When you leave your shoe in a wet environment, mold can grow on it quickly. If you’re here to know how to remove mold from suede shoes, then you’re just in the right place! Most of the time, you can just grab a soft brush to wipe it off, but it won’t be as easy as that for more serious damage.
Suede is a kind of high-quality leather made from the underside of an animal’s skin. It’s popular these days because of its unique texture and softness.
As cool as the suede may sound, it’s also vulnerable. It’s important not to scratch it too hard as it may ruin the material.
That’s why removing mold from suede shoes can be a tricky process. Keep reading as we go on details on removing mold from suede shoes and how to prevent it from happening again.
Causes Of Mold Infestation On Shoes
Shoes are left in a humid environment
When there’s excess moisture in the environment, expect mold to come and grow on your things. It’s important to watch where you left your shoes, especially if it’s the rainy season.
Even an overnight stay of your shoes outside the house is enough for mold to grow. Here’s a guide on how to spot black mold to help you prepare for cleaning your shoe.
You’ve contacted spores
Spores are what triggers mold growth. They are usually carried by air currents. However, you are also at risk of being a carrier.
You may have stepped on a moldy surface and brought it home with you. If the conditions are right, spores can grow into mold. That’s why it’s important to disinfect your clothes and shoes to prevent this from happening.
5 Steps On How To Clean Moldy Suede Shoes
Step #1. Prepare your working station outside
Before starting your mold removal, kindly gather your materials and go outside. It would be best to work away from home as excess spores can spread inside your home and affect furniture, garments, and other items.
This can also be a great time to inspect the mold on your shoe. Molds vary in color, and if you’re curious to know more about them, read this guide on “what color is mold”.
Step #2. Place it under the sun
Hang your shoes on a clothesline or put them anywhere where the sun can reach them. Place it under the sun for a couple of minutes to kill any mold and spores left in your shoe. It will also help to dry out the mold, making it easier for you to remove them.
After that, get your suede brush and lightly scrub off the loose mold. It would be best if you didn’t brush too hard as it may ruin the leather.
Step #3. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly
Next, apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly across the affected area of your shoe. Get your lint-free rag and wipe off the jelly in a circular motion. Doing this will help penetrate the leather without ruining it and help release it from the material.
You can also use a suede cleaner for this, but petroleum jelly will work just fine if you don’t have any. Just follow the label on the box that comes with it to know how to do it properly.
Step #4. Mix equal parts of alcohol and water
For persistent mold stains, mix a solution of equal parts of rubbing alcohol and water. This means that for every cup of alcohol, there should also be an equal cup of water. Aside from removing mold, this solution can also kill any surviving spores.
However, before applying it to your shoe, test it first on a small and unnoticeable part of your suede. Then, wipe it off using a clean white cloth. If the material changes color, stop using it immediately.
Step #5. Air dry your suede shoes
After removing the mold and spores, place your suede shoes on a clothesline or on a flat surface to dry. However, please don’t put it under direct sunlight this time as it may affect the color of the leather.
You can also put a small fan beside it to yank up the drying process. Once dried, apply a leather conditioner to bring the natural oil back to the material and improve your shoe’s flexibility.
How to maintain suede shoes
Suede is a delicate fabric. Aside from that, it’s even more expensive than regular leather.
Before owning a pair of suede shoes, you must buy a good suede brush first. Since this material is prone to dust and dirt, you have to constantly brush it before and after use. Any other soft-bristled brush should do, but the suede brush is the best one to use.
You can also buy a suede leather protector, which usually comes in a spray-type bottle. It helps in preventing dirt and stains from sticking to your shoe.
The solution to the problem of how to remove mold from suede shoes is simple. If petroleum jelly doesn’t work, an equal ratio of alcohol to water should do the trick. Remember to do this outside the house to avoid spores from spreading inside your home.
When you detect even the slightest sign of mold, you must act on it quickly. Touching this fungus can lead to various symptoms, such as allergic reactions and fungal infections.