How To Get Rid of Mildew Smell in a Car

Wiping the steering wheel

Being stacked in a small place is okay. But being stacked in a small and nasty-smelling place is not. Many car owners know that. Worse, no one is excused from experiencing that. Almost all cars will experience that mildew smell in their lifetime. So whether you are experiencing this now or not yet, knowing how to get rid of the smell should help you.

Here are the things you should for getting rid of mildew smell in your car:

  1. Look for the damp spots. Damp is the culprit of having mildew smell in your car. Check the trunk carpeting, your car ceiling headliner, and the cabin floor carpet. These are the usual damp spots in older cars. If these are damp, it’s most likely that your car already needs repair. Your car might also need replacing the weather strips. Better have your car checked and repair any holes.
  2. Eliminate the damp. For fast remedy, eliminate the damp spots that you found. Mopping the damp using absorbent cloth will do the trick. For carpeted areas, you will need to take the carpet off before wiping the damp. This way, you don’t leave any damp areas behind.
  3. Put anti-mildew solution. Spray some anti-mildew solution on the areas where the damp was. Lightly scrub the area using a clean rug. This should already remove the mildew smell.
  4. Vacuum the moisture. Use a vacuum cleaner that is capable of vacuuming wet surfaces. Vacuum the affected area until the dampness is completely gone.
  5. Clean other parts. Remember the carpet and other car accessories you removed to get the damp out? You should clean all those. They will still leave that nasty mildew smell if you don’t wash them. Soaking them up in a dishwashing liquid or water with anti-mildew solution will help. Make sure these are completely dry before installing in the car. The areas where these things will be put on should also be perfectly dry.
  6. Spray anti-fungal solution for prevention. It’s more likely that your car will have mildew smell again. At least, you can prevent future nasty smell caused by moisture by spraying an anti-fungal solution on areas where moisture will most probably strike.

If you experience the mildew smell after turning on the air conditioner, then your air conditioner must have been affected by mildew. Removing the mildew from this part can be tricky. Better not to do anything on that part especially if you are not sure what you are doing.

As a fast remedy, you can try to turn the A/C fan on while the windows or doors are open. The fan should be on until the mildew smell is gone. If nothing happens, then it’s best to have your A/C checked by the professional. It’s okay to spend a few dollars if it would mean convenience while driving your car.

Besides the commercially available anti-mildew products, you can also try homemade recipes that can do the same trick. You can try vinegar spray, baking soda, and bleach.


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