How To Remove Mold From Car Interior

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Inside your car is one of the last places you’d expect to find molds, but somehow, they just appear there – on your upholstery. However, before we discuss how to remove mold from car interior, it’d be great to take you through the possible reasons why the molds appeared on your car seats.

Naturally, molds buildup due to trapped moisture and dirt. They are smelly and make your car interior look unkempt. More so, molds can contain bacteria and viruses; they are not just something you should allow to stay on any surface you frequently touch, seat, or work on.

What Causes Mold To Appear In Car Interior?

From a scientific perspective, molds are fungi that multiply in an unkempt environment. Also, molds can damage your car’s interior upholstery, and it is dangerous to human health. Basically, the breeding ground for mold is a damp, warm environment.

When your car interior is always damp and warm, molds can appear on the upholstery and other places too. Asides from these factors (moisture/dampness and warmness), there is/are no other reasons why mold should appear on your car interior.

That said, to prevent your car interior from building molds, you’d need to ensure that your car interior is free from moisture and it is always dry.

Furthermore, researchers confirm that there are different types of mold that can grow in any environment that is moist and warm.

However, regardless of the type of mold that appeared on your car interior, these tips shared below would help get them out, and when you practice the preventive measures, you’d most likely not deal with such issues again.

Note: Molds can also appear on your car exterior (mostly on the paint), but just as it is possible to remove them from a car’s interior, it is also possible to remove mold from your car’s paint.

Read Also: Does Bleach Spoil Car Paint?

How To Remove Mold From Car Interior

How To Get Rid Of Mold From Car Interior

First things first, you need to get some protective gear to protect yourself from contracting bacteria that may be hiding in the molds. The protective gears you need to get, include hand gloves, nose mask, and even safety boots.

These gears are necessary because molds are infectious and dangerous to human health. After you have readied these gears, next is to prep your car and get the necessary items needed to clean a car’s interior (upholstery), including a vacuum and special car interior cleaning compounds.

Start the removal process by scraping or brushing the large molds. Afterward, blow off the debris using a vacuum cleaner, and then carry out a basic cleaning (sweep the car and remove the carpets).

When all these prerequisite steps are accomplished, try out any of the methods below to remove molds from your car interior.

Again, as a prerequisite, try to drive the car under the sun; to some extent, sun rays can kill molds. Remember to put on your PPE throughout the entire process.

1. Using White Vinegar

Apparently, you’ve heard or read on many platforms that vinegar works to remove containments from car paints; well, it also helps for mold removal. So, you would need to get some vinegar and add it to the water you’ll be using to wash your car interior.

Don’t’ bother about how much vinegar you are adding to water; regardless of the ratio, it would work; however, vinegar needs to have the higher number in the mix ratio, something like vinegar 4:1 water.

  • Pour the vinegar-water mix into a spray can/bottle
  • Spray the moldy surfaces in your car interior with the vinegar formula
  • Allow it to sit on the moldy surfaces for some minutes (maybe 10 – 15 minutes)
  • Use a wet-dry vacuum or clean microfiber towel to clean the surfaces
  • Allow the car to dry completely before closing the doors

Hopefully, the vinegar would kill the molds and leave your car interior looking clean again. However, your car will be emitting a strong vinegar scent, which may take time to diffuse totally. You can apply a strong air freshener and leave the car open for a long time to kill the vinegar scent.

2. Using Clove Oils

Clove oil has a lot of benefits, and it is a proven substance for mold removal. Oil of cloves can be used to remove mold from a car’s interior following simple application steps.

Interestingly, clove oil does not just hide molds like other substances that people use for mold removal; instead, it kills the mold spores.

When the spores are killed, the mold stops spreading, and that’s the best way to eradicate mold entirely from your car upholstery.

  • Mix clove oil with water in this ratio – a quarter teaspoon of clove oil per liter of water
  • Pour the mix into a spray bottle
  • Spray the moldy surface and allow it to sit for some minutes (15 – 18 minutes)
  • Clean the surface with a rag or vacuum
  • Spray again and leave it for a longer time before cleaning out

Leave the car doors open for a long time for air and sunlight to penetrate. It takes around 24 hours for mold spores to die off. So, you should leave the car for a day or two before you drive it again. Remember to put on protective gears while trying out this method of removing mold from car interior.

You may perceive a foul smell inside your car after practicing either of these methods; it’s normal. So, get a nice-scenting air freshener and spray in your car to kill the foul odor.

However, you should leave the car doors open for a long time to allow air and sunlight into the car for proper drying.

Read Also: Does Shaving Cream Spoil Car Paint?


How to remove mold from car interior? Vinegar or oil of cloves can help for this purpose. We’d advise that you protect yourself very well; cover your mouth and nose, as well as your hands to prevent bacterial infection.

To prevent molds from coming back to your car interior, always keep it clean and dry. If the molds also appeared on your carpets, apply the same methods above to clean them out.

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