Mold on Shoes in your Closet - Prevention & Removal Steps (2023)

When you put your clothes, shoes, and accessories away in your closet, you expect them to stay safe and clean. However, you can sometimes find mold on shoes after storing them in your closet. Needless to say, that’s something everyone wants to avoid.

Here’s what you need to know on how to prevent mold on shoes in your closet.

What Causes Mold on Shoes?

Unfortunately, there are a few different potential causes of mold on shoes. One of the top causes is moisture in your shoes that isn’t able to dry properly. If you get your shoes wet by jumping in a puddle or sweating while wearing them, that moisture can lead to mold down the line.

The insoles of your shoes, in particular, can absorb liquid and stay damp longer than many people expect. This moisture is the perfect breeding ground for mold to grow. Pay attention after washing your shoes to check that they’re completely dry before putting them away.

Another potential cause is mold that’s already in your closet. If the atmosphere inside your closet is overly damp or dirty, that could help foster mold growth on the items in your closet, including your shoes.

Trapped humidity is yet another potential culprit of moldy shoes. If you put your shoes in plastic bags or sealed containers before storing them in your closet, those containers could trap humidity and lead to mold growth.

Finally, if you have wooden shelves in your closet where you store your shoes, that could contribute to mold inside shoes. Wire shelving is a better option.

How to Remove Mold from Shoes

If you notice some mold growing on your shoes, even a small amount, it’s important to take action to remove it as soon as possible. It is possible to save your shoes if you act quickly.

Identify the Mold

The first step of removing mold from your shoes is noticing that the mold is there in the first place. The mold on shoes won’t always look like the mold you probably recognize from produce and bread in the kitchen. It can come in a variety of colors including green, black, brown, and even shades of orange. White mold on shoes is also quite common. Generally, you can expect mold on shoes to be a dark green or brown color that appears in patches of small circular shapes.

Removal Process

When you see something you think is mold on your shoes, you should proceed with an applicable removal process. You don’t need any heavy chemical cleaners, you can often remove mold on shoes with a cloth, a brush, and white vinegar, among some other tools.

Start by going outside and using the brush to scrub off all the mold and mildew you can see on the shoes. It’s best to complete the whole cleaning process outside as this can prevent the spread of mold throughout your home. Remember to wear a mask and gloves if the mold is substantial.

Once you have gotten as much mold off as possible, move on to the next step. You should mix one part water with one part white vinegar in a bucket. A half cup of each should be plenty.

Using your cloth, wipe off the shoes with the vinegar and water solution. Continue cleaning the shoes with the vinegar solution until no more mold is visible. At that point, you should leave the shoes to dry completely in the sun.

Keep in mind that this method is not effective for cleaning suede shoes. It’s also worth noting that the vinegar solution can leave a strong smell. You may want to get rid of it by finishing off the cleaning process by rubbing down your shoes with some soap and water. Spraying essential oils may also help.

If this cleaning process doesn’t eliminate all the mold the first time, you can repeat the process again to see if that’s enough. In some cases, it simply won’t be possible to get rid of all the mold even after rounds of thorough cleaning. You may need to simply throw those pairs of shoes out and replace them, unfortunately.

How to Remove Mold Inside of Leather Shoes

The easiest way to get rid of mold is by using rubbing alcohol or medical-grade isopropyl. You can also use a mixture that consists mostly water with just enough spirit in it for killing black spores on your shoes’ interior surfaces, which have been shown not only through research but personal experience as well (I’ve found this method works best when there are small amounts).

Rubbing these types together creates Episcopal homicide; they’ll kill anything immediately! The longer you leave them sit after application–up until about five minutes before removing from footwear.

How to Prevent Mold on Shoes in your Closet

By following the previous steps you can get mold off shoes that are already moldy, but what about preventing mold in the first place?

One method you can use to prevent mold from growing on your shoes is using silica gel packets. These gel packets come with all sorts of new products, especially handbags and shoes. When you purchase a new product that comes with silica gel packets, you should set keep them to put in your shoes instead of throwing them out.

