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15th November 2023 EDT FEATURES

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers

All you need to know to keep your kicks free from mold.

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers
How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers

Everyone loves a clean pair of shoes, or at least, the majority of us do. But have you ever wondered why, despite wearing them with care and storing it in a designated shoe box, mold still manages to make an unwelcome appearance on your cherished sneakers?

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent that from happening but before we delve into those solutions, let’s first explore some of the common contributing factors behind this conundrum:

Mold: What causes them?

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers

Image via Phuownglee

There are several factors that contribute to mold growth on sneakers, with the first being excessive moisture. Whether it’s rainwater or the sweat from your feet, failing to thoroughly dry your shoes after wearing them will eventually lead to the growth of mold.

Another potential culprit is the environment. Depending on where and/or how you store your shoes, the surroundings may be excessively damp or could potentially trap humidity, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold particles.

How to remove mold:

Before we start, it is strongly advised to perform this task outdoors to prevent the spread of mold particles inside your home. Do consider wearing a mask or gloves if the amount of mold is substantial.

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers

Image via Cleanipedia

A list of items you’ll need: a cloth, a shoe brush, water, and vinegar.

  1. Step 1: Start by cleaning the affected area using a dry shoe brush. Do this gently to prevent deeper penetration of mold particles into the fabric.
  2. Step 2: Mix 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar and apply it to the affected area using cloth. Continue until no more mold is visible.
  3. Step 3: Leave your shoe under the sun or in a well-ventilated room to dry.
  4. Step 4 (Optional): Repeat the above steps if condition persists.

One thing to take note is that the above method does not work on suede shoes. In this case, you may opt for a high-percentage alcohol or ammonia water solution but be aware that such chemicals are potentially harmful to human skin and may also pose a risk of damaging your shoes.

Ways to prevent mold:

How to Prevent and Get Rid of Mold on Sneakers

Now that your shoes are fresh and clean, we’ll go through a few tips on how to prevent potential growth of mold.

■ Drying of shoes

As per mentioned on the causes of mold growth, it is ideal to always dry your shoes before storing them away. You can do this by leaving them in a well-ventilated room or right under the sun, like how it’s done during the mold removal process. Pay special attention to the insoles, as they tend to absorb the most moisture.

■ Cedar shoe trees

There are many benefits in putting shoe trees in your shoes. In addition to preserving the shape and preventing creasing, cedar wood is known to absorb excess moisture, which will eventually help prevent mold growth.

■ Silica gel packets

A great alternative to shoe trees are silica gel packets. Placing a packet or two with each pair of shoes during storage will help absorb moisture, and all you need to do afterward is to replace them once they become damp or change in color.


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