activated charcoal bags in your car. Activated charcoal can absorb moisture and odors.

Clean your vehicle’s air conditioning system

Run your car's air conditioning on its highest setting with the "recirculation" option turned off to help remove moisture and odors from the system. Consider using an air conditioning cleaner and deodorizer to treat the evaporator coil.

Upholstery and Carpet Cleaning 

For stubborn mildew odors, consider professional upholstery and carpet cleaning services. They have the equipment and expertise to thoroughly clean and deodorize your car's interior.

Regular Maintenance 

To prevent future mildew growth, regularly clean your car's interior, vacuum carpets, and air out the cabin.

Understanding the Culprits: What Causes Mildew Smell in Cars?

Let's get to the root of the problem, shall we? Understanding the typical culprits behind that unwelcome mildew scent is crucial to prevention. Various factors might conspire against your car's freshness, from surprise rain showers to forgotten coffee spills. Here are a few of the suspects that might turn your vehicle into mildew's favorite hangout. 

Moisture Buildup

Moisture can accumulate in your car due to rainwater, spills, or even wet clothes left inside. If not adequately dried, this moisture creates an ideal breeding ground for mildew.

Dirty Air Conditioning System

The evaporator coil in your car's air conditioning system can trap moisture and dirt, leading to mildew and bacteria growth.

Leaking Seals and Windows

Leaks in your car's seals, windows, or sunroof can allow water to enter, leading to dampness and mildew growth.

Neglected Cleaning

If your car's interior isn't regularly cleaned and aired out, dust, dirt, and food particles can contribute to mildew growth.

Techniques to Keep Mildew at Bay

Maintaining a mildew-free car goes beyond occasional cleaning; it's all about adopting effective, proactive measures. As you settle into your journey for a fresher vehicle interior, here are some tried-and-true techniques to ensure mildew doesn’t take the driver’s seat in your car. 

  • Regular Cleaning: Make it a habit to clean your car's interior thoroughly and regularly to prevent dirt and moisture buildup.
  • Proper Ventilation: Park your car in a well-ventilated area and roll down the windows when possible to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Address Leaks Promptly: If you notice any leaks, get them fixed as soon as possible to prevent moisture from accumulating.
  • Use Sunlight: Sunlight is a natural mildew deterrent. Park your car in the sun to help dry out damp areas whenever possible.
  • Use Dehumidifiers: Consider using small, portable dehumidifiers in your car to keep moisture levels in check.

A Fresh Start for Your Car's Interior

Short or long journeys should include the inviting scent of a clean car, not the unwelcome embrace of mildew. With our shared roadmap, you're well-equipped to make that musty scent a thing of the past. By staying proactive with regular maintenance, embracing the power of sunlight, and being vigilant about leaks, you ensure your vehicle remains a fresh sanctuary on wheels. Here's to many more pleasant, odor-free adventures on the road!

Older post Newer post