We have a rather dry house, but in our bedroom closet, almost all of our shoes have the (contained) dry mold. How do you get rid of mold without ruining the material (leather, fabric, etc.)? I have started to expose the closet to more sunlight, but it's not really going away. Any ideas
Mould doesn't grow without moisture so if this is truly mould there must be a moisture source. If its not rising from the foundations of your house or coming through the walls, in which case you would see it on the walls too, its maybe coming from the inside of the house. Do you ventilate your kitchen when boiling things on the stove? Do you vent your clothes dryer to the outside of the house?
You can only prevent it by increasing ventilation/through drafts to carry the moisture away. Try opening the bedroom window for an hour each day with the closet door open. Cleaning the shoes and bags before storing may help too, a layer of wax on the surface may keep the damp air off the leather. Have you tried removing everything and washing the closet down with a fungicide to kill the mould spores? Just some thoughts, may be no help at all.
By Jo Bodey
When you wear shoes there is perspiration from feet. Allow shoes to air out before you put them away, and try not to wear the same pair 2 days in a row. You can try sprinkling baking soda in them, and also the drying packets that come inside products like vitamins (those little cylinder-like things that say "Do not consume"), and new leather goods. You can buy silica gel, a desiccant at craft stores, too, and make little sachet like pouches to put into shoes before you store them. (10/17/2004)
In answer to your question about what to use to get rid of the mold without ruining your material, I have a possible solution. Try to remove as much of the mold as you can with a dry nylon bristled brush or a dry cloth. Then, wipe undiluted white vinegar over the area with the mold. This works very well with smooth leather and seems to somewhat prevent the mold from returning.
However, do not use the vinegar on nubuck or suede, as it will ruin the nap of the material. Also, I have never tried this on fabric shoes and can't say whether or not the mold would permanently stain the fabric when vinegar is added. In the case of the nubuck, suede, or fabric, at least some of the mold can be removed with dry brushing. I also use Damp Rid in closets, and it is calcium chloride and can be purchased in places like Walmart in the household cleaner aisle. (10/18/2004)
I recently have had the same problem. I washed all my shoes in washing up liquid and gave them a good scrub then washed them in a bleach solution. After polishing they seem to be fine. Works OK on tough leathers, but wouldn't work for fabric shoes though.
Rub lightly with a slightly damp microfibre cloth eg. Enjo, Sabco, etc. Test on the heel first. This worked brilliantly on my favourite chocolate brown fabric shoes and it only took a minute. (10/14/2007)
There is a new product called Odorxit ClO2 that produces a gas called chlorine dioxide. It kills mold with the gas produced by a little packet of powder. This is really neat. Just a little 5 gram packet will do a whole closet or bathroom.
Try it you will love it.
I've used Damp Rid for years in closed drawers and chests both in Florida and in Europe, but have not needed it in my ventilated closets until yesterday. Once you have containers, you may also refill with calcium chloride, which may be found in enormous quantities at any swimming pool products supplier. Once the obvious mold is removed from my shoes, I'll be putting containers of Damp Rid on my closet floors. Air circulation is important in discouraging mold also.
By Sandra in Florida
Just removed mold from my riding boots, Simple Green is magic. it took the mold off straight away and then I washed them with soap and left them outside to dry. (10/16/2008)
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