Mold is Difficult to Remove

Moldy shoes often have a pungent, sour smell that is difficult to remove. Aspergillus mold is the most typical fungi that can grow on leather shoes and can be harmful to human and pet health. Cleaning the surface area with soap and water alone will not eliminate the mold. An anti-mold fungicide must be used to completely remove mold.

  1. Before using a fungicide, put on gloves and a mask and take the shoes outdoors.
  2. Use a stiff nylon brush to rub the surface of the leather with the fungicide.
  3. Use a soft cloth with a mixture of vinegar and water to wipe down the full surface of the shoe to kill 75% of the mold.
  4. If mold persists after a few days, wipe the surface with isopropyl alcohol after checking its effect on a hidden part of the shoe to make sure it does not change the color or appearance.
  1. Use a leather conditioner after the alcohol to keep the shoe completely dry.
  2. Don’t forget about the soles: Hydrolysis damage (when polymers are broken down into monomers) occurs when moisture builds up in the soles of footwear. If not worn regularly or stored correctly, moisture can build up and cause the soles to break down and separate through hydrolysis.

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