How to Get Mold Out of Shoes? – Easy DIY Steps

Looking for ways to remove the mold from your adorable shoes? Molds form when we store our shoes with no ventilation system. It results in damaging and causing the smell in the footwear.

If you don’t get the mold out quickly, it ruins your shoes permanently, like the discoloration of white sneakers—no need to throw your stunning shoes because there is still a chance to remove the mold.

In this post, I will explain how to get rid of mold. Without taking much time, let’s start!

how to get mold out of shoes

How to Get Mold Out of Shoes?

  • Use a soft brush to wipe the visible molds from shoes
  • Mix alcohol and water equally in a bowl
  • Wipe the remaining molds using a damped alcohol solution cloth
  • After removing the fungus, place your footwear in a dry place

How Often to Clean Mold out of Shoes

Try cleaning your shoes after the end of every season. I usually wipe the molds away about two times a year. It is important to inspect your footwear after every 6 months so that there are no molds present.

If you notice any mold and mildew, then clean them immediately. Cleaning is very helpful in getting rid of black mold. You have to use different cleaners for various types of shoe materials.

Steps to Get Mold out Of Different Shoes

There is a little change in the methods of different shoe materials. Make sure to wear gloves before cleaning because they will protect you from harmful chemical cleaners.

  • How to remove mold from leather shoes
  • How to get rid of mold from Nubuck and Suede Shoes
  • How to get mold out from canvas shoes

1. Remove Mold from Leather Shoes?

Before removing the mold, gather the following items and arrange them in a regular pattern.

Things Required

  • Soft brush
  • Container or bucket
  • Detergent
  • Clothes
  • Water
  • Sponges
  • Alcohol
  • Leather Conditioner


  • Take your shoes and all the required things to a well-ventilated place to prevent inhaling the spores of the fungus.
  • Firstly, I removed the visible spores using a soft brush. You can also use clean fabric instead of a brush. Whatever suits you best. Then, I scrubbed the inner side with a smaller-sized brush. If your shoes have kickoffs, remove them and wash them separately.
  • Add the alcohol to cold water in equal amounts. If you pour two cups of water, add two cups of alcohol.
  • After that, I soaked the dry cloth in a mixture and cleaned the shoes’ upper surface. Note: I used a cotton ball to wash the smaller areas.
  • In the next step, I dipped a new cloth in water and moved it thoroughly on the leather surface.
  • Once my shoes were dried, I made a detergent solution by adding little amount of mild detergent to the warm water. If you have a leather saddle soap, you can also use it instead of making a solution.
  • Again, I dipped the cloth in an alcohol solution and started rubbing the shoe surface. Before drying, I wiped the extra soap residues away using a clean cloth.
  • After my leather boots were fully dried, I applied leather conditioner to make them durable. You can read the instructions from the conditioner packaging for more information.

2. Get Rid of Mold from Nubuck and Suede Shoes

Suede is a kind of leather with a fluffy texture, while nubuck has a velvety texture. An interesting thing about it is that you can apply a similar method to clear out the mold.

Required Things

  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Sponges
  • Clothes
  • Bowl
  • Suede or nubuck brush


  • Petroleum jelly act as a mold remover. If a small amount of mold is present, then spread a thin layer of Petroleum jelly on the stained parts.
  • If molds are visible, then combine an equal amount of alcohol and water in a bowl. I started rubbing the solution with cloth on moldy spots.
  • After that, I used a sponge to rub the alcohol from the toe to the heel side of the footwear.
  • Don’t allow high temperatures to dry your marvelous Suede shoes.
  • Once they were dried fully, I used a Suede brush to smooth the surface of them.

Tip: use only those mold and mildew cleaners that are specially designed for suede or nubuck shoes. The reason is that these materials are delicate to harmful cleaners and their colors fade.

3. How to Get Mold out Of Canvas Shoes?

Molds are also well known for damaging the canvas surface of shoes. They change their color of them in an unusable way.

Things Required

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket
  • Cloths
  • Sponges
  • Water
  • Alcohol
  • Soft brush


  • To wipe the mold dust away, I scrubbed the shoes with a soft brush
  • The vacuum cleaner is also an effective mold mildew remover. I used a vacuum cleaner to remove the mold from the shoe fabric.
  • Then, I added an equal concentration of alcohol and water in a container and wiped away the left mold using a damped cloth.
  • Once all the fungus was cleared out, I placed them in a ventilated area for drying.

Causes Of Mold Growth in Shoes

Here are the few common causes of mold growth in your footwear:

  • Moisture
  • Poor ventilation system
  • Filthy Closets
  • Trapped Humidity
  • Improper Hygiene


A moist environment is a topmost reason for mold growth. If you live in a humid place, you are more likely to face this problem. You can take some preventive measures to reduce its impact.

Firstly, make sure to dry your footwear in an airy place. Keep your boots dry, especially in rain or snowy days. You also have the option of applying conditioner to your favorite footwear.

Poor Ventilation System

Another reason for mold formation is poor ventilated areas. Giving them adequate air makes it easier to get rid of mold.

Filthy Closets

Most people put their footwear in the closet most of the time. If the storage room is not clean, dirt and debris will eventually occur.

A dusty environment is ideal for the growth of mold. That’s why cleaning and organizing your closet from time to time is necessary.

Trapped Humidity

Humidity is another important cause of mold. When you don’t dry your footwear after coming home in wet weather, it will eventually develop molds. It can also happen if you leave your boots near a pool or a shower.

Improper Hygiene

Wiping the dust away from footwear is also crucial to make them last longer. Make sure to wash your wonderful shoes with Soapy water with time. It would be great to use a soft brush for scrubbing. Dirt is an ideal place for mildew and mold.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Can Moldy Shoes Be Saved?

Yes, you can save your moldy shoes by using the disinfectant spray. Not just that, use alcohol, baking soda, or vinegar to kill molds. All these ingredients are effective in eliminating the molds from your gorgeous shoes.

Why is There Mold Growing on My Shoes?

Mold grows on shoes because of moisture, poor ventilation systems, trapped Humidity, filthy Closets, and Improper Hygiene. There might be any of these reasons for mold growing on your shoes.

How Do You Get Rid of Mold on Shoes?

One of the most economical and friendly methods to get rid of mold is by using a vinegar solution. Brush your shoes with vinegar, wipe the mold, and grime away from them.

Can You Just Wipe the Black Mold Away?

You can wipe the black mold away using bleach, hydrogen peroxide, borax, baking soda, or white vinegar. Choose any mold and mildew remover for this purpose, and ensure that the cleaner is not harmful to your shoes.

What is the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold is usually black or green, while mildew is yellow or white. Along this, mold grows in a wet environment while mildew grows on any surface.


You can stop mold growth as long as you control the humidity rate. Mold causes discoloration and a bad smell, so it is important to remove them.

To get rid of mold, use stain, and mold remover or other natural ingredients. Perform these simple remedies to end mold problems and take proper care of your gorgeous footwear.

Daniel Robert is a shoe lover who enjoys writing about all kinds of footwear, including sneakers, Crocs, Vans, and more. He shares his vast knowledge on, a website dedicated to helping people find the perfect pair of shoes. With years of experience and a passion for all things shoe-related, Daniel's easy-to-understand advice has helped countless people make confident and stylish choices.

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