Moldy spare tire

I discovered fuzzy white mold in the trunk of my car due to a leak somewhere. I’m working on fixing the leak, but in the meantime, I’m trying to clean things out. I threw out the carpet and found that my spare is also rusted and moldy- enough that it’s more of a mottled black/grey/white color all over, and there’s a couple fuzzy patches. Is there anything I can do to clean and salvage it?

How old is the tire? Surface rust or structural rust?

Without seeing it it could be as easy as “soap and water” or as difficult as “get a new one”.

Personally, I would be more worried about breathing mold spores than I would be about the mold on your tire.

I agree with Mleich on this. It isn’t worth risking the spores to try to save the wheel and tire.

The car is a 93, and I just bought it used in Sept. Not sure how old the tire is. I’m attempting to attach a picture; not sure if it’ll work properly.

I’m trying to avoid breathing any more mold spores, but I need to do something about the tire so I can do that…

Since the car is old and you don’t know the age of the tire, it is definitely best to replace the tire. It is probably 17 years old!

Six to eight years seems to be the agreed upon maximum age of tires according to the experts. Tires deteriorate over time and are unsafe after this period. If you can read the manufacturer’s code it can tell you when exactly it was made if you are so inclined (I would not be).

The rim is probably ok–have the guy at the tire place take a look at it. We have a picture of the dry side–the other side might be much worse.

take it out and power wash it (can do at a car wash or home).
The rim can be brushed with a wire brush and sprayed/treated with “rust converter” which turns minor surface rust to a hard black material

(it oxidizes the Iron Oxide again so FeO2 becomes FeO3)

whoop, that was a hour before I posted this, after seeing the tire, never mind!

Is that a patch I see on the sidewall?

Looks like fun.  You need to find the source of the water.  It may well be coming up into the trunk.  Take a careful look at the bottom of the trunk area.

Nice picture! Was this car anywhere near the Gulf Coast back during the hurricane Katrina visit?