The Professional Car Detailer

DetailXPerts is the world’s first eco-friendly steam car detailer franchise. Our unique patent-pending technology saves tons of water. Thousands of satisfied customers around the country and beyond its borders recognize its uniqueness, brilliant results and environmental friendliness.

Contact Us

Follow us

Edit Template


How to Remove Mold From Car Interior

How to Remove Mold From Car Interior

How to Remove Mold From Car Interior

It’s important to know how to remove mold from car interior promptly to avoid that unpleasant, musty odor. Moreover, mold can cause health issues. For example, prolonged exposure to microscopic mold spores in a confined car space can lead to respiratory issues or trigger allergic reactions. However, our step-by-step guide will help you solve this problem.

If you’re interested in earth-friendly professional car care, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:

Download Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Cleaning

How to Remove Mold and Mildew From Car Interior – Steps and Procedures

Mold and mildew are forms of fungus. Mold can appear as green or black marks on car seats and carpets, or sometimes it has a cotton-like appearance. Meanwhile, mildew is recognizable by its white or grayish-black color. Both thrive in moist environments. So, to get rid of these common fungi, do the following:

Gather What You’ll Need

Your car interior detailing kit for car mold remediation should contain the following items:

  • Protective gloves and mask
  • Car vacuum cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Car brushes
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Mold-resistant spray
  • Steam cleaner for cars (optional)

Locate the Mold

First, open the car doors or windows to ensure proper ventilation during the cleaning process. Next, find the mold or mildew. Fungi can grow in hidden or less obvious areas. So, inspect all visible surfaces, including seats, carpets, headliners, and door panels. Look for any discoloration, stains, or fuzzy growth. Some tips:

  • Take out floor mats, seat covers, and other removable items from the car. Inspect these items for mold as well.
  • Check out your air vents. Mold can thrive in the car’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. See our guide to places to clean the inside of your car that people often forget.
  • Feel for dampness in carpets and upholstery. Grab a flashlight to inspect dark areas, including under seats, in the trunk, and around the spare tire compartment.

If you’re having trouble identifying the source of the problem, try using an at-home mold testing kit. These kits typically come with test plates, free analysis by a laboratory and online results. Or you can buy them online or at Walmart. Shop around to get the best price.

Vacuum Car Interior

Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove loose mold spores, dirt, and debris from the affected areas.

Download Eco Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Detailing Kit

Removing Mold From a Car Interior With Steam (Optional)

If you own or can hire a steam cleaner for cars, this step becomes much easier. Hot steam will kill mold on contact. Furthermore, it will get into those hard-to-reach places. Do as follows:

  • Direct the high-pressurized steam at the mold, moving slowly over the affected area.
  • Pay special attention to seams and crevices.
  • Next, wipe away the moisture and dissolved mold with a clean microfiber cloth.
  • Repeat as needed.
  • Afterward, leave the cleaned surfaces to air dry.

If you don’t have a steam cleaner, continue following the steps, below.

Make a Cleaning Solution

Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water or a mild dish soap solution. For more home remedy tips like this, see how to remove stains from car seats.

Equally important, test the cleaning solution on an out-of-sight area to ensure it doesn’t damage your car’s interior material.

Scrub the Mold

Dip your car wash brush into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the mold-infested areas. Pay attention to seams, crevices, and other hard-to-reach spots. In this case, an old, clean toothbrush works well for small areas.

Wipe Surfaces

Use a clean, damp microfiber car cloth for car interior to wipe down the surfaces where you scrubbed. Repeat this process until the mold stain is gone.

If you notice other types of stains inside your car, you may also find our following posts helpful:

Download Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide_Elevate Your Car Care

Disinfect Mold Area

If mold is still present, follow our tips on how to disinfect car interior. For instance, you can use a disinfectant suitable for car carpets and upholstery. However, avoid using strong bleach on carpets and upholstery.

If you notice mold on car seat, don’t forget to clean the seatbelts. In this case, use our guide on how to deep clean car seats to ensure a thorough clean.

Getting rid of the mold should eliminate the musty smell, too. However, if you still notice an odor, it could be a different problem altogether. See our tips on how to get bad smell out of car.

Use Mold-Resistant Cleaner

After you’ve cleaned and disinfected the mold-stained area, you may want to use a mold-resistant cleaner. This product typically contains anti-fungal agents that target and prevent mold growth.

Apply the product evenly to ensure complete coverage of the mold-prone areas. Follow the instructions because some cleaning products leave a residual protective coating that you don’t need to rinse off.

Dry Car Interior

Keep the car windows and doors open or use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process. Ideally, do your car detailing mold removal on a bright, warm day; the sunshine will help dry upholstery, mats, and carpets.

Finally, it’s important to address the root cause of the mold or mildew. Look for signs of water leaks, especially after heavy rain showers. For example, common problem areas are windows, doors, and the trunk. Therefore, fixing the problem will help prevent mold issues in the future. Also, regular car interior detailing helps.


In summary, these steps showing you how to remove mold from car interior will ensure a fresh-smelling and healthy space for you and your passengers. Moreover, you have options. For instance, home remedies such as vinegar or baking soda are effective. For immediate results, steam cleaning sanitizes problem areas using minimal water.

It’s important to note that while mold-resistant cleaners and antimicrobial sprays can be effective in preventing mold growth, you must address the underlying cause of moisture for long-term prevention.

Car mold remediation can be a challenging project. So, you may prefer to call a professional car interior detailing service. Our team at DetailXPerts use steam cleaning technology and EPA-certified disinfectants to remove mold from car interior.

For more details on our greener clean, download our Eco Wash Benefit Guide:

Download Eco Auto Wash Benefit Guide_Car Interior Cleaning


Relevant Posts