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What to do about a wet car interior

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

A wet car interior is gross and stinky. Start baling.

A wet car interior is gross and stinky. Start baling.

A torrential downfall is going on outside. You look out the window and see that your car, which is parked by the curb, is nearly submerged because the water on the street has gotten so high. Car interiors can become wet even flooded and when this happens, you have a mess on your hands.

A wet car interior becomes a stinky, musky, mildewed interior that can be so bad that owners opt to sell their car rather than continue trying to get rid of the odor. Not only can the interior of your car become flooded but the mechanical parts under the hood and under the car get drenched, which renders them inoperable. You need serious car interior care advice.

It is difficult to get the interior of your car dry while also getting rid of that mildew smell, but it is possible. If it is hot outside this is going to make the stench even worse inside your car.

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The first thing you want to do is call your insurance agent. He may be able to help you out with the cost involved in drying out your car. However, while you are waiting for him to respond you must proceed before mold and corrosion set in, advises Popular Mechanics.

If you can see that the water has gotten as high as your dashboard you may have a complete loss on your hand. If the water that did the damage was salt water the outcome is going to be worse. Even though you may be able to dry out the interior in time the electrical systems that are part and parcel of newer cars may be ruined.


Remove car mats and anything that is removable. These items need to be washed, dried and sprayed with Febreze or some kind of product that gets rid of horrible smells.

Start bailing. Get buckets or cup or anything that you can use to collect water. If you can park your car on a hill with the front of the car facing the top of the hill, this will help you because the water will rush to the back of the car, and that makes it easier for you to bail.

Using a wet vac to help extract the water in the car?s interior is a start.  In addition, roll down the windows so fresh air can get into the car.

Place old towels on the carpet. The towels will soak up any water that is left behind. Remove the towels the next day and replace with dry ones.

Wipe off the dash and other parts of the car, using a product that deodorizes as well as cleans.

After the interior floors have dried out, which takes a while, you may want to use a steam cleaner on the floor, which helps extracts smells and gunk that may have washed into your car when the flood occurred.

A product called Damprid is considered very effective, getting rid of odors that are caused by moisture (such as a torrential downfall.) Damprid can be used in your car. It absorbs humidity and gets rid of mold and mildew stains as well as smells.

Spraying the dried carpet with Lysol should help remove the mildew stain.

Place air fresheners in your vehicle. According to Refresh Your Car, you will get the best results if you layer scents, which means using several types of air fresheners (in the same scent). You can use a vent stick air freshener that you place in the air vent, along with a gel air freshener that you stick under your seat. When you double the air fresheners or even use three of them the fragrance that emanates from one of the products supports and emphasizes the other product.

If you are completely flummoxed and can?t get rid of the water and the smells to your satisfaction, go to an auto parts store and see what is recommended. In fact, you may want to do that first before you venture forth on your own.


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