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How To Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots? | 5 Incredibly Effective Ways

Molds in hiking boots are inevitable if you don’t take care of your boots as you should. First, the number one cause of mold in hiking boots is moisture or dampness.

Therefore, if you don’t let your hiking boots dry completely before usage or storage, molds can grow in them. Likewise, if you store them in a place that exposes them to moisture and dampness.

Another thing that can make mold grow in your hiking boots is if you don’t store your boots properly. You should know that you should not just dump your hiking boots anywhere after use.

You need to clean, care for and store them appropriately after a hike. If you don’t, you would not only have molds to deal with, but you could be saying goodbye to your hiking boots soon.

And when mold grows in your hiking boots, it comes with smells that won’t leave till you do something about it. You don’t have to throw your hiking boots away when you see molds in them, especially if they are still in food condition.

You can remove the mold and still get to enjoy wearing your hiking boots for more hikes till they are completely worn out. Thankfully, you can get mold out of your hiking boots easily with some methods.

If you want to know how to clean mold off of hiking boots, then read on to find out. We have some easy methods you can try!

Let’s get started.

Cowboy Boots 1

How To Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots?

_hiking boots wirh worn out eyelets

Molds are microscopic fungi, and they usually appear on hiking boots in different colors like white, black, yellow, or green. And sometimes, they show on hiking boots in small bits, and other times, they can spread all over them.

Either way, you can get mold off of hiking boots and still get to use them. But remember, when you want to clean mold from hiking boots, you should do that outside, so you can get rid of them outside your house.

You should do that because you are at a higher risk of inhaling mold spores if you clean them in an enclosed place. You also don’t want mold spores hanging in the air in your home, so the best place to get them out is outside.

There are different ways to get mold out of hiking boots, and we are getting into that right away. What are they?

Clean hiking boots

One of the major ways to remove mold from hiking boots is to clean them. The mold in your hiking boots is not going anywhere if you don’t do anything about it.

Soften Suede hiking boots

Suppose you find it early enough. Good for you because it wouldn’t have spread all over your hiking boots. But in any case, you can remedy the situation by cleaning your hiking boots.

To clean your hiking boots, you would need to clean the surface and the inside to completely remove mold. It also involves deep cleaning your goods to ensure no residue is left on your hiking boots after they are dry, including the smell.

Things you need

  • Leather cleaner
  • Brush
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Tea tree oil 
  • Alcohol
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Foam pad
  • Soft cloth
  • Soap
  • Leather conditioner
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Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner 8 Ounce - Best Deep Cleaner For Leather Apparel Shoes Boots Handbags Purses Accessories Furniture Auto Interior and More
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. for use on Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interiors, Shoes, Bags and Accessories. Non-Toxic and Made in The USA!
Jovitec 3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Care Clean Daubers Applicators (Set C)
Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner 8 Ounce - Best Deep Cleaner For Leather Apparel Shoes Boots Handbags Purses Accessories Furniture Auto Interior and More
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. for use on Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interiors, Shoes, Bags and Accessories. Non-Toxic and Made in The USA!
Leather Honey Leather Conditioner, Best Leather Conditioner Since 1968. for use on Leather Apparel, Furniture, Auto Interiors, Shoes, Bags and Accessories. Non-Toxic and Made in The USA!
Jovitec 3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Care Clean Daubers Applicators (Set C)
Jovitec 3 Pieces Horsehair Shoes Polish Brushes Care Clean Daubers Applicators (Set C)
Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner 8 Ounce - Best Deep Cleaner For Leather Apparel Shoes Boots Handbags Purses Accessories Furniture Auto Interior and More
Bickmore Bick 1 Leather Cleaner 8 Ounce - Best Deep Cleaner For Leather Apparel Shoes Boots Handbags Purses Accessories Furniture Auto Interior and More

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to clean

Step1: Remove mold from the outside

The first thing to do when deep cleaning hiking boots to remove mold is to brush them off from the outside. To clean the surface, you can use a brush and leather cleaner, especially if your hiking boots are made from leather.

Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots with cloth

Put the leather cleaner on the brush and scrub your hiking boots to remove the mold. You can also use vinegar and water if the leather cleaner is not available or for other hiking boot materials.

Other options include using water and tea tree oil or alcohol, hand washing soap, or baking soda. When you are sure you have removed the mold from the surface, you can move on to the next thing.

Step 2: Clean the inside

Cleaning the outside can be easy, but the inside can be tougher because you need to scrub every corner so you can be sure that you have completely removed the mold.

