Tips on How to Remove Mold From Shoes

It’s not uncommon for people to experience mold growing on their shoes. Shoes are made from materials that support the growth of mold, and they’re warm enough to create a moist environment where mold can thrive.

In fact, it’s estimated that up to 50% of shoes have some level of visible mold on them. Mold is often difficult or impossible to remove from shoes because it has grown into the surface fibers and any efforts at removing it could cause damage- but don’t worry!

There are several easy ways you can help prevent your favorite footwear from being taken over by these pesky fungi – including using common household items like vinegar or baking soda!

Mold is a problem that many people have to deal with every year. It’s not only unsightly, but it can ruin the shoes you love and even cause health problems for you or your family. While there are several ways to remove mold from leather shoes, I’ve found one of the best methods using common household items.

Wash your shoes with warm water and dish soap

Wash your shoes with warm water and dish soap!

It’s important to note that the only way to get rid of the mold for good is by killing it off. If you just wipe it off, you’ll just leave behind mold spores which can keep coming back even after you’ve cleaned.

If the shoes are vinyl or plastic then put on some gloves first and use an old toothbrush or nail brush with diluted bleach on it.

Scrub any dark spots inside of dark fabrics using a scrubbing motion towards the center, under black marks – this will help break up spore masses there too. Rinse well without rubbing too hard, if they are leather shoes avoid washing them in water at all costs as this will dry.

Use a toothbrush to scrub the inside of the shoe

Clean the inside of a wet shoe with a toothbrush to remove any remaining tiny bits of mold.

Next, use paper towels to take care of any excess moisture if there’s not much left. For an extra-clean feeling, pour some diluted bleach on the inside. If you don’t have any bleach handy, try hydrogen peroxide instead as it has similar disinfecting properties as bleach and also dries clear. Last step: air out the shoes in another room for at least five hours or more to let them dry completely and take away that moldy smell!

Sometimes clothes items are able to be washed, but this is not always possible. Shoes are rarely machine-washable, so the best option to remove mold from shoes is to use a toothbrush scrub the inside of the shoe with laundry detergent or another disinfectant. Use water, if any is available, and clean the exterior surface as well.

Place in a sunny spot for at least 24 hours to dry

One of the most reliable methods is to place your moldy shoes in a sunny spot for at least 24 hours. The bright sunlight can kill the mold spores and help them dry out so they will be less sticky and easy to clean away.
Continue reading below for what else you can do…

If the shoe still has an odor, brush it with baking soda and scrub with a toothbrush or slightly abrasive surface such as Scotch-Brite or steel wool soap pads attached to a broom handle. Then rinse thoroughly, wash off excess soap and let dry completely before use again.

Mold can often be removed by placing in a sunny spot for at least 24 hours to dry. The sun’s “dry heat” will kill the mold, and much of the smell will go away with it. If not much progress is seen after 48-72 hours, discard the shoe or bag because both water vapor inside and outside your home have created an environment filled with moisture–a perfect setting for mold spores to grow.

Traces of mold can be killed by treating leather or canvas shoes with a mixture similar to what you would use on heavy stains–equal portions white vinegar and lavender oil mixed together in one quart of water.

Add baking soda or vinegar to the water when you soak them

Let the shoes soak in a water and baking soda or vinegar solution. You can also mix baking soda with detergent to scrub the shoes for more stubborn stains. Then, dab them clean with water until they are no longer sticky.

If you want to avoid using chemicals, use salt and liquid soap instead of dish soap, and sponge it using “first-surface” method so as not to cause damage on the heels or soles of your shoes. If you want instructions for this method, please check out Blogger Clare Elizabeth’s blog post on cleaning her high heels for more information.

Mold can spoil your clothes, ruin your furniture and it can even grow on the inside of shoes. Mold, when left untreated, will decompose almost any kind of material that has fallen into its supply of moisture.

The time necessary to kill mold is determined by the amount of available surface for infection to develop in.
If you are dealing with a small amount of mold growing on an item like shoes, soak them in water with 1/2 cup baking soda or vinegar overnight before placing them out in the sun later on- this should remove most or all mold growth while also freshening up your leather while giving it some much needed prep work ahead since both baking soda and vinegar help prepare leather for eventual use.

