What Should You Do if You Leave Your Car Windows Open in the Rain?


A man cleaning the inside of a car door

A sudden and unexpected rain can ruin a lot of things. The interior of your car might not be immediately apparent, but ask someone who forgot to close their windows. If you find yourself with a rain-soaked automotive interior, it is important to act quickly. The longer you leave a wet interior untreated, the greater risk you run of developing mould and mildew issues that can be incredibly expensive to treat. This is one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Our team did a little research and spoke with some automotive detailing experts to give you some tips on getting moisture out of your car’s interior.

READ MORE: Teach Your (Old) Car New Tricks

How Do You Remove Water From the Inside of a Car?

There really isn’t a hidden secret to removing water from the inside of a soaked vehicle. Grab anything absorbent and get to work. Our friendly experts suggested:

  • Towels
  • Rags
  • Wet/Dry Vacuum

You’ll want to remove the standing water as quickly and thoroughly as possible using the towels. Rags can be used to soak up water from the dashboard and inside crevices or pockets like cup holders. Finally, a wet/dry vac will go a long way toward pulling out the water that has been absorbed by the seat cushions. Don’t forget to remove the floor mats and hang them up to promote drying.

Does it Take a Long Time to Dry Out a Car?

Anytime you’re dealing with an automotive issue, it’s important to set expectations early. If your car was soaked by rain, just know up front that it may take a while to get all the water out. There are a few things you can do to help remove that moisture a little faster.

  • If you can keep your vehicle in a garage, open up the doors to let as much airflow through the vehicle as possible.
  • Surrounding the vehicle with fans and dehumidifiers will also help speed up the process.
  • Depending on how extensive the damage is, it can take about 48 hours to see satisfactory results.

If you don’t have the tools or time to deal with the problem, making an appointment with a professional automotive detailing provider could be the way to go.