How to sanitize interior after long-term rodent intrusion?

Mopar Interiors

  1. TylerW

    TylerW Well-Known Member

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    Hey everyone:

    Another sedan followed me home this weekend, this time a '69 Dart Custom. It's another one of those cars that was taken great care of by the original owners, then passed down to a relative that damaged it. In this case it was an older man who caused a traffic accident and folded up the LR quarter.

    They parked it in a barn in 1998 and walked away from it. Mice moved in, you know the rest of the story. I spent today cleaning out nests under the seats, under the dash, inside the AC duct, inside the trunk and inside the trunk LID, plus copious amounts of droppings on the floor, seats and rear package tray.

    Fortunately the interior hasn't been destroyed...looks like they chewed up an old phone book instead. But, the seats have to be taken out and shampooed gingerly(they are cloth that was recovered some years ago), and I need to clean the carpet because it had poop all over it. I would just replace it, but it's the original, it's in excellent condition and I don't want that hassle. The downside is that the carpet, being 50 years old, is somewhat fragile.

    Also, to the positive is that the "residents" appear to ahve moved out long ago so there isn't much of an odor now. I'm open to recommendations regarding how to clean and sanitize the interior pieces in consideration that they are fragile and not able to withstand vigorous scrubbing or something(like bleach) that could potentially damage them.

    Thanks!
     
  2. dartfreak75

    dartfreak75 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    Idk but do not take ppe lightly! Im talking full suit respirators gloves etc when your cleaning it or gutting it. Hantavirus and other rodents diseases are nothing to play with. There was a young family local that died from cleaning out a old shed. The children got sick first they thought it was like a flu then the parents got sick. They all ended up dying. They were in there 30s and the kids was preteens. Very scary stuff.
     
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    • rustycowll69

      rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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      I picked up an old barracuda, but had to store it at a friend's house for several months until I could make room for it. In that time some mice got in there and did some damage. They chewed a hole in the headliner on one side, and a matching hole on the other side, too. Probably the worst was the smell, especially pungent on a hot day. A friend recommended and gave me a little jar of this stuff called "Pet Mute"(I think). It was a powder which you mixed like 100:1 w/ water. I just spritzed it on the carpet, let it dry, and vacuumed it and it took out probably 90% of the smell. I reapplied it one more time and it was great. That was like 30yrs ago, so I don't know if it is still sold anymore .
       
    • Kern Dog

      Kern Dog Well-Known Member

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      What???
      There had to be more to it than that. Maybe they ignored their symptoms, maybe they had some crazy religious "God will heal me" beliefs and never went to a doctor?
       
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      • 318willrun

        318willrun Stomper 4x4... we kept energizer in business

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        This may be deeper than you think. Mice urine is very dangerous. You might need to have these seats reupholstered. If you don't want to put much money into it, I understand. You can even do it yourself.
        I know j par has done a homemade job on his roof. His turned out looking like crap, but at least it wasn't mice crap. Maybe he'll chime in with some suggestions, especially since he is working on about the same type of project right now, that '74 truck.
         
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        • 1994redram

          1994redram FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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          Ive cleaned my interior over and over. I replaced the bench seat with nice buckets and replaced the falling headliner. But the old carpet STINKS. I daily drove it for a couple years all year round. The smell wasn't too bad in the winter, kinda funky. But it was awful in the summer and on humid days. I haven't driven it much since V8 swapping it and getting ready for paint. But I'll bet it still stinks. The carpet will get removed soon I hope.
           
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          • 68original

            68original I'm here, you're there. FABO Gold Member

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            Not necessarily.
            Hantavirus early symptoms can appear to be like influenza, and if not treated it causes severe respiratory problems and can lead to death.
            Even though this is probably very rare, dealing with rodent urine and feces is nothing to take lightly.
             
