Published On:
October 9, 2023

How to Remove Mold from Shoes: Cleaning Tips

Mould can be a pesky problem that affects various areas of our lives, including our beloved shoes. Whether it's due to excessive moisture or poor storage conditions, finding mould on your shoes can be both frustrating and unhygienic. Fortunately, there are effective ways to remove mould from your shoes and prevent its recurrence.

In this article, we will explore the causes and indicators of mould on shoes, provide step-by-step instructions on how to safely remove mould, and offer tips on preventing its growth in the future.

Mould On Shoes: Causes and Indicators

Mould thrives in damp and humid environments, making our shoes a prime target for its growth. One of the main causes of mould on shoes is moisture buildup, which can occur from perspiration, rain, or improper drying. Additionally, storing damp shoes in dark and poorly ventilated areas and in areas with high moisture and heat levels can create an ideal breeding ground for mould.

Indicators of visible mold growth on shoes include a musty odour, visible green or black patches, and a fuzzy or powdery texture on the surface of the shoes. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to take immediate action to prevent further mould growth and restore your shoes to their original condition.

How to Remove Mould from Your Shoes

You may think that your moldy shoes are a lost cause and that there's no way you can salvage them. However, this is not the case, as it's still possible to save mouldy shoes, especially if you act quickly. Most of the time, using the right cleaning agents and following the proper techniques in handling mouldy shoes can do the trick.

Use the Right Cleaning Agents

When it comes to removing mould from shoes, it's crucial to use the right cleaning agents to ensure effective results without causing damage. Here are the suggested cleaning agents you may use to save your mouldy shoes:

Rubbing Alcohol Mixture for Canvas Shoes and Leather Shoes

The best cleaning agent for removing mold on canvas shoes is a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. You can create a solution by mixing equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water in a bowl. Rubbing alcohol acts as a disinfectant, killing the mould and preventing its regrowth. Water helps to dilute the rubbing alcohol and aids in the cleaning process.

Similarly, the mixture of rubbing alcohol and water is also considered one of the best cleaning agents for removing mould on leather shoes, but with the addition of a leather saddle soap bar. This is due to the mixture's effectiveness in killing mould spores and removing stains without causing damage to the leather material.

In addition to the mechanisms of action of the rubbing alcohol and water solution, the saddle soap bar is a good addition to the said cleaning agents as it helps restore the leather to a good condition. It's a mild detergent specifically designed for cleaning and conditioning leather. It helps to remove any remaining mould residue and restores the leather's natural oils and flexibility.

Dish Soap, White Vinegar, or Rubbing Alcohol Mixture for Suede Shoes

In cleaning mold from suede shoes, it's recommended to use any mixture of the following: dish soap, white vinegar, or rubbing alcohol. These substances can effectively kill mold spores and remove stains without causing damage to the suede material.

Removing Mildew Odor Using Ammonia

Ammonia is an effective cleaning agent for removing mildew odour due to its strong alkaline properties. A mildew odour is often caused by the presence of mould or mildew spores, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that produce an unpleasant smell.

Ammonia helps to eliminate this odour by neutralising the acidic compounds in the mildew. It also acts as a disinfectant, killing the mould spores and preventing their growth. However, it's important to use ammonia in a well-ventilated area and avoid mixing it with bleach, as the combination can produce toxic fumes.

Steps to Remove Mold on Shoes Safely

Ensuring the safe removal of mould on shoes entails the proper use of protective equipment and properly and carefully performing the cleaning process, which must be done outside to prevent mould and mould spores from spreading indoors. Here are steps in safely cleaning your mouldy shoes:

Cleaning Canvas Shoes

Use a damp dishcloth or a soft brush to gently scrub the affected areas of the canvas shoes with the solution. This mixture helps kill the mould and remove any stains. After scrubbing, allow the shoes to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Cleaning Leather Shoes

To make the cleaning solution, mix equal parts cool water and rubbing alcohol in a clean container. Add a small amount of saddle soap bar and mix until it dissolves. Apply the solution to the mouldy area of the leather shoes using a clean white cloth dipped in the mixture, and gently scrub with a soft-bristled brush.

Afterwards, wipe the shoes clean with a damp dish cloth and allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight, as exposing the leather shoes to direct heat may affect their quality, causing the leather to massively dry out and crack.

Cleaning Suede Shoes

It's important to properly prepare the shoes, brush off any visible mould, and apply the cleaning solution gently using a sponge, clean cloth, or spray bottle. Upon application, you will then rub off the mould growing on the shoes using a soft brush or clean cloth.

After cleaning, it's advisable to thoroughly dry the shoes and apply a coat of leather conditioner to protect the suede. Storing suede items with old newspapers can also help prevent mould growth.

Preventing Mold Growth On Your Shoes

While it's essential to know how to remove mould from shoes, prevention is always better than cure. You may follow these preventive measures to significantly reduce the chances of mould growth on your shoes:

Store Shoes With Care

Proper storage is key to preventing mould growth on your shoes. Avoid storing damp shoes in closed containers or plastic bags, as these can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for mould. Instead, allow your shoes to air dry completely before storing them.

Storing shoes in shoe boxes with silica gel packs is also a good practice, as they can absorb moisture, keeping your shoes dry, which further prevents mould growth.

Investing in shoe racks or open shelves that provide adequate ventilation can also help prevent mould growth. Ensure that the storage area is clean, dry, and well-ventilated to discourage mould from taking hold.

Completely Dry Your Shoes Before Storing

Before stowing away your shoes, make sure they are completely dry. Even a small amount of moisture can lead to mould growth. If your shoes are damp, you may also stuff them with crumpled newspaper or silica gel packets to absorb excess moisture. Leave them in a well-ventilated area until they're completely dry to the touch.

Change Socks More Often

Socks can contribute to moisture buildup inside your shoes, making them more susceptible to mould growth. To prevent this, change your socks more frequently, especially if you tend to perspire heavily. Opt for moisture-wicking socks that help keep your feet dry and reduce the chances of mould formation.

Employ Professional Mould Removal Services

If you have a severe mold problem that persists despite your best efforts, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional mould removal services have the expertise and equipment to effectively eliminate mould from your homes and prevent its recurrence.

Nimbus Homes is one of the most trusted providers of comprehensive home cleaning services in Singapore. Our professional and highly-trained staff are capable of providing thorough cleaning (they would even clean crevices!). We also offer an effective home mould removal service where we assess the extent of the mould infestation and offer advice on preventing future mould growth.

Final Words

Mould on shoes can be a nuisance, but with the right knowledge and techniques, you can successfully remove it and prevent its return. Remember to store your shoes properly, ensure they are completely dry before storing them, change socks regularly, and seek professional assistance if needed. With these great tips, you can say goodbye to mouldy shoes and hello to fresh, clean footwear.