Mold Resources

The inside of your vehicle might not seem like the most obvious place for mold growth to occur, but cars actually have the potential to provide all of the necessary items for mold to grow: oxygen, moisture, and organic materials. Many people can attest that at some point or another, they’ve dealt with mold growing in cars. Here’s why.

Cars can get dirty pretty easily, and many don’t have their interiors cleaned nearly as often as we clean our homes. Dirt, dust, dead skin cells, bits of food, and other organic material can gather inside your car and provide mold with a food source. That leaves moisture. Cars are designed to be well-sealed with all windows closed, so moisture can become trapped and stagnate with limited to no airflow, allowing mold to take root.

How to Determine if There’s Mold Growing in Cars

The first step toward ensuring that a vehicle is safe and free from contamination is knowing what to look for. These are some of the best ways to determine if there’s mold growing in cars.

Initially, conduct a visual inspection of the vehicle. Mold can come in a variety of colors and textures, so any abnormalities could be a potential colony. Common colors include green, white, grey, black, brown, red, or a combination of hues. As for textures, growth can often appear velvety, fluffy, slimy, or powdery. 

Not all mold in a car will be visible, though. The colony could be in a hidden area or blend in with the surface it’s growing on. In this case, smell all around the interior of the vehicle. Mold growth often creates an earthy, musty, damp smell due to the gases it releases called microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOC). 

Finally, if neither of these is present, it still doesn’t mean the vehicle is safe. Pay attention to your body as well. The body is hardwired to warn us should something in the environment not be safe. If chronic symptoms flare up while in the vehicle or after driving around in it, it could be the body's alert that there’s a contamination issue within the car. 

If any of these can be checked off, use The Dust Test to determine what is present in the vehicle so that it can be resolved.

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How to Prevent Mold Growing in Cars

The best way to deal with mold growing in cars is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This is especially true for hypersensitive individuals. For any driver, avoiding mold growth involves actively taking steps to remove any excess moisture, eliminate spores that managed to get inside, and reduce the number of additional particles that colonies could use as a food source.

A few preventative steps vehicle owners can include are: 

  • Clean Up Spills Immediately: Ensure any spills are cleaned and dried immediately.

  • Use Waterproof Add-Ons: Invest in rubber floor mats and seat covers to prevent moisture buildup.

  • Regular Maintenance: Have your AC/heating unit checked regularly to ensure it’s functioning properly.

  • Secure Windows and Doors: Always double-check that windows, sunroofs, moonroofs, and doors are closed tightly.

  • Deep Clean Frequently: Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, botanical cleaner, and microfiber towels for regular deep cleaning.

  • Check for Leaks: Conduct regular maintenance to ensure there are no leaks or other potential water sources inside your vehicle.

By taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of mold growing in cars, ensuring a healthier environment for you and your passengers.

Still Have Questions?

A member of our team is here to help!  Click on “Get Started ➤” below to book a consultation with a member of the HOMECLEANSE team. We have a few quick questions that will help us put together a roadmap to solve or prevent all of your mold problems.

Two minutes of your time could lead to better health for you and your family.