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Drying a car interior

So yesterday after Mrs Dibnah collected the kids from school and drove home, one of my little darlings got out of the mini and didn't bother to close the rear door.

Not just a little bit not closed, but wide, wide open.

None of us went out after about 4pm yesterday and the first time I went out this morning - around 9am to walk the hound - I discovered the open rear mini door.

Our driveway is on a bit of a slope, and the mini was parked on the camber at an angle with the door wide open facing up the driveway.

It had rained very hard from around 10pm last night until early morning. A good 8 hours of solid, heavy, full on rain with much of it going into my Mini....

Suffice to say that the interior of the car couldn't have been much wetter if I'd driven through a river. There was a good 2cm of rainwater sitting in the rear driver side footwell and the entire rear bench seat was like a 1,000 litre sponge full of water.

I stood looking at it - open mouthed - for a good 5 minutes taking it all in.

So - as a result, I have spent most of today sorting it out.

I borrowed my mother in laws Vax and used the water-suck feature to remove all the surface water and - surprisingly - quite a bit of the floor carpet water. I was very impressed with the efficiency of that actually. The carpet was touch dry after a good going over with the Vax. In the collection bucket of the Vax there was a good few inches of water after I'd finished.

I then went over everything I could with towels trying to absorb everything else - but that was not much good to be honest. I then left a fan blowing across the rear seats for good few hours in the garage this afternoon - but again not much improvement in the state of the back seats to be honest after that, but it did finish off drying the floor carpet.

So around 4pm I decided to remove the back seats (4 x T50 Torx and 4 x 16mm nuts all easily accessed) and took the rear seats out and have them now propped up against radiator in the house.

It's fortunate that I did because the carpet under the rear seat was also very wet so I lifted that too and have that draped over the radiators too. That would have developed smelly mould if left in place.

So now I have dry carpets in the footwells at the back and everything else out. The seats and rear carpets will stay indoors on rads now until bone dry. May take a few days. At least I have caught it all before the mould sets in.

What I was astounded by was the weight of the rear seats. Almost too heavy to carry to be honest. No wonder modern cars weigh so much!! I know the rear squab was full of water - but even so, they weigh a freakin ton!

Hopefully tomorrow will dry it all out and I can refit ready for the week ahead.

I have docked all pocket money as the 3 little darlings all blame each other for leaving the door open.
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Do you have access to a dehumidifier you could leave running in the car for a day or so? (With the doors closed so you're not trying to dehumidify the entire world.)
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I don't have access to a dehumidifier.

As of this morning the seats and removed carpets are all bone dry having now been on radiators for the past 16 hours so I am good with them.

The rear footwells in the car *feel* dry - but I have got concerns that there are damp layers below...

I'm wondering if leaving a couple of open containers of baking soda or rice would make a difference..... it sounds unlikely but that's the online advice once all reachable water has been removed.

Can a couple of shoeboxes of rice really absorb much?

I may have a look for a dehumidifier to rent.
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Get a couple of these and leave them in the car.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WENKO-Aut...CtVi:rk:3:pf:0

What you really need is a couple of days of sunny weather to heat up the interior.
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You can use catgrit to, way cheaper.
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I doubt they're quite as good, but most bargain type shops or DIY shops will sell passive dehumidifier sets. Basically a plastic box with a load of dessicant crystals in them.

Similar idea to the rice, but surely more effective.
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Leaving the back seats out and using the car with the heater on will help. Do you have anywhere covered that you can leave it with the windows open?
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I had it in the garage overnight with the windows open. I'm not convinced it's fully dry yet on the floor (seats and removable carpets definitely are) so will use it this week with the heater on as much as possible and see how it smells later this week.
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Can you lift the carpet anywhere and stick a bit of plastic in to keep it up? Getting air to circulate will make it a lot faster.
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Is this rant about the trials of careless children or car-drying tribulations?
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Originally Posted by Paddy OPlastic View Post
Is this rant about the trials of careless children or car-drying tribulations?
Good question.

I would say:

30% anger at the carelessness of children
20% rant at the weather in general
40% rant at how hard it is to dry modern car interiors
10% rant on how chuffing heavy seats are in modern cars

I focus here on modern cars because I've had flooded older cars and you can generally lift out carpets and rub down everything metal with a towel.

Moderns are so chock full of spongey sound deadening and fitted carpets that it's an art form to find any metal at all.

Finally - may I re-iterate that the first rule of rant club is to NEVER question the rant!
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Originally Posted by FredDibnah View Post
Good question.

I would say:

30% anger at the carelessness of children
20% rant at the weather in general
40% rant at how hard it is to dry modern car interiors
10% rant on how chuffing heavy seats are in modern cars

I focus here on modern cars because I've had flooded older cars and you can generally lift out carpets and rub down everything metal with a towel.

Moderns are so chock full of spongey sound deadening and fitted carpets that it's an art form to find any metal at all.

