Mold and mildew can show up anywhere given the right conditions, including your automobile. So what do you do when mold shows up in your car? Here are some tips and practical solutions:
Treat The Root Cause Of The Mold
Do you have a window seal that leaks inside your car? Did you leave the windows or sunroof open during a recent rainstorm? Was there a significant spill of some sort? If you don’t seal all the leaks or dry out the interior, you’re not really resolving the root cause of the problem. You are merely putting a bandage on the issue, meaning the mold will come back again once conditions encourage re-growth.
Be Cautious When Liquids Are Present – Even If You Are Cleaning Your Vehicle
If a spill occurs, wipe up all remaining liquids with a microfiber cloth or newspaper. Make sure you absorb any saturation on seats, carpets, and floor mats with a cloth by pressing down until you feel moisture, wring the cloth out, if necessary. The foam in upholstered seats will soak up a lot of liquid, so it’s very important to get the seat as dry as you can.
Do not leave any damp items, such as coats or towels in the car.
When cleaning the interior with a liquid product, be mindful of how much is used. Cleaners can still dampen the fabrics quickly making it extremely important to wipe surfaces dry. Wipe down windows, carpets, seats and surfaces thoroughly.
Use A Dehumidifier
This is especially helpful if you live in a humid climate. Dehumidifiers help by reducing moisture in the air, making it less susceptible to allergens such as dust mites, mold, and mildew. Place dehumidifier in the cabin of your vehicle and allow it to run for a few hours.
Baking soda or a pair of tights filled with cat litter may help absorb excess moisture or condensation. Placing the tights under the seat is a popular solution.
Let The Sun & Air In
Air the vehicle out by leaving the windows open for a few hours, when weather conditions permit. You don’t want to cause further damage to your interior by allowing it to bake in the sun for an extended period of time. A hairdryer can also be used to dramatically reduce the time it takes to dry out moisture.
Change The Cabin Air Filter
Blocked or clogged filters can permit unclean air to enter the vehicle promoting mold growth. Angie’s List recommends replacing the cabin air filter every 15,000 to 25,000 miles, or once a year. Check the owner’s manual first.
If this all seems overwhelming, most mold remediation companies and water damage specialists can be hired to clean your vehicle of mold. Just remember that prevention is key in keeping your car mold and moisture free!