Car Care 101: How To Get Rid Of Mold In Car Air Conditioner

There are three ways on how to get rid of mold in car air conditioner. All of them involve sprays that are made of different stuff. Learn more about them below!


how to get rid of mold in car air conditioner

Mold In Car Air Conditioners

Mold grows even in the places you think it won’t. They can grow in visible spots like furniture fabrics or less visible spaces like car air conditioners.

Wherever mold may grow, you should remove them before they entirely invade your space. For mold growth in accessible places, here is an article about removing mold from furniture fabrics. For mold growth in car air conditioners, read on until the end of the article to find out.


How does mold grow in car air conditioners?

Mold growth in car air conditioners is due to high levels of moisture. It is not surprising how mold grows in ACs because of the type of environment they are in — wet and cold. 

Despite it being unsurprising, mold growth in air conditioners is difficult to detect visually. This is especially difficult when you’re trying to buy a secondhand car. If you are buying a car, make sure to have it thoroughly inspected for mold. 


How can you detect mold in car AC?

How do you detect mold if you can’t see them, like in car air conditioners? The correct answer is to use your other senses.

Mold typically exudes a foul odor that you can’t miss, especially since your air conditioner is where the mold comes from. As your AC circulates the air in your car, the more you’ll smell the musty scent.

Another way you can detect mold in your car’s air conditioner is by feeling the air from your AC. If air is not being pushed out, then mold may have infiltrated your system already.


How does mold in car air conditioners affect you?

Apart from the smell and the feel of the air, you can detect mold growth by your body’s response to it. Prolonged mold exposure inevitably leads to respiratory issues.

Those who are vulnerable may even have mold-induced asthma. Since mold can affect your health negatively, we think it’s right to know how to get rid of them. 


Ways Of Getting Rid Of Mold In Car Air Conditioners

The steps in removing mold in car air conditioners may differ from, say, getting rid of mold in the AC coils of your home. For your reference, here is an article on killing mold from AC coils


Method #1. Use a disinfectant

For severe mold odors, then disinfectant aerosol sprays are the way to go. Go for those that can eliminate both the smell and the growth. Something like EnviroKlenz Everyday Odor Eliminator is perfect for this job. 


Method #2. Vinegar and water

If you don’t mind the smell, then you can make your spray using vinegar and water. Just mix vinegar and water in a 1:3 ratio, then put it in a spray bottle. The smell won’t be pleasant, but the results are great when you use vinegar to kill mold.

For a fresher scent, you can add juice from half a lemon to the mixture. Lemon would also make the scent last longer. 


Method #3. Lysol

Like with all the sprays mentioned, you have to turn off the AC, the fan, and the car before spraying. Then, spritz the disinfectant or whichever you choose to use on every single air conditioner vent.

Keep the doors closed this time to keep the airflow contained inside the car. Keeping it inside will help with removing mold and mold spores.

After that, turn the AC on to full blast to circulate the system around the car. Press the recirculation button

Then, spray into the recirculation vent while the air conditioner is still on max power. After that, switch to full fan mode to blow more air. Switching will prevent your AC from being exposed to additional moisture. 


Tips on mold prevention for car air conditioners

The air conditioner’s evaporator core is where mold usually grows. Sometimes, you’ll find mold in the AC’s ductwork as well. To prevent mold growth in these places, do the following:


1. Defrost the AC

To prevent your AC from overexposure to moisture, then defrost it for ten minutes after using. Turn on the fan to dry out the evaporator. Do not use recirculation as it may worsen your moisture problems by bringing in more air. 


2. Avoid parking in certain areas

Certain areas meaning spaces wherein there is debris everywhere, which will be sucked in your car. For example, when you are driving in dusty places, you are taking in spores and dust in your car.

Taking in debris may lead to mold growth, especially when they are not cleaned properly. In such situations, it is better to turn off your HVAC system.



This article on how to get rid of mold in car air conditioner aims to help you in killing mold. However, it also serves as a precaution for next time.

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