How to Remove Mold from Car Carpet

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How to Remove Mold from Car Carpet

Whether it is a family van that taxis around children to and from sports practice or a sporty convertible that serves as a luxury mobile, all cars have carpets that are susceptible to mold. Mold thrives in warm, damp, and dark conditions. Just one ride in the car after a rainstorm can create mold growth on the carpeting. Mold can appear in spots or it can be invisible. However, once it starts growing, it quickly multiplies and becomes odorous. The smell of mildew is a familiar, musty scent that means that water has been trapped inside of a damp car. Before the problem overwhelms a vehicle, there are several ways to stop the spread of mold from the car's carpeting. It takes some work to get rid of mildew and mold, but it is possible.

The best way to have a mold-free car is to prevent mold from growing in the first place. If possible, keep a car dry on the inside, and if the carpets get wet, leave the windows open and park the car in an open area. Keeping the windows closed after water gets in the interior of a car, truck, or even a boat, is the most common way that mold grows. Keep in mind that some people are allergic to mold, and so once mold contamination has occurred in the carpets, it may be difficult for a passenger to ride in the car.

The problem of mold in a car is, of course, easier to resolve if the mats in the car are simply made of rubber, because rubber is easier to clean and the smell does not stick. Carpet made of other materials can be more difficult to scrub clean, and the same is true for the other upholstery. Car owners should be aware of two different methods for removing mold from a car's traditional fabric carpet. For those trying to do this cleaning and deodorizing work at home, it is unlikely that the car owner has an industrial cleaner, such as an Ozone generator. So they should be aware of more common carpet cleaning treatments that everyone can do. They should also learn some tips for preventing mold growth. In addition, they should learn how to purchase cleaners, new car mats, and other car accessories.


Removing Mold Using Car Shampoo

One way to remove mold from a car's carpeting is by using car shampoo. It is important to note that car shampoo refers to two different formulations. One soap is for the exterior of the car while the other is designed for the interior upholstery. Be sure to choose the one that is for the interior if you are cleaning and deodorizing the carpets. This type of shampoo creates a foam that makes it easy to scrub the carpet. Using this foam formula reduces the amount of water that is absorbed by the carpet.

Supplies Needed for Removing Mold Using Car Shampoo

When using car shampoo to clean the car's carpeting, a few supplies are needed:

Steps for Removing Mold from Car Carpeting Using Car Shampoo

To use car shampoo to remove mold from car carpeting, follow these steps:

  •  Using the handheld vacuum, a vacuum with long extensions, or a shop vac, suck up all crumbs from the car's carpeting. Remove the floor mats and clean underneath them. Clean each floor mat separately outside of the car. There are floor mats in the front and the rear seats, and it is important to clean each piece individually, even if you do not suspect contamination. This ensures that the mold does not spread.
  • Тhrow out the vacuum cleaner bag afterwards to prevent the spread of the mold spores. If a shop vac was used, empty it. Then, fill it with warm water, and clean it by adding two to three tablespoons of bleach. This will kill any mold that might have been left behind.
  • Fill the carpet steam cleaner with hot water. Be sure to refer to the steam cleaner instructions for the correct amount.
  •  Add the car carpet shampoo. Again, refer to the steam cleaner instructions for the appropriate amount.
  • Starting in the front of the car, begin steam cleaning the carpet. For especially stubborn staining or smelly areas, scrub the foam into the carpet with a stiff tire brush.
  • Once the car's carpeting has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse with clean water. This can be done by filling the steam cleaner with water only.
  • After rinsing, vacuum away any remaining moisture.
 Finally, leave the car's doors and windows open and allow the car to air dry completely.


Removing Mold Using Natural Products

For those who are looking for an environmentally-safe, economical, and effective way to remove mold from a car's carpeting, vinegar and tea tree oil are good options. Vinegar is an effective mold and bacteria killer because of its acidity level. In addition, tea tree oil, which is a clear oil derived from the Australian tea tree plant, is another versatile cleaner. It is effective at removing mold and germs because it naturally has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Because there is no regulatory system in place for essential oils, and anything can say "pure," check the ingredient list to insure that the tea tree oil is 100 percent undiluted essential oil. 

