Exploring Auto Body Paint Application Procedures

How To Clean Vehicle Air Conditioner Vents

If the inside of your vehicle smells, it could be time to clean the air conditioner vents. Smoke, mildew, and dirt can accumulate quickly in an air vent sending foul odors into the air, which could cause allergies. It is important to clean the vents as soon a possible to increase air quality. Follow these steps to clean your vehicle's air conditioner vents.

Prepare to Clean Vents

To clean the vents, gather:

  • work gloves
  • cotton swabs, old toothbrush, or compressed air 
  • foam brushes 
  • small broom 
  • wire hanger
  • dish soap or white vinegar 
  • cabin air filter (optional)
  • interior car cleaner 

Turn the air conditioner and the motor off, and allow the vehicle to cool, if needed. Locate all air vents, which are commonly near the windshield cowl, floor vents, and the recirculation vent in the trunk or near the console. Use a broom to remove leaves and dust on the surface.

Clean the Vents

Clean the vents with an interior car cleaner, or if you prefer, make your own natural solution. Combine one-half cup of vinegar or several drops of dish soap and one-half cup of warm water in a container. To disguise the smell of vinegar, add a drop or two of fresh lemon juice. 

Dip the foam brush in the solution or interior cleaner, and insert it between each slat on the upper and lower vents. To reach tight spaces, spray compressed air into it, or use a toothbrush or cotton swab. Close the doors, and turn the fan on high to circulate the cleaner.

Use a clean, dry brush to remove remaining cleaner residue, and let it dry. Regardless of the cleaner, it will smell for a while. Clean your brushes using a drop of dish soap and warm water, wring them, and store them in the glove box in a plastic bag to dry.

Replace the Cabin Filter

Newer vehicles usually have a cabin filter located on the inside of the air system near the glove compartment below the plastic grate. Some filters may be located under a dashboard housing on the driver's side. Check your manual to determine the exact location.

Grip the clips using a wrench or loosen the screws with a screwdriver, remove the cover, and lift the filter out of the slot. Dampen the filter with the cleaner, and run warm water over it, rinse, then let it dry. If the filter is very dirty or damaged, replace it with a new one. It is ideal to replace the paper filter, but if it isn't very dirty, shake or brush the debris. To learn more, contact a company like Custom Kar Tops