One time my new 1978 Fire bird got totally drenched inside in a major rainstorm. I was shopping in the mall, as usual and left the windows open. We left the windows open for a few days and it was fine after that. We never noticed mildew or anything wrong and the seats were burgundy velour.
This has happened to us twice. Both times I soaked up as much water as I could with towels and newspaper, then I hauled out my long outdoor extension cord & used my 1500 watt blow dryer in spells of 10 minutes or so, because much longer and it overheats & stops. The first time it stopped I thought I'd killed it, but remembered our vacuum cleaner overheated & stopped, so I turned it on again about 10 minutes later. Yes, it was fine! Also don't get it too close to the fabric, stay about 4 inches away & of course keep away from anything melt able. A spritz or two of something like febreeze, or any scent you like, probably couldn't hurt. (06/10/2005)
Buy a bag of charcoal, split it open and let sit in your car. The charcoal absorbs the wet odor. As for drying your interior, if it is going to be hot and dry, leave the windows open for a while. Otherwise, a shop vac will pull out water as well as debris. (06/11/2005)
There is a great all natural product that will remove any mold or mildew from your car as well as eliminate any musty odor. It is moldzyme and you can learn about it at http://www.ecodiscoveries.com/Products/MoldZyme/tabid/189/Default.aspx (08/30/2005)
If you're sure the interior is absolutely dry, try removing the floor mats and sprinkling the carpets and upholstery with Borax (found in the laundry aisle). Let it sit overnight or longer and then vacuum out. It works on urine smells in carpets and on mattresses. Also you can put a few pieces of real charcoal (the kind you barbecue with; but the ones not pre-saturated with lighter fluid) under the seats, in the trunk, and in the ash tray. It's a natural deodorizer. You can use this in closets, under the couch, in the fridge, and best of all, it's cheap! (09/01/2005)
I recently went out of town for two weeks and while I was gone, it rained for 18 days straight. So when I came back I hopped in my car and it's all wet and mildewy EVERYWHERE! Someone help.
(b)Editor's Note:(/b) To get started, get a wet/dry vac and try to vacuum out as much of the water as possible, just keep vacuuming. You might also get a dehumidifier and put it in the car for a while, that will help get some of the moisture out. If it is sunny now, open the windows and let it air out. (07/02/2007)
The best and only thing to do for this problem is to remove as much as you possibly can from the vehicle that is wet. Once you have done so- get a dehumidifier and leave it in your car over night for a couple of nights. Once you have done this you will remove most of the water and moisture from the car. When you think the car is free of moisture and dampness- give it a couple of sprays of febreeze under the mats- Go to the car wash and have them clean mats with soapy water also.(07/05/2007)
After 3 years of trying to track down this smell (mostly present in the summer months), I finally tracked down the culprit. It is not the AC and has nothing to do with the ac/heat vents. The smell seems to come from the vents but it is not the vents -- the problem is 1 or 2 defective freeze plugs in the rear of the auto. Look underneath the trunk (if Santa Fe, it's 2 rubber plugs under the rear cabin, next to spare tire) you will see rubber plugs in the sheet metal body. When you remove the rubber plugs you will see the ground through the inside of auto. These plugs leak and water is getting into the cabin.
The Santa Fe has sound insulation that is absorbing the water & turning moldy. You will have to completely disassemble the plastic storage compartments in rear, many screws & plastic snap on fasteners. Once you get to the foam, it will be soaking wet & it smells bad. Tear the wet foam out completely and spray the remaining fabric with lysol or febreeze. Then use high grade RTV silicone to seal the plugs. Make sure you coat the entire rubber plug - I even glued a thick piece of plastic over the silicone coated plug as back up to prevent water from getting back inside the rear cabin. I chose not to replace the foam but you can put any similar material in its place. Email me if you have questions: aralight AT netzero. net. GOOD LUCK. ROB (08/11/2008)
I did the same as above. Left the windows and it rained bad. The car smells of mildew. So I went to harbor freights, bought a steam cleaner and went to town on the floors. Pulling the carpet up, cleaning from the bottom up, from the top down. Used the shop vac to circulate air (on the blower setting) to dry out from under the front carpets, and have tried the carpet spray in the past. I'll see if this makes a difference. Only way I figured to kill the mildew, is to steam the life out of it and get it dry before anymore mold can take a hold. (09/27/2008)
To absorb wetness in the house and car, I use a product called Damp Rid. It comes in containers or hanging bags. It works very, very well. It starts with some type of dry pellets and within a few hours to a day, the pellets absorb the moisture and turn to liquid. The container has a filter type piece that you put the pellets on and drain. The bag is in 2 pieces. (10/16/2008)
Try spraying the floor mats and upholstery with Febreeze. We use this in our van and it works quite well. (11/25/2008)
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