One of the most feared things for the car owners is growing mold inside their cars. Nothing could be worse than that. It ruins the interior looking of a car and makes the rider feel very uncomfortable.
Mold is very unpleasant to see and it does not smell good. Also, it can increase allergies and other reactions. Therefore, whenever you clean your car, make sure you do not leave any room for it.
But, what is the most effective way to remove mold from your car? Look no further. We will guide you to remove mold from your car properly, and also we want you to make sure you do not leave anything that can be the reason for the mold to come back.
What Is Mold?
Before we jump into the main thing, let’s talk about mold. It is important for you to understand what it is, and how it grows.
Mold is a type of fungus. If it is exposed to its friendly environment, it tends to grow very quickly and easily. When the condition inside your car is damp and warm, know that your car is going to be its safe heaven.
If you keep your sunroof open on a rainy and cloudy day and somehow some liquid makes its way to your car, know that its mold time.
All it takes is a small amount of moisture and few days to colonize. Once you have it inside your car, it will ruin the interior.
How Bad It Is?
Only the victims know how hard it is to get rid of mold. If the condition is too bad, it might take the professionals to do the job for you which will cost hundreds of dollars. The condition can be even worse, and someone may end up replacing the entire interior.
But if your case is not that bad yet, you can still figure the thing out. We do not mean you need professional help. You can do it yourself.
1. Preparing Your Car
Before getting it started, clean your car interior and remove any source of dust and things that are ruining the interior. It is highly recommended to move the car into direct sunlight.
You need to expose it to the dry weather to fight against the mold that grows in a moist condition.
Turn on air conditioners and make sure the air flows at high speed. Unlock and open the doors and windows and let the car blow out air from the inside.
Wait for at least 15 minutes so that mold spores and bad odors is blowing out from the cabin.
2. Locating The Mold
You should wear musk for your protection. Now, locate the positions of mold in the cabin. Look especially on seats and underneath the seats, carpets, steering wheel, and seat belts.
These are the common location loved by the mold. Also, check underside seams and seat lining.
Do not think the mold is only of gray colors. The mold is of brown, white, green, black also. Therefore, make sure your eyes do not skip when seeing the mold of different colors. Locate all of them.
Breaking up large clusters of mold is quite easy. All you need to do is to take a toothbrush or brush and gently stroke them. Again, be gentle, you do not want to spread them all around. Brush into the cracks, crevices, over and under the seats and also on the surfaces.
Now, vacuum all the loose mold from the places that you just brushed through. Well done, you have just finished the initial steps for removing mold from your car.
3. Removing Moisture
When it comes to removing the moisture from the cabin, vacuuming would be the number one choice for professionals.
You can use a shop vacuum for a better result. If you do not have it, then rent a shop vacuum from home improvement stores. It sucks up the moisture that hides within fabrics.
4. Removing Mold
There are numbers of ways to get rid of mold from your car. One most commonly used technique is using bleach or ammonia based products to clean the cabin.
But the problem with using these products is, these will not work on hard and porous surfaces and will ruin the interior color.
Although they might kill some of the surface mold, more spores will survive the chemicals, and the condition will be even worse.
Now, what you can use for removing these culprits?
Thankfully, we were blessed through the nature that has different powerful tools for us to battle mold. It is always good to use home remedies, rather than commercial products at the first place.
5. Removing Mold Using Vinegar
Using vinegar is one of the most useful methods to get rid mold from carpets, steering and other interior stuff. Almost every household has it in their collection. What the vinegar does is, it burns the mold and prevents it from coming back.
Before beginning the cleaning mission, make sure you have distilled white vinegar or even anything stronger, a spray bottle and clean clothes.
Prepare a mixture of white vinegar and water to a proportion of 8:2. Now, spray over the affected areas in your cabin through a spray bottle and let it soak. The smell of strong vinegar will be disturbing. But no need to worry about it, the smell will disappear once it dries out.
White vinegar works pretty good on leather, vinyl, and cloth-type car seats. It does not damage the material.