When you put them in your shoes in your closet, they’ll absorb moisture and deodorize, greatly reducing the chance of mold growth. It’s a simple but effective method to prevent mold growth. If you don’t have silica gel packets on hand, you can substitute them for dry tea bags. Just make sure to change out the silica gel packs or tea bags once they absorb enough moisture to feel damp.

Alternatively, you can simply completely dry your shoes before storing them in your closet. After you take your shoes off, leave them to dry in a well-ventilated area or right in the sone. Once they’re completely dry, you can store them as usual. Remember to take any insoles out to dry separately since they usually absorb the most moisture.

Moisture can also build up in your shoes over the day. If you notice that your shoes are absorbing a lot of sweat, it might be worth carrying an extra pair of socks with you and changing them as needed. If you’re going to the gym, try to wear a different pair of shoes so that each pair has a chance to dry.

You might also consider getting a dehumidifier in your closet if it has excess moisture. The dehumidifier will pull the extra moisture out of the air and help prevent mold on shoes stored in your closet.

Remember to regularly clean your shoes (even if they’re not yet moldy) to help prevent future problems.

Is Mold on Shoes Dangerous?

Moldy shoes don’t just look gross, they’re also potentially dangerous to your health as well. There may be bacteria and fungi in your moldy shoes that could cause foot infections or other issues if you wear the shoes before cleaning them thoroughly.

The mold from your shoes can be dangerous spreading to other parts of your home, leading to a more serious mold problem. The bottom line is that you should take mold on shoes seriously and take the applicable steps to prevent it when possible.

Tackling Mold Head On

If you’re dealing with a mold problem in your closet or anywhere else in your home, it’s always a good idea to get in contact with experts to help you. For dealing with water damage and mold repair, there’s no better choice than Jenkins Environmental Services.

All our technicians are certified and highly trained in mold remediation. Contact us today to learn more about how Jenkins Environmental Services can help protect you from the risks mold can pose.

Get Professional Mold Removal and Remediation help today!


Mold on Shoes in your Closet - Prevention & Removal Steps? ›

You should mix one part water with one part white vinegar in a bucket. A half cup of each should be plenty. Using your cloth, wipe off the shoes with the vinegar and water solution. Continue cleaning the shoes with the vinegar solution until no more mold is visible.

What stops mold in closets? ›

Six Effective Tips for Preventing Mold in Your Closets
  • Use a Dehumidifier.
  • Promote Airflow.
  • Keep a Light On.
  • Don't Store Damp Clothing.
  • Disinfect Your Closet Walls.
  • Clean Outdoor Gear After Every Use.
Jan 15, 2021

How do you remove spores from shoes? ›

Kill the Spores

In a clean container, mix equal parts cool water and rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Use a clean white cloth dipped in the mixture to wipe down the leather. For shoes, use a cotton swab to clean crevices. Finish by wiping the leather with a clean cloth dipped in water.

What is the best way to remove and prevent mold? ›

Mold can be removed from hard surfaces with household products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Why are all the things in my closet covered in mold? ›

An increase in humidity increases the risk of mold-infested items in your closet. The extra moisture from plumbing leaks, ceiling leaks, damp clothes in your closet, or a wet towel on the floor is all it takes for mold to grow — often undetected at first.

Why is mold growing on my shoes in my closet? ›

One of the top causes is moisture in your shoes that isn't able to dry properly. If you get your shoes wet by jumping in a puddle or sweating while wearing them, that moisture can lead to mold down the line. The insoles of your shoes, in particular, can absorb liquid and stay damp longer than many people expect.

Does white vinegar stop mold? ›

While a significant mold infestation is best handled by a professional restoration company, you have a powerful weapon against occasional mold growth in your kitchen cupboard: white vinegar. This humble household staple can kill more than 80% of mold species, including hazardous black mold.

What kills shoe bacteria? ›

Rubbing alcohol is your best friend when it comes to your shoe sanitizing station. Rubbing alcohol is efficient at getting rid of germs and bacteria on many different surfaces and is safe to use on most types of shoes.

