How to Get Rid of Moisture in My Car

by Cynthia Measom
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Water, water everywhere, and your car doesn't want a bit of it. Apart from the cooling system or cupholders, there isn't a single place in your car where the slightest bit of moisture will result in anything good. But removing water is equal parts difficult and vital. You've got three basic options when it comes to getting rid of this liquid plague: soak it up, suck it up, or vaporize it back into the air from whence it came,

Step 1

Identify the areas where the moisture is present by feeling the car's upholstery, floor mats and carpet with your hands. Remove the floor mats and place them in a sunny area to dry if they are wet.

Step 2

Blot wet areas with towels to soak up as much moisture as you can. Plug an extension cord into the nearest outlet and then plug a hair dryer into the cord. Dry the areas of the car that are affected by moisture with the hair dryer.

Step 3

Sprinkle a light, even coating of baking soda over your carpet and upholstery to help eliminate odors. Work the baking soda into the carpet with your hands or a brush and leave it there for 24 hours. Vacuum up the baking soda. Use an industrial vacuum at a self-serve car wash for best results.

Place a commercial odor absorber in the back or front floorboards of your car, or five or six charcoal briquettes under each seat to absorb moisture and odors. Leave these products in place until you no longer notice an odor.


  • If your floor mats smell musty, like mildew, once you have dried them out in the sun, you may want to replace them instead of trying to clean them to get rid of the odor.
  • Be wary if you find concentrated moisture in your passenger-side foot well. It could be the result of a clogged air conditioner drain, but it may also be antifreeze leaking from a leaking heater core. It's more common than you may think. First, press a white napkin into the moisture to soak some up, and hold it to the light. If it's any color other than clear or black-dirt colored -- particularly green, rust-brown, orange or yellow -- then it's likely antifreeze. Hold the napkin under your nose and smell. Antifreeze has a distinctly sweet, chemical aroma; but if you smell anything other than dirty water and carpet shampoo -- if you use it -- then it would be wise to have the heater core pressure-tested for leaks.


  • Don't hold the hair dryer's nozzle too close to the area you are drying. You can cause it to overheat. Keep it at least two inches away from the upholstery or carpet.

Items you will need

  • Towels
  • Extension cord
  • Hair dryer
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • Commercial odor absorber or charcoal briquettes

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