Car Mold | Professional Car Mold Removal Services (2023)

Is Your Car Moldy? Get It Cleaned with Our Top-Notch Service!

Mold is a common household nuisance that affects your bank account as well as your health. It can cost you thousands of dollars in property damage while also making you sick.

What most people don’t realize is that mold can be a hazard outside of the home as well. It can grow in some unexpected areas including the inside of your car.

In this article, you will learn how to identify and safely clean up mold growing in your vehicle.

What causes mold in the car?

Mold forms when damp conditions mix with a warm environment. Unfortunately, this makes your car an ideal breeding ground for the fungus.

  1. One common cause of mold in cars is water entering through a cracked or poorly sealed sunroof on a rainy day.
  2. Another is a spilled drink that wasn’t properly cleaned and dried from the seats or carpets.
Car Mold | Professional Car Mold Removal Services (1)

When does mold in the car appear?

The appearance of mold is fast-acting and widespread. It forms as quickly as two to three days after an incident.

Learn more about how fast can black mold spread.

Car Mold | Professional Car Mold Removal Services (2)

What does mold in the car smell like?

Mold has a musty, unpleasant odor — you will likely smell it before you see it. Some describe it as smelling like wet socks or rotten wood.

If you’ve ever had mold in your basement, then you know the kind of earthy, persistent smell we’re talking about.

What is the difference between mildew and mold in the car?

Mildew and mold share some similarities in appearance and smell, so it can be easy to confuse the two at first.

Mildew appears as patches of white or grey fungus on damp surfaces in or on your car. It is less of a threat and more of an inconvenience. You can remove mildew yourself with a scrub brush and bottle of cleaner.

Mold, on the other hand, is a widespread issue that poses serious health risks to you and your passengers. It can be fuzzy or slimy in appearance and comes in a variety of colours.

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If you suspect the presence of mold in your car, do as you would if you found mold in your home—remove it promptly. And DO NOT run the air conditioning fans as this could disperse the mold spores in the air, making them easier for you to inhale.

For more about difference between mold and mildew checkout our case study here.

What are the different types of mold that can grow in your car?

There are over a 100,000 species of mold in the world. Estimates show that there are more than a thousand species of green mold alone. This can make it difficult to identify which one is targeting your car.

The three most common types are white, blue and green. These types fall under the Penicillium genus and were once used as an ingredient in the production of the antibiotic penicillin (1).

Other types of mold include:

  • Yellow, or Aspergillus mold, which we breathe in daily without sickness according to the CDC. However, contact should still be limited since overexposure can negatively affect your health.
  • Brown mold, which is common in the Cladosporium genus. It grows both outdoors on plants and indoors on damp carpets and fabric seats. Mold that has an olive-green or grey tinge is from the same family.
  • Grey or black molds, called Alternaria, are common outdoor molds that grow in damp, dusty areas. They usually affect soil and plants, but can also grow indoors given the right conditions. Alternaria can sometime appear black and be mistaken for toxic black mold.
  • Greenish-black mold or toxic black mold, is the most dangerous of them all. It is part of the Stachybotrys genus and is infamous for its severe and, at times, deadly health effects.
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Where does mold appear in your car?

Mold can appear almost anywhere in or on your car. The most affected areas are rugs, carpets, seats and other fabrics/textiles.

As stated earlier, it is not uncommon for mold to form in your car after a liquid is spilled. This occurs if there is a lack of ventilation in the car and the spill is not properly dried.

Pictures of mold in car

Below are some real case photos of where can mold appear in car (click to open larger photo):

(Video) Getting Rid Of Terrible Mold In My Car With White Vinegar

Mold in car carpets, floor and seats

In most cases, a beverage like coffee or a soft drink is usually the culprit. You should also watch for liquids or sauces that could leak out of food packages and onto carpets, floor or seats. (If you have young children, then you know how often accidents and spills in the car can occur!)

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Mold in car upholstery, seat foam, vents, A/C and doors

The good news—spills usually cause only surface mold on your car’s interior. This type of mold is easier to spot, making it easier to clean. However, more serious moisture problems can occur in areas of your car that are harder to access and therefore harder to clean up. This includes the car’s upholstery, seat foam, vents, air conditioners, doors, trunk or boot.