Finally - may I re-iterate that the first rule of rant club is to NEVER question the rant!
Your percentage break down only adds up to 100%.
Disappointing.
Next time give it at least 110% and a tad more hyperbole.

Controversially, I would blame the driver for not ensuring the car doors were all closed and locked.

On a slightly more helpful note, I would borrow or hire a dehumidifier if I were you - best way to make sure of thorough moisture removal
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Finally - may I re-iterate that the first rule of rant club is to NEVER question the rant!
You're right but I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
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Controversially, I would blame the driver for not ensuring the car doors were all closed and locked.
Not controversial at all. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure the car is left in a safe and secure manner. The Giulietta will not lock and beeps to tell you so if you try to lock it with a door not fully shut. Easier to blame the original perpetrators than have a full blown domestic I suppose.

When I originally read this I was amazed the OP was not complaining that the car had been stripped of its contents overnight by the local low life. I then thought perhaps he lives in one of the few parts of the country where there is no low life; lucky fellow. He really has got off cheaply. In many places he would not have the problem of drying out the seats etc but would be out looking for a replacement vehicle while discussing with his insurance company why they won't pay out for said replacement.
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Procrastination is the thief of time

Last edited by TonyGr; 13-11-18 at 14:39. Reason: spelling correction
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Not controversial at all. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure the car is left in a safe and secure manner. The Giulietta will not lock and beeps to tell you so if you try to lock it with a door not fully shut. Easier to blame the original perpetrators than have a full blown domestic I suppose.

When I originally read this I was amazed the OP was not complaining that the car had been stripped of its contents overnight by the local low life. I then thought perhaps he lives in one of the few parts of the country where there is no low life; lucky fellow. He really has got off cheaply. In many places he would not have the problem of drying out the seats etc but would be out looking for a replacement vehicle while discussing with his insurance company why they won't pay out for said replacement.
I've got 4 kids and a young working cocker spaniel. Most days in our house I'm just pleased when I count heads at bed time that we haven't left one of them somewhere! Quoting "drivers responsibility" to each other would likely just get a hollow laugh.

Despite being only 10 miles or so from the middle of London - I do happen to live in an area where, frankly, you are more likely to find someone has valeted your car if you leave the door open rather than robbing it. I don't always remember to lock the car doors when I come in so I can't take the moral high ground when others don't either.

Fate is always there to be tempted of course.
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I suspect the problem is the car; a Mini owning man is bound to have an open back door.
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Even worse if the mini owing man has a convertible one!!
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I think the way I would go about this problem is to embrace 2 overarching principles.


1) environmental - no nasty chems
2) practical - make a virtue of the liquid


I'd go with rice, and make a nice risotto afterwards with it.
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also


give your MiL her Vax back :tum:
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Originally Posted by Elvis Presley View Post
I think the way I would go about this problem is to embrace 2 overarching principles.


1) environmental - no nasty chems
2) practical - make a virtue of the liquid


I'd go with rice, and make a nice risotto afterwards with it.
This is genius.
....BUT you'd need to wait for mushrooms to form before setting the carpets alight, adding celery, then rice, white wine and stock.
Mini Risotto FTW
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Finally - may I re-iterate that the first rule of rant club is to NEVER question the rant!


Good call...

Just I don't understand how it's possible to not notice that one of the doors is wide open....


Still... the best way to get the beast dried out is as has been mentioned above, drive it around for a few days with as much of the wet material removed and the rest lifted up slightly, so that air can circulate.

Park it in the sunshine with the windows open just half an inch or so, so that it greenhouses up and the damp air can be ventilated by the draught you'll get through the windows.

Later, when you think it's dried out, hang one of those dehumidifier sacks round one of the front seat headrests so that it can absorb any lingering moisture.

They can be re-used (microwave them to dry them out) so once you're done with this episode, you can leave the bag on the rear parcel shelf. It'll stop the car misting up quite so much through the winter.

Meanwhile, inside the house, remove the bathroom door so the wife/kids have to use the toilet without any privacy. They don't like doors, do they...? You can refit it when they decided that they do actually like doors and will always aim to close them in future...


Ralf S.

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These are always handy. i have quite a number of the 1 kg. size which are ex-military. We used them in a friend's Robin DR400 which had a damp problem for a while. Only one panic was when we were flying back from France with them still in the aircraft and wondered what customs might have thought they were! Luckily not stopped.
I keep mine in the airing cupboard.

https://www.kitepackaging.co.uk/scp/...ng/silica-gel/
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Meanwhile, inside the house, remove the bathroom door so the wife/kids have to use the toilet without any privacy. They don't like doors, do they...? You can refit it when they decided that they do actually like doors and will always aim to close them in future...
This is simultaneously pure genius, and likely to see poor Fred hospitalised.






So no downside?
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(Post Link) post #24 of 25 Old 21-11-18 Thread Starter
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Judicious use of (most) of the above suggestions means car interior is now drizabone
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Judicious use of (most) of the above suggestions means car interior is now drizabone
AO FTW
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