Put an old pair of socks on while you wear them so they don’t get dirty again

Come with me on a little science experiment. Imagine you’ve walked out of your office building and the water is overflowing the regular drain areas in all directions. The city drains can’t keep up, so soon everyone’s getting wet.

You need to make it across the street to your car, but there are “city rain” police officers stopping people at random intervals – they’re less about traffic safety these days than just strangling any sense of enjoyment out of life.

Along comes an old pair of socks overcoating on your toes that have managed to wriggle off while you were waiting for this current unnecessary checkpoint, and what do you know? It sends all that sludgy water right off!

You can get rid of the mold on your shoes by using a product called KonMould to remove the organic material from inside. Then, spray black silicone sealant onto both the exterior and interior surfaces of the shoe, let it dry for 5 minutes afterwards, and wipe off any excess with a tissue or a rubber glove you can dispose.

You could also put an old pair of socks on so they don’t get dirty again! But more importantly, be sure not to wear wet shoes in an enclosed space because this will allow mold spores to grow even more rapidly. In general, try not wearing your new expensive sneakers while you’re training!

If there is still mold after all these steps, try using bleach or hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball and rubbing it into the affected area until it’s gone

Mold likes warm, damp, and humid environments. This means that mold is most troublesome during the rainy season when the temperature is just right for fungal growth to take place. Moving your shoes to a dry area can help prevent mold from growing in it too.

Removing the mold off of your shoes doesn’t have to be difficult! All you need are three ingredients that can be found in your kitchen cabinet: vinegar, dish soap, and baking soda. Mix one part vinegar with two parts water. Add one teaspoonful dishsoap (dish liquid soap) and fully dissolve these 3 remedies together before finally mixing in 1/2 cup of baking soda so everything fizzes out well.

Mold grows by feeding off the linings of shoes, which is why it’s important to periodically air out your shoes. You can dust them regularly with a damp rag or use an anti-mold spray to kill the mold spores. If the stains are hard to reach, you can sprinkle cornstarch on them until they absorb into the fabric.

If there is still mold after all these steps, try using bleach or hydrogen perox ides to remove it from your shoe ṕers – they will have killed any living molds within 24 hours. If needed, theycan be used in conjunction with an additional cleaning solution for tough stains and persistent odors.


There are many ways to remove mold from shoes, but the best way is prevention. You can prevent mold by not wearing your shoes in wet environments and keeping them dry inside of a shoe tree after use.

Mold can be difficult to remove from shoes. There are several methods you should try before giving up on the shoe completely. We suggest using dish soap, bleach or ammonia, and a toothbrush for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas of the shoe.


Should you throw out moldy shoes?

Yes, the second you spot mold on your shoes, get rid of them. Mold can cause allergies and respiratory issues.

Some people could get away with washing the area where the mushrooms were present by hand and getting fresh air in to dry out their shoes for a while before laundering them again, but I wouldn’t chance it.

Wash your runners thoroughly and throw them right into the wash afterward- that’s probably going to be better than doing something that involves eroding any of the good material left there.

That said, if you’re not sure about whether an item has been affected (or if you like living dangerous), check for color shifting or other signs like strings pulling off weirdly- should these things happen after prolonged contact with moisture.

Mold grows on organic matter such as straw and hay, wood chips, tree leaves and paper. More often than not people uncover mold when cleaning up after flooding or some other natural calamity.

Mold is what we call a biohazard which is an environmental pollutant that poses considerable health risks to humans and animals alike. Any person coming in close contact with the mold spores will be at increased risk of developing respiratory problems like asthma and allergic reactions like itchy eyes, sneezing due to allergies OR difficulty breathing due to panic attacks caused by irreversible mental health issues.

What kills mold completely?

There are many products that say they kill mold, but what kills it completely? Bleach, vinegar, rubbing alcohol please.

Most of the time bleach will work without any additional steps. Vinegar might also be helpful in some circumstances if it’s not too concentrated or has any other additives. Rubbing Alcohol is a last resort for stubborn spots because it doesn’t prevent all the growths from coming back quickly.

