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Cleaning up spilled water from a cheap cooler

This weekend I went camping and used one of those awful styrofoam coolers that you find at the grocery because I forgot to bring one. When I got home yesterday evening, my friends discovered that the cooler leaked water on the seat and that the floor was wet. I spent part of yesterday cleaning up the moisture in the passenger foot well, removed the matt that was wet, soaked up water on the seat, and tried to get below the seat to cleanup any water the went behind/under the seat. My worry is that there is standing water under the seat and/or the foam in the seat is holding onto water. Should I remove the rear seat to clean under it? What about the carpet in the passenger footwell? This is a 2011 Mazda GT hatchback that is only 3 weeks old. It’s got “leather” seats as well which I’m also worried are going to be ruined.

Any thoughts would be helpful, thanks.

I would use cotton towels to blot up as much water as possible. Wedge or weigh down the towels (phone books, etc) to draw the water out the upholstery and carpet.

To remove the last of the moisture I start the engine, set the heater on high, and leave a window cracked. If possible, use the air conditioner to dehumidify the air. Leave the car running to get the interior nice and hot.

Last week, my daughter spilled a 16 oz coke in my Blazer. I blotted up as much soda as I could and used a quart of water to dilute the rest. A few towels later and leaving the truck run for a bit the carpet was clean and dry.

Ed B.

Yes, just keep blotting up with dry towels until they stop absorbing any water. Use pressure, sit/stand on them repeatedly.

Was it just water, or was anything in the cooler that might have also leaked?

Depending on your weather, you could just leave it outside with the windows open - here, it’s 110 degrees, no heater needed!

If it’s just water it’s pretty harmless as long as you get it dry.

Newer cars handle spills on the interior better than old. They all seem to have pretty good water barriers. After sponging up as much as possible, Leave windows open for a while, it will dry out.

You can purchase chemical dehumidifiers. They usually come in small buckets. You peel the seal off the top and set it inside the car and close it all up. After it has a chance to work, moisture will collect in the bucket and you dispose of it.

I am not sure where you can buy these chemical dehumidifiers, but you might be able to find them at the hardware store.

Thanks for the comments!

It was just water thankfully, and I’ve been using paper towels to soak up whatever I can. I left the car on the top of works parking lot yesterday with the windows cracked in an attempt to get more of the moisture out but here in Denver it’s not hot enough outside (80-90s). I’ve also got one of those chemical de-humidifiers in the car that Whitey mentioned. Hopefully between all of those things I get most/all of it out. I really didn’t want to pull the back seat up.

At least you have the low humidity on your side. If the paper towels are now coming up completely dry where ever you shove and push them, then letting the rest air dry would be my approach.

Soak up all you can then leave all doors and windows open on sunny days

Leather ucks