Almost all of us love to drive or be driven in a car that heaves cool and fresh air, especially when the weather outside is hot and humid. The moment we get into the car, we want the air conditioner to relax us immediately. But how many of you can sincerely say that you are particular about the upkeep of your car’s AC vents? You would agree that while cleaning your car’s interiors, you only focus on cleaning the armrests, the foot mats, and the seats. There is a high possibility that you tend to miss out on cleaning certain small portions of your car, such as the AC vents!

These days’ specialized AC vent cleaners are available. These foam-based cleaners have to be injected in the A/C vents. The foam expands in the vents and traps all the dust and germs. This can be then blow out by running the A/C fan at a sufficient speed. This is a highly cost-effective and easy way to clean the car’s AC vents periodically.

Ask an automobile enthusiast, and he will tell you that cleaning of the AC vents is as essential as the other portions of your car interiors. Neglecting the cleaning of AC vents can lead to accumulation of dust, grime, and can even be a reason for the growth of mold.

If not cleaned for long, polluted air can cause allergies and can be even more harmful to people who have asthma. In some cases, the mold in air conditioning can cause respiratory issues and, in some extreme cases, can even lead to lung cancer. Hence, it becomes imperative to keep your car’s AC vents clean.


Here we share some important tips on how you can clean the AC vents.

Choose the appropriate cleaning brush

Do not use just any brush for cleaning the vents. If the brush that you are using have rough bristles, it can result in cracking of the, or causing scratches on the vent slats. Other components inside the vents may also get damaged.

Detailing experts will recommend that you use brushes with microfiber bristles as they are specially made for cleaning of the vents. These can get in between the slats of the vents where maximum dust and dirt pile up.

Alternatively, you can also use foam paintbrushes. They do not cost much and can squeeze in between the vent slats. These can be as effective as a professional vent brush in cleaning the contaminants. Experts also suggest using a q-tip brush to clean corners that are very tough to reach otherwise.

The cleaning can be done with the help of soap and water. Using a disinfectant spray or any cleaning product or your choice is advisable to get rid of some of the grease and tougher dirt.

Make use of a Steam Cleaner 

If the cleaning of vents has been ignored for a very long time, there is a possibility that the contaminants will start sticking to the vent slats. For such residues, cleaning products and brushes may not be enough.

An expert will always tell you that you need to use a professional car steamer to clean such a surface. Steamers not only clean out tough stuck-on dirt and body oil, but they can also be used to disinfect the surfaces. You may not need to use any harmful chemical disinfectant sprays.

Use the nozzle of the steamer to clean each vent slat. You will notice how quickly the dirt actually starts getting cleaned from each slat. Once you are done with the steaming, wipe the vents so that they are dried up. If some of the water is left behind, you can dry that up by turning on the fan at the desired speed.


A scented cleaning solution can be an add-on

A scented spray can take care of foul mold odour. A store cleaning solution with a scent can be used to clean vents. It can be easily applied over the vents and wiped off with the help of a microfiber towel.

All mold smell might not necessarily be coming from the vents. Some persistent odour might be because of some problem in the air conditioning system or the air filter. In such a situation, just spraying the scented cleaning solution on the vents would not be enough. You would require proper cleaning of such parts or components.

If you are a car enthusiast who is particular about the cleanliness of your car interiors, you can make a home-made cleaning solution. You can do this by mixing an equal amount of warm water and white vinegar. You can overcome any smell by using a lemon-scented cleaning vinegar. If you are not able to find a lemon-scented cleaning vinegar, add some lime juice to the solution.

Periodically replace the air filter

Read through your vehicle’s manual to know how and when to replace the air filter. The process of changing the air filter is straightforward in most of the newer car models. Commonly, the air filter in today’s cars needs to be replaced once in a year. You may be required to change it more frequently if you live in a very dusty place.

Clean the air intake vents regularly

Just like the AC vents in the interior of your car, you also need to maintain the air intake vents that are on the exterior. These vents are located around the windshield cowling. Remove all dust or dead leaves that usually gets accumulated on the air intake vents. Apply a disinfectant spray cleaner inside the vents. It helps in eradicating any fungi or mold growing in the car’s vent system.

Switch-off AC before reaching your destination

To prevent mold growth, follow the practice of switching-off your car air conditioner four to five minutes before you turn off the engine. The idea behind this is to let the fan blow-dry the car’s vent system that eventually helps in averting mold growth.

Run blower minus the air conditioner

Using the fan blower without switching-on the air conditioner once every two or three months is a good way to prevent future mold growth. On any warm and dry day, turn the blower on maximum while keeping all the car doors open, and also making sure that the air conditioner is off.

To Conclude

Maintenance of the car’s AC vents is an essential detailing procedure. The tips explained above are mostly DIY tasks that you can perform at your convenience. If required, you can also take professional help. Get your car AC serviced at least once a year. It will guarantee an uninterrupted functioning of the AC, and you can prevent any sudden break-down of the air conditioning system.

If you are looking for more such useful tips on professional car detailing services, do get in touch with us and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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