Can you save moldy shoes?

There are many questions about what to do if you find mold growing on your sneaker. It may seem like the answer is very clear, but it isn’t always. Saving shoes with mold on them can be tricky without taking some extra precautions.
That said, this is what you should generally do…or maybe don’t do! Treating an item of clothing or sneakers that has or could get moldy by washing or soaking them in bleach will destroy the fabric of the article and often causes discoloration that doesn’t come out. If there is actual mould growing on shoes, they’re not safe to wear anymore anyway so destroying them seems unimportant.

How do you remove mold from shoes?

  1. Remove the shoes and socks, then scrub the inside of the shoe with a mixture of dish soap and water
  2. Put on some rubber gloves to protect your hands from dry skin
  3. Use a toothbrush or small brush to scrub away any stubborn mold spots
  4. Rinse off the soapy solution with warm water, then let them air-dry overnight before wearing again
  5. If you don’t want to try this yourself, take your shoes to a shoe repair shop for professional cleaning
  6. Store shoes in an area that is well ventilated but not too hot – like near an open window or in front of a fan

How do you get rid of mold on walls permanently?

The best way to keep mold from growing is to clean your shoes with soap and water after each use. Mold needs access to both air and moisture in order to grow, so it’s important that your shoe coverings are regularly cleaned.

Some people use baking soda and vinegar. If the mold is coming from the inside of the shoe, they need to use a brush to scrub at where it is growing and then spray with an Eco-friendly cleaner like 3M All Purpose Cleaner (made for safe cleaning on household surfaces). Read more about this technique.

If you’re washing outside, do not leave your shoes in direct sunlight for extended periods because it will cause them to dry out faster than they normally would. That goes double if they’re canvas or any other material which can rot when wet.
If you have athletic footwear, look for waterproofing sprays specifically made for keeping water from slowly seeping through porous materials such as leather or cloth.

What kills black mold instantly?

You can get rid of black mold with bleach or a product called Miracle II, which you can order from their website, Miracle II is eco-friendly and safe for people, pets, plants and it’s even completely shelf stable as well as being non-toxic.

Simply making your shower occasionally has been known to kill this scourge because black mold needs oxygen in order to live. Take a chlorine based disinfectant into the bathroom with you before showering and then hose down the entire surface of the sink after rinsing out your sponge cloth. If a bleach solution is too strong for sensitive skin pads might be substituted instead.

Unfortunately, hairspray can’t kill black mold. It was once thought to be harmless, but it now contains DMDM hydantoin, a preservative that’s been shown to cause eye irritation and nearsightedness, according to the EPA.

Furniture polish is also not effective in killing black mold because much of it stays on the surface of something like wood instead of penetrating the surface. Similarly for alcohol wipes—once moistened with water they will evaporate quickly much before they have penetrated any thick black layers.

Magnet cleaners are also ineffective because much of any dust or dirt particles over two microns in size collect into one particle where all its charge cancels out leaving an unaffected magnet cleaner.

What kills mold better vinegar or hydrogen peroxide?

Both are effective, but more people find vinegar to be less harsh.

Both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide work by killing mold cell walls, more specifically their soft outer membranes which are more delicate. Generally speaking, hydrogen peroxide will kill the mold cells quicker than vinegar because it’s a stronger oxidizer. But on the other hand, some people would argue that as a result of this fact – it’s also harsher as it chemically damages your surfaces where you spread both vinegars and hydrogen peroxides.

Is it bad to wear moldy shoes?

Yes, if the shoes are mixed materials- they’ll transfer mold and potentially cause a skin reaction.

If the mold has grown on the inside of the shoe, it is better to discard them because they are breeding ground for Staphylococcus aureus. Staphylococcus aureous produces toxins that can lead to skin infections which spread easily through openings such as cuts and scrapes.

Dirty shoes full of soil and sweat can also contain viruses, bacteria and fungi so your best bet is to stop using them once you notice any kind of odorous or discoloration. If there’s only surface mold, vacuum up with a hepa filter vacuum cleaner if dirty before wearing again and leave out in fresh air overnight before putting them on your feet again. Shoes need air – just like we do!

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