What to Do if Your Car has Mould

Mould is usually something to worry about around the home, but what happens when you spot it in your car?

Mould can creep up on even the best of us. Regardless of how often your car gets used, getting rid of this pesky fungus is crucial if you want to enjoy your driving experience and guarantee germ-free journeys.

Leaving your car for extended periods in damp conditions can cause a build-up of mould. So, how can you get rid of it? And how can you stop it from making an appearance in the first place?

We’re here to help remove your mould woes and ensure the chances of it returning are as slim as possible. While none of our products are formulated to treat mould, regularly using our interior cleaners can help to prevent it in the first place – provided there are no underlying issues.

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What Causes Mould in Cars?

Just like in your home, mould in your car’s interior is typically due to a mix of both damp conditions and lack of air circulation. This results in mould spore growth, particularly in crevices, upholstery and other hard-to-reach areas.

Generally, mould will grow wherever there’s moisture. So, be extra careful with that takeaway coffee, always wind your windows up, and make sure you protect your carpets and mats in wet weather.

A lack of regular cleaning can also cause mould to grow, particularly in places that are tricky to clean (like the door bins). Regularly cleaning the car interior is one of the best preventative measures against unwanted mould, as you can spot it before it becomes a bigger problem and remove bacteria, germs and moisture that can contribute to its growth.

Plastic bottles and disposable cups in a car door

Want to know more about looking after your car upholstery? Read our guide on the methods for cleaning different types of seats and trim, as well as our top recommendations for products to use.

With all that said, it’s important to know that mould can also grow through no fault of your own. If cracks or leaks in your car have been neglected for some time or have gone unnoticed, this can cause moisture and damp conditions where mould can thrive.

So, it’s always worth checking those places you wouldn’t normally see, such as under the seats. These tend to be problem areas where mould might be lurking. Look out for tell-tale signs like a musty smell that could indicate a mould problem.

How to Get Rid of Mould in Your Car

If you discover that you do have a mould problem in your car, here are the steps you can follow to get your interior completely mould-free again…

Start by fully inspecting your car to ensure you’ve identified any areas within the interior where mould has grown.

You can then begin to loosen the mould spores using either a brush or a vacuum. If the mould is too moist, you can try using a rag or paper towel to break up any stubborn mould stains on the surface.

Once all visible mould is gone, you need a strong cleaner capable of powering through the dirt and remaining mould spores. For the best results, use a dedicated mould-killer that removes the mould spores and stops them from returning. Make sure you wear a mask, gloves and ventilate your car well when using products like this, and always follow instructions on the packaging.

When you’re confident you’ve removed all mould from your car, you need to figure out what caused it in the first place. Look for any holes or cracks – including on the floor – where moisture may have got into the interior. Another culprit could be perished window and door seals, so check the rubber and arrange a replacement if needed.

If there’s no obvious signs of damage, it’s likely that the mould has grown as a result of poor interior hygiene in the cabin. For instance, if you don’t clean the carpets and seats on a regular enough basis in the winter months, damp from your shoes and clothing could be behind the sudden appearance of mould in your car.

To help prevent mould, it pays to clean the interior regularly. Make our Multi-Surface Interior Cleaner and Upholstery and Carpet Cleaner a regular part of your interior cleaning regime to keep your interior feeling fresh.

After removing mould, you might consider using a car sanitiser to remove any bad smells or bacteria and restore the interior to its former glory – you can read our guide to removing bad smells in your car to find out how to fend off that damp smell.

A man cleaning the interior car console with a dry blue microfiber towel, car detailing (or valeting) concept. Automobile professional cleaning service. Selective focus.

How to Stop Mould from Appearing in a Car

Now that you know some of the most common causes of mould, it’s time to find out how to stop it from making a surprise reappearance. Here are a few key steps you can take to prevent mould from growing in the interior of your car…

Ventilate the space properly by opening all the doors for a while on a dry, less humid day. Allowing your car to be fully aerated is a simple but effective way to ensure that moisture doesn’t become trapped.

Clean up spillages when they occur, or as soon as you safely can. We’re all guilty of forgetting accidental drink spillages, but rather than letting it become the home of a new patch of mould or, at the very least, a stain, make sure you clean it up with a quality upholstery or multi-surface cleaner.

The best way to prevent mould from returning is by regularly cleaning your car using quality products. Alongside our upholstery and multi-surface cleaners that provide a deep clean of all surfaces, our Matt Dash Cleaner and Conditioning Leather Cream can add the perfect finishing touches.

These can help rejuvenate surfaces such as the dashboard and any leather like the steering wheel or seats in your car interior. They’ll also aid with removing dirt and stains, along with protecting against substances they might be exposed to.

To learn more about maintaining your car leather, read our guide to keeping it in top condition.

If you’re serious about preventing mould in your car (we’re looking at you, classic car owners), then you might consider using an interior dehumidifier to help reduce moisture and keep humidity levels at their optimum.

In-car dehumidifiers range from simple moisture-collecting bags to powered units, and can make a big difference in reducing mould-causing moisture. Plus, they help keep condensation at bay on those cold mornings, so they’re a bit of a win win.

At Simoniz, we offer you a guaranteed shine with our range of interior and exterior car care products. For more car care advice, head to the Simoniz blog for how-to guides and tips. To browse all our products, visit our homepage.

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