Home Automotive AdviceDetailing and Car Care Mold In Car – How To Remove It Permanently?

Mold In Car – How To Remove It Permanently?

by Jordan Harris
Mold In Car

Have you noticed that you have mold in car and you are desperately looking for a way how to get around this problem and remove this disgusting thing from your car’s interior? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to mold removal from a car.

Having a problem like this can be really annoying and is no doubt frustrating. I mean, just imagine your nice-looking interior to be grown with fungus and whatnot. Nobody wants that. Mainly because it looks terrible and the second reason is that is not good for our health.

As they would say, cleanliness is one of the most important things that make us safe from bacteria and other unwanted guests that will want to harm our health. And sorting this problem out with the mold in car should be one of your top priorities. But you shouldn’t worry because we are going to help you out with this trouble.

First, we will learn more about what is mold in car and the types of mold that you can have. Then we will cover the reasons why your car’s interior is all moldy and then we will learn how to remove mold from a car’s interior. So, if you want to learn more about this topic and how to remove this mold in car, follow along.

What Is Mold In Car?

Now before we dive into more complex topics like the reasons for the mold in car. Let’s first cover some of the basics and learn what is mold in car in general. I bet that there are people who are reading this article and are not into these topics and want to learn more. So, what is mold in general?

Well, mold is a special fungus. If you didn’t know, fungus or fungi are a family of eukaryotic organisms. This family of organisms is extremely large and includes mold, yeast, and even mushrooms.

Many people confuse fungi with plants but they are quite different since plants grow from seeds. While the fungi grow from fungi bacteria. More precisely. Fungi develop only in certain conditions like in our case when the temperatures and the moisture are really high.

Only in these conditions, the fungi will develop and like in our case will cause mold in car. So, whenever you notice mold in your interior, you probably have water leaks that allow these fungi to grow and ruin your seats, floor mats, and even the dash in some cases.

But how can you spot mold in car? Well, whenever there is mold there will be white spots inside of the vehicle. Or even black spots in some cases. And that’s what we are going to cover in the following chapters, where we will discuss the two different types of mold.

Types Of Mold In Car

Now as we learned what is mold in car. Let’s cover the two most important types that you will get in your car if you allow moisture to get inside.

Knowing the types will help you get rid of this mold faster since these two types are different types of bacteria. So, let’s cover them really quick and learn more about them.

White Mold In Car

Now let’s cover the first type of mold which is mildew also known as white mold. This type of mold is the most common mold that can occur in your vehicle. But why is this the case?

Well, this type of mold is the most common because it develops where there is moisture. Just imagine that you forgot your windows were open and it rained inside of your car.

Then you close your windows in the morning and the car bakes in the sun all day. There is moisture trapped inside of the car and the heat that cause this moisture to evaporate. Perfect situation for growing fungus. So, after a day or two, your car will be all moldy and basically ruined.

It is also worth noting that this white mold in car comes in two different variants. As a powdery mold and downy mold. The first one appears in small patches and quickly moves across the whole surface and then there is the downy type. This type is a bit different in comparison to the powdery mold and its visuals can differ. But what is the other type of mold that is present? Let’s learn more about that next.

Black Mold In Car

Unlike white mold, black mold is much more destructive. And this is the type of mold that you don’t want in your car. Why is this the case?

Well, this is the case because white mold usually gets into the object and starts to eat it. So, it will not only appear from the exterior. But it also causes permanent structural damage to the object.

For example, the foam of the seats. If the black mold gets on the seats, it could easily start to degrade the foam that is inside of the seat. And the seat will get rotten from the inside if this situation lasts for too long in your car. This is why you need to react quickly and remove this type of mold from your car.

Not to mention that black mold also represents a health hazard. But what is the mold in car health risks? Let’s elaborate more on them in the following chapter.

Mold In Car Health Risks

Now let’s discuss more about the health risks of mold in car. Is this fungus safe for your health or it is a really big health hazard?

Well, it depends on how much mold you have and where it is located inside of the car. If you have a mold in car trunk, for example, it is not that dangerous like let’s say when you have mold in car seats.

When you are having this fungus on the seats you basically come in close contact with this bacteria and things can get pretty messy. Especially if you are really sensitive to it.

There are many health risks from long exposure to this type of bacteria. More precisely, skin irritations and respiratory irritations.

You can get your lungs and nasal cavity infected from this fungus and this could lead to nasal congestion, fewer, and also shortness of breath.

This could greatly affect people that have allergies and suffer from asthma. So, if you are one of these people. You need to get rid of this mold in car. But what are the main reasons why it develops? Knowing the reasons will help you determine what is causing it and how to get rid of it.

