How to Clean Mold & Tree Sap From Car

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Maintaining a clean vehicle can be made more difficult when you live in an area with lots of trees or moisture. Tree sap can easily adhere to the exterior of a car, creating a sticky trap for dust and debris. Meanwhile, the interior of a car can be plagued by mold on the carpet or upholstery when stored in an environment with high moisture. Fortunately, both sap and mold can be cleaned and your car restored.

Things You'll Need

  • Mineral spirits or WD-40
  • Clean, soft rags
  • Hot soapy water
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Paper face mask

Sap Removal

  • Clean the area around the sap by gently scrubbing with hot soapy water and a soft rag. Once the surface dirt has been removed, wipe the area clean and wait for it to dry.

  • Dip a clean, soft rag into the mineral spirits and gently dab the area covered by sap. Grab a clean rag and rub the area in a gentle circular motion to wipe away the sap and mineral spirits. Replace the clean rag that you are using to wipe off the sap as it becomes soiled. Repeat this process until the sap has been completely removed. To use WD-40, spray the area with the product and allow it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe the area with a clean cloth once the sap has loosened and apply a new coat of wax to the vehicle's finish where the WD-40 penetrated any existing wax.

  • Wash the car with soap and water once all of the sap is removed to ensure that the mineral spirits are removed from the vehicle's finish along with the sap.

Mold Removal

  • Apply a paper protective face mask to prevent breathing in potentially harmful mold spores. Open all of the car doors in a well ventilated area and allow the car to air out for at least five minutes prior to beginning work.

  • Vacuum the area affected by mold with a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove any excess moisture in the upholstery or carpet.

  • Fill a clean spray bottle with distilled white vinegar. Generously spray the areas affected by mold with the vinegar. Also spray the 12 inch radius around the visible mold to kill any additional mold spores. Allow the vinegar to sit and penetrate the mold for no less than 10 minutes.

  • Wipe off the mold residue with a clean rag after the vinegar has sat on the affected area. Vacuum the areas that were sprayed with a wet/dry vacuum to remove any excess moisture left behind by the vinegar solution.

  • Clean the wet/dry vacuum after use to prevent the spread of mold spores. Purchase a mold testing kit to use and ensure that you have removed all of the mold from the interior of your vehicle. Seek the assistance of a professional carpet and upholstery cleaning company if you are unable to remove all of the mold on your own, as prolonged exposure to mold spores may present health risks.

References

  • Photo Credit IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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