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DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Does anyone have a homemade recipe for removing algae from a car window/surrounds?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11273points) May 29th, 2010

Hello….My car has a lot of algae from a very wet winter. The algae is above the rubber surrounds on the window, on the side mirrors and even on the inside of the doors.

Do you know of a homemade way to remove algae from a car? I know that diluted bleach is effective, but that will damage the paint (I am pretty sure anyway). Any ideas?

Thanks in advance for your help!

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16 Answers

trumi's avatar

I don’t know a homemade recipe, but I can tell you that Simple Green works wonders on gunk like that. We bought a boat that had been left outside for years and was so covered in dirt and mold that it was literally black, instead of it’s natural color white. Simple Green and a power washer, and lots of elbow grease, and we cleaned it up nice.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

I know that “Simple Green” is available in the US…is it available in the UK? Anyone? I used to use Simple Green back home! :)

Thanks for the answer, though…I’m still open to other suggestions as I live in the country and it’s difficult to get things at times.

trumi's avatar

Okay! Hope you find another answer. But you can totally order it on Amazon if that doesn’t work out :)

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

@Trumi….I need it ASAP unfortunately. But I will keep your idea in mind and order some to keep on hand.

Thanks again!

El_Cadejo's avatar

Hmmm I dont know what its like having algae on a car, but i can tell you the easiest way I know of getting dried algae off glass for fish tanks is vinegar and water. In theory it should work just as well on your car.

partyparty's avatar

Yes as @uberbatman suggested, I also have used vinegar for a fish tank. It really does work.

MissA's avatar

Oxyclean and very hot water works well on this type of thing. And, no harm to anyone or anything.

susanc's avatar


Dr_C's avatar

Don’t use any chemicals on it. You may run the risk of inhaling fumes which is bad enough, but you will also be polluting any and all runoff.

The simplest and most effective solution (not to mention the one that will cause the least amount of damage to your paint job) is to borrow/rent/buy a pressure washer and hook it up to a hot water source if possible (you don’t have to use hot water but it is faster).

The pressure washer at relatively close range will take care of it with no need for the use of vinegar or any other chemicals (believe it or not vinegar will seriously fuck up the clear coating on your paint) and will do it without the need for scrubbing.

Let us know what you do and how it works out for you.

MissA's avatar

@Dr_C A friend stopped by as I was pressure washing my sidewalk and driveway, and decided to use my washer on his vehicle. He did not think there was any loose paint on it…but, when he was done with the pressure washer, there were three good sized pieces of missing paint. Just thought I’d mention it. I’m not so sure that it wouldn’t ‘move’ the rubber.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Another Q that makes me scratch my head and go, “Huh?”

If your car has “algae” on it, then you’re going to have a lot more serious problems getting it running than you will being able to see out the windows or shine ‘just so’. That is, your car is submerged in water.

Algae don’t survive outside of water. Tterrestrial algae are effectively surviving in an aquatic environment on land. Soil algae survive in a film of soil water.
The other major group of terrestrial algae are those in lichen symbioses. (Quoting from the source I found where I attempted to look up “terrestrial algae”.)

But assuming that you’re talking about one or more forms of moss, lichen or fungus, the first thing you need to do is eliminate the standing water or dampness that they require to flourish. Otherwise any washing that you do will still leave a water source for the next generation.

Your bleach solution will actually work best (after that) if you use it on a sponge and don’t saturate the area with it or allow it to form pools. That is, ‘wipe it’ with a sponge and thoroughly rinse any bleach streaks. (Bleach isn’t about to harm a car’s finish if it’s rinsed right away, only if it’s allowed to stand and concentrate.)

john65pennington's avatar

Yours is not a Katrina car, is it?

LPSBX's avatar

The guy at camping world says try that black streak remover stuff might work, but he wasn’t too sure.He said if it’ll get off those black streaks from the side odf an RV it should get rid of algea, and is made not to damage paint or clear coat. Haven’t tried it yet.

snowberry's avatar

You can try scouring the area with baking soda too. It is non toxic, won’t scratch anything ever, and leaves no residue when rinsed. Use a wet tooth brush dipped in the stuff for the crannies. I use it on burned on pots and pans, so it will work on your alage or whatever.

PM me if you can’t figure out the technique.

wallabies's avatar

Algae or fungus? I’ve read sprinkling baking soda on top of fungus kills it…I’m not sure why, and I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet…so if you do, please let me know if it works!

Ron_C's avatar

I don’t understand why you have mold growing on you car’s windows. I have had cars in the Philippines, Canada, Southern and Northern U.S. in the Pacific Northwest, and never had a mildew problem. Do you have your heater/air-conditioner set to use fresh air from outside of the car? I have has a similar problem in China because the driver didn’t know that he was recirculating the same air and humidity really build up in the van. Once I showed him how to set it for outside air, the problem went away.

If it is particularly humid, turn on the air conditioner with the heater. It will dry the air in the car and prevent misting on the windows.

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