My interior is growing mold!? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2015, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Vehicle: 1971 w115 (220)
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My interior is growing mold!?

Hello everyone, new on the site here...

We have a '71 220 with the MB-tex interior (just about identical to the photo I found online and attached here). My father is the original owner, and still drives it very regularly. He recently moved about a year ago (in FL), and keeps the car in the garage in the new place. He's been traveling, and the car has been sitting about 3-4 months. I went to check on the house the other day, and looked at the car, and I found a white fuzzy coating of what I'm guessing is mold on many of the interior surfaces (seat tops, shifter knob, dash top in particular), with some thicker round fuzzy white spots growing on the seats.

What's the best way to kill this stuff and keep it away without damaging the materials (or damaging my lungs)? The car was in another normal FL house garage the previous 30+ years too and never had any such issues, so I don't know why or how the new garage is more humid or more moldy or who knows what. It doesn't smell in there and there's no obvious moisture. I also found mold growing on a bicycle seat too.

Anyway, I read I could maybe spray white vinegar on everything, or maybe would those clorox cleaning wetwipes work well? Or maybe just park it in the FL summer sun a few days with the windows up to bake it out? I want to nip this in the bud before it causes any damage or worse contamination. I imagine the car wouldn't be safe to drive at the moment with mold spores flying around.

Thanks for any advice.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 08:42 AM
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Vinager will ruin the interior for sure since it's an acid. Regular interior cleaner will probably do the job, those vinyl or leather cleaners that can be found on supermarkets. Baking soda could also do the trick and is not harmful to the interior of the car, mix with water.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2015, 08:31 PM
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Had this issue with one of my cars. I used a method antibacterial spray, fairly inert, on the seats, surfaces and carpet. I then vacuumed everything to be sure there weren't spores remaining. Be certain to wear a mask and throw away the vac bag afterwards. I Found a mold killing desiccant pouch at the hardware store and left it on the passenger floor. Nothing has regrown
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2015, 09:39 PM
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Just wipe it off with ammonia laden window cleaner then buy a desiccant (i like to use dry pack mortar or concrete) and keep it inside the cabin and trunk so it absorbs all the moisture. Replace when it's hard and constantly try to keep a small bag inside from here on out. Also move to an area with less humidity. =)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2015, 05:13 AM
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Use a small brush in conjunction with a vacuum cleaner to remove as much of the growth as possible, paying particular attention to the pleats and perforations. Once completed, feel free to wipe the surfaces with a damp rag and just about any cleaning solution you desire. Don't go overboard with the solution, but remember real M-B Tex is close to indestructible. The purpose of the wash is not to remove the mold but to remove the body secretions from the Tex that were host to the growth in the first place. Depending upon ambient humidity, desiccants can be near useless - your best prevention against regrowth is air movement. Leave the windows open as much as possible or even provide a small fan to allow for air circulation. For me, placing the windows in a half open position in a closed garage has eliminated any unwanted regrowth on an M-B leather interior.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-22-2015, 07:37 PM
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the mold is eating the human debris deposited on the seats and interior. The smell will need to be dealt with as well as reducing the moisture in the car.

I used a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Use one part peroxide to 10 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray the stuff on everything until it is damp, but not really wet. This will oxidize the mold and work on the smell. You need to do EVERYTHING. Seatbelts, under the seat, headliner, door panels, carpet, dash. If you can, pull stuff out of the car and allow it to breath for a few days in the sun. The UV will also sanitize things.

It may take two or three applications of peroxide solution to wear down the spores and stink of mold. A soft bristle brush will work the solution into the surfaces. You can also remove the door panels and spray the backsides to clean up mold back there. Be careful removing the panels, but put a new vapor barrier on the doors.

The peroxide at this low a mixture will have no impact on fading or damaging the leather or Tex. It also does not hurt the hard board panels. I have used this on three cars and never had issue.


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