Best Methods for How to Clean Mold Out of Car Interior

Mold is a type of fungus that grows in damp and humid conditions and can spread really quickly. When you keep your car in that kind of environment for months, chances are there could be mold growing inside it. You should know how to clean mold out of car to prevent it from causing any further damage.

Mold is smelly, gross, and can do some permanent damage to any surface if not dealt with immediately. Remember that it’s bad for your health too since it can trigger allergic reactions and people with asthma can suffer shortness of breath.

How to Clean Mold Out of Car: The Best Methods

You must learn how to get rid of mold in car because mold spreads at an unbelievably quick rate. From a small spot, it takes only a few days to spread everywhere.

Take Preparation

First of all, you need to prepare yourself by wearing a safety outfit. The personal protective equipment should include safety goggles, a face mask that can prevent particles, gloves long enough to cover forearms, and an overall.

Move the car to a place that gets direct sunlight and open its doors and windows. Leave it for at least half an hour to aerate and dry up the interior. Then, break and remove large mold clusters (if there is any) with an old toothbrush. Use a wet-dry vacuum to clean up the loose mold spores. For removing the rest, you have to apply any of these following methods.

removing mold from car interior
Wear safety equipment before starting cleaning. (Source: PikRepo)

Apply White Vinegar

White vinegar is an acidic liquid that can kill mold and prevent it from growing back. The advantage of using this substance is that it does not damage any kind of upholstery materials, whether it’s vinyl, leather, or cloth. So, this is the best cleaning agent if there is mold on car seats. It will also work well if there is mold in car carpet.

Mix distilled white vinegar and clean water at a 4:1 ratio. You can also use undiluted vinegar if the mold spread is severe. Take the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the affected areas. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes and then scrub with a clean piece of cloth.

You can also use another solution by mixing up a half of a cup of white vinegar, one tablespoon of baking soda, and four liters of hot water. It works well on both hard and soft surfaces.

A strong vinegary smell will linger inside the car after the cleanup. There’s nothing to worry about that. Keep the vehicle in the open air with the doors and windows open for a couple of hours.

Eliminating Mold with Salt

Salt could be another cheap but effective agent for removing mold from car interior. You might be thinking it to be a too simple solution for how to clean mold out of car. Don’t worry. It certainly works.

Mix some non-iodized salt onto clean water and spray the mixture onto the affected areas with the help of a spray bottle. Wait until the wetness dries up and salt crusts form. Then, brush off the crusts or use a vacuum to remove every particle.

Use Enzyme Cleaners

Black mold in car is probably the most stubborn and dangerous kind of mold. You cannot remove it with the simple vinegar or salt solution. To kill mold in car and prevent it from re-growing, use mold-eating enzyme cleaners. You will find it in most hardware and retail stores.

Some people may think that ammonia or bleach will be a good option for getting rid of mold spores. These will not only stain the surfaces but ammonia actually helps with the growth of mold.


Remove Mold with Clove Oil

Clove oil is a kind of essential oil that works wonder in removing a fungal infestation. It’s a powerful antiseptic that kills mold spores and prevents their growth.

Mix a quarter teaspoon of clove oil with a liter of clean water. Spray the solution on the affected areas and scrub with a microfiber towel after a few minutes. You can also make a paste-like solution by mixing white vinegar, baking soda, and a few drops of clove oil. Apply it on the mold-infested spots and hard to reach corners with an old toothbrush. Wait until the paste dries off and then wipe with a clean piece of cloth.

Don’t use too much clove oil as it can damage delicate surfaces in the car interiors and irritate the skin.


All these methods are effective regarding how to clean mold out of car. To remove mold from car, you don’t need to spend a lump sum. However, the mold infestation becomes too stubborn or widespread sometimes and it may need a professional cleaning service. In that case, you may need to shell out hundreds of dollars.