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Cleaning Car Carpet After Water Damage

My car had a leak and rain poured into my driver's side floorboard. I fixed the leaky problem. How do I get rid of the wetness on my floorboard carpet to prevent mold? Also, how do I make it odor free and fresh smelling once I get the water completely removed?

By Ace from Nashville, TN

Recent Answers

By Jim [1]05/13/2009

There is only a few things a homeowner can use to effectively kill mold and the odor, hydrogen peroxide (h2o2) and ozone. I would start with the h2o2 first, if the smell lingers, could mean there is still some active mold.

Next I would rent an ozone machine, place it in the car, doors and windows closed and run it for 24 hours. You don't want to breath ozone full strength for long, so at the end of 24 hours, turn the machine off and open the car windows for about 15 minutes.

Ozone is a powerful odor neutralizer, it actually kills bacteria and is very effective against mold.

One more good idea would be to rent or buy a steam or vapor cleaner. Not the kind that cleans carpets, they put down too much water. But a true steam or vapor (better) cleaner that dispenses steam at 180 degrees or higher that will kill pathogens like mold on contact. A vapor cleaner kills with much higher temperatures than a steam cleaner and uses very little water.

These steam/vapor cleaners can also clean the inside of your whole house and car and with only water (vapor) no chemicals!! Bathrooms, kitchens, floors, counter tops, walls and just about everything else. This is the one I bought and did so as it does have a carpet attachment, many do not.. My wife thought this was just a toy I bought and wouldn't use until 3 months ago she needed it specifically for a problem... Now she cleans everything with this machine! You can Google for price, but at the time I bought mine, I paid $399 and it was the lowest price I could find.

www.allergybuyersclubshopping.com/reliable-t630-vapor-steam-cleaners.html?itemId=1980

Best,
Jim in Jax

By Chuck [1]05/13/2009

Take a solution of household hydrogen peroxide and water 50/50 to scrub the carpet with a brush. You will not have to use a lot of water here. The purpose is to get the peroxide into the fabric. Then go to car wash and use the vacuum to pull water out really well. I would let it sit for at least 20 minutes. You might have to repeat procedure. The peroxide will kill the mold and spores. It is even used on plants for the same thing. Finish air drying the car or even place a fan on it to speed it up. That carpet has a thick pad under it. After it is dried out, If the car smells musty, you might place a ceramic bowl full of Ammonia on the floor board with the windows up overnight. The gasses of the ammonia go into the fabric and kill orders very well. Also works good to remove smoke smells from a car.

By Deanj05/05/2009

My car had a leak on the passengers side. When it rained I would end up with several inches of water on the floor. I vacuumed up as much a I could with a wet or dry vacuum cleaner then wiped the carpet with a towel to pick up some more moisture. Then left the windows open to let the carpet dry. After several wet clean up jobs I had the leak fixed. Never had any odor or mold problems.

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