How To Get Rid Of Mold In Car Air Conditioner? [4 Helpful Solutions]

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If you experienced a foul smell blasting from your car's air conditioner, it's most likely because of mold. And you might wonder about how to get rid of any mold so your car won't stink. Don't worry, as we asked professionals for advice on this matter.

HVAC technicians suggest that you first dry out your car to prevent the mold from spreading. Then, use an anti-bacterial solution to kill the mold and mildew inside the air conditioner. Finally, clean out or replace your car's filters to get rid of any lingering smells.

In today's discussion, we will cover these solutions in more detail. What's more, we will also talk about the impact mold has on your health and how to prevent mold growth. So, continue reading to find out more.

Closeup portrait of car's driver hand on air conditioner blower hole - How To Get Rid Of Mold In Car Air Conditioner [4 Helpful Solutions]

Getting Rid Of Mold In A Car Air Conditioner

fans in a modern sports car

In this section, we will further explain different ways to get rid of mold. You will want to wear a mask if you plan on using any of these solutions at home for your safety.

1. Dry Out The Car

The first thing you should do when dealing with mold inside your car is to dry everything out. This helps eliminate any wet spots inside your car and it kills off most of the bacteria.

Preferably, do this on a hot sunny day so that any moisture inside your car will evaporate quickly. Make sure to remove the seat covers and any other valuables inside the car before doing this. Also, leave the doors and windows open.

2. Use An Anti-bacterial Solution

Products listed as an anti-bacterial treatment would help get rid of the mold and smell inside your car. You can also try creating an anti-bacterial solution as well.

Mix one part vinegar and three parts water in a spray bottle. Then, squeeze some citrus into the mix to give it a fresh smell.

Make sure to turn everything off before spraying any solutions. Next, spray the solution generously into the vents and places where mold and mildew are growing. Get into every vent and crevice where the smell is coming from to completely eradicate the bacteria.

Check this anti-bacterial aerosol on Amazon.

3. Clean The Air Filters

Clean and dirty cabin pollen air filter for a car

Under the right conditions, mold can grow in your car's filters. That's why it's important to give your car annual maintenance.

Replace the filters if needed. After all, you don't want to breathe in that foul smell every time you drive with your family. The bacteria greatly impacts everyone's health.

4. Bring The Car To An Auto Shop

As we briefly mentioned earlier, bringing your car to an auto shop will save you both time and money. Despite how easy it may seem to get rid of mold, sometimes you're unable to get rid of them all.

So, unless you're able to get rid of all of the mold and mildew growing inside your car, it's best to have a technician take a look. By doing this, you can prevent mold growth from getting out of hand.

How Does Mold Grow In A Car Air Conditioner?

Woman hand on air conditioner ventilation grille in car. Climate control panel

Mold can thrive anywhere as long as there's moisture for them to grow. A car's air conditioner is the perfect place for mold to grow. Not only is it moist because of the cool air flowing out of it, but it's free from direct sunlight.

Not only that, mold spreads rapidly and allows for the growth of mildew as well. They are responsible for the musty odor that you smell.

Even more than that, mold can seriously impact your health. In extreme cases, they can cause long-term health problems.

How Does Mold Impact Your Health?

We touched on how mold can impact your health. There are tons of research and articles about the risks that mold brings to the table. The following are only some of the dangers that mold can bring into your life.

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Fatigue And Weakness
  • Throat Irritation
  • Sore Eyes
  • Headaches
  • Poor Memory
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Asthma
  • Death In Some Cases

How To Detect Mold In A Car Air Conditioner?

While it may be difficult to check with your eyes if mold is growing inside your car's air conditioner, you can rely on your other senses. More specifically, use your nose.

Mold exudes a foul odor that's hard to miss, so you'll be able to tell if they're inside your air conditioner. Also, you can check for mold by placing your hand against the air conditioner. If you can't feel the air flowing out or the flow is weak, mold has probably invaded your air conditioner.

Although it's difficult to spot, black dust swirling around your car's air conditioning is a surefire way to tell if mold is growing inside. And if you see black or green stains on the carpets and ceiling of your car, that's another telltale sign of mold's presence.

Also, don't mistake a chemical smell for mold. This is usually the result of a coolant leak. If that's what you've been smelling, immediately have a mechanic look at your car.

Tips To Prevent Mold In Your Car

Closeup portrait of car's driver hand on air conditioner blower hole

One easy way to prevent mold from growing inside your car is to turn your air conditioner off for 10 minutes before shutting down the engine. Then, turn the fan on and set it at max output. This allows the moisture inside to evaporate while blowing away any dust or dirt.

Don't forget to check the filters and have them cleaned and changed at least once a year. This is to prevent them from clogging, which provides a home for mold and mildew to thrive.

Also, be careful when bringing drinks and other liquids into your car. Immediately dry any surface that gets into contact with them. Take out carpets and rugs to let them dry outside of the car instead of leaving them inside.

Adding a dehumidifier inside your car helps extract any excess moisture in the air. This helps prevent mold and mildew from having a suitable place to grow. You can use baking soda, or a bag of uncooked rice as alternatives if you don't own a dehumidifier.

Check this dehumidifier on Amazon.

Are There Alternative Ways To Stay Cool?

While your car's air conditioning system provides you cooling and comfort while driving, there are other ways to achieve this. So, the following options might work best for you.

Cooling Seat Cover

This is a viable option for those who want to stay cool without using the air conditioning. The fans inside these seat covers help keep you comfortable while driving without having to turn the air conditioning on.

On top of that, these seat covers usually come with a heating function as well. So, during the winter months, you can stay warm and toasty inside your car.

Check this cooling seat cover on Amazon.

Cooling Vests

These vests act like a heated blanket, or a heated jacket. However, they cool your body down instead of heating it up. So, if you suffer from severe heat intolerance, this option will work well for you.

These vests usually come in four types and in a range of different price points. So, pick one that suits your needs and comfort, and budget.

Check this cooling vest on Amazon.

Portable Air Conditioner

If you want cool air blowing throughout your car's cabin, this solution would work best. These compact devices use rechargeable batteries, or your car's battery to work. So, simply plug it in to enjoy an abundance of cool air.

These usually come in two different types. One uses water while the other uses ice. These little machines will get cool air circulating your car's cabin with no sweat.

Check this portable air conditioner on Amazon.

The Wrap Up

Driver hand tuning air ventilation grille, fresh air is coming out

Mold inside your car's air conditioning system needs immediate attention, so it won't pose a serious threat to you and your family. It's up to you if you want to get rid of them on your own, or if you have a professional do it for you.

Remember to keep your car well-maintained to prevent mold and mildew from nesting inside your car in the future.

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the links below. They are sure to answer any other related questions you might have.

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