Why the Shoes in Your Closet Are Growing Mold

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

How Your Shoes Got Moldy

Finding mold on your favorite pair of sneakers can be a shock. Where did that mold even come from? 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 that grew in the closet spread to your shoes.

Basically, it happened because the environment was prime for mold to grow. No one wants 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 anywhere in the home, even in closets. We will completely remove the mold from your home so you can breathe easily and healthily.

Can Your Moldy Shoes Be Saved?

Fortunately, it can 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 rather find ways to rescue our shoes from the trash than invest in a new pair. And even if you can’t see any mold on your shoes, but you found mold in your closet, you should still clean your shoes and everything else inside the closet.

Here’s how to remove mold from your shoes:

  • 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, wash them 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, then they should be good as new!

If your shoes still have some mold on them, try repeating the steps above. Keep in mind that mold shoes can’t always be saved, as mold can be persistent.

How to Prevent Mold on Shoes

Mold is dangerous, so you should never wear moldy shoes. Mold growing on a shoe’s insole could cause a toenail fungus infection. And 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.

Here’s how to prevent mold from growing on shoes, whether you store them in the closet or not.

Store with Care

Mold thrives in a humid environment. When you put your shoes away, 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.

You should also 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

Never put your shoes in a dark place while wet. After hiking in the rain, jogging through puddles, or working out at the gym, make sure to 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 tend to build up moisture throughout the day, make sure to change your socks often. Bring a second pair of shoes for the gym, if possible, or alternate between pairs to give the other pair a chance to dry.

San Francisco Mold Removal: 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 and safely clean mold from your closet and your entire home, you need My Pure Environment. We remove mold from homes in 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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