How to clean mould in the car vents

Updated February 21, 2017

The cool air from your car's air-conditioning vents is prone to an unpleasant musty odour that can irritate your nose. The air-conditioning system is housed in a dark, moisture-laden environment, which is the perfect place for mould to grow. It usually grows on the evaporator core that circulates the refrigerant from the air conditioner's compressor. Humidity condenses on the evaporator core's surface, mould grows, and then the smell comes out of the vehicle's vents. But you can take action to eliminate it.

Spray odour-eliminating disinfectant into each car vent about four times.

Start the vehicle's engine and turn the fan on the high setting at a cool temperature. Do not use the air-conditioning setting.

Put about 20 sprays of the disinfectant into the fresh-air intake vent, which is located at the base of the windscreen outside the car.

Allow the vehicle to idle for two to three minutes, and then wipe the interior vents with a towel to clean off any excess spray.

Turn the air-conditioning system to the A/C max setting on high, and engage the recirculating setting. Send eight to 10 sprays of the disinfectant into the car, and exit the vehicle for seven minutes.

Re-enter the car and turn off the engine.


Run your blower, without using the A/C setting, for about 10 minutes once a week. This will help dry out moisture on the evaporator core.

Things You'll Need

  • Odour-eliminating disinfectant spray
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About the Author

Based in Texas, Cynthia Measom has been writing various parenting, business and finance and education articles since 2011. Her articles have appeared on websites such as The Bump and Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.