How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Car Seats In 8 Easy Ways

The rainy season is one of the opportunities for moisture to get into your car and cause fungal growth. Here’s how to get mildew smell out of car seats so the drive will always be fun!

Your car seats and your car’s carpeting often become moist, which will cause mildew growth and give that musty smell. Nonetheless, we will provide you with tips on how to get rid of it and the factors that may cause it. 

how to get mildew smell out of car seats


Causes Of Mildew Smell In Your Car

There are several factors that cause the growth of mildew in your car. Here are some:


Poor maintenance

Car owners often forget to pay attention to car hygiene which may cause mold and mildew growth. Since these fungi need food to survive, the dust and dirt piled up in your car will allow mildew to grow and multiply.

Regular cleaning is very essential in maintaining your car. It will not only make your car tidy, but it will also keep it fresh and safe for you and your family.


Non-operational vehicles 

Shut-down and fully-closed vehicles stored in dark areas for months are prone to fungal growth. It is because the spores stuck inside the car utilize the oxygen and moisture inside in order to grow and multiply.

If you will not be using your vehicle for a while, try your best to open it from time to time and check for dirt and dust build-up. It is also convenient if you spot mildew growth before it worsens. 



If you live in areas with frequent heavy rainfall and high levels of moisture and humidity, your car is likely to exhibit mildew growth.

During sunny days, grab the opportunity to expose your car to direct sunlight. The heat will help remove moisture and prevent mold growth. 


8 Ways Of Mildew Smell Removal

There are a lot of ways to get rid of mildew in your car seats and ensure that the musty odor will never come back. Just follow the solutions below, and you’ll be good.


1. Blot dry all the wet parts

Moisture is always the enemy when dealing with mildew. It is why if you notice a musty smell in your car, spot the damp locations and blot them dry using a clean, dry towel. 


2. Dry your car seats under the sun

The direct UV rays in the sun effectively eliminate mildew spores and bring back the freshness of your car seats. When your car seats are contaminated with mildew, dry them under the sun for one to two days, but ensure that the cover won’t be damaged.


3. Blast the air conditioner and park where there is sunlight

When driving, turn on the AC on full power to ensure good ventilation and dry out the moisture to avoid mildew growth. When static, it is better if you park your car where there is direct sunlight.


4. Use baking soda

Baking soda has always been an effective cleaning agent. It is also beneficial when it comes to absorbing and eliminating foul odors.

Sprinkle enough baking soda on your car seats and gently rub it against the upholstery. Let it sit for 4-7 days to let it absorb the moisture and the mildew smell.


5. Make a DIY anti-mildew spray

Mix apple cider vinegar, grape seed extract, and tea tree oil with a small portion of detergent. You can use this mixture to remove mildew and its smell.

Just spray it in your car seats and cover them with the solution. Afterward, open the windows for faster drying.


6. Dry coffee grounds

Dry coffee grounds are also effective in absorbing foul odors. Fill two flat containers with dry coffee grounds and place them under the car seats with the lids off for 5 to 7 days.


7. Enzymes

Enzyme cleaners can remove mildew from car seats naturally. The activated enzymes eat the mildew and will leave only a trace of freshness in your car.

Pour it into the affected area and let it soak for at least 24 to 48 hours. Then, blot dry the area and leave the windows open.


8. Ask for professional help

When you don’t have the time or are just not into doing DIYs, ask for professional help. The car cleaners have expert ways to remove mildew odor and make sure it will never come back. 

If your seat belt gets contaminated, try reading this article on how to remove mold from seat belts. You can also use other ways to prevent mold by learning how to use anti mold sticker in this helpful guide.  



As a car owner, it must be your top priority to protect yourself and keep your passengers comfortable and safe. A car contaminated with mold and mildew is not only a disgusting sight but also a threat to your health.

Now that you’ve learned how to get mildew smell out of car seats, your downtown and upstate drives will surely be fun!

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