How to Get Fungus Out of Shoes

How to Get Fungus Out of Shoes: A Comprehensive Guide

Fungal infections in shoes are not only uncomfortable but also pose a risk to your foot health. Whether it’s athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, or any other type of fungal infection, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly to prevent further spread and reinfection. In this article, we will discuss effective ways to get rid of fungus from your shoes and answer common questions related to this concern.

Scenarios Where Fungus in Shoes Can Be a Concern:

1. Athlete’s Foot: This common fungal infection can spread through direct contact with contaminated surfaces, including shoes. If you have athlete’s foot, your shoes may become a breeding ground for the fungus, causing reinfection.

2. Toenail Fungus: Fungal spores can also contaminate your shoes if you have a toenail fungus. Your shoes can harbor the fungus and increase the risk of reinfection, especially if you wear them without treatment.

3. Shared Footwear: Using communal footwear, such as rental bowling shoes or gym sneakers, can expose you to various fungal infections. Proper cleaning and disinfection of these shoes are crucial to avoid contracting or spreading fungi.

4. Damp Environment: Shoes that are frequently exposed to moisture, such as sweaty workout shoes or rain-soaked footwear, create an ideal environment for fungal growth. If left untreated, the fungus can thrive and spread, leading to more severe infections.

5. Unventilated Shoes: Wearing shoes that lack proper ventilation can cause excessive sweating, creating a favorable environment for fungi. Shoes like rubber boots or non-breathable work boots are particularly susceptible to fungal growth.

Effective Methods to Get Rid of Fungus from Shoes:

1. Wash and Dry: Start by thoroughly cleaning your shoes. Machine washable shoes can be washed on a gentle cycle, while non-washable shoes should be cleaned with a damp cloth and mild soap. Afterward, allow the shoes to dry completely to prevent moisture buildup.

2. Freezing: Certain fungi cannot survive extreme temperatures. Seal your shoes in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight. The freezing temperature will kill most fungi and their spores. Remember to let the shoes thaw and dry afterward.

3. Antifungal Sprays: Use antifungal sprays specifically designed for shoes. These sprays kill fungi and help prevent reinfection. Spray the inside of your shoes and allow them to air dry before wearing them again.

4. Sunlight Exposure: Fungi thrive in dark, damp environments. Expose your shoes to direct sunlight for a few hours. Sunlight is a natural antifungal agent and can help eliminate the fungus.

5. Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antifungal properties, tea tree oil can effectively treat fungus in shoes. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water and apply it to the inside of your shoes. Allow them to dry completely before wearing again.

Common Questions and Answers:

1. Can I use bleach to kill fungus in my shoes?
No, bleach is too harsh and can damage your shoes. Stick to milder options like antifungal sprays or tea tree oil.

2. How often should I clean my shoes to prevent fungal infections?
Regular cleaning is essential, especially if you frequently wear closed-toe shoes. Aim to clean them at least once a month or more often if necessary.

3. Can I prevent fungal infections by wearing open-toe shoes?
While open-toe shoes provide better ventilation, they don’t provide complete protection. Good foot hygiene, including washing and drying your feet properly, is crucial regardless of the type of shoes you wear.

4. Can I get rid of fungus in shoes with vinegar?
Vinegar has limited antifungal properties and may not be effective against all types of fungi. It is better to use stronger options like antifungal sprays or tea tree oil.

5. How can I prevent reinfection after treating my shoes?
Always wear clean socks, avoid sharing shoes, and maintain good foot hygiene. Regularly disinfecting your shoes and allowing them to dry thoroughly can also help prevent reinfection.

6. Can I use a hairdryer to dry my shoes quickly?
Yes, using a hairdryer on a low heat setting can speed up the drying process. However, ensure your shoes are suitable for this method and avoid using high heat, as it can damage certain materials.

7. Can I wear the same shoes during fungal treatment?
It’s best to avoid wearing the same shoes until they are thoroughly treated and no longer show signs of infection. Wearing infected shoes can lead to reinfection or spreading the fungus to others.

8. Can I treat my shoes with over-the-counter antifungal creams?
While antifungal creams are effective for treating foot infections, they are not suitable for treating shoes. Stick to products specifically designed for shoe disinfection.

9. Can I use essential oils to treat fungal infections in shoes?
Certain essential oils, like tea tree oil, have antifungal properties and can be used to treat fungal infections in shoes. However, always dilute essential oils properly and patch test before applying.

10. Can I prevent fungal infections by using foot powders?
Foot powders can help absorb moisture and keep your feet dry, reducing the risk of fungal infections. However, they are not sufficient for treating existing fungal infections in shoes.

11. Can I wear socks with antifungal properties to prevent fungal infections?
Antifungal socks can be beneficial in preventing fungal infections, especially if you are prone to them. These socks are infused with antifungal agents and help keep your feet dry and fungus-free.

12. Can I use a dishwasher to clean my shoes?
Using a dishwasher to clean shoes is not recommended, as it can cause damage to the shoes and the dishwasher itself. Stick to handwashing or other suitable cleaning methods.

13. Can I prevent fungal infections by regularly airing out my shoes?
Yes, allowing your shoes to air out after use is beneficial. This helps reduce moisture buildup and creates an unfavorable environment for fungal growth.


  • Laura @

    Laura, a fitness aficionado, authors influential health and fitness write ups that's a blend of wellness insights and celebrity fitness highlights. Armed with a sports science degree and certified personal training experience, she provides expertise in workouts, nutrition, and celebrity fitness routines. Her engaging content inspires readers to adopt healthier lifestyles while offering a glimpse into the fitness regimens of celebrities and athletes. Laura's dedication and knowledge make her a go-to source for fitness and entertainment enthusiasts.

    View all posts