Moisture is truly “the good, the bad and the ugly” when it comes to automobiles: Good when you have to clean it; Bad when it stays inside of the vehicle; and Ugly when it turns to mold…really, really ugly.
So what exactly is mold? The American Heritage Dictionary says: “Any of various fungus growths often causing disintegration of organic matter, a fungus that causes mold.” And then you have “Mildew” which the dictionary describes as “A superficial coating or discoloring of organic materials, such as paint, paper, cloth, leather and the like, caused by fungi, especially under damp conditions.” Ah, “damp conditions” … words that no proud car owner wants to hear.
I took an unscientific poll of car owners and asked what they would do to remove mold from their cars. One said, “Sell the car.” A few recommended products such as Moldzyme and Thieves Essential Oil. But the winner was the owner who said, “Detailing!”
Auto Detailing is the way to go when a car has lost the battle of the fungi. Why? Auto detailers have the experience, equipment, cleaning solutions and a dry garage all of which are necessary to get the mold out.
We were asked if steam is the best way to remove mold. “Yes and no, while steam can play a big part in the remediation of mold, you need a system that combines knowledge, products, equipment and safety. Before you start on any mold project, contact your local health department and see if they are aware of any strong or dangerous lines of molds that are currently growing within your local area. Always wear eye, skin and breathing protection as mold can be very hazardous.”
“The key to having steam be a part of your mold remediation is killing and removing the source of the mold. Lifting carpets and removing excess water and then cleaning the baseboards of the car can be required on extreme cases. In lighter cases, removing the mold from the surface with dry extraction methods is an important step. At this point, I like to pre-mix a solution that has worked well for us. In a gallon container, I mix in eight (8) ounces of Hydrogen Pro-oxide in one gallon of water. This easy to use product/water mixture can be a great resource for killing off the mold and helping to secure that it will not come back. Now, add in steam and a heavy mist of the Hydrogen Pro-oxide in one gallon of water mixture and steam on high and you will see nice results!”
There are numerous auto detailers, car dealerships, marinas and car rental companies that use ozone machines in vehicles and boats to remove musty smells and even mold. There are two types of ozone generators: corona discharge (CD) or ultraviolet (UV). It is easy to spot the difference between the two machines. The UV machine has a very visible blue-violet glow. The UV machines are the latest in safe, clean ozone. This machine produces a very low wavelength of ultraviolet light which produces a lethal biocide and germicidal grade of ozone. This is better for the car because the corona discharge (CD) machine generates corrosive nitrogen. This gas combines with humidity present in the air which makes harmful and corrosive nitric acids which can damage leather, rubber seals and some electronics.
I known for exterior paint correction and interior detailing. They provide a wide variety of services including detailing, vehicle wraps and protection. We talked about the use of ozone machines in mold remediation. “The mold removal process is quite extensive and in most cases, an Ozone machine is necessary to cleanse the vehicle, kill bacteria, and make it safe to drive. If the mold is mainly in the trunk, rather than the cabin of the vehicle, the Ozone machine usually isn’t necessary. We use a wide variety of products depending on the vehicle, extent and color of mold, and surface of the vehicle.”
As you can see, a lot of work goes into mold removal. Super Interior Detail-For Super Messy Cars is the package you will need to take care of the mold. It is a dirty job and a good auto detailer can win a customer for life with a thorough cleaning. It is an example of the good, the bad, the ugly and the good clean.