The interior of a car that has a mildew smell can be very unpleasant, particularly when it is driven frequently or for several hours at a time. Mildew thrives in moist conditions and is most noticeable during periods of heavy rain or humid weather. Sometimes the mildew growth is a result of a spilled liquid that has had sufficient time to soak into the upholstery or flooring. Even the air conditioner vents and filtration system can provide a moist location that will harbor mildew.
Untreated mildew can permanently stain upholstery and carpeting, lowering the vehicle’s re-sale value considerably. It can also cause health problems and trigger an allergic reaction in some people. Therefore, it is important to locate the source of the mildew and remove it, to prevent further damage to the car. Finding the location of the mildew can be difficult, especially when the smell is overpowering. However, leaving the windows or doors open will allow the smell to dissipate slightly and will make detecting the source of the mildew smell easier to find.
A mildew smell in car ventilation systems is often the result of a dirty cabin air filter and can be quickly remedied by replacing it with a new one. If the filter is clean, or the vehicle doesn’t have one, then the mildew is in the venting itself. To help eradicate it, run the ventilation system at the highest temperature possible for several minutes to remove any moisture that is trapped inside of the duct work.
Mildew spots on carpeting or upholstery are a little more difficult to remove and will require the use of a liquid-based cleaner. After cleaning the upholstery, allow it to dry completely before closing the doors or windows of the vehicle. Consider keeping a box of baking soda in the vehicle if frequent mildew problems are the result of spilled beverages. When a spill occurs, simply blot the area with a cloth and then sprinkle some of the baking soda over it to absorb the moisture. After the baking soda has dried it can be removed with a vacuum cleaner.
Preventing mildew growth is important to avoid musty smells within the interior of the vehicle. If possible, park the car in a garage that has a dehumidifier and leave one of the windows opened slightly. If the vehicle is parked outdoors, ensure that all of the windows and doors seal tightly to prevent the entry of rainwater. Also, avoid storing damp items like clothing or towels for extended amounts of time in the vehicle. Consider using a desiccant to help control the moisture level of the air in the vehicle. A bag of charcoal briquettes works well and is very economical.
Category: Mildew Smell