What is the best way to disinfect the inside of shoes? ›

Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol, is a powerful antiseptic that can fight odour-causing bacteria in your shoes. Simply mix some alcohol and water in a spray bottle and mist the interior of your shoes. Be sure to use an alcohol that ranges in strength from 70–99%, and let your shoes dry overnight.

What kills bacteria and fungus in shoes? ›

How Do You Disinfect Used Shoes? Apply disinfectant spray, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, or bleach to eliminate infectious diseases from dirty or secondhand shoes. Make sure to leave the shoes wet with the product for at least five minutes or follow the directions on the label.

What removes mold permanently? ›

Bleach kills virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with including mold spores which leaves a sanitized surface making it resistant to future mold growth.

What do you spray to prevent mold? ›

Concrobium Mold Control effectively eliminates and prevents mold with no bleach, ammonia or VOCs. Concrobium works as it dries by crushing the mold spores at the source, leaving behind an invisible antimicrobial barrier to prevent future mold growth.

What does mold hate? ›

Mold hates light. Other than moisture there's nothing mold loves more than dark places. An easy prevention against mold growth is opening your blinds and shades. If it's warm enough out, open the windows.

Can you sleep in a room with mold in closet? ›

To sum up the blog post, we recommend that you do not sleep with mould in your room. It can be dangerous to your health, and is not worth the risk!

Can mold in a closed closet make you sick? ›

Is mold in closet dangerous? Yes. Inhaling and touching toxic mold can cause allergic reactions in you and your family. Mold can also grow on and destroy your clothes.

Does baking soda absorb moisture in closet? ›

Baking soda can help absorb the moisture and also the foul odors on soft surfaces. The first step is to remove all clothing and hangers from your closet. Take out the shelves if possible and anything on the floor as well.

Is mold on shoes common? ›

The formation of mould on leather shoes is a common problem especially in some parts of the world during some periods of the year, when humidity is high, but everyone can have mould issues appear on their shoes. Sometimes to a small degree but sometimes the whole shoes can become full of mould.

How do I keep moisture out of my closet? ›

The simplest and most cost-effective way to control humidity is to allow your closets to air out. Proper ventilation can prevent mold and mildew growth. Try to keep your closet doors open every other day in order to keep fresh air circulating. Another option is to purchase a dehumidifier.

Can I leave white vinegar on mold overnight? ›

Spray vinegar onto the moldy surface and leave it for an hour. Then wipe the area clean with water and allow the surface to dry. Any smell should clear within a few hours. While it's safe to use on most surfaces, vinegar is unlikely to be effective at cleaning mold off of soft surfaces.

What kills mold better than vinegar? ›

Yes, ammonia is a strong mold killer. In fact, many commercial mold cleaning products contain ammonia. It's stronger than vinegar and is similar to bleach in terms of potency, although make sure to never mix two together — ammonia and bleach react to produce toxic fumes.

What is the best homemade mold killer? ›

Mix 2 teaspoons of borax with 1/2 cup white vinegar in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture on mildew and let sit for about 30 minutes. The borax will scour the surface while the white vinegar combats the mildew and mold. Rinse with clean water and allow the area to dry thoroughly.

Can I spray Lysol in my shoes? ›

Disinfectant Spray: Lysol Disinfectant Spray is great for killing the bacteria in your shoes. Spray the Lysol in your shoes and then spray a clean pair of socks and put them in your shoes. Let the socks sit in your shoes overnight; they will help the Lysol soak into your shoes and kill the bacteria.

Can I clean my shoes with Lysol wipes? ›

No damage to the shoe itself, and no more mud or hassle. Lysol wipes have been our go-to sneaker cleaner for over a year, with great results.

Is Lysol good for disinfecting shoes? ›

Lysol disinfectant spray kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. I commonly inform my patients to use Lysol Spray to eliminate these germs by sanitizing their shoes, shoe inserts, and shower floors regularly.

Does hydrogen peroxide disinfect shoes? ›

A three-percent solution of hydrogen peroxide can disinfect your shoes while removing visible stains. It's typically safe for colours as well. Spray it on the bottom of your shoes and allow it to sit for five minutes before wiping it away.

