How to Remove Mold From Shoes - Easy to Follow Guide

how to remove mold from shoes

One of the most common problems of many shoe owners is battling to remove mold on shoes. This unsightly growth arises when footwear is left in damp, dark conditions, allowing mold spores to flourish. This problem can be especially prevalent in leather shoes.

So, how to remove mold from leather shoes? Well, acting swiftly can help prevent the spores from causing lasting damage and save your shoes from being ruined. While it may seem like an uphill task, there are several effective methods to tackle this issue.

Let's go through some of the most effective ways to eliminate the unwelcome invasion of mold from your footwear.

What Causes Mold on Shoes

Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in warm and moist environments. It takes one spore landing in the right condition to spawn an infestation, and moldy shoes are a perfect example. The moisture in your shoes, combined with the dark interiors, provides the ideal breeding ground for mold.

Thus, it is important to act quickly as soon as you spot a sign that indicates the presence of mold. The signs may include:

  • an unpleasant smell
  • a fuzzy growth you can see
  • or worst of all, leather discoloration.

If left unchecked, mold from your shoes may spread to other areas or items, causing further damage.

Effective Ways to Remove Mold from Shoes

Vinegar Solution

Vinegar Solution

First, the vinegar solution method. This is an effective and relatively quick way to tackle mold and mildew.

Here's how you go about it:

  1. Start by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bucket. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and does an excellent job of killing mold.
  2. Once you have your vinegar solution ready, dip a clean, damp cloth into the mixture.
  3. Use this cloth to thoroughly wipe the mold off your shoes. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where mold could be hiding.
  4. If the mold proves stubborn, you can make a paste of vinegar and baking soda and apply it to the affected areas. Let this paste sit for a while before scrubbing it off.
  5. After you've removed the mold, wipe your shoes down with a clean cloth to remove any residue.

The white vinegar in the solution not only kills the mold but also helps remove the musty smell that often accompanies mold growth, leaving your shoes with a fresh, clean odor. Always remember to dry your shoes thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any new mold spores from taking root.

Water and Rubbing Alcohol

Another way to clean moldy leather shoes is by using a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol. This method is particularly effective for treating mold on leather boots. Here's how:

  1. Mix equal parts of warm water and rubbing alcohol in a container.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and use it to wipe the mold off the shoes.
  3. Make sure to use a cotton swab to clean crevices where mold may be hiding.
  4. If you're dealing with mold on suede shoes, use a suede eraser to gently remove the mold from suede shoes. Be sure not to overly dampen the suede as that could cause further damage.
  5. After cleaning, make sure to dry the shoes completely to prevent mold regrowth. You can leave them in a well-ventilated area to dry naturally or use a fan to speed up the process.

Remember, the key to preventing mold growth is to keep your shoes dry and clean, storing them in a well-ventilated area.

Use Ammonia to Remove Mold Odor

Mold infestation causes not only an unpleasant odor but also compromises the aesthetic appeal and integrity of your footwear and the same goes for leather clothes. To tackle this, you can also resort to using ammonia but remember to take the shoes outside before you begin the cleaning process due to ammonia's strong smell. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Prepare a solution with one part ammonia and one part water.
  2. Use a clean cloth dipped in water to remove any loose mold from the shoe surface.
  3. Dip another cloth in the ammonia solution and wipe down the shoes thoroughly.
  4. Then, rinse the shoes using a clean cloth dipped in water.
  5. After cleaning, dry the shoes completely. You can place silica gel packs inside the shoes to absorb any remaining moisture.

It's also important to mention that you should never use ammonia on suede shoes as it can damage the material. Instead, use a sponge or a crepe brush to gently remove the mold.

shoe deodorizer

Check out Stone and Clark Shoe Deodorizer to help eliminate and prevent mold and mildew in your shoes.

Store Your Shoes Properly

An underrated yet highly effective measure in preventing mold growth on your shoes is proper storage.

After washing your shoes, you can also use a leather conditioner to keep the material supple and inhibit mold growth. Endeavor to store your shoes in a cool, well-ventilated area, preferably in fabric shoe bags that allow the shoes to breathe.

It's crucial for shoes to completely dry before storage. Air dry your shoes naturally in a dry, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight which can cause discoloration or cracking.

If the environment is too humid, invest in a dehumidifier to maintain an optimal level of humidity in your storage space. Remember, these precautionary steps will help prevent future mold invasions, safeguarding your footwear and ensuring longevity.

Closing Thoughts

Don't let your precious shoes and boots fall victim to the destructive force of mold. Taking proactive steps such as ensuring your footwear is always clean can prevent this from happening. Clean your shoes regularly, paying special attention to crevices where mold can hide.

If you've been out in the rain or snow, make sure your shoes dry completely before you store them. Allow your shoes to air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight to prevent damage to the material.

When you're cleaning the shoes and boots, do so in a thorough, detailed manner to ensure you eliminate any potential mold growth. Once they are completely dry, you are free to wear the shoes without worry, confident that they are mold-free and ready for your next adventure.

stone and clark leather shoe shine kit

Make sure to check out our complete Leather Shone Shine Kit to keep your leather shoes looking pristine and well-maintained.

12PC Leather Shoe Shine & Care Kit for Men & Women

3.5 oz Mink Oil Leather Care Kit with Applicator

Subscribe Us
Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a selection of cool articles every weeks