Shoes are some of our most prized possessions and an integral part of our wardrobe. The correct shoes can transform any ordinary outfit into an eye-catching one. One of the common problems that one faces while maintaining their shoes is preventing the formation of mildew smell in the shoes.
What Is Mildew?
Mildew is a very common fungus that grows in damp and dark places. When we use our shoe for an extended period, it results in the accumulation of sweat and moisture in the insole of the shoe. This accumulated moisture, along with the naturally present dark environment, promotes the growth mildew. This mildew is responsible for causing the unpleasant odor coming out from shoes.
There are quite a few homemade DIY methods to get rid of mildew, which has been discussed below.
Wash the shoes
The most basic step when it comes to getting rid of mildew order is washing and drying your shoes. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind while following this method. Firstly, not all types of shoes are washable. This includes shoes made from leather and other materials that are damaged by water. In such cases, special care is to be taken to clean the shoes. For leather shoes, rubbing alcohol and water are mixed, and a soft cloth is used to clean the shoe after being dipped in this solution.
When it comes to washable shoes, they can be either machine washable or hand washable. Machine washable shoes are easiest to clean, as one simply has to put them in the washing machine. On the other hand, shoes which are recommended to be hand-washed should be dipped in Soap water and gently cleaned by hand with the help of a cloth and cleaning brush.
Absorb the extra moisture
Since a moist environment is a key to the growth of mildew, it is a good option to adopt a method that soaks away the moisture. There are several ways to achieve this. The easiest method to absorb moisture is to stuff dry newspaper inside the shoes and keep them overnight. The dry newspaper acts as an absorbent for moisture. Alternatively, charcoal briquettes can be used for more efficiency in moisture absorption. An old cloth or pair of socks is used to put the briquettes inside the shoes. Loss of moisture hampers the growth of mildew and reduces the odor significantly.
Using a homemade fungicide
Many homemade remedies work efficiently by eliminating the mildew fungus itself. This list includes common kitchen ingredients such as vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar is an extremely efficient fungicide and can get rid of mildew with ease. All you have to do is spray some vinegar inside the mildew odored shoes and leave them overnight. The killing of the odor-causing fungus helps in reducing the odor significantly. Baking soda, on the other hand, works by acting as a natural odor removal agent. Keeping baking soda in the shoes overnight causes rapid absorption of the odor along with the absorption of the moisture, which further hampers the growth of mildew.
Drying out shoes
One of the easiest ways to get rid of extra moisture from your shoes is to dry it extensively. The best method of doing this is by opening up the shoe and leaving it in the sun to dry. It causes drying up of the moisture, retardation in the growth of mildew, and removal of the odor. This process, however, should not be used for leather shoes, as it can cause shrinkage and discoloration.
Alternative deodorizing agents
Other than the above-discussed methods, there are a few alternative DIY home remedies to combat the mildew odor. The first of these is using dry tea bags for odor removal. Dry tea bags are good moisture absorbents and help in removing the moist atmosphere from your shoes, which are responsible for the growth of mildew and foul odor. Natural oils are also good deodorizing agents and help in removing the foul odor by their natural fragrance. Natural fruit peels such as orange and lemon also act in the same way and are good alternative deodorizing agents for mildew odor.
Prevention of growth of mildew
While there are quite a few efficient methods to tackle mildew odor, it is still best to prevent the growth of the fungus.
Some of the best preventive methods for stopping the growth of mildew are discussed below.
● Store your shoes in a dry place: the first preventive step to be followed is the proper storage of your shoes. Since mildew grows best in damp and dark places, storing your shoes in a dry place with good air circulation can go a long way in preventing the growth of mildew related odor.
● Do not use Damp or wet shoes: using damp or already wet shoes only causes further addition of sweat to the overall moisture content, resulting in the rapid growth of mildew fungus. This can generate a very unpleasant odor, which can be an embarrassment on social occasions. To prevent this, always make sure you dry out your damp shoes before using them again.
● Clean shoes regularly: cleaning if shoes regularly ensure that there is no accumulation of dirt inside the shoes. This is important because a fungus such as mildew will grow much faster in the presence of promoting factors such as dirt.
● Switch shoes regularly: in rainy, or summer seasons, it might get very difficult to dry out a single pair of shoes every day and then use it the next day. The alternative solution to this is switching out different pairs of shoes for the week, ensuring you never have to wear a single pair of shoes on consecutive days.
Shoe odor can be a source of major embarrassment in public places. To avoid this, it is best to use the above discussed preventive methods for combating mildew odor. With proper care and maintaining regular shoe hygiene, it is possible to void mildew odor altogether.