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Mold in Trunk

I just returned from 8 months abroad, leaving my car (with my belongings inside) in my friends driveway in Montana. The car started amazingly well once it was jumped (it is an older car - 1991) but I unfortunately found mold growing in my trunk. Most of it was on my things (bags full of cloths, sleeping bags, and a tent) as well as two snow tiers stored in the trunk. I am in the process of cleaning/discarding these items but am curious the best way to remove the mold from the car. Luckily I have not seen any mold in the interior (which is amazing considering there are skiis going from the trunk to interior). It is an old car so I hope there is a cheap way to get rid of the mold. I am more worried about health issues than my stuff. I have never had a mold issue with this car before, but unfortunately it is still cold and wet here in Montana. Needless to say, I will be smarter next time about how I leave my car, but I would love advice for my current problem. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

I think the best mold killer out there is bleach, isn’t it? Whatever you choose to use, you’ll need to pull the thing apart, and get all teh carpets, spare tire and all the rest out. Clean everything, let it all dry, put it back in.

Just like you’re doing with your clothes and stuff.

Good luck,

Thanks! I have heard bleach isn’t all that effective on porous surfaces, but once I get the carpeting and everything out, I think bleach will work well. I’m just grateful it didn’t get inside the rest of the car. Now, if only it would stop raining…

Nothing is truly effective on porous surfaces…well, fire works well, but I don’t think you want to go that far. :slight_smile: j/k

They make some stuff that HVAC guys use to spray inside your air handling systems at your house. I can’t remember what it’s called off the top of my head, but it seems to work pretty well, and even works in the insulation inside an air handler unit…so that stuff should work well wherever you use it. However…

That stuff isn’t available to the general public, as it also has handling and usage restrictions, so you may not be able to use it after all, but it’s worth checking. Check around and see if one of your friends has a friend, and so forth. It’s sold in a plastic spray bottle, and is kinda green.


I had mice get into my cars before I managed to seal them off. One car had a strong odor of urine from a nest in the ducts. No amount of cleaning seemed to get rid of it. I spent some time looking things up online and ran across professionals that us Chlorine Dioxide gas to eliminate all sorts of odors/mold/mildew. Unfortunately, all professional services. Then I found a company marketing a product that did the same type of thing- Auto Vaccine.

After some research I decided what do I have to lose ($29)? So I ordered one of their kits. It worked! I did this treatment two or three years ago now, I forget exactly but it’s been fine ever since. You might want to try it too.

I looked and it’s been renamed to differentiate it from imitators. Perhaps that’s another testimonial to its effectiveness IDK.

Here’s a link to the mnfrs web site-

You can buy this many places including Amazon. I bought it from an auto parts store and it showed up three days after ordering online.

There are a couple of key notes- you must do this in the shade. Sunlight rapidly destroys the gas and you want it to circulate for a few hours. It must be above freezing so if it’s cold, they recommend running the heater for awhile to warm up the interior.

Good luck!

Find the drain plug in your trunk…buy or borrow a garden sprayer - make a 10-15% bleach solution and spray the interior several times - wash clean with water - let air out 24 hours.