General Question

DVSAZN's avatar

How do you clean your car A/C to get rid of mildew smell?

Asked by DVSAZN (40points) June 23rd, 2010

I am beginning to get a mildew smell when I first start up the A/C in my car. Is it relatively easy to clean to get the smell out?

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7 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It is relatively easy for the dealer to do it. They remove and treat the filters.

YARNLADY's avatar

Take it to the dealer or a professional cleaner. That stuff can be dangerous to you and your passengers. Take it in right away.

DVSAZN's avatar

I’ve checked the cabin filter and it’s relatively clean so I know it’s not that… I would like to do it myself if it’s easy enough….

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is not the filters but the ducts and pipes for the air flow and drains that get a black mold / mildew. As @YARNLADY said take it to a dealer or A/C shop, you don’t want that stuff on you or in you.

YARNLADY's avatar

@DVSAZN It’s a whole lot more than just a smell – it’s little tiny spores of mold that get into your body with every breath. I am terribly allergic to the stuff, and I cannot even travel in a car that has it. as @Tropical_Willie says, it’s in every part of the system, and requires a complete cleaning or replacing of the parts.

Merriment's avatar

I’m sure one day the mutant killer spores will get me but here’s what I do.

I buy a bottle of Febreze Fabric refresher.

I spray a very generous amount into each individual vent opening and then run the heat on high until dry. Then if it still smells I repeat.

So far it hasn’t killed me and my car smells great.

john65pennington's avatar

I would only recommend this, if your vehicle can be in the open air, windows down, for at least a day.

One third bleach and two thirds water in a spray bottle. with the engine off and the windows open, spray the bleach/water combination into the vents of each ac outlet. let the mixture set for at least an hour, windows down. after an hour, hold your breath and start the engine. turn on the ac and let it run full blast for at least 15 minutes. the bleach will kill the mold and mildew, spores and the smell. safety is the name of the game here. plenty of ventilation and do not inhale the fumes.

If you are afraid to use the bleach, this will also work. Lysol spray. shake the can and spray into the left vent facing you from the drivers seat. ac off. spray the Lysol until the spray can be visibly seen coming out the vent to the far right. let this sit overnight. next morning, start the engine and turn on the ac full blast. your smell should be gone.

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