How To Remove Mold From Car Seats

Sometimes if you have a car that sits around outside, you’ll end up with a lot of moisture inside the car. This moisture, if left, will turn into mold and can damage a car’s interior quite badly, damage your health, and also turn off anyone else from taking a ride in your… ride.

There are a few solutions to the problem of mold inside your car however that are pretty easy, and can clean up the mold pretty quickly.

The first thing to remember, is that bleach is a bad idea. Bleach doesn’t work well on porous surfaces, and thus will not work on your car upholstery. Also, you run the risk of damaging the colour in your car’s interior.

One of my favorite home remedies for mold on the inside of your car is white vinegar. Specifically distilled white vinegar because it’s stronger and you will need less of it.

How to remove mold in your car seats with white vinegar:

    1. Take your distilled white vinegar and put it in a clean spray bottle… make sure your spray bottle is VERY clean.
    2. Open up your car to let it ventilate for at least 5 minutes. You don’t want to work inside a car that is filled with mold spores.
    3. You’re probably going to want to find a paper mask (like a 3M mask) to protect your lungs during the removal of the mold. This of course depends on how much mold is in the car, but it’s always better to be safe.
    4. Spray the white distilled vinegar on the mold, and about 1 foot around the mold (the spores can be growing before they’re visible).
    5. Make sure the area is completely saturated. This will obviously make your car smell of vinegar, but it will go away once we remove the mold and let the car air out.
    6. Let the vinegar sit on the mold – DON’T WIPE IT OFF – for at least 10 minutes. This will kill the mold.
    7. After the vinegar has sat on the mold for some time, you can wipe off the residue left by the mold.
    8. Use a mold testing kit to make sure there are no more airborne spores in your car. If there are, it may be damaging to your health to continue to use the car.

  1. If the mold test kit still shows there is significant mold in the car, consider getting the car professionally cleaned or your upholstery replaced.

The white vinegar will clean up vinyl or leather car interiors much better than cloth, but it will still work on cloth.

Removing mold from automotive carpet is a bit more difficult, but you can still use vinegar to kill it. Also, Borax is a natural mold killer that you can use to clean carpets and hard surfaces of your vehicles interior.

I would suggest using a wet vac both before and after the vinegar to ensure that you pick up any mold spores from inside the carpet. Once you’ve used the wet vac to pick up any left over vinegar and mold, be sure to properly clean the vacuum to ensure you do not spread the mold that you’ve picked up. If your vacuum has a bag, dispose of the bag right away.

There are a number of carpet cleaning services available in every town as well that would be able to help you clean the mold from your carpets. They can cost a bit more, but it’s worth it if you need to save your mouldy carpets.

Have you ever had any problems with mold in a car? Let us know in the comments below.

15 thoughts on “How To Remove Mold From Car Seats

  1. Hello, i arrived to this weblog while looking for some thing else, but to my joy i found this internet site. Maintain performing what you might be doing, its excellent.

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  3. Purchased an interior (seat skins) item had severe mold issues because interior had gotten wet and sold it to me as new interior. Am very upset as I paid alot and seller refuses to refund money I paid for it. Not sure if willing to try vinegar yet as I will defiantly be pursuing this problem. Skins were thrown into plastic bags when he shipped them to me and tossed into a box. When box arrived at home it stunk my home up before opening the box.. Should be a law about sending unhealthy items through U.S Mail..

  4. I hate a leaking vehicle it, is the worse; then there’s the mold and mildew, besides the smell. Great advice that I’ve passed around to a few folks aleady, thank you!! What’s the Borax to water or vinegar ratio to clean and dissenfect auto carpets?

  5. I don’t think you need to mix the borax with water, just sprinkle it on the mold and surrounding area. It should help dry out the mold and kill it. Also, borax does not contain bleach.

  6. Thank you so very much for the great solution!
    My husband came home with a 1970 something El Camino!!!!!!
    You know the kind…it just followed him home one day!Stinking to high heavens of mold and mildew.YUCK!!!!!
    Of course he”wishes it didn’t smell so funny”. Yes ladies I was left with the job of getting rid of that”funny smell” thank you so very much as the vinegar worked great!Now my husband is a happy little (67 year old) boy and his “little toy”smells great!
    Now if I could only find a solution to teach him how to change the toilet paper roll,my life would be grand!!!
    Any ideas?

  7. Hi, i have tried the above on seatbelts, and nothing is shifting the mould at all. Would welcome any tips on cleaning seatbelts mould

  8. If you need mold removal services and water damage experts they will be available locally.
    Once mold gets on any kind of material it is very damaging and
    difficult to remove. It is great that medication for asthma will affect a cure for the symptoms from mold
    spores and seeds.

  9. My son parked his 2001 BMW in the backyard and through a tarp over it not knowing that the back window was down about 2 inches I just pulled the tarp off and to my surprise the car was completely engulfed with mold it’s so bad I had bought a half face respirator and a bottle of distilled vinegar and a brand-new spray bottle After I let the Benny gear set for 15 minutes I completely wipe down the car and threw in an air freshener thank you for the tip it worked awesome happy in Seattle

  10. Gee, this is great, but I hope I wasn’t in the car too long-now kinda worried about the mold and my lungs. Thanks so very much!

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