Interior Care

How to Clean a Flooded Car Carpet in 8 Easy Steps

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how to clean a flooded car carpet

A flooded car interior is a big problem for all car owners. It may cause various issues. Aside from electrical trouble, there is that murky appearance of your car carpets and the musky odor that is hard to miss.

But there is always a solution to water damage car interior if the owner knows how to find ways. You do not need to spend around a $200 cost to recarpet a car because we give you easy steps on how to clean a flooded car carpet and more.

Cleaning a Flooded Car Carpet

Cleaning water-damaged car interior is essential since it heightens health risks especially for children. The mold in car carpet from water damage can trigger allergy attacks, skin conditions, and chronic respiratory disease.

To prevent this, you must clean a flooded carpet. Here is a list of what you need for this task:

  • Detergent and Water Mixture or Baking Soda, Borax Powder, and Vinegar Mixture (eco-friendly, antibacterial and fragrance-free products)
  • Protective Gear: glasses, gloves, dust mask
  • Portable Fans and Humidifier (Optional)
  • Water Hose attached to a Water System
  • Absorbent Microfiber Cloth
  • Soft-bristled Brush
  • Cotton Cloths
  • Wet Vacuum (Preferably a high-performing and ergonomic-design cordless vacuum to remove sitting water)

Steps toFollow

Step 1. Put on protective gear


Before starting to clean the carpet in your car, protect yourself from dirt, dust, and mildew by wearing your protective gear: gloves, dust mask, and glasses.

Step 2. Suck up the Stagnant Water

Absorb water from car carpet and remove as much standing water as possible with a wet vacuum. Make sure you are gentle in the process and careful to go through all the small crevices and nooks.

Don’t forget to fully vacuum the car’s interior, working your way from the top to the bottom area. The accumulations of water are probably concealed in the cracks or openings or water under carpet in car.

Step 3. Wipe with an Absorbent Microfiber Towel

Blot any places that are still damp to the touch with a microfiber towel to remove moisture and prevent scratches. Apply a little pressure while holding the towel against the surface to properly clean the area.

Step 4. Check-up Interior


Examine the car interior to see if there are any parts that are seriously damaged. If so, consider purchasing replacements.

You can contact the manufacturer or vehicle repair shops for suitable products that fit your interior system. Continue with cleaning if you are sure all the parts are intact.

Step 5. Mix Solution and Clean


Combine water and mild detergent or Borax powder, vinegar, and baking soda mixture as your anti-mildew solution. These mixtures kill mold in car from water damage.

Take a cloth or brush and immerse it in the cleaning solution before scrubbing the inside. Use gentle circular then side-to-side movements, depending on the vertical or horizontal parts of the interior. This procedure will eliminate any odor-causing germs, leaving you with a clean-smelling automobile and get wet carpet smell out of the car!

Step 6. Rinse Soap with Water


Using a water hose to clean the soap off completely. Check if any remnants were left. Use a small portable electric fan to dry the interiors and open the doors to allow air to dry car carpet fast.

If a dehumidifier is available, put it inside the car. It will aid in the drying process and guarantee that moisture is not confined in the car interiors.

Step 7. Vacuum for Deep Cleaning


After a day of drying the car interior, start vacuuming and doing a deep clean. To ensure that no moisture remains, set the vacuum to a high or moderate setting and run it over to the treated surface.

Do not miss any locations, so take your time but exercise extreme caution. If any areas are still damp after treatment, consider applying calcium chloride, activated charcoal, or any affordable moisture-absorbing items. Baking soda can be used as a moisture-absorbing agent to dry wet car carpet.

Vacuum until you are sure that all the interior parts are dry.

Step 8. Wipe Interior Surface

Using the cotton cloth, wipe the interior surface until everything is guaranteed clean. Repeat wiping with more cloth until every nook and cranny is covered.

It’s as easy as ABC! Nonetheless, if these steps are too complicated for you to follow, the best thing to do is opt for a flooded car cleaning service. It may cost you more, but it also guarantees a professionally cleaned car carpet after the service.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is there water leakage in a car?

The possible reasons for a car water leakage are leaking windows, sunroof, doors, air conditioner, or coolant.

How long does it take for a flooded car to dry out?

Suppose there is enough ventilation in a flooded car, like opened windows, the installation of portable fans, and a humidifier. In that case, one day is enough to dry out a flooded car.

How to increase your carpet drying speed?

Leaving the carpet wet in your car can result in an unpleasant smell, especially during high-humid weather. Therefore, turning on humidifiers and ventilation fans can increase the drying speed of a car carpet.

How to get rid of the car smell?

Baking soda, vinegar, charcoal, carpet cleaner, and air fresheners can eliminate foul-causing bacteria in your car.

The formation of mildew or molds can give a foul odor to your car, especially when your car has been flooded or with water leakage. In this case, you have to make sure to kill this fungus by soaking a cloth or soft-bristled brush into the baking soda powder and vinegar solution on the carpet and interior surface to act as an anti-mildew solution.

Killing molds can also take away unpleasant odors in the car.


Car maintenance can cause you time, money, and effort. The best way to counter these car problems is by practicing preventive measures. Always schedule maintenance checks to note possible problems and periodic cleanings to ensure quality car health.

Rain is inevitable, but car flooding is avoidable. If the water is high in certain areas, don’t risk crossing. If water leakage is evident, see a professional to fix it. But if your car is still flooded after doing everything to keep it safe, then by all means clean it and get smell out of a flooded car. After all, you already learned how to clean a flooded car carpet!

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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