Can you use hydrogen peroxide to clean inside of shoes? ›

To Remove Odor, Try One of These: - 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE: Put the peroxide in a spray bottle (or put a sprayer on the peroxide bottle) and spritz the inside of the shoes, and let dry. This acts as a disinfectant killing bacteria.

Can you sanitize shoes in the washing machine? ›

Shoes made with materials like canvas, nylon, cotton and polyester are usually safe to wash in a washing machine. These materials are durable and shouldn't be damaged by laundry detergent.

How do you prevent mold on shoes? ›

Place silica gel packets inside each shoe to help absorb any humidity in the closet. You can place them inside coat and jacket pockets as well, or between stacked layers of clothes. Keep your shoes on metal racks in your closet.

How do I keep my shoes bacteria free? ›

Use some of these tips and tricks to see which work for you.
  1. Wash Shoes and Insoles.
  2. Sprinkle Shoes With Odor-Absorbing Powders.
  3. Use Shoe and Sandal Disinfectant.
  4. Store Shoes in a Cool, Dry Place.
  5. Wear Sweat-Wicking Socks.
  6. Dry Shoes Between Wearings.
  7. Use Copper Sole Socks.
  8. Wear Sole Socks or Washable Insoles.
May 19, 2022

How long does fungus live inside shoes? ›

Fungus is already a difficult infection to get rid of, and what surprises many people is that fungus can live in your shoes for up to 20 months. Thus, continuously treating your shoes throughout treatment is essential. There are many ways to treat shoes including Lysol, anti-fungal mists and UV shoe cleaning devices.

What kills 100% of mold? ›

Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.

What kills mold 100 percent? ›

Chlorine bleach is the most effective home-removal product for killing mold spores. However, if the infestation is small, you can use distilled white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to kill the spores.

What kills black mold instantly? ›

Getting rid of black mold with white vinegar

'Bleach will kill mold spores growing across a hard surface, but if the mold has extended below the surface, then white vinegar is the best choice,' she says. 'The vinegar will penetrate to kill the mold and mildew at the root, preventing it from regrowing.

Is vinegar or Lysol better for mold? ›

Bleach and vinegar can both kill mold, but vinegar is much more effective for removing mold from porous materials. This is because bleach only kills mold spores on the surface of affected materials. Vinegar will penetrate porous materials and kill the mold at the roots.

Does Lysol spray prevent mildew? ›

You can also use Lysol® Disinfectant Spray to control and prevent the spread of mold and mildew, as well as its nasty odor. Simply pre-clean the surface, hold can 6” to 8” inches from surface and spray for 3 to 4 seconds until covered with mist. Let it stand for 3 minutes before allowing to air dry.

What is the most effective chemical for mold prevention? ›

A popular chemical for killing mold is Concrobium Mold Control, which can be bought at big-box hardware stores. It's used by both pros and homeowners. We have used it and have found it to be effective. Hydrogen peroxide-based mold killers are also very effective.

Does leaving lights on help prevent mold? ›

Homes in high humidity areas can especially benefit from them. Lamps placed in locations of the home where mold and mildew is a problem can help to significantly reduce contamination levels. UV lights placed in HVAC systems have also proven to be very effective in reducing mold.

Does opening windows help with mold? ›

It is also very important that there is adequate ventilation in the room. Open a window or door so the mold spores can escape, instead of staying locked in your home.

What makes mold worse? ›

Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products.

How long after cleaning mold is it safe? ›

In most cases, it is safe to return home after mold remediation is complete. You should follow your mold remediation technician's recommendations, but most pros request that homeowners wait one day after the process is complete to move back in.

What is difference between mold and mildew? ›

Mildew refers to certain kinds of mold or fungus. The term mildew is often used generically to refer to mold growth, usually with a flat growth habit. Molds include all species of microscopic fungi that grow in the form of multicellular filaments, called hyphae.

Is mold contagious in clothes? ›

Mold spores travel in the air and attach to people's skin, clothing, shoes, shopping bags and belongings. Other ways spores can enter your home invisibly are: through open doors and windows, through your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, or on anything that comes from outside.

What kills mold in closets? ›

All you need to do is fill a spray bottle with vinegar and then spray any mold or mildew patches you see. Let the vinegar sit for about a half-hour before scrubbing the problem areas with a brush. Then rinse each area with water and let it dry.