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These types of spills usually occur if the sunroof is left open during a rain storm. You might think that a bit of water would do little harm to your car, but this is not the case.

Mold will very quickly begin to grow if the vehicle is not left open in a warm, well-lit area to dry. Keeping the doors and windows closed will slow down the drying process and put your car at serious risk. The same will happen if moisture seeps into the car’s air conditioner or vents.

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Mold in car trunk or boot

Another common but often forgotten area of your car where mold is known to form is the trunk or boot. Mold can form here if damp clothing or supplies are forgotten and left inside for extended periods of time. This could include a bag of sweaty gym clothes or a pile of damp cleaning rags.

Car Mold | Professional Car Mold Removal Services (14)

What are the health risks associated with mold in the car?

A number of health risks are associated with exposure to mold.

(Video) Deep Cleaning the MOLDIEST CAR EVER! | Satisfying Interior & Exterior BIOHAZARD Car Detailing

These effects vary from mild to severe and often affect the sinuses and lungs. Common symptoms include: headache, sore throat, runny nose, skin rash, eye irritation and wheezing.

  • People with mold allergies will have severe allergic reactions upon contact with mold spores. Mold exposure also increases sensitivity in those with asthma or an autoimmune disease. Passengers with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, could face infection as well.
  • Aspergillosis” and “chronic pulmonary aspergillosis” have been linked to mold. Aspergillosis causes coughing, wheezing and sinus inflammation. Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis is a painful condition that causes cavities in the lungs. These cavities are called “fungus balls” and can lead to future scarring (2).
  • Toxic black mold, or Stachybotrys chartarum, is the most dangerous species of mold that you can come into contact with. When inhaled or ingested, toxic black mold spores can cause serious health problems and even deadly diseases.
  • Signs of exposure to black mold start with sneezing, coughing, headache, skin rash, mental confusion, memory loss and chronic fatigue. This can then lead to nausea, vomiting, anxiety, muscle cramps, hair loss, and bleeding in the lungs and nose. In severe cases, when a patient is left untreated, black mold exposure may lead to death.

Your family doctor will be able to diagnose mold exposure through a blood test or skin prick test.

How do I know if I have mold in my car?

Trust your sense of smell—if you smell mold in your car, there is a big chance that it is there. First check for items in the car that could be the culprit as opposed to the car itself. We recommend calling a professional to test your vehicle for you.

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At Mold Busters, we can provide you with the most accurate results for a reasonable set fee. The process is simple. You book a mold inspection; a certified mold inspector arrives and conducts a full visual assessment of your car; he takes a swab test to confirm or deny the presence of mold; and he provides you with the results within minutes.

Are there any DIY methods for removing mold in my car?

If you find mold in your car, the first step is to prevent further contamination and stop it from spreading. Move your car out of the shade and into a well-lit area with direct sunlight. Open all windows and doors in order to air out the vehicle.

  • Before you start the mold removal process, buy a dust mask from your local hardware store. Wearing a dust mask will reduce the risk of inhaling any toxic spores while you clean your car.
  • Avoid the use of heavy duty cleaning products like ammonia or bleach. These products can stain surfaces and kill only surface mold.
  • Borax mixed with water eliminates mold while also reducing the risk of stains. This is due to its high pH level, which is an enemy to mold, but safe for human use. Lysol offers the same solution, though it does contain small amounts of bleach.
  • Another popular remedy is a homemade solution of vinegar and distilled water. This offers a safe chemical-free way to kill mold.

How to get mold out of car?

DIY solutions might seem like the way to go, but they come with their own set of risks. Missed trace particles of mold will lead to further growth. This will put you and your loved ones at risk of exposure-related illnesses.

It is also difficult to conduct an accurate mold test on your own without the proper tools or professional help.

Many drivers will choose a DIY method to cut costs, but a botched mold removal job could cost you more in the long run. Some cars become so damaged by mold that they become write-offs.

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The safest and most efficient way to remove mold from your car is to seek out the services of a professional. Mold can pose a serious health risk to you and your loved ones, and at Mold Busters we are happy to reduce the risk for you. We offer quality professional services in mold inspection, testing, and removal.

