How To Get Mold Off Shoes

If you live in a humid place such as Florida, you will definitely need to know how to get mold off shoes.

According to the CDC, mold is one of the nastiest indoor allergens. It develops when there is high indoor humidity.

And it grows on everything, including work boots and shoes.

The recommended relative humidity level for your home is 30 to 55 percent. Even 60 percent is not too bad.

How Mold Grows On Your Shoes

If the humidity level rises above 60 percent, mold starts to form in the dark spaces such as under the kitchen counter, closets, basement, and under the furniture. Above all, it is certainly going to grow on your shoes and clothing.

One of the most important reasons for getting mold off shoes is that it produces spores, which pass through the air to settle in other spaces.

The spores develop into full blown mold. Within a couple of months, your house will be filled with the musty odor of mold.

Now that you understand something about how mold develops and spreads around the home, you will not be too surprised if you pull your boots from the closet and find them grayish with mold.

The important thing is that you can still salvage them. Do not throw them away.

From Suede to leather, faux suede, canvas, satin, velvet and other materials, mold doesn’t really choose or care about the material.

As long as there is humidity and warmth, it grows!

That is why here, we shall look at how to remove mold from shoes going by the material used to make the shoes. Keep reading!

How to Remove Mold from Suede Shoes

First, you will need to gather the items that you need. Thankfully, they are just a few. You need vinegar, a suede brush and a soft fiber cloth. You can also get a pair of gloves to avoid exposing your hands to mold.

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The process for removing mold from suede shoes

First, you need to prepare a good place where you are going to clean the shoes off the mold. The reason for this is to prevent the mold from going to other places.

Brush up thoroughly

Take the suede brush. You will note that it has hard bristles, but they will help to get the mold off the suede leather.

Brush up the shoes thoroughly, first, in one direction, and then change the direction of your brushing. You will see mold shavings start falling off. It is best to apply gentle but firm pressure.

Treat with vinegar

Dip your soft cloth in the vinegar and then dab the places that had mold. If you have a soft bristled nylon brush, you can use it instead of the soft cloth. There is no need to mix the vinegar with water because plain vinegar is better.

Since mold is a living thing, you need to kill it so that it stops growing. Vinegar also helps to remove odors.

The areas that had mold will have mold stains. Target them with the cloth dipped in vinegar, by rubbing slowly but firmly.

Clean the shoes and store them

Once you are done treating the mold infection on the suede shoes, it is best to clean the shoes thoroughly in soap and water and then air-dry them.

One of the reasons why shoes develop mold is storing them when they are not completely dry. Do not let that happen.

To further prevent mold from growing in the dark spaces in your home, you should run a dehumidifier. It will remove excess moisture from the air.

How to Remove Mold from Faux Suede

Suede is a material that is taken from the inside part of an animal’s hide. However, faux suede is an artificial imitation of the natural suede.

Mostly, it is made of polyester and elastane. It is then finished by napped, dyed, sanded and dyed.

To remove mold from faux suede, you will need a fluffy towel, a soft brush, a sponge, white vinegar and eraser.

Process to remove mold from faux suede

First, take the small soft brush and brush the shoes thoroughly in one direction. The mold is going to fall off, exposing the stain caused by mold.

You can then use the eraser over the stain, but just rub gently so that you do not ruin the look of the faux leather.

Rub the sponge on the stained spot so that it can remove the superficial dirt. You should make the sponge just slightly damp. You can then leave the shoes to dry on the place that has the stain.

If the shoes got too damp, you can dab them up with the paper towels so that they dry up completely.

Once the shoes are dry, you should brush the shoes with a soft brush thoroughly but gently. Inspect the stain again.

Dip a small cloth in the white vinegar and then rub it in circular motions on the stain. It is important that you check the stain keenly. If there is any discoloration, you can stop using the vinegar on the spot immediately.

If the shoes feel too damp, stuff them up and then air-dry them before you store them. It is best to leave the shoes to dry for several hours so that the dampness can evaporate completely.

How to get mold off leather shoes

To get rid of mold on leather shoes, you will need slightly more items than you would need when cleaning mold off suede shoes.

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You will need rubbing alcohol, a soft nylon brush, leather conditioner, leather cleaner or mild soap, vacuum with soft bristle brush, saddle soap and a spray bottle. You might also want to spread an old piece of cloth or old newspapers in the cleaning area.

Cleaning process to get mold off leather shoes

To start, take the soft nylon brush and brush off the mold from the surface of the shoes. It is best if you do this over a trash can so that all the loose mold goes there.

You can also do it over an old piece of cloth, which you can discard later. You can also do it on the floor but vacuum up the debris when you are done brushing the shoes.

Dip a piece of cloth in water and then dab it over the mild soap. You can then rub the part stained by mold in firm circular motions.

Suds are going to form on the leather because of the dampness mixing with the mold dust. You can wipe them away with a damp piece of cloth.

Make a solution of alcohol, water and a detergent. Just do it in small proportions. You can then dip a clean cloth or the one you have already used in the solution. Wring it out and rub the area that had the mold to clean it out.

Let the shoes dry completely and then treat them with your leather conditioner. The instructions for using the leather conditioner will be on the container.

You are done. Just store the shoes, or wear them. The method that we have described here is for finished leather. You can also use it for unfinished leather and it will be just as good.

