Eliminate Mildew Smell in Car

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  #1  
Old 11-20-09, 06:31 AM
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Eliminate Mildew Smell in Car

Water got in backseat and trunk, not sure how.. happened during big Norestern last week.

After water is out, how can we get it to smell better?

Selling the car and need to neutralize smell.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-20-09, 09:48 AM
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Some of the detail shops that clean and polish vehicles may have a trick or two. The problem is the moisture that got into the padding below the carpets. There is nothing to my knowledge that you can do from the surface to address the mold/mildew under them.

Bud
 
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Old 11-20-09, 12:46 PM
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I used to work at a place back in the 80's and did a good amount of flood repairs to cars. Like Bud say's it gets into the padding. What we would do is remove all of the interior, carpet, padding, seat covers... everything. Then clean the floor boards and paint them. Same with the seat frames. The carpet, seat cusions, seat covers all got sent out and sanitized. then new carpet padding got installed and everything re-assymbled. In your case just trying to sell the car a detail shop may be able to do something but it will not last.
 
  #4  
Old 11-20-09, 01:53 PM
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well, it is more of a wet dirty old car smell... not mildew...

We found a wet vac and used it.... and a few more things to newtralize the smell...

The car wash said they charge $35 to shampoo and dry.. but on our unemployed budget.... that don't fly...

We think we have a buyer, so we will see what happens.
 
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Old 12-03-09, 08:42 PM
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i had a mustang that mice died under back seat, soaked into the foam of the leather seat bottom. i sprayed it and everything around with febreeze antibacterial several times( letting it dry in between applications) got rid of the smell. worth a try only costs about $4 for a bottle.
 
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Old 12-05-09, 08:59 PM
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Do you have a box of dryer sheets you can spare? If all you are trying to do is get rid of it then place them in the areas of the smell to cover the odor and then let them deal with it.
 
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Old 12-06-09, 07:30 AM
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Generally, once padding in a seat or carpet gets wet, it needs to be replaced. You have indicated this isn't in the budget.

Driving around with the windows open will help the smell resolve more quickly but might be the equivalent of a cup of water in an ocean.

We use a product call OdoBan (Sam's club) for odor removal and my boss used it in a used car he bought once by placing a small bowl of it in the car with the windows closed for a weekend. After that, we couldn't tell the previous owner of the car had been a smoker any more.
 
  #8  
Old 12-06-09, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hugger73hatch View Post
Do you have a box of dryer sheets you can spare? If all you are trying to do is get rid of it then place them in the areas of the smell to cover the odor and then let them deal with it.
:SA:

Getting it to dry out completely is were your efforts will see the best result. Even if it means using a hair dryer.
But once mildew or bacteria establish, they're sustained by the slightest bit of moisture in the air and become a permanent problem.
If you can still smell an odor after that, then using anti bacterial febreeze, as someone mentioned, works pretty impressively.

When my cloth seat on my truck got saturated with rain, I was surprised at the strength of earthy campy smell. When It dried it out, I used the febreeze just as a final touch.
 
  #9  
Old 12-06-09, 08:41 PM
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years ago, i was involved in a vehicle recovey repair that had been trapped in a flooded tunnel.
we pulled all the jute out (& seats/carpet)
laid 3-4 layers of news paper in the floor pans-dumped 2 bags of plain ole charcol (for the grill) on top of the paper(had the option of parking it in the sun-windows just cracked at the top) 4-5 days later -the 'sewer' smell was gone.
 
  #10  
Old 12-08-09, 01:29 PM
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We sold the car last week.

I did go to a detail shop and had them professionally clean it and put odorban stuff down.

I just hope we found the leak so it doesn't get wet in the rain again... we DID find a loose taillight, which makes sense because the trunk was getting a lot of water.
 
  #11  
Old 12-08-09, 07:03 PM
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Thanks for posting an update. Always good to hear how the original problem worked out. Fair deal.
 
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