How to Remove Mildew Odors from a Car

Left the windows open in a rainstorm? The resulting mildew not only stinks - it can be indicative of mold in your vehicle. Getting at the source is the first step in returning your car's interior to its pre-shower state.

1. Try to find the source of the odor. Check rugs, upholstery and air conditioning vents for signs of mold or moisture.

2. Thoroughly dry the affected area by soaking up any liquid with a towel, then use a hair dryer to dry it completely.

3. Remove the floor mats and lay them out in the sun for a few days if they are the source of the odor.

4. Scatter Borax or baking soda over the floor and upholstery of affected areas. Work it into the rugs with your hands.

5. Let it remain at least overnight and then vacuum.

6. Use a commercial odor absorber or enzyme cleaner according to directions if some odor remains.

7. Clean air conditioner vents with a cotton swab dipped in window cleaner. If you still smell mildew in your air conditioning system, try running the heater full-blast for 10 minutes to dry it out, leaving the windows open.

8. Take the car for a professional interior cleaning if all else fails.

Overall Tips:
Charcoal briquettes help absorb moisture and odors. Put them under the seats and let them remain until odor is gone.

On warm days, leave the car windows open to let the car air out.

Floor mats are easily replaceable and it may be easier to replace them than to remove the mildew odor.

If the mildew smell remains in your air conditioning vents, try an odor- or mildew-eliminating spray (like Lysol) or a spray product especially made for air conditioning systems.

Overall Warnings:
Be careful that the hair dryer doesn't overheat or come in contact with anything in the car that is not heat-resistant.

If moisture has penetrated into seat pads, you may have to replace them in order to eradicate the smell.







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