USjunkCars Blog

The Best Way to Dry a Car Quickly and Prevent Damage

The moment all car owners dread happened: You accidentally left your windows open during the rain, or you crossed a flooded street. Now, there’s water in your car.

Water can cause permanent damages to your vehicle and even diminish its value. Common issues include:

  • Premature rust on the metal surfaces, including nuts and bolts.
  • Mold and odor on the carpet.
  • Corrosion of the electrical connections.
  • Malfunction of several car parts.

If you don’t have insurance, this can turn into a huge headache. Don’t get desperate yet, though. You can still reduce the damage to your car. 

What’s the Best Way to Dry a Car? 4 Steps to Follow

By drying your vehicle well, you can greatly minimize issues. The faster you do it, the better, so learn how to dry a car quickly and save your ride.

  1. Remove All the Water in the Car

Begin by disconnecting the battery to avoid short circuits. Then, pick up a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, dry cloths or towels, and a bucket (in case there is over an inch of water inside the vehicle).

The best way to dry a flooded car is by scooping out the excess water with the bucket. Then, use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck all the liquid remaining. There’s no problem if you don’t own one, though. You could use the bucket first and towels. In both cases, most of the liquid will be soaked.

Then, remove the console and the seats. Soak any water out of them with the same method and leave them out to dry. It’ll be quicker out in the open. This will also give better access to the car’s floor. Follow by soaking the water out of the carpet until all excess water is gone.

Finish this step by washing your carpet and mats and removing dirt if the car was flooded. If it was only rain, it won’t be necessary.

best way to dry a car

  1. Dry It with a Fan

The secret to dry a wet car fast is airflow. First, get a big fan or two. But don’t worry if your fan is mid-sized.

Position them across the car with all doors open. The goal is to ventilate the air so that it can dry faster before the water ruins something. Don’t forget to dry the carpets and seats well, too, especially if you washed them. Using a dehumidifier can speed up the process.

It’s possible to use compressed air in tight spots. This will help you to avoid missing spots that could be rusted.

Don’t panic if you’re far from home and don’t have a fan around. You can use your car heater to dry your car, but it’s not such an efficient method. 

Remember not to reinstall the carpets and other parts before they are completely dry. This can take a whole day if it’s not hot.

  1. Apply Baking Soda on Smelly and Humid Spots

Even if you dry the vehicle fast, there’s still a chance that it will get mold in the future. Mold and mildew affect wet surfaces and can be hard to see them at first. They cause a bad smell in the car and even affect your health. Generally, it will affect surfaces that were not properly cleaned and dried.

Baking soda is the most common solution for these cases. Apply it on the spot that smells bad, like under a seat, for example. If you don’t know where to look for the smell, you can use a paper towel to find out areas that are still humid. They’re most likely to develop mold.

As a general rule, leaving the baking soda for at least half a day is enough to help with the smell. Vacuum up the product in the end, and you’re done.

water in car

  1. Check for Water Damage

After carefully following all these steps, it’s essential to check for any water damage. First, check all controls that were submerged, such as your emergency brakes or manual seat adjustments. Other common issues may include doors not locking properly or radio and heater controls that don’t work anymore.

The final step is to reconnect the battery and check if there are any warning lights on. In case there are, check the affected pieces individually to understand the scope of the damage. If no issues came up so far, you’re probably safe.

water in car door

Don’t Know What to Do with a Junked Car? We Have the Solution

Even following the best way to dry a car, it’s still possible that the damages will be extensive. If insurance won’t cover them, you may be in a bad spot. However, there’s a way out for you.

US Junk Cars can buy your vehicle. We accept all car models even if they don’t run anymore, and you get paid cash upfront without bureaucracy. 

Visit our stores across the U.S. or get in touch to know more.