We will come to you and conduct an on-site mold test to determine if there are mold particles in your car. We can also remove a sample of the offending substance from your car and test it in order to determine the exact genus and species of mold present. These methods allow us to determine the extent and severity of the contamination in order to better plan out the mold remediation.

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Once the scope of work has been set out, we will then proceed with removing the mold from your vehicle and even eliminate any residual mold odors. We do this through the use of air filters, air scrubbers and ozone generators.

Professional mold removal service in car

Below are example images of how does one car look after our mold removal service (click to open larger photo):

How to prevent mold in the car?

The easiest way to prevent mold in your car is to stop moisture from entering it. Clean up and dry spills the moment that they occur and check for any cracks or open areas in your car.

(Video) Get rid of mold in your car 🚗 - Mold Busters

Double-check that your windows and sunroof are closed when you are not in the vehicle to prevent rain from entering it during storms. Finally, be alert and on the lookout for any signs of water damage or other potential issues.

All it takes is a bit moisture and a warm contained environment for mold to grow. Protect yourself and your loved ones from exposure by keeping your car clean and safe. For more information about our services, call Mold Busters today! We are happy to answer any questions that you have about mold testing, removal and odor control.

Car Mold – Before and After Removal Photos

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FAQs

Can mold be removed from a car? ›

An easy and chemical-free way to clean and kill mold inside your car is to use white vinegar. This acid helps to kill mold and keep it from returning by essentially burning it. You just need to pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and mix it with some water. A good ratio is eight parts vinegar to two parts water.

How do you get rid of deep mold in a car? ›

Away so for the exterior. Because it had been sitting out for so long over time if you don't clean

Will a car valet clean mould? ›

Interior Valet Packages

An all round disinfection service that will deep clean your full car, using virucidal disinfecting products, a comibination of Aromatek and steam, killing 99% of bacteria. Our Mould Removal & Sanitasation package can be booked as an optional extra with any other valet.

Can you test a car for mold? ›

Find Out If Your Vehicle Has Mold

Find out if your vehicle is contaminated by mold with a gravity plate test. Keep extra plates in the refrigerator until ready to test again after treatments. When testing a vehicle, keep windows and doors closed during the entire process, other than entering and exiting the vehicle.

How much does it cost to clean a moldy car? ›

Small cars can cost anywhere from $50 to $200, while larger vehicles like SUVs and wagons can start at $200 and go up from there. Even if you have time to clean the car yourself, it's sometimes best to pay a pro to do it for you, because they'll have the right chemicals and machines to get the job done right.

Can mold in car make you sick? ›

Sick Car Syndrome. Yes, this is a real thing and yes, it could be affecting your family. In fact, sick car syndrome has caused some major automakers to refund car purchases. Also known as “toxic car syndrome,” it's the result of mold growing out of the condensation in your A/C system.

Do detailers get rid of mold? ›

1: Auto Detailing Professionals Will Identify & Fix the Source of the Mold. Just removing mold isn't enough. If the cause of the mold isn't fixed, the problem could just come right back.

What is difference between mold and mildew? ›

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.

Why is black mold toxic? ›

It sometimes produces toxic chemicals that are found in its airborne spores and fungus fragments. These are called mycotoxins and are dangerous if they're eaten. There's no link to inhaled Stachybotrys chartarum mycotoxins and deadly diseases.

How do you know if you have mold in your car? ›

Signs of Mold in a Car

Typical signs of mold can include discoloration on the seats and/or the carpet, as well as a smell that's similar to sour milk. If you notice any of these signs, it's time to look into car mold removal.

How do I get rid of moss on my car? ›

The Impossible Detail Part 1: How To Remove Moss and Algae - YouTube

How do you clean mould off Alcantara? ›

First I would use a wet&dry vac and some APC and some soft, medium, hand brushes, and remove as much mould and grime as you can, you could use a steamer instead of a wet vac.

How fast does mold grow in car? ›

Mold can grow in a car in about 12 hours given the right conditions. Often times you will get that mildew smell in 6-10 hours.