Reasons Why You Have Mold In Car

Now let’s cover the reasons for this fungi development and we can tell you right off the bat that is mold in car from water damage.

But what is different are the ways that you can get this type of water damage in your car that will allow the development of this fungus. So, let’s get into the reasons for this problem.

1. Heater Core Leaking

The first cause for mold in car is probably the heater core. As you probably know. The heater core is the component that allows us to heat up the cabin in the winter.

And what can happen is that the hoses that run to this heater core or the heater core itself can fail. And when this component fails, you end up with a flooded car.


Then this mold will start to grow and ruin your car. So, if your windows get cloudy from the inside of the car and you notice that the carpets are wet. Then this means that your heater core is probably failed and needs to be checked.

What is unfortunate is that this component is located under the front dash, so a big dismantling process needs to be taken to sort this problem out. Which is not cheap at all. Now let’s jump to the next reason for mold in car.

2. Sun Roof Leaking

The second most probable reason for mold in car is the sunroof. A ton of people have cars with sunroofs but they are not aware that the rubber seals start to deteriorate after long years of use.

The rubber will crack and this will cause water to sip into the cabin and cause a big mess in your electronics and also the roof and the seats.

This is why if you are having a car that is older than 15 years you should replace every seal on the sunroof. This way you will be safe from water and your car will be water-proofed from the top. Now let’s get to the next probable reason for this problem.

3. Cracked Windshield Seals

The next reason for mold in car that we are going to cover is the situation when you have a cracked rubber seal on your windshield or rear glass.

These rubber seals on older vehicles can crack and water will get inside of the car and cause mold development on the interior panels on the A-pillars and on the dash. And this can be annoying because you are in constant contact with this mold. You will touch it and you will breathe this mold.

So, getting the seals on your windshield replaced will hopefully solve the problem permanently. But still, you need to remove the existing mold from the car. And how this procedure is done we are going to explain later on in the article. Now let’s cover the next reason for mold in car.

4. Clogged Drainage Channels

Clogged drainage channels can also cause mold in car. But why is this the case? Well, this is the case because if you park the car under a tree, then the leaves will fall down on the drainage channels that are located on both ends of the hood.

So, when these channels clog up, water will not drain. It will go down but it will start to creep up in your cabin.

Personally, I had a case with my car when my whole driver’s side was flooded because of a clogged drainage channel. And when I removed the plastic cover on the wheel wells, there was a ton of dirt that didn’t allow the water to flow and the water ended up inside of my cabin.

So, removing the wheel well covers every 5 years or so might be a good idea to clean all the debris and dirt that has accumulated inside and prevent flooding. Now let’s move to the next cause of mold in car.

5. You Left The Window Open

Another very common reason for mold in car is the situation when you left the window open during the night and you woke up and you saw a flooded vehicle because it rained during the night.

This is one of the most common situations for ending up with a moldy vehicle. A ton of people are careless and they forget their windows open and they leave the car in the elements.

Especially during the summer, you never know when it will rain. At the moment the weather might be sunny but it could easily turn into a storm and heavy rain to fall. So, if you left your car like this, and it got wet, you shouldn’t do the mistake of closing the windows and leaving it like that.

In this case, you will end up with mold in car. What you need to do in these situations is to leave the windows open and let the car dry out. Also, you can get a hairdryer and work on the wet spots to dry them out. This way you will be sure that you remove most of the water and prevent developing mold in car.

6. Pressure Washing The Interior

A ton of people want to pressure wash interiors and end up with a mold in car instead. In fact, this is one of the worst ideas that someone could come to mind.

Even though the pressure washer is strong and will clean the dirt from most cars, especially on the door panels. It will still make them soaking wet. And once the panel ended up soaking wet, it will start to develop mold if you don’t leave it to dry off for a couple of days in the sun.

So, whenever you try to do something like this, it is advised that you leave the car doors open so they properly dry out. Don’t close everything out and end up with a moldy car.

Not that it will only be annoying to see fungus growing around you. You will also harm your health, especially if you use this car as a daily driver and this is why you need to be aware of this issue.

7. Car Was Flooded

And the last cause of mold in car is flood damage. Flood damage is the worst. There are a lot of flooded cars that out there driving and should not be driven.

If you didn’t know, a flooded car is the same as a totaled vehicle. Especially if was submerged completely underwater or the waterline was really high. These cars when flooded get the title of certificate of destruction and can be only used for parts.

This is mainly because these cars are not safe for daily use. The first problem is the rust in the wiring that could cause shorts in the electrical circuits and your car could burn to the ground. While the second bigger factor is mold.