What kills mold on fabric? ›

White Distilled Vinegar – An excellent mould-killer, diluted vinegar can be worked directly into the stain – or you can pre-soak the clothing in a bucket of water mixed with one cup of vinegar. You can also add 1-2 cups of vinegar to your washing machine per cycle to kill any mildew odours and brighten your whites.

Does DampRid work in closets? ›

DampRid Hanging Moisture Absorber can be used in closets, bathrooms, laundry rooms, pantries, storage and anywhere excess moisture and stagnant air are a nuisance.

How long does a box of baking soda last in a closet? ›

You don't have to worry about how much baking soda to put in a closet if you use a box. Once there, it will absorb odors in a room and closet potentially for up to a year.

How do I stop mold growing in my wardrobe? ›

Mould needs moisture to grow, so getting rid of damp stops it from multiplying in your wardrobe. As such, it's best to keep the humidity in your wardrobe below 60%. An easy solution for this is to install a humidifier. This will regulate moisture in the air ensuring it never accumulates to unwanted levels.

Do air purifiers help with mold? ›

Do air purifiers help with mold? Air purifiers help capture mold spores from the air, preventing them from reproducing and spreading throughout your home. While air purifiers won't help treat active mold that's already present on surfaces, they are a great way to control the spread of airborne mold particles.

Do vacuum bags prevent mould? ›

While vacuum sealed bags keep the air out and reduce the possibility of moisture building up, there is still a possibility of mold and mildew forming inside your bags due to the lack of proper ventilation.

What can I put in my cupboard to absorb moisture? ›

Keep silica gel pouches within wardrobes, book cabinets, shoe cabinets and drawers. Silica gel absorbs moisture that might be present within the closed storage unit and does not support any kind of fungal growth. Do not overfill the storage cabinets or pack clothes very tightly.

What device removes mold from the air? ›

Clorox Air Purifiers for Home, True HEPA Filter, Medium Rooms Up to 1,000 Sq Ft, Removes 99.9% of Mold, Viruses, Wildfire Smoke, Allergens, Pet Allergies, Dust, AUTO Mode, Whisper Quiet.

What kills mold spores in the air? ›

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold spore on contact by breaking down proteins and DNA. It's normally used to clean mold on porous and non-porous surfaces. Ionized hydrogen peroxide can kill mold spores in the air, but it requires the use of a special fogging machine.

Is a dehumidifier or air purifier better for mold? ›

But while dehumidifiers may be slightly better for dealing with mould by getting rid of the humidity it needs to grow, air purifiers are also useful for preventing allergic reactions to mould spores. Overall, if you have a mould problem at home, both of these two machines in tandem will make the most difference.

How do I get rid of moisture in my closet naturally? ›

The simplest and most cost-effective way to control humidity is to allow your closets to air out. Proper ventilation can prevent mold and mildew growth. Try to keep your closet doors open every other day in order to keep fresh air circulating. Another option is to purchase a dehumidifier.

Is DampRid better than a dehumidifier? ›

"While DampRid is nowhere near as rapid or effective as a good dehumidifier, it almost works the same as a poor-performing dehumidifier," says Chris. We know you want the dry details, so you can read how DampRid fared in a mild 65% humidity test against all the currently available dehumidifiers in our review.

Where should I place DampRid? ›

Place DampRid in all bathrooms, basements, closets and laundry rooms to prevent excess moisture and moisture damage. If you have outside irrigation turn off the supply and flush out the water. Unplug all appliances and phones. Thoroughly clean the home and remove all food to discourage pests.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Patricia Veum II

Last Updated: 12/25/2023

Views: 5803

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Patricia Veum II

Birthday: 1994-12-16

Address: 2064 Little Summit, Goldieton, MS 97651-0862

Phone: +6873952696715

Job: Principal Officer

Hobby: Rafting, Cabaret, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Inline skating, Magic, Graffiti

Introduction: My name is Patricia Veum II, I am a vast, combative, smiling, famous, inexpensive, zealous, sparkling person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.