What To Do If You Leave Your Car Windows Down in the Rain

Forgot to put up your car windows during a rain storm? Follow these steps to dry out your car.

The sound of rain pitter-pattering on your windows in the early morning can be really soothing, until, of course, you remember that you left your car windows down. Yikes! Not only can it make getting in your car unpleasant (hello wet butt), but it can damage electronics from your stereo to more important equipment that helps your car run. And let’s not forget mold! If a wet car happens to you, don’t stress, just readily respond. Here’s what you’ll need to do.

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First thing’s first: get the water out! You’ll want to grab some towels to wipe down and soak up. Follow up with a wet/dry vacuum to really get the moisture out, especially from car seats, floor mats and carpets. If you don’t have one, get one! You can purchase a small one for about $30.

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Once you’ve done initial damage control with the towels and vacuum, you’ll want to grab some fans, turn them on, open all your doors and blast them into the areas that were saturated with water.

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Now this is where you need some patience, because it’s going to take a full day or two for your car to dry out while the fans run. If some spots are still wet after 48 hours, consider using a hair blow dryer to focus warm air on the spots that are still wet.

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Once the surfaces feel dry, the crucial step is to get all the remaining moisture out of your car to avoid that mildewy smell. There are a few ways you can do this, whether you choose to use a dehumidifier that can be easily moved, purchase and use Damp Rid, or put a few open boxes of baking soda around the interior of your car.

While drying out your wet car, you may notice you have some rust! Here’s how to repair it.

If your mold-prevention efforts fail, open all the car windows and doors for at least 15 minutes to let the spores blow out. Next, inspect your car, from the seats and the seat belts to the steering wheel, and pinpoint where the mold is located. Then, use a toothbrush to break up the spores, brushing into all cracks and crevices. Use a wet/dry vacuum again to suck up the loose mold. You can then use white vinegar. Because it’s an acid, it will burn the mold and its spores.

Mix eight parts white vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle and spray over the surface until its very damp. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes, then use a wet/dry vacuum to speed up the drying process.

Vinegar works great on rusty tools, too!

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: livingbylex.com