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sound of rain pitter-pattering on your windows can be incredibly soothing until
you remember you’ve left your car windows cracked. In a panic, you rush outside
to find your vehicle’s seats and floor sopping wet. Maybe puddles have already
begun forming on the floor.
no way to go back in time and roll up your windows before the storm. So you’re
left with the cleanup. Luckily, however, your beloved vehicle won’t suffer any
permanent damage so long as you act quickly.
Soak or Suck It Up
first step to drying out your car is to get rid of any standing water as
quickly as you can. Leaving it to sit for too long can damage the wires and
cables that control your powered seats and wreak havoc on your upholstery. So,
as soon as you notice your windows have been down, grab a cloth towel and get
up puddles on your seats and carpets and look for drain plugs on your floor to
release trapped water. If there are no drain plugs and you find more than an
inch of standing water on your floorboards, use a shop vac to suck it up before
wiping it down. And don’t forget to suck out any liquid from the center
console, the nooks between the seats and any empty cupholders.
you’ve removed as much water as you can, transfer your car to a covered area
like a garage so you can get some dry air flowing through it. If your car
didn’t accumulate much water, you might opt to simply leave the windows open
and let natural breezes dry it out.
if your interior was saturated, you’ll want stronger airflow moving through it
to get rid of the dampness quickly.
all the windows and doors of your car and position shop fans around it — the
more the better. Leave them running for at least a day. If, after a day or two,
your interior still feels damp in places, use a hairdryer to target those
spots. This concentrated warm airflow will hopefully dry out any trouble spots.
Or, you might move your car out into the sun and wind, allowing the
natural warm breeze to work its magic.
after your car is dry, there’s still a chance of mold developing on your
interior. This can leave your car smelling mildewy. So it’s best to take
preventative measures before any unwanted fungi stars to grow.
some moisture-absorbent products, like baking soda or
and place them in your car to draw any leftover dampness out of your seats and
your efforts fail and you begin to notice moldy spots, take action immediately.
Open your doors and windows to let the spores blow out. Then, inspect your car
and locate the source of the infestation. Then, use a scrub brush to break up
the leftover spores and get the mold out of cracks and crevices. Mix eight parts white vinegar with two parts water
and wipe down moldy spots as well. The acidity of the vinegar will burn and
kill the mold and prevent it from returning.
Close Your Windows!
makes mistakes. But, once you’ve left your windows down and suffered the
repercussions once, odds are good you won’t make the same mistake again.
Because sucking all the water out of your car and scrubbing mold off the seats
isn’t fun for anyone.
So save yourself the trouble and keep your windows rolled up at all times. Or, at least check the weather before leaving them open next time. And if you get stuck with a wet car again, at least you’ll already know what to do.