How To Green Clean Moldy Shoes

updated May 7, 2019
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(Image credit: Ukrit Theengarm)

Moldy shoes. I know… scary stuff. I can understand how your first thought might be “Quick! Throw them out!” But fear not; if you are a fellow humid climate dweller who has faced this situation and shamefacedly thrown out pair after pair of otherwise perfectly good shoes. I have the solution! It’s quick, it’s easy, and you more than likely already have everything you need.

What You Need to Clean Moldy Shoes:

You don’t need any harsh cleaners. Check your pantry for the ingredients below:

Instructions for Cleaning Moldy, Mildewy Shoes:

Step 1: Brush them off
Use the firm bristled brush to dust away all the visible mold and mildew from the shoe.

Step 2: Mix vinegar and water
Pour half a cup of white vinegar and half a cup of water into your bucket.

Step 3: Use the cloth to wipe
Dip the soft cloth into the mixture and gently wipe over the affected areas.

Step 4: Dry them out
Dry with a clean towel, or leave your shoes out in the sunshine… if you have any… sunshine I mean.

Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Do this outside to avoid spreading mold spores through your house.
  • This method will not work on suede shoes.
  • Canvas shoes might need an extra wash either by hand or in your machine as they will hold the vinegar smell longer.
  • The vinegar has a potent smell. You can overcome it by spraying an essential oil or tea tree/water mix afterwards.
  • If you have some water/vinegar solution left you can put it in a spray bottle for use cleaning around the house. (But you should know there are four places you shouldn’t use vinegar to clean.)

Read more cleaning hacks using vinegar:

Re-edited from a post published 2.8.11 — TW