A flooded car is a bio-hazardous vehicle that could really harm your health if you spend too much time in it. In these cars, mold development is so big that there are whole panels covered with mildew and you definitely want to stay away from these types of mold in car. Because you cannot easily remove it. But how you can remove mold in car? Let’s elaborate more on this next.

Mold Removal In Car

There are a lot of “people’s medicines” for the removal of mold in car such as using white vinegar, baking soda, non-iodized salt, clove oil, and or the best mold remover. But we are going to explain how you can do this removal of mold professionally.

Don’t get me wrong, these tricks might work for some people but they are not a permanent fix. You need something to fix this thing with mold in car permanently and never ever bother with it again in the future. But what you could do to tackle this issue?

Well, the first thing you need to do is to find the cause of this problem. Check the rubber seals of the windshield, the seals of the sunroof, and also the drainage for possible clogging. Then sort out the problem with the leak first.

The next thing for solving this problem will involve deep cleaning the car with a steam machine. This steam machine will make sure that most of the bacteria are destroyed. Then you need to leave the car with the doors open and let it dry for a day or so.

Then the next thing will involve cleaning the car with an ozone machine. An ozone machine is a special machine that creates ozone. It is highly dangerous for people being close to it when it is working. Then you need to leave the machine on with the doors closed and let it do its job. This will kill all the bacteria living inside of it. Then, your problem with mold in car is solved, permanently.

Cost To Remove Mold In Car

So, how much will be the cost to clean the mold in car? Well, on average the cost of this work is between $100 to $175.

Mold In Car

Still, there could be more expensive services that will fully detail your interior, and ozone cleaning will cost you somewhere between $400 and $600. They are more expensive but will remove the fungi and the odor permanently from your vehicle.

Car Mold Remediation Facts

  1. Mold thrives in moist and warm environments, making unkempt cars an excellent breeding ground for fungus growth.
  2. Mold can be harmful to human health when breathed in or ingested.
  3. Ways mold can enter a car include spilling liquids, opening windows in rainy weather, high humidity levels, parking in a damp garage, leaving damp clothes on the seats, and flood damages.
  4. Mold is airborne and spreads quickly, making it necessary to address the issue promptly.
  5. DIY methods for removing mold from a car include using white vinegar, non-iodized salt, clove oil, baking soda, or specialty cleaning agents.
  6. Organic DIY methods for removing mold from a car are effective and inexpensive but require protective gear and proper application.
  7. In some cases, professional mold remediation experts may be necessary if the mold persists despite multiple cleaning sessions.
  8. Warning signs of mold infestations that require professional help include recurring mold growth, moldy smells, and respiratory symptoms.
  9. To prevent mold regrowth, car owners can minimize moisture, roll-up all the windows, avoid eating in the car, and regularly clean and disinfect the car’s interiors.
  10. Hiring a professional car detailing service can help car owners maintain a clean and safe vehicle and tackle any worrying signs of mold growth before it escalates.


In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the mold in car problem. We first learned what is mold and why it appears. Then we covered the types of mold that will be there.

After that, we discussed thoroughly the reasons why you get fungi growing inside of your vehicle, and then we learned how proper cleaning is done to a car in this state and what would be the cost involved in this work.


Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.

Why Is There Mold In My Car

There is mold because you probably have a leak from somewhere. You need to check all the seals of the windows as well as the AC and the heater core. The problem is probably somewhere and you need to dive deeper in order to find it.

Is Mold In Car Dangerous

Yes, it is dangerous. Especially dangerous for people with allergies since this mold can cause skin rashes as well as nasal or lung infections as well as fewer and shortness of breath if you are exposed to this situation for a longer period of time.

How To Prevent Mold In Stored Car

You can prevent mold by allowing some air to enter the garage where you park your car. Make sure that there is a fan that is constantly spinning and allowing fresh air to get inside the garage. Also, open the windows slightly to allow the air to get in and out of the car.

How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Car

You can try this by using some tricks like baking soda, or white vinegar. But this will not last for long since you need to destroy this bacteria completely. And this could only be done with an ozone machine.

How To Get Rid Of Mold In Car

You can get rid of the mold from your vehicle by simply wiping it off or if you have a steam machine to steam clean the interior of the vehicle. This will hopefully sort out the problem. If not, call someone to clean your car for you.

How To Get Mold Out Of Carpet In Car

Cleaning carpets is the most difficult since they are stuck to the floor. So, if you want to clean them permanently, you will need to remove them from the car and wash them thoroughly then let the carpet dry out in the sun for a day. This way you will get rid of the mold permanently.

You may also like

Leave a Comment