After removing the lace of your hiking boots, you can use a foam pad to scrub the inside and shake off the mold.

Clean Mold Off Of Hiking Boots inside

You can do that over and over again till you are sure you have gotten all the corners in your hiking boots. After that, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any other residue left from the mold.

Then use a spray bottle to apply the cleaning solution you used to clean the outside. After spraying, massage the solution into your hiking boots with a soft, clean cloth. Then, leave your hiking boots to dry for a while.

Step 3: Clean the insoles

hiking boots with worn out insoles

After cleaning the surface and inside of your hiking boots, you need to clean the insoles as well. You need to do this so that none is left hanging on your insoles, which can later spread and infect your hiking boots again.

You can either choose to replace the insoles with a new pair or clean the old ones for further usage. To clean the insoles, you need to use a brush to scrub the surface and remove mold from them.

Use soap and water to wash the insoles with your hands or a brush. Then, rinse the insoles and leave them in the sun to dry.

Step 4: Dry hiking boots

Heat hiking boots with a hairdryer 

After you finish cleaning the outside, inside, and insoles of your hiking boots, you need to leave them out to dry. Allow them to dry completely and make sure there is no moisture left in them, or mold will grow in your hiking boots again.

Then you bring your boots inside, you can stuff them with paper or boot trees so any residual water can dry out.

Step 5: Condition hiking boots

After deep cleaning your hiking boots, there is a high chance that they will have dried out the leather; that is, for leather hiking boots. This can leave the hiking boots looking dull, but you can improve their looks with conditioner.

And more importantly, the conditioner is good for your hiking boots, so they can last for a long time. Replenish hiking boots’ moisture and oil with leather conditioner.

Use lotion on the hiking boot's sole

A good one is mink oil, and you can apply it to your hiking boots using a cotton pad or cloth. Rub the conditioner in your hiking boots gently in even strokes.

You can apply the conditioner twice on your hiking boots, with a 12-hour interval between these periods. Then, leave the conditioner to soak in your hiking boots.

Pros

  • Removes mold and dirt from hiking boots.
  • Leave hiking boots looking good and healthy.

Cons

  • Too many material and stressful processes.
  • Can leave leather dry afterward.
  • Takes too much time.

Use petroleum jelly

Another way to clean mold off of hiking boots is by using petroleum jelly on them. It’s good for you if you have some petroleum jelly at home.

This method is especially good for tender leathers like suede or nubuck, because harsh cleaning agents can ruin them and render them less useful. The jelly will remove mold and leave your hiking boots shiny afterward.

Wax the leather hiking boot with vaseline

Removing mold from hiking boots with petroleum jelly is pretty easy, but if you are not careful enough, it may leave some stains on your boots. A good product you can use is Vaseline, and then you need other household products.

What you need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Water
  • Clean, soft cloth
  • Brush

How to clean

Step 1: First, you need to identify the mold and brush it off your hiking boots. Then, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the area.

Step 2: You need to mix the alcohol and water you have prepared together. Then, you need to dip the soft cloth in the mixture and place it over the area you have applied the petroleum jelly.

Step 3: Get a warm damp cloth and gently massage the petroleum jelly, water, and alcohol into the leather. If you are rough, you could damage the material.

Step 4: After you finish with that, then you need to leave your hiking boots to dry completely.

Step 5: When they are dry, brush your boots. This will help to remove the cleaning residue and make your boots shiny.

Pros

  • Easy method and material.
  • Helps to remove mold from hiking boots.

Cons

  • Can stain hiking boots.
  • Doesn’t deep clean.

Use alcohol

Alcohol can also help clean mold off of hiking boots. If mold discolors and takes over your boots, you can clean and remove them if you have alcohol in your home.

Apply alcohol on hiking boots

Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol is more likely and effective in this situation. They contain good killing and disinfecting solutions that can kill mold and make your hiking boots presentable for use again.

Therefore, when you notice this destructive agent on your boots, you should get to work immediately and remove them.

Things you need

  • Alcohol
  • Water
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Brush
  • Sponge or washcloth

How to clean

Step 1: First, you need to brush off the mold from your hiking boots. Ensure you do this outside your home, so they don’t cling to your rugs, leather chairs, shoes, or other surfaces in your home.

Step 2: Then, use a vacuum cleaner to remove mold residue from the fabric of the hiking boots and the insoles as well.

Step 3: After that, you need to mix the alcohol and water together in a container. Then, use the sponge or washcloth to clean the surface of the hiking boots where the mold is.