If you find only a few mold clusters in an area, then spray on that area with its surrounding area so that the underlying spores die too.
If you find the infestation is too bad, you are suggested to use undiluted vinegar. Spray the undiluted vinegar over the whole seat from its top to bottom and also underneath it.
Once you are done with spraying, let it soak for at least 15 minutes so that it kills all the mold and spores.
Now, let the areas fully dry, and after that, vacuum the areas and let it dry for another 15 minutes.
In addition to that, you can sprinkle the Borax powder over the affected areas and leave as it is for 10 minutes. Then vacuum the powder as well.
Now again, let the areas dry for another 15 minutes. As Borax powder is a natural mold killer, it will make the cleaning more effective.
6. Removing Mold From Fabric With Salt
If your car cabin consists of more fabric areas, then you should use the salt method to remove mold from them. But at first, make sure you have a packet of salt, a large bucket of water, and a spray bottle.
Mix the salt with the bucket of water. With the spray bottle, spray the mixture of salt and water over the seats, carpets and other fabrics that are affected by the mold.
Make sure you spray the surrounding areas as well to ensure that the mold spores die as well.
Now, you need to dry the salt water. For better result, dry it in direct sunlight, and there must be plenty of air circulation available. It will crust the salt form. Use a cloth or a vacuum to remove visible mold particles.
7. Removing Mold With Oil Of Cloves
Using oil cloves is another powerful way to kill the mold once and for all. Cloves are powerful antiseptic that kills mold and also leaves no room for spores as well.
As killing the mold does not solve the problem, you need to make sure it does not make its way back with spores.
Although oil of cloves works pretty good on hard surfaces, you can also use it on soft surfaces like fabrics as well.
To clean mold from hard surfaces, it would be better if you clean the area first with a mixture of ½ cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda and 4-quarts hot water. Now, mix few drops of oil cloves, white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and make a paste of them.
Use a brush to rub the affected area with the paste and let it dry and then wipe it off.
For soft fabric surfaces, make a mixture of a quart of water and ¼ teaspoon of oil of cloves. Now, with a spray bottle, spray the affected and surrounding areas as well. There might be spores that you cannot see. Let the area soak and let it dry for 20 minutes.
For better result, let it dry overnight. The more you will give it time, the more it will effectively do its killing mission. When it becomes dry, vacuum off the mold particles.
If you still see mold in your car, repeat the same process and leave it for 1 or 2 days and let the mixture kill all the mold and spores for good.
Preventing The Mold From Coming Back
Keep The Cabin Clean
Always keep the cabin of your car neat and clean. Portions of food and debris in the car make the condition favorable for mold to grow. Regularly vacuum off car floor, mats and seats.
Leave No Room For Moisture
As the mold grows on moisture areas, it is important to take steps that can remove the moisture from your car. You must maintain a dry atmosphere inside your car. If there is any spill, clean it immediately. Remove wet carpets and let them dry in direct sunlight.
Do not always keep the windows locked. Roll down the windows and allow replenish stagnant air with dry and fresh air from outside.
Use a dehumidifier or a kitty litter and put it inside of a sock and leave it in your car cabin. It will decrease the moisture level.
Keep The Mats And Rugs Dry
If there is a flood or any major spills inside the cabin, then the carpets must be saturated. The carpets need to be cleaned right away.
Let it completely dry before using again. Consider taking professional service if the situation demands so.
Improve Air Circulation Inside The Cabin
If there is a lack of fresh air circulation, the mold is coming back to its sweet home at any time. Make sure there is moisture control, enough ventilation, and contaminated air is removed. Roll down the windows occasionally for air circulation.
Removing mold might sound pretty hard to you. But the thing is, once you start cleaning, it would not feel that difficult how it seems. And when you will have a mold-free car cabin, it will be worth every effort of yours.
Do not just enjoy the mold free car, take care of things that will prevent it from coming too. Always keep your car moisture free.
Hopefully, this article will be able to get you rid of mold from your car and give you the comfortable feel like before.