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Cleaning Musty Odors From Shoes

Shoes that have gotten wet or been in storage for a period of time may develop a musty odor. This is a guide about cleaning musty odors from shoes.


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0 found this helpful
March 30, 2008 Flag

HELP! I have just been given some faux fur lined suede boots by a friend. They are so lovely, but they have been in a cupboard that was a bit damp. It is not causing any problems to the actual boots, except they smell a bit musty. Has anyone any solution to how to make them smell a bit fresher please? Many thanks.


Monique from Somerset, UK

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March 30, 20080 found this helpful

Baking soda might get rid of the musty odor.

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March 30, 20080 found this helpful

Pour some baking soda into each boot then stuff the boots with newspaper. Leave in a dry place for a week. I've done this many times with musty shoes and purses -- it works!

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March 31, 20080 found this helpful

If you can get Febreze there by you, it works miracles on musty smells and so much more.

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March 31, 20080 found this helpful

What I did with mine was to pull the liner inside out and wash it with bleach and detergent, then let dry well, and before you wear them again, put in some new felt soles. That way you can wash those often more easily. One pair I put newspapers under the felt sole folded as thick as was comfortable and they were so nice and dry, and the newspaper adapted to my foot. Formerly from coastal Washington State, the most UK-like climate in the States. God bless you! --Kim

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April 2, 20080 found this helpful

Thank you so much everyone - I am trying the baking powder solution then I think I will get the Febreeze as well.

I am so grateful to you for posting, I never thought of any of these solutions.

All best wishes

Monique :)

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April 6, 20080 found this helpful

Is musty the same as mildew? I know that mildew odors can be dissipated by using vinegar. If the boots are clean, then just set a sponge soaked in vinegar, and wrung out, under the boots and put the sponge and boots in a plastic bag and tightly close for a few days.

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0 found this helpful
October 20, 2009 Flag

I have shoes and a bag that were in a box in my cellar. It was in a cedar box (I thought). How do I get rid of the odor from the cellar? I am hoping there aren't any bugs. Thank you.

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By Victoria from Fairview, NJ

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October 20, 20090 found this helpful

We air out our camping items (which tend to get musty if it was raining when packed away last) in sunlight. I would start with putting them outside in the sun on a sunny day up off the ground.

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Anonymous Flag
October 21, 20090 found this helpful

Fill them with scrunched up newspaper and let them sit that way for a day or two. The carbon from the newspaper print usually gets rid of all odors and moisture too!

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0 found this helpful
November 4, 2012 Flag

My sneakers got rain soaked and now have a musty smell. It is still there even after washing and drying. How can I get rid of the smell?

By G.B.

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