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How to Clean Car Air Vents

by April Dowling

Cigarette smoke, dirt accumulation, mold, and other residue can thrive in car vents, causing foul odors. Odors in air vents can cause those riding in the car to feel nauseous, so air vents should be cleaned promptly. Car air vents should also be cleaned regularly to prevent dust, mold, and bacteria from accumulating. Basic cleaning materials can be used to clean car air vents and improve the air quality in the car.

Make sure the car is off and the car doors are open. Dip a cotton swab in window cleaner, and then rub the cotton swab over the slats of the vents.

Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Dip a toothbrush into the solution, and then rub the toothbrush inside the air vents.

Remove built-up dust and residue from unreachable crevices by spraying pressurized air into the vents. The pressurized air will blow out any remaining dust, mold, bacteria from the vents.

Apply silicone spray to a micro-fiber cloth. Wipe the vents with the micro-fiber cloth to protect the vents from dust accumulation.


  • Soap can be used instead of white vinegar.

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About the Author

April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.

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Photo Credits

  • car heater vent image by robert mobley from