How To Remove Mold From Leather Boots

Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Sarah Jaffe

Leather boots are a great investment, but they can get moldy if you’re not careful. As fall approaches, many of us begin to break out our boots from storage. If you find mold on your leather boots, don’t despair with a little bit of work, you can restore your boots to their former glory. Read on to learn how to remove mold from leather boots.

Mold spores are everywhere in the air, even on your leather boots. When these spores come in contact with dampness, they can start to grow and form mold. While mold is not harmful to humans, it can cause damage to the leather and especially to leather boots. 

Once I had a really nice pair of leather boots that got moldy from being stored in my storeroom. I was so upset because I loved those boots. But, I did not want to throw them away. I decided to try and clean them myself. Well, I did a lot of research on the internet and trial and error until I found a method that worked. I cleaned my boots for the first time in over a year. What worked best at that time was that I used vinegar solution to clean them.

I know no one wants to spend their hard-earned money on a pair of leather boots just to have them ruined by mold. Follow our simple tips and tricks for how to remove mold from leather boots, and you’ll be able to keep them in great condition for years to come.

What Things Do You Need To Remove Mold From Leather Boots?

  • Soap and water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Cotton balls or soft cloths
  • Toothbrush
  • Nail brush (optional)
  • Hanger (optional)Instructions

How To Remove Mold From Leather Boots – Step By Step Instructions

Things needed for cleaning mold from leather boots
Things needed for cleaning mold from leather boots

First, you should know that there are two types of mold, surface mold, and deep mold. Surface mold is easier to remove than deep mold. If you have surface mold on your boots, you can usually clean it off with a soft brush and some soap and water. Deep mold is more difficult to remove and may require the use of harsh chemicals.

Method 1: Use Soap and Water

Start by mixing a solution of soap and water. You can use any kind of soap, but we recommend using a gentle dish soap like Ivory or Dawn.

Use Soap to remove mold from leather boots

Dampen a cotton ball or soft cloth with soapy water and begin rubbing the moldy areas of the boots. The leather should be scrubbed gently so as not to damage it.

Once you’ve removed all the mold you can see, wash the boots with hygienic water.

Next, mix a solution of vinegar and water. Again, use a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water.

Wet a cotton cloth in the vinegar solution and scrub the boots gently. The vinegar will help to kill any mold spores that are still on the leather.

It is recommended that you rinse your boots in clean water and let them dry naturally.

You can try mixing baking soda and water to remove mold. Apply the paste to the moldy areas and scrub with a toothbrush.

After washing the boots and wiping them down with clean water, allow them to air dry in the sun.

Second Method:

  • Mix a solution of lemon juice and water. Use a ratio of 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water.
  • Using a cotton ball soaked in the lemon juice solution, start rubbing the boots with it.
  • The acid in the lemon juice will help to kill the mold spores.
  • Leaving the boots to air dry after rinsing with clean water.
  • If you’re still seeing mold, mix a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Use a ratio of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 2 parts water.
  • Once you have the hydrogen peroxide solution placed in a cotton ball, you should begin scrubbing the boots with it.
  • Allow the boots to air dry after they have been cleaned and let them dry naturally.
  • Once the boots are dry, treat them with a leather conditioner to help restore the natural oils.
  • Hang the boots on a hanger or shoe rack to allow them to air out completely.
  • Store the boots in a cool, dry place. Avoid storing them in plastic bags as this can create a humid environment that is conducive to mold growth.

What Causes Mold On Leather

You should be aware of a few things that can cause mold to form on your leather boots.

1. Leaving your boots in a humid environment:

Don,t leave your boots in the bathroom
Don,t leave your boots in the bathroom

When you reside in a moist climate or you leave your boots in the bathroom for an extended period of time after taking a shower, this can result in mold growing inside your boots.

2. Storing your boots in a damp area:

It is also possible for mold to develop on your boots if they are stored in a damp area, such as a garage or basement.

3. Wearing your boots in the rain:

Water can seep into the leather of your boots if you are wearing them in wet conditions, causing mold to form as a result of the water seeping into the leather of your boots.

4. Not cleaning your boots regularly:

It has been observed that if you do not regularly clean your boots, dirt and dust can accumulate inside them. This can create an environment that is favorable to mold formation if they are not cleaned regularly.

5. Treating your boots with an oil-based leather conditioner:

As a result of using an oil-based leather conditioner, you can actually create a film on your boots that will trap moisture and permit mold to spread.

6. Not allowing your boots to air out:

A lack of air circulation in your boots can also cause mold to grow if you do not allow them to air out regularly.

Tips To Prevent Mold From Ruining Leather

  • Make sure the boots are completely dry before storing them. If they’re even slightly damp, mold can start to grow.
  • Avoid storing the boots in direct sunlight as this can cause the leather to dry out and crack.
  • A dehumidifier is a good idea if you live in a humid climate as it will help to keep the room where you store your boots dry.
  • If possible, store the boots in a breathable shoe bag or box. This will help to keep them dry and allow them to air out between wearing.
  • To prevent mold from spreading, it is important to remove mold as soon as possible from boots in order to prevent further growth of mold.
  • With a bit of care and attention, the appearance and feel of your leather boots will last for years to come.
  • To help absorb moisture from leather boots, you should stuff them with newspaper before packing them for a considerable time.
  • Be sure to clean and condition your leather boots on a regular basis. This will help to prevent mold growth.
  • As soon as you notice mold growing on the leather of your boots, you should take immediate action. There will be a greater chance of it returning if you wait too long.


On the basis of the above observations, it can be safely said that leather boots are a necessity. They are an essential part of our wardrobe and are required to be maintained properly to keep them in good condition. 

One important aspect of maintaining leather boots is to prevent the growth of mold on them. Mold can ruin the leather of your boots and cause them to deteriorate. You can simply remove mold from leather by applying a leather conditioner or by using a damp cloth to wipe it away.

You should also take measures to prevent mold from growing on your boots in the future by storing them in a temperature-controlled, air-tight place. This is done by not wearing them in wet conditions.

Taking care of your leather boots will keep them looking and feeling great for a prolonged period of time.