How to Clean Mold Out of a Car: The Only Guide You Need

Banish Car Mold for Good!
Removing mold from a car's interior
Photo: Getty Images

Mold is a common problem that can infest your car’s interior, causing unpleasant odors and potential health issues. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide easy-to-follow steps on how to clean mold out of your car in no time. You’ll be able to quickly remove mold from your car and also prevent future reappearances. Always remember to exercise caution and adhere to safety guidelines when handling mold, as it can pose health risks.

Close-up view of mold spots on a car seat, indicating a mold infestation

Identifying Mold in Your Car

First, you need to identify whether your car has mold. Mold is typically characterized by a musty smell, visible spores or clusters, and a damp environment. Mold often grows in car cup holders, carpets, and upholstery, particularly if your car has been exposed to moisture, such as from a leak or flood.

Safety Precautions

Prior to initiating the mold removal process, make sure to follow these safety guidelines:

  1. Equip yourself with protective gear like gloves, a mask, and safety goggles.
  2. Then, open doors and windows to ensure proper ventilation.
  3. Finally, dispose of any contaminated items or materials properly.
Gloves, mask, and safety goggles for protection during the mold removal process

Removing Mold from Your Car

Follow these steps to remove mold from your car’s interior:

  1. Vacuum the affected areas: Vacuum the affected areas with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner. This will remove loose mold spores from carpets and upholstery.
  2. Clean hard surfaces: Use a mixture of water and white vinegar (1:1 ratio) to clean mold from hard surfaces, such as car rims and plastic components. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub the surfaces gently.
  3. Clean fabric surfaces: Later, to clean fabric surfaces, mix one part detergent with ten parts water. Use a cloth or sponge to scrub mold from seats and carpets. If the mold persists, consider using a DIY car seat cover to protect your seats.
  4. Dry your car: Use a wet-dry vacuum or towels to remove excess moisture from your car’s interior. Then, leave the doors and windows open to allow it to air dry completely. A car wrap can help protect your car’s exterior during the drying process.
  5. Replace cabin air filter: Replace your car’s cabin air filter to ensure clean air circulation.
  6. Disinfect the air conditioning system: Disinfect the air conditioning system by running it with a mold-killing spray. This will eliminate any remaining mold spores.
Using a detergent solution to remove mold from carpet
Photo: TheDrive

Preventing Mold Regrowth

Then, after you’ve removed the mold, it’s crucial to prevent it from returning:

  1. Eliminate moisture sources: Fix any leaks and ensure your car’s windshield wiper fluid reservoir is properly sealed.
  2. Regularly clean your car: Make a habit of cleaning your car’s interior and removing any moisture or spills promptly.
  3. Use a dehumidifier: If you live in a humid climate, consider using a portable dehumidifier or moisture-absorbing products to maintain a dry environment inside your car.
  4. Ventilate your car: Also, regularly ventilate your car by opening windows and doors. This allows fresh air circulation and prevents moisture buildup.
  5. Protect your car from the elements: Shield your car from rain and humidity by using a car cover or parking in a covered area. This protects it from the elements.
  6. Regular maintenance: Keep up with regular vehicle maintenance, such as resetting oil life and replacing key fob batteries, to ensure your car stays in top condition and avoid issues that could contribute to mold growth.
Using a vacuum cleaner to remove mold from car interior
Photo: Pinterest


Removing mold from your car is crucial in order to maintain a secure, hygienic, and cozy driving atmosphere. By adhering to the steps provided in this guide and implementing preventive strategies, you can successfully eliminate mold from your car and keep it from coming back. For additional car care advice, make sure to browse through our other useful articles, including tips on adjusting side mirrors and the expected lifespan of windshield wipers.

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