What does mold in a car smell like? ›

Most car owners first become aware of their mildew problem when they turn on their vehicle's air conditioner and notice a smell similar to that of sweaty gym socks. This is a telltale sign of mildew, which can build up inside your evaporator unit whenever moisture condenses.

What kind of mold grows in car? ›

Watch out: among the mold genera/species often found growing on or in vehicle interiors, Penicillium and Aspergillus species are particularly dangerous.

How do professionals remove mold? ›

All contaminated surfaces will be vacuumed with a HEPA vacuum to trap the mold spores while releasing clean air, unlike traditional vacuum cleaners. Next, a professional will spray and wipe down the once contaminated surface with microfiber cleaning cloths.

How expensive is it to remove mold? ›

You can expect to spend between $1,373 and $3,325 or between $13.33 and $28.33 per square foot for mold remediation, with $2,347 being the national average. Homeowners with minor mold problems typically pay $458 for mold remediation, while the average cost for more extensive remediation is $6,333.

Can I remove mold myself? ›

Some other safe yet effective products you can use to kill mold are baking soda, vinegar, Tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent. If you're using vinegar, simply put it in a spray bottle. No need to add water. Spray the vinegar on the surface and leave it for an hour.

Where can mold hide in car? ›

Mold will begin to grow on wet surfaces, usually upholstery, fabric and other absorbent materials. Mold spores are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. These spores may start to spread around the inside of your vehicle, especially if you turn on the A/C or heat.

Is it safe to drive in a moldy car? ›

The presence of mold in your vehicle can elicit health responses when exposure occurs, especially a fair amount of exposure. Mold in car health risks can include respiratory and skin irritations, lung infections, asthma, nasal congestion, wheezing, fever, and shortness of breath.

Can you use a mold bomb in a car? ›

DWD2 Clean Air Protect Automotive Plant-Based Mold-Treatment fogger bomb neutralizes odors from automotive ventilation systems and the vehicles interior cabin. Protect Automotive Mold-treatment inhibits the return of odors in your ventilation system and interior of your car including: seats, headliner and carpet.

Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›

To safely and effectively clean a small area of mold, ServiceMaster advises the following: Add full-strength white distilled vinegar to a spray bottle and spray it on the mold. Let it sit for at least an hour before wiping away mold.

How do you prevent mold in a stored car? ›

If the vehicle isn't under a cover, place moisture absorption tubs or desiccant tubes in vehicle interior and trunk to prevent mold and mildew growth. Drain and refill the cooling system with the proper type of coolant for the application, using 100% coolant. Do not add any water.

What kills mold and mildew instantly? ›

A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water. Spray on the surface, wait two to three hours, then rinse.

What is worse mold or mildew? ›

Without a doubt, mold is worse than mildew. According to American Home Shield, “the difference between mold and mildew is that unlike mildew, certain types of toxic molds can result in serious health problems for you and your family.” Black mold, in particular, is dangerous for humans.

How soon can black mold affect you? ›

These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss. Work-relatedness may only become apparent over long holidays if symptoms resolve and then recur on return to work.

What kills black mold instantly? ›

Treat the Area. For a natural solution for getting rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.

What is the difference between mold and black mold? ›

Both mold and black mold produce health problems upon prolonged exposure. Black mold is a type of mold, which produces a toxin called mycotoxin. This toxin may cause severe health problems than a usual mold. The main difference between mold and black mold is the intensity of health problems caused by each type of mold.

Does black mold cause death? ›

The short answer for most healthy people is no, black mold won't kill you and is unlikely to make you sick. However, black mold can make the following groups sick: very young people. very old people.

Do dehumidifiers work in cars? ›

You'll notice your windows steaming up if it's raining, and it'll happen much more quickly with a car full of people. This is where a car dehumidifier can come in handy, as they can get rid of the moisture easily and independently. Most use absorbent crystals, but they're not very expensive.

What is the green stuff on my car? ›

If you find yellow or green fluid leaking from your car, it's most likely coolant or antifreeze.