Supplies Needed for Removing Mold with Natural Products

The following supplies are needed to remove mold with natural products:

  • Hand held vacuum, vacuum with long extensions, or shop vac
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Tea tree oil
  • Water
  • Scrub brush
  • Towels or rags
  • Hair dryer or fan

Steps for Removing Mold from Car Carpeting Using Natural Products

To remove mold from car carpeting using natural products, follow these steps:

  • Using the hand held vacuum, a vacuum with long extensions, or a shop vac, suck up all crumbs from the car's carpeting. Remove the floor mats and vacuum underneath them. Clean the floor mats separately outside of the car.
  • Throw out the vacuum cleaner bag afterwards to prevent the spread of the mold spores. If a shop vac was used, empty it. Then, fill it with warm water, and clean it by adding two to three tablespoons of bleach. This will kill any mold that might have been left behind.
  • Create a solution using equal parts vinegar and table salt. Then, add four to six drops of tea tree oil. The salt acts as a scrubbing agent to remove any stains that were caused by the mold, and the vinegar and tea tree oil kills the mold.
  • Apply the solution to the entire affected area using a scrub brush. Allow the solution to soak into the car carpet for several minutes.
  • Use a clean, damp rag to remove the solution from the carpet or seat liner by placing it over the spots and pressing down firmly.
  • Dry the area with a clean towel. Use a hair dryer or fan to speed the drying of the carpet.
  • Leave the car's doors and windows open and allow it to air dry completely.
  • Finally, when the carpet is dry, use the vacuum to pick up any remaining salt that was left behind from the cleaning solution.

Tips for Preventing Mold Growth on a Car's Carpet

Perhaps the best way to deal with mold growth in a car is through prevention. There are many sources of mold other than rainwater accidentally getting stuck inside of the car. While it is easier to mask the scent of mold and mildew with an air freshener, the scent of balsam fir does not actually help prevent mold growth. There are several tips that can be followed to protect the car and carpet.

  •  Be sure the windows are always rolled up and the doors are closed when a dry vehicle is not being operated. This prevents moisture from getting into the car, thus preventing mold from forming.
  • Avoid eating and drinking inside the vehicle. Because ground-in food and drinks are common causes of mold, it is best to not have them inside the car so that accidents do not happen.
  • Invest in protective seat covers to keep body moisture that may be present following a vigorous workout session from being absorbed into the upholstery.
  •  Use waterproof floor mats to keep moisture from soaking into the carpeting.
  • Use an antimicrobial cleaning product regularly and spray the interior. This prevents new mold from growing.
  • Be sure the heating and cooling systems are in working order. Due to the air flow and the condensation that forms, mold can grow in the car's heating and cooling systems. Be sure to have any issues serviced by a mechanic before these spread throughout the car's interior.
  •  On warm, bright days, roll down the car windows to encourage fresh air flow throughout the vehicle.
  • If there is a spill or damp spot, take care of it immediately by sprinkling baking soda over the carpeted area. Allow it to settle for a few hours and then vacuum. Repeat if necessary. This sops up the liquid as well as eliminate any odors.

Buying Car Cleaning Supplies on eBay

Once you decide the supplies you need to clean your car's carpets, you can start shopping. A large selection of car cleaning supplies, as well as floor mats and other accessories, are available from sellers all over the world on eBay.

Searching for Car Cleaning Supplies on eBay

One of the easiest ways to begin a search on eBay is to type in exactly what you are looking for in the search box on any eBay page. For a more refined search, you can use the Advanced Search feature. Additionally, shoppers can also peruse eBay Motors. This division of eBay is solely devoted to selling and buying vehicles and vehicle accessories.

Buying on eBay with Confidence

Sellers and buyers reap many benefits when they choose to shop online with eBay. First, signing up for an account is easy and allows both parties limitless shopping possibilities all under one secure username. This, coupled with the over 100 million users on the eBay website, many of whom specialize in vehicles, is advantageous to sellers and buyers so that they can conveniently shop and sell all from the comfort of their homes.


Mold is a common occurrence in cars of all kinds. No matter which purpose the car serves, there are bound to be occasional spills, leaks, or moisture intrusions that affect the car's carpeting. Because mold can be smelly in addition to causing breathing problems, it is important to keep it under control. Thus, regular car care is critical. However, if moisture does seep into the car's carpeting, car owners can clean the mold using car shampoo or natural ingredients, such as vinegar, tea tree oil, and baking soda. By following a few simple steps, the car's carpets can be restored, and the mold growth can be stopped in its tracks. Car owners can also use several suggestions for preventing mold growth from occurring in the first place.

Once car owners are ready to treat any affected moldy spots on their carpets, they should consider purchasing cleaning supplies on eBay. eBay offers an extensive array of car cleaning supplies, in addition to other auto accessories. Buying from one of the many sellers on eBay affords shoppers a convenient and enjoyable experience.


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