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Why the Shoes in Your Closet Are Growing Mold

Updated: Jan 20

moldy shoes in closet, why is mold growing on my shoes, how to prevent mold on shoes in closet

Mold and mildew don’t just grow in the obvious places like in the bathroom on the shower curtain or the back of a dripping AC unit. Mold can grow absolutely anywhere that moisture is present. It loves damp, dark areas, and one place you may discover this harmful fungus is in your shoe closet.

How Your Shoes Got Moldy

When you sum it up, your shoes probably got moldy for one of two main reasons:

  1. Your shoes were wet when you put them in the closet.

  2. The closet is damp and dark, and mold grew in the closet spread to your shoes.

Basically, it happened because the environment was prime for mold to grow. You don’t want that. Finding the source of the problem and removing the mold is crucial to good health. At My Pure Environment, we are experts at diagnosing and treating mold issues. We will completely remove the mold from your home so you can breathe easy.

Can Moldy Shoes Be Saved?

It might be possible to save your shoes after mold has grown in your closet or on your shoes. Shoes are a wardrobe investment, and many of us would be interested in ways to rescue our shoes from the trash. If you can’t see any mold on your shoes, but you found mold in your closet, you’ll still want to clean everything inside the closet.

First, clean your shoes outside in the shade. If there’s visible mold, wear a mask and gloves. Remove the laces and the insoles if you can. Use a soft bristle brush or dry cloth to brush off your shoes, then disinfect them with a mixture of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol.

Drench and wring out a cloth in this solution and wipe each shoe thoroughly, inside and out. Use Q-tips to reach corners and small spaces. Rinse with a clean cloth and plain water, then let your shoes dry outside.

After the shoes have completely dried, move on to the second step. Wash the shoes with a rag drenched in warm soapy water and rinse in the same manner as before. Let the clean shoes air-dry outside one more time.

Preventing Mold on Shoes

Never wear moldy shoes. Mold growing on a shoe’s insole could cause a toenail fungus infection. If inhaled, mold can trigger respiratory problems and asthma attacks in vulnerable people. Mold vulnerability isn’t as uncommon as you might think. Approximately 25% of the population is genetically vulnerable to mold toxins.

Store with Care

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. Mold has a harder time growing on metal, and can more easily grow on wooden shelves or fabric shoe sorters.

Always Air-Dry

After hiking in the rain, jogging through puddles, or working out at the gym, leave your shoes outside of the closet until they are completely dry. As a precaution, you can also spray down your shoes with a mixture of white vinegar and water, then wipe them dry with a clean cloth.

Change It Up

Moisture can sit in the insoles of shoes and create a great environment for mold to grow. This can happen to many people, especially those working long hours on their feet in hot conditions, like construction workers, zookeepers, or chefs.

If your shoes are building up moisture through the day, change your socks often. Bring a second pair of shoes for the gym, if possible, or alternate wear to give the other pair a chance to dry.

Cleaning Mold from Your Closet

If you found mold in your closet, there’s a good chance harmful mold spores have spread to other parts of your home. Here’s where you should stop any DIY ideas and call a professional mold remediation company.

To completely clean mold from your closet and your entire home, you need My Pure Environment. We serve the entire San Francisco Bay area. Learn more about our mold remediation methods today and schedule your appointment when you’re ready to get back to a safe, healthy place.

Image used under creative commons license - commercial use (6/3/2021) Jose Fontano (Unsplash)

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