How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car

It is not surprising that the interior of a car absorbs odor, which is very unpleasant for the driver and when a passenger gets in the vehicle. In the case of mustiness it may come from the seat fabric that got wet and didn't have time to dry, or from the air conditioning system itself. At we offer a few tips about how to remove musty smell from your car.

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Steps to follow:

If odor inside the car is produced because the seats were wet, for whatever reason, and are not drying fast enough to leave no trace, we recommend you do the following to remove musty smell from your car.


Heat is great at removing must from your car, so turn on the heating or, if the weather allows you to, leave the car parked in the sun with the doors locked and the windows up. The aim is for the interior to reach a very high temperature inside, causing the mustiness to vanish.

How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car - Step 2

If this option does not work, perhaps the musty smell is produced by bacteria inside the air conditioning ducts. If so, you need to take other measures. You need to clean the ducts in order to remove unwanted microorganisms and get rid of musty smell from your car.


The first thing to do is buy a specific spray in a specialized shop to clean the car's air conditioning ducts. Then you must spray on the inputs and outputs of the system. To do so, in this OneHowto article we show you how to get rid of bad smell from car air conditioner.


Then you have to operate the air conditioner for about half an hour to allow the product to circulate inside the ducts and remove the microorganisms that cause the musty smell in your car. We recommend you read our article on how to recharge your car air conditioning system at home.


Once you've removed the musty smell from your car you must be very careful that it doesn't happen again. If a liquid is split or people with wet clothes on get in your vehicle, dry it asap. Also, clean thoroughly when cleaning your car and you will see how this very unpleasant odor does not reappear.

You can learn how to clean fabric lined car seats or leather seats to avoid this happening again.

How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car, we recommend you visit our Car Maintenance and Repair category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
I moved some boxes for friend and had to keep them in my car for two days. They are musty and moldy smelling and my care reeks now. The car is relatively new - how do I get rid of the smell??? It is not the car itself, but people will think it is!!!
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Katrina,

Have you used any of the tips in the article?
My father asked do i stand in the mens room urinal and drive my car with pissy shoes after he swapped the brake light switch last week. Thanks dad.
Gerard leclair
Musty smell like cat urine on the floor of my vehicle
been all sanitized and shampoo and blow dried overnight

OneHowTo Editor
Hi Gerard,

We are afraid there is no way we could know what the cause of the smell is. What we can say is that if the offending smell has infiltrated the fibers of your car's interior then it can be difficult to get out. It may require a deep clean which can be tricky. There also may be some hidden refuse or bit of food which might be causing the smell, so ensure you have searched the interior thoroughly. If the smell remains, then you may need to take it for a professional clean.

Good luck!
Hi it is a nice blog about how to remove musty smell from cars.
How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car
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How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Car

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