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How to Remove Mold from Leather shoes

remove mold from leather shoes

Mold on leather shoes? Ugh, just the thought makes us cringe, right? Mold is not only unsightly but can also damage your favorite pair of leather shoes if not dealt with promptly.

So, let’s check of how to remove mold from leather shoes and keep them looking spiffy.

Preparation for Mold Removal

Before you start up your sleeves, make sure you have everything you need:

  • A soft brush
  • Damp cloth
  • White vinegar or rubbing alcohol
  • Clean water
  • Leather conditioner
  • Gloves and a mask (safety first!)

Step-by-Step Guide to Remove Mold

Alright, let’s get down to business.

1. Initial Cleaning

First things first, take your shoes outside. You don’t want mold spores spreading inside your home. Use a soft brush to gently remove any loose mold. This step is crucial to avoid pushing the mold deeper into the leather.

2. Cleaning Solutions

Time to bring out the big guns. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Both are effective mold killers.

  • Using Vinegar: Dampen a cloth with the vinegar solution and gently wipe the moldy areas. Vinegar’s acidity kills mold but is gentle on leather.
  • Using Rubbing Alcohol: Similarly, use a rubbing alcohol solution to wipe the affected areas. It’s quick-drying and also a potent mold killer.

3. Drying the Shoes

After cleaning, it’s vital to dry your shoes properly. Place them in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can fade and crack the leather, so be patient and let them air dry naturally.

4. Conditioning the Leather

Cleaning can strip away the leather’s natural oils, so it’s important to condition your shoes afterward. Use a good leather conditioner to restore moisture and keep the leather supple. This step also helps in preventing future mold growth.

remove mold from leather shoes

Preventing Mold on Leather Shoes in the Future

Prevention is better than cure, right? Here are some tips to keep mold at bay:

  • Proper Storage: Store your shoes in a cool, dry place. Use silica gel packets to absorb moisture.
  • Regular Maintenance: Clean and condition your shoes regularly. Check for any signs of mold, especially after exposure to moisture.

Alternative Methods for Mold Removal

If the DIY methods don’t work, consider these alternatives:

  • Commercial Mold Removers: There are products specifically designed for mold removal on leather. Always test on a small area first.
  • Natural Remedies: Some people swear by tea tree oil or baking soda. They can be effective but proceed with caution to avoid damaging the leather.


Mold on leather shoes is a hassle, but with the right approach, you can restore your shoes to their former glory. Remember to act quickly, clean thoroughly, and condition the leather. Prevention is key, so keep your shoes dry and well-maintained.

Written by Zain

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