It is also a good idea to store the shoes in the right way, in dry conditions to prevent the development of mold.

Cleaning Mold off Canvas Shoes

When canvas shoes are exposed to dampness and warmth, they are going to develop mold and mildew.

If this happens, you will need to clean the shoes properly so that they do not develop a musty smell. Actually, if you fold canvas while it is still damp, it produces a nasty, vomit-like stench.

Image of Can moldy shoes be saved?

You will need mild laundry soap, white washcloth, warm water, lint brush and clean pieces of cloth.

The process

The cleaning process for removing mold and mildew from canvas shoes is very simple. First, you need to brush the moldy area with the lint brush.

Make a solution with the warm water and the mild laundry soap. Dip a piece of cloth in the soapy water and then dub the stained area.

Do this lightly until the stain is gone. If you rub too hard, it will force the stain to dissolve and spread out. Also, using too much force is going to damage the canvas.

Dip a clean piece of cloth in clean, plain water and then dub at the area that had the stain. You are doing this to remove the soapy residues that remained there.

Let the shoes dry in the air completely and store them. With that simple process, you will have cleaned the mold out.

How to Get Mold off Velvet Shoes

Velvet shoes have their own special kind of chic and their soft feel is out of this world. Unfortunately, they are not waterproof. Thus, if they are not stored in dry and cool conditions, mold can grow on them.

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If you pull your velvet kicks out of the closet and you are met with a musty mold smell, all is not lost. You can clean it off.

You will need mild dish soap, a towel, a soft brush, dry-cleaning solvent and blow dryer.

Cleaning process to remove mold from velvet

First, you need to expose the shoes to the sunshine because direct sunshine kills mold. Leave the shoes in the sun for about 3 to 5 hours.

Take a soft bristled brush and brush the part with the mold stain slowly until all mold falls off.

Dampen a piece of cloth with your dry-cleaning solvent and wring it out so that it is just a little damp.

You should then blot out the stained area, and continue until it is all gone. You can repeat this step as many times as it is necessary.

When the mold stain is gone completely, take the blow dryer, set it on low heat and blow at the spot that you have sponged from a short distance.

Once all the dampness is dried up, you can brush the velvet shoes gently and take them back to storage.

How to clean mold off satin shoes

Satin is a silk fabric that is so smooth and posh looking. However, mold and mildew don’t really care about the beauty of silk. Thus, if your satin shoes are exposed to excess mold and warmth, they will develop mold.

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All is not lost though because here, we bring you a simple way to clean the mold off your satin shoes and give them a new lease of life.

You shall need a soft brush, hydrogen peroxide, water, paper towels and small clean pieces of cloth.

The cleaning process

Start by brushing the satin shoes with a soft brush, do this on a paper towel so that you can wrap up the mold and toss it into the trash bin.

Expose the shoes to the sun, make sure it is hitting the mold spot just right. It is best to leave it in the sun for a few hours to kill off the mold.

Now, take a piece of cloth and soak one side of it in hydrogen peroxide. Don’t make it too wet, just slightly damp. First, test it on a small spot to see whether the satin shoe’s color will run.

If the color stays fast, proceed to blot out the stain area until it is clean. Make another solution of water and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and clean the shoes. This should kill off any mold spores remaining.

Dry your satin shoes completely, preferably in the air and then store them.

How to Get Mold off Shoes FAQ

Mold is a big deal-breaker. Therefore, if you still have some questions about why mold develops on shoes in the closet, this section on the frequently asked questions will shed more light.

Why is mold growing on my shoes in my closet?

The main reason why mold is growing on your shoes in the closet is because there is excess moisture. Mold develops where there is moisture and darkness. You should probably run a small dehumidifier in the closet from time to time.

Does vinegar kill mold?

Yes, vinegar kills mold, but not all types. Research shows that vinegar can only kill 82 percent of the most common types of mold. This still leaves you with 18 percent of live mold to deal with. When cleaning mold off shoes, do expose them to the sun because it kills mold. You can then clean them with vinegar to kill any remaining mold.

How do I keep my shoes from getting mold in my closet?

Control the humidity in the closet with a portable dehumidifier or with a whole house dehumidifier. Also, you can add a sachet of silica gel in the shoes so that it absorbs all the moisture. Mold cannot develop on shoes if they are dry.

How do you remove mold from shoes?

It depends on the type of shoes. However, for all shoes, brush out the mold with a soft brush, wash out the mold stain in a damp cloth dipped in water and mild soap solution. For leather and suede shoes, you can use vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Is vinegar or hydrogen peroxide better for mold?

Both are good but what to use on your shoes depends on the shoes’ material. Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are readily available in most homes but it is so important that they never mix.

Can moldy shoes be saved?

You can definitely save moldy shoes. However, inspect them thoroughly because excess moisture causes mold. Moisture also makes leather, fabric and other items to start rotting. If the shoes have been exposed too long and they have started to rot, discard them.

Should you throw out moldy shoes?

No. If they do not have any other damage apart from the mold, take them outside and brush the mold off. Use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or plain water to remove mold. It is also a good idea to expose the shoes to the sun to kill mold.

Final Thoughts

If you pull your beautiful kicks out of the closet and realize that they have so much mold, well, do not toss them away.

Follow the steps that we have outlined in this article to clean mold off your shoes. You should be able to give them a new lease of life.

How to get mold off shoes need not be hard at all!