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11 Truly Genius Tips to Remove Mildew Smell from Shoes

11 Tips to Remove Mildew Smell from Shoes
Mildew can cause the shoes to have an unpleasant musty odor. This HomeQuicks article presents some useful tips to get rid of mildew smell from shoes.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Quick Tip!
Hospital-grade disinfectant sprays are highly effective for deodorizing mildew-affected shoes since they are capable of killing harmful microorganisms including mildew.
Mildew is a fungus that thrives in a warm, dark, and moist environment. Our shoes are constantly under threat from this fungus since they provide a perfect habitat for mildew growth. The insoles are often subjected to moisture due to perspiration of the feet. The shoes may also get wet/damp due to rains, snowfall, water sports, and many other factors. Mildew infestation of shoes leads to the emission of a foul odor. Wearing such shoes can be quite embarrassing. Therefore, it is important to eliminate the mildew smell from shoes. Getting rid of the odor is simple. Remove the moisture to stop the growth of mildew. Following are 11 simple tips to get rid of mildew odor from shoes.
Tip #1
Wash the shoes. Read the manufacturer's manual for washing instructions. If the shoes are not machine-washable, you can simply soak them in a small tub of warm soapy water for a while. Take out the shoes, remove the soap residue with a clean, damp cloth, and set them aside to dry.
Do not try this method on leather shoes. Instead, for leather shoes, mix 1 part of rubbing alcohol with 1 part of water. Soak a soft cloth in the solution and wipe the surface of the shoes clean. Air-dry the shoes completely and apply a leather conditioner.
Tip #2
Baking soda
Baking soda is a classic deodorizer. Pour about ¼ to ½ cup baking soda inside the shoes and leave them to sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb the mildew odor.
Tip #3
If the shoes are wet, keep crumpled newspaper inside the shoes. This way, the moisture is removed as well as the odor. Don't wear the shoes until they are completely dry.
Tip #4
Fill a couple of charcoal briquets in an old pair of socks and place the socks inside the shoes. This will absorb excess moisture and odors.
Tip #5
Vinegar is an effective fungicide that kills stench-causing organisms. Spray some white distilled vinegar on mildew-affected shoes, and set them to dry. This will help you get rid of the unwanted smell. Vinegar can destroy leather. Therefore, do not try this method on leather shoes.
Tip #6
Fruit peels
Place orange, grapefruit, or lemon peels in the shoes and let them sit overnight. Discard the peels in the morning. This will eliminate foul odors and create new, fresh smells.
Tip #7
Fill socks with kitty litter and place them in the shoes. Leave them overnight. The foul smell will be absorbed by the litter.
Tip #8
Remove the laces and open up the shoes as much as possible and lay them in the sun for a day. Do not place leather shoes in the sun to dry. This can cause discoloration.
Tip #9
Mix 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water. Spray this solution on the smelly shoes, and keep them aside to dry. Tea tree oil will help eliminate the unwanted smell.
Tip #10
Shoes in freezer
Put the shoes in a plastic bag and keep them in the freezer for 24 hours. Place them in sunlight the next day. This will help kill the mildew growth and minimize the foul odor.
Tip #11
Put dry tea bags in the shoes to deodorize them. It's one of the easiest ways to remove mildew odor from shoes.
Mildew Prevention Tips
~ Always keep your shoes in a dry, well-ventilated place.
~ Never wear damp shoes.
~ Use a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture from the room where your shoes are stored.
~ Allow the shoes to dry out thoroughly after each use. You may consider putting silica gel sachets in the shoes to absorb excess moisture.
~ Clean your shoes occasionally to prevent accumulation of dirt, which provides nutrition for mildew spores.
~ Try switching through your shoes so that the shoes worn for a day can get sufficient time to dry off when not in use.