How To Get Mildew Smell Out Of Leather Boots: 4 Easy Steps

You might have noticed mildew vibes in your boots, and now you are looking for ways on how to get mildew smell out of leather boots. Here in this article, we’ll provide you with the reasons for smelly leather boots, a few steps to remove mildew smell, and some tips just for you.

Leather boots have been part of men’s and women’s fashion trends for a long time. In fact, things never get old with leather boots, and they will never get out of fashion.

how to get mildew smell out of leather boots

It does not just promote durability, resilience, and comfort, but it is also environment-friendly. Unlike synthetic shoes, leather boots are made with natural materials and no toxic chemicals.

Choosing the best leather boots for day-to-day use is essential for you. Your shoes are often the first things people would notice, so keeping them conditioned is necessary.

Well-conditioned leather boots would not just reflect your overall looks, but also resonate with your self-confidence. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it clean, dry, and mildew-free.


What Causes Mildew Smell In Leather Boots?

Leather is a type of material which naturally comes from tanned animal skin and is a primary material for shoes, bags, and various items. With the kind of material used in leather boots, it is perfect for mildew to become its breeding ground. 

The ability of mildew to thrive in different areas makes leather boots susceptible to infestation. Mildew can be seen as white or gray patches on the surface, giving off a musty smell.

The main reason why leather boots smell like mildew is because of the presence of mildew. These may be the cause of dirt build-up, damp surface, and its longevity.

Neglecting to clean leather boots after use may lead to the accumulation of dirt, which allows bacteria to build up. Meanwhile, the damp surface on leather boots is the perfect area for mildew to thrive.

Another thing that makes leather boots smell like mildew is their longevity. Mildew smell can be compared to the smell of old books, dank cabinets, the basement, and even dirty socks.

As a result, it’s critical to exert efforts to get mildew smell out of leather boots in the best way you can. You may also want to visit this article to guide you on how to remove mildew from leather.


Getting Mildew Smell Out Of Leather Boots

Here are the steps on removing mildew smell from your leather boots. An important reminder, this cleaning process should be done outside and away from kids to avoid possible contact with mildew spores.


Step #1. Get rid of mildew

To get rid of mildew smell, you must deal first with the problem. In getting rid of mildew, you may use a vacuum and a soft-bristled brush to scrape off mildew spores.

Ensure that you are equipped with gloves, a mask, and eyeglasses to prevent irritation. That should always be put into consideration every time you will be dealing with mold and mildew, as they could impose health risks.

Using your vacuum, you can easily take out mildew spores inside your leather shoes. Meanwhile, a soft-bristled brush may help you reach deep areas where mildew spores could flourish.


Step #2. Mildew smell eliminators

In dealing with mildew smell, you may use either natural solutions or commercial products created primarily for mold and mildew. Natural solutions include baking soda, lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils.

Using baking soda, cover the surfaces with it and let it sit for an hour. On the other hand, lemon juice, distilled white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with warm water before using.

Depending on your choice, you may use essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender to eliminate foul stenches. Still, you may use mild liquid detergent mixed with warm water if that’s only available.

An important reminder, neither wash nor bleach your leather shoes as it may damage the leather.


Step #3. Wipe down leather surfaces

After preparing mildew killer mixtures, damp a clean cotton towel into the mixture and wipe down surfaces from outer to inner. If there are any detergent residues, dip a separate cloth into clean water and gently wipe it off.


Step #4. Ventilate

After completing the steps, air-dry your leather shoes for better ventilation. It would help remove the mildew smell on your leather shoes while drying.

You may hang or place it on a flat surface outside with no direct sunlight. However, if you want to speed up the process, you may use a hair blower at the perfect temperature.

To know more about mildew in leather, read on how to remove mildew from leather car seats and become a leather expert.



In facing other people, it is essential to become confident and presentable. From the clothes you wear to your leather shoes, everything must be clean.

On the central point, you can prevent mildew smell from happening if you’ll become responsible in cleaning, storing, and ventilating your valuables. We hope that you’ve learned how to get mildew smell out of leather boots.

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