How to Prevent Mold on Shoes in Closet? 12 Methods To Try!

Where we keep our shoes is important. Leaving them at the mercy of the freezing weather in a closet can lead to mold growth. Mold won’t only ruin your kicks, but it can also affect your health. Our first instinct would be to throw them away, but it’s never too late to save them. However, the question is this: how to prevent mold on shoes in closet?

In this post, I discussed the causes of mold growth on shoes in the closet and the best ways to prevent it. See which method works best for you.


Mold can spread and grow on nearly anything, including shoes. Generally, wherever there’s excess moisture like damp corners or leaks, mold can accumulate. Shoes, especially, are susceptible to mold. 

The damp environment of footwear creates the ideal setting for fungus to grow. For instance, a shoe’s insoles are prone to dampness from perspiration. If you leave your shoes in the closet in this condition, it’ll eventually lead to mold growth. 

Leaky pipes behind house walls can also lead to excess dampness. Plumbing issues can lead to excess moisture that mold needs to grow in a closet near a bathroom or kitchen. 

Another cause of mold growth is spores. These particles can spread and cling to your shoes. You may also step on a moldy surface and carry the spores home this way. Regardless, when you’ve been in contact with spores, expect mold to grow over time. 

If there’s moisture left on your shoes, these spores will continue to grow.


You don’t need to throw away your fresh kicks to manage the problem. The following are some helpful methods that will prevent mold on shoes in the closet: 

1. Regularly clean and dry your closet

Usually, mold growth on shoes occurs because the closet it’s stored in is unkempt. Although cleaning closets require a lot of work, it is crucial. You don’t need to do it every day as doing it every month should suffice. 

Making a habit of cleaning your closet every month can prevent mold growth long term. That’s because, in the case of fungi, cleanliness is essential. 

Apart from cleaning, ensuring your closet is dry is just as important in mold prevention. Whether you spill water on your shoes or have a leaky pipe inside your closet, take care of it immediately. After all, mold thrives best in damp environments. 

Remember, your closet needs to be wholly dry with 0% moisture. 

2. Use silica gel packs

When buying new shoes, you may notice a small packet of beads in them. Have you ever wondered what they’re for? They are called silica gel packs, and they can absorb moisture. 

Silica, or Silicon dioxide, is a chemical compound. It’s well known in chemistry for its powerful moisture absorbing characteristics. For this reason, using silica gel packs is an excellent way to fight against mold growth. 

All you need to do is place these packs inside your closet and replace them every 3 to 4 days. They will absorb all the excess water and prevent mold from growing. 

However, always handle silica gel packs with care since they can be harmful when ingested. 

3. Invest in a dehumidifier

Humidity causes excess moisture, and as we said before, mold thrives in moist settings. By keeping the humidity levels in your house, you can prevent moisture from taking over. Using dehumidifiers is one of the best solutions. 

After all, when there’s no moisture, there won’t be any mold. You don’t need to purchase the biggest model. A small dehumidifier is enough to prevent mold growth in your closet long-term. 

Air conditioning is also a viable option. However, a dehumidifier is a better option for those living in countries with humid air. It will just make the process easier. 

4. Stay alert of musty odors

Keeping tabs on your closet’s smell is an efficient way of preventing mold on your shoes. If you open your closet and notice a musty or a generally unusual odor, it’s time to take a look inside. There’s an 80% chance that it is mold. 

Check your closet’s nooks and crannies, including its contents. That’s because mold can grow anywhere, from old shoes to behind the walls. Nothing is safe from this fungus. 

Continue searching until you find the exact source of the smell. Once you find it, clean it with mold removers and dry it entirely.

5. Keep your shoes dry

Keeping your shoes dry inside the closet is an effective way of preventing mold growth. Mold grows in a damp environment, and leaving wet shoes in the closet can make the spores spread easily. 

Being caught up in the rain or stepping on a puddle is inevitable. However, what you do to your shoes once you go back home is the point. Let your shoes dry completely before placing them back inside your closet. 

Moreover, never wrap or store your damp shoes in plastic bags. Although they may be dry outside, it’s still wet inside, causing rapid mold growth. It’s best to dry your shoes thoroughly before storing them in your closet. 

6. Invest in an energy-efficient light source

Investing in energy-efficient light sources is a sustainable way to prevent mold growth. They can kill mold by producing electromagnetic radiation. It can disinfect and penetrate through organisms. 

Moreover, energy-efficient light sources provide you with quality light at a low cost. You can keep them on for the entire day without worry. 

7. Always keep your closet doors closed 

If you live in a humid area, it’s better to keep your closet doors entirely shut. Doing this blocks the passage of moist air to your closet. It will lock the entry of spores, which are necessary for mold growth. 

But ensure that it still has adequate ventilation, especially in areas with arid air. Overall, the drier your closet is, the better it is for you. 

8. Use wire shelves

Besides humidity, the second biggest culprit for mold growth is a lack of airflow. Pair this with heavy wooden shelving, and you get the perfect environment for mold growth. That’s because wood can absorb and hold moisture. 

It’s a heavy and dense material without any ventilation. It can lead to suffocation in the closet. In case you spill water or store wet shoes, moisture will get trapped since there’s no way for it to evaporate. 

The best alternative for wooden shelves is wire shelves. These are lighter and are airier. They provide ample space for moisture to evaporate. Besides these aspects, they also look stylish. 

9. Replace your closet’s door with louvered doors

If your house has a poor ventilation system, adding louvered doors for your closet is ideal. You need to remove your old closet doors and replace them with quality louvered doors. Now, what are louvered doors?

Louvered doors consist of inclined horizontal slats fitted in the door shutter’s frame. They provide privacy and a copious air passage, preventing mold growth. 

Louvered doors do the same work as a ventilation system, keeping your closet mold-free. 

10. Never store wet shoes

Most of us never dry or clean our shoes before storing them back in the closet. And this is among the biggest culprits for mold growth. Whether you sweat in them or accidentally spill water on the soles, these can result in moldy shoes. 

The best way to dry shoes is by placing them under sunlight for 1 to 2 hours. Doing this won’t only dry them, but it will also eliminate any foul odors.

11. Use an air purifier

Air purifiers are effective in preventing mold growth. However, some models work better than others. Some air purifiers keep the air clean, while others can capture fungi spores. 

You don’t need to buy the most expensive one if the situation doesn’t need it. A simple air purifier will do. But if you’re dealing with excess humidity or mold, you may need a more sophisticated air purifier.

12. Give your closet access to natural light

If renovating or moving to a new home, ensure your closet has access to natural light. The Ultraviolet rays from the sun can disinfect anything it touches, including mold. 

That’s why, when designing your home, keep your closets in an area where they can bask in the sunlight. It doesn’t need to be the whole day, as even 1 to 2 hours will be enough to prevent mold growth long-term.

Natural light is among the best remedies for mold. It provides ample sunlight and keeps the closet dry at the same time. 

However, remember to avoid overexposure as it can ruin your shoes. 


How to prevent mold on shoes in closet? There are multiple ways to prevent mold. But the most crucial tip is to keep your shoes away from damp or humid conditions. When you do encounter mold, avoid handling it directly. Call for a professional’s help when your mold situation goes out of hand.