Before you do that, you should test it out to see if it won’t ruin your hiking boots. You can test it on a leather scrap or on an unnoticeable part of your hiking boots.

Step 4: You can then leave your hiking boots to dry completely before you bring them back in.

Pros

  • Removes mold from hiking boots.
  • The method is simple and easy.

Cons

  • Can damage leather.

Vinegar and baking soda

baking soda

You will be pleased to realize that your household ingredients can help you get rid of mold from your hiking boots, as well as their smell. Generally, vinegar and baking soda are cleaning agents people use around the home.

Vinegar, for example, has some disinfecting characteristics that can help get rid of mold and prevent it from forming further on your hiking boots. But, of course, you would need to care for your hiking boots and store them properly for that to happen.

Baking soda, on the other hand, is a good cleaning agent, and not only will it remove mold, but it will also help to rid your hiking boots of mold smell from messing up your nostrils and home. A combination of both is an effective way to clean mold off of your hiking boots.

vinegar bottles

Vinegar is abrasive, so using it on tender leather like suede and nubuck can totally ruin the material, but it would totally work on full-grain leather, fabric, or nylon hiking boots.

What you need

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bristled brush
  • Water
  • Soft cloth
  • Container

How to clean

You can clean your hiking boots with this mixture in two ways, depending on how much the mold has taken over your boots. For example, if it appears only on a tiny surface, then you may not necessarily need to submerge the boots in water.

spray alcohol on hiking boots to soften them

In that case, you will fill a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda and spray it over the mold and leave it to settle in. You can also apply the mixture with a soft cloth and wipe the surface clean and dry afterward.

However, if it has covered your hiking boots or has spread to most areas, you need to:

Step 1: First, brush off the mold with a soft bristle brush. Make sure you do this outside your home, so you don’t inhale the spores or leave them hanging in the air or on other surfaces. Otherwise, you would need to vacuum afterward.

Step 2: Then, mix vinegar and baking soda with water in a container, and soak the moldy area in the mixture for a while.

Step 3: While your hiking boots soak, you can brush them again to remove mold completely.

Step 4: After that, you should rinse your hiking boots with warm water and leave them out to dry. When you do this, you have to make sure the boots are dry completely and free of any moisture.

Step 5: Since vinegar’s smell can be a bit off putting, you can spray some tea tree oil on it. This will help improve your hiking boots’ smell and also help to rid them of any residual mold in your boots.

Step 6: Store your hiking boots properly.

Pros

  • Rids mold off of hiking boots.
  • Requires household material.
  • Clean hiking boots thoroughly.

Cons

  • Baking soda can dry out leather.
  • Not suitable for suede or nubuck.
  • Vinegar’s smell

Epsom salt solution

Epsom salt has scrubbing properties that can help remove mold from hiking boots. And due to that, people use Epsom salt to clean and scrub household utensils. It just makes cleaning easier.

Epsom salt

It can also serve as an antibacterial or antifungal solution to prevent mold from forming on your boots. If mold is clinging to your boots and you have some Epsom salt at home, you can clean your hiking boots quickly with it.

You can use this alone as a cleaning agent, or you can mix it with soap, and the process is very easy.

What you need

  • Epsom salt
  • Brush
  • Water

How to clean

Step 1: First, you need to remove mold from your hiking boots by scrubbing the surface with a brush. Then, add Epsom salt to water in a container.

Step 2: Insert your hiking boots into the salt solution and leave them for about an hour. After that, you then take a brush and scrub the outside and inside of your hiking boots.

Do not forget to scrub the insoles as well, so there is no residue or dirt left on your boots.

Step 3: When you finish scrubbing, you should remove them and rinse your hiking boots with cool water. Then, let them dry completely before you wear or store them.

Pros 

  • Good cleaning agent.
  • Removes mold effectively.
  • Antibacterial and antifungal.
  • Easy cleaning process.

Cons

  • Can dry out leather.
  • May cause leather to crack.

Conclusion

Mold can damage your hiking boots, make them smell, and spread to other parts of your home. You have to make sure you remove it from your hiking boots if you want to keep using them.

To do that, you need to clean your hiking boots and ensure that there is no moisture left in them. In this article, we have mentioned a few methods you can try.

You should remember that when removing mold from your hiking boots, you should do that outside your home, so the spores will move to other places in your home. You can also wear a nose mask to prevent it from entering your nose.

After you’ve finished cleaning, make sure your hiking boots are completely dry and that they’re properly stored.These are the key things to do to prevent further mold situations in your hiking boots.

Therefore, keep your boosts away from moisture and don’t store them in humid areas. Good luck!


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