          • rustycowll69

            rustycowll69 Well-Known Member

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            I think not all mice have hantavirus. I believe it's usually associated with deer mice, and not all of them have it either. It definitely can be dangerous, it depends on the degree of mice infestation, how much mice feces is present, and even the physical condition of people breathing the dust in a confined space. You want to be careful not to stir up the dust and dirt. At the minimum, I would use a GOOD dust mask and dispose of the dirt in a sealed container. Use disposable latex gloves, wash your hands, and clothes immediately after handling that stuff. I'm not sure if vacuuming would be good idea or not, because it might just put too much into the air on the exhaust side. If you do use a vacuum, I would replace the filter afterward.
            Maybe it would just be better to wet things down, and mop the surfaces to keep the dust down.
             
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            • fishmens67

              fishmens67 Well-Known Member

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              Bleach solution will neutralize and clean, ammonia works as well
               
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              • jimjimjimmy

                jimjimjimmy lobsterman FABO Gold Member

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              • j par

                j par Well-hung Member

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                Actually you're busted my nuts I know it! That headliner turned out awesome. It's been over a year and it works perfect. And remember I was into the materials probably about $25 until I decided I didn't want to be like everybody else and have foam cloth lining like the rest of the world and decide to be unique and since I live in the beaver State I put faux beaver skin on mine! It's so 70s...
                Anyways this is how I clean my interior Last Summer...
                20171111_123553.jpg
                I didn't have your problem at all but if I did I'd go to Harbor Freight and get a one time use respirator and get that crap out of there before it like they said it kills ya.
                I could have used standard material on it if I wanted to look standard like everyone else and got approval from the masses..
                IMG_20180303_101354.jpg
                Anyways it would be really nice to at least pay back for all that great information I got on rebuilding the 904 transmission from watching your videos.
                here's how to do a badass headliner for less than 80 bucks and that's only because I spent 60 bucks on the material that I like instead of twenty bucks that everybody else likes..
                IMG_20180301_162353.jpg
                 
              • Jadaharabi

                Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                If you're going to store a vehicle like that out in the barn, out in the shed, somewhere out in the field for that matter, take fabric softener strips and put under the seats and in the glove box and under the dash and under the hood and in the trunk for some reason those little rodents hate the smell that those fabric strips give off.
                 
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                • Jadaharabi

                  Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                  .
                  Why do you call that Beaver faux?
                   
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                  • j par

                    j par Well-hung Member

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                    Good Lord man you know I'd voice command everything! What did I say something wrong I meant Pho beaver skin. Lol see its said Pho like the food..
                     
                  • Jadaharabi

                    Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                    .
                    Okay so you use voice command. So what is pho beaver skin?
                    Like pho folks skin? Leathery?
                     
                    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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                    • adriver

                      adriver Blazing Apostle

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                      Beaver fuzz with no mice is nice.
                       
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                      • j par

                        j par Well-hung Member

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                        I don't care who you are that's funny!
                         
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                        • adriver

                          adriver Blazing Apostle

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                          Weasels.
                           
                        • j par

                          j par Well-hung Member

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                          Pho with one of these little ^ icons over the O making it sound like fa. That is Vietnamese soup.
                          Now "faux" don't quote me is French for fake. So fake beaver skin for you unlearned...:poke:
                           
                        • j par

                          j par Well-hung Member

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                          Vietnamese beaver skin soup I rection LOL
                           
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                          • TylerW

                            TylerW Well-Known Member

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                            Keep it on topic...this isn't another thread for you to entertain and hold court. Otherwise I'll ask a mod to delete the thread. THANKS.
                             
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                            • Jadaharabi

                              Jadaharabi FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              So you're Attacking the first Amendment.
                               
                            • j par

                              j par Well-hung Member

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                              Oh wait a minute here I added good content and answering people's questions?
                               
                            • j par

                              j par Well-hung Member

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                              don't forget to attack this guy too he said something funny also and actually started it...
                               
                            • 69_340_GTS

                              69_340_GTS Well-Known Member

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                              You'll never get the stink out of the carpet. Might as well replace it... every car's carpet gets replaced eventually. It's not the type of thing that'll make the car more valuable or ever gain you any points for being "original".

                              Upholstery, same thing. Unless it's a pattern or a rare material that has not been replicated/reproduced.
                               
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