How do you wash a car that has been sitting for years? ›

How to Wash a Car That Has Been Sitting For YEARS: Subaru Impreza

How do you get green moss off car window seals? ›

Answered by John Slavin. Regular cleaning is the best thing you can do. But to get rid of what's there, use a diluted anti-bacterial cleaner (test it on a small, hidden area to make sure it doesn't do anything weird) and then give it a good scrub with soft-bristled toothbrush.

Will degreaser remove mold? ›

Regular detergent can be used when the mold isn't in any porous materials. You just need to remove the mold completely. This can either be done with a mixture of detergent and water, or you can use some APC and even a degreaser for this purpose.

How do you get mold out of leather car seats? ›

How to Remove Mold & Mildew from Car Seats • Cars Simplified - YouTube

Can you wash Alcantara? ›

WASHING MACHINE

In case of removable upholstery, Alcantara can be safely machine washed with water at about 30° C and a mild detergent; do not spin-dry. If there are velcro fastenings along the edges of the upholstery, they must be protected with counter-Velcro before washing in order not to damage the upholstery.

How do you get mold out of car upholstery? ›

Use a new plastic spray bottle to fill with pure white, distilled vinegar. Vinegar is a great cleaning agent having strong antifungal properties that allow molds to stick to it, this is an excellent mold remover for car interior. After filling the bottle, spray it to the affected area or where molds thrive the most.

How long does it take for mold to grow in a car? ›

Mold can grow in a car in about 12 hours given the right conditions. Often times you will get that mildew smell in 6-10 hours.

What does mold in a car smell like? ›

Most car owners first become aware of their mildew problem when they turn on their vehicle's air conditioner and notice a smell similar to that of sweaty gym socks. This is a telltale sign of mildew, which can build up inside your evaporator unit whenever moisture condenses.

Can you use a mold bomb in a car? ›

DWD2 Clean Air Protect Automotive Plant-Based Mold-Treatment fogger bomb neutralizes odors from automotive ventilation systems and the vehicles interior cabin. Protect Automotive Mold-treatment inhibits the return of odors in your ventilation system and interior of your car including: seats, headliner and carpet.

Can I leave vinegar on mold overnight? ›

To safely and effectively clean a small area of mold, ServiceMaster advises the following: Add full-strength white distilled vinegar to a spray bottle and spray it on the mold. Let it sit for at least an hour before wiping away mold.

What kills mold on fabric? ›

White Distilled Vinegar – An excellent mould-killer, diluted vinegar can be worked directly into the stain – or you can pre-soak the clothing in a bucket of water mixed with one cup of vinegar. You can also add 1-2 cups of vinegar to your washing machine per cycle to kill any mildew odours and brighten your whites.

Do dehumidifiers work in cars? ›

You'll notice your windows steaming up if it's raining, and it'll happen much more quickly with a car full of people. This is where a car dehumidifier can come in handy, as they can get rid of the moisture easily and independently. Most use absorbent crystals, but they're not very expensive.

Where can mold hide in car? ›

Mold will begin to grow on wet surfaces, usually upholstery, fabric and other absorbent materials. Mold spores are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye. These spores may start to spread around the inside of your vehicle, especially if you turn on the A/C or heat.

Can I remove mold myself? ›

Some other safe yet effective products you can use to kill mold are baking soda, vinegar, Tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide, and detergent. If you're using vinegar, simply put it in a spray bottle. No need to add water. Spray the vinegar on the surface and leave it for an hour.

Why am I getting mold in my car? ›

The main cause of mold is damp conditions mixed with a warm environment, which can easily occur in your car if you leave your window cracked or your sunroof open on a rainy day, or even spill some liquid on the floor.

What kind of mold grows in car? ›

Watch out: among the mold genera/species often found growing on or in vehicle interiors, Penicillium and Aspergillus species are particularly dangerous.

How do you check your car for mold in the AC? ›

Flip on your car's air conditioner and you expect cool, clean air to flow freely. If the AC system is producing cool air, then everything is working correctly. But what if the cool air is accompanied by a noxious smell? Likely, mold in the air conditioner is the problem and, thankfully, easily resolved.

How do you get rid of damp smell in car? ›

Make a mixture of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray it at targeted areas to kill mould and prevent it from returning. You can also fill a small bowl of white vinegar and place it on the floor of your car overnight to absorb odours in the air.

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