11 Truly Genius Tips To Remove Mildew Smell From Golf Shoes

11 Truly Genius Tips to Remove Mildew Smell from Golf Shoes


If you love golf shoes as much as I do, you know nothing turns a person off more than smelling golf shoes. Apparently, one of the most common causes of shoe smells is mildew. At first, I used to have a lot of trouble in dealing with golf shoes smells caused by mildew. However, as time went by, I learnt some few hacks and tricks that help me go about the task easily. If you have the same problem, worry not because I am about to take you through some 11 truly genius tips to remove mildew smell from golf shoes.

1.Wash the Golf shoes with Soap and Water

Washing your golf shoes with warm water and soap sound like one of the cheapest and most common plans but it is very effective. Depending on the type of golf shoes that you own, you can soak them in bucket filled with warm soapy water. After some time, use a brush to scrub the golf shoes gentle and see whether the dirt and the odor come off. After cleaning the golf shoes, use a clean cloth to wipe out the excessive draining water then hang them out to dry. After they are dry, you can apply suede or any other appropriate shoe polish for a better and cleaner finish. 

While at it, it is important to read the manufacturer’s guide to see whether the golf shoes are machine-washable. If they are, the task will be much simplified for you. It is important to note that this method only applies for non-leather golf shoes. If you are dealing with leather golf shoes, mix 1 part of rubbing alcohol with another part of water and mix. Use the mixture to wipe the golf shoes clean then leave them to dry for a while. 

2.Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most authentic deodorizers and they can help you clean your golf shoes conveniently. All you need to do is pour about ½ a cup of the soda into the golf shoes affected by mildew then leave them to sit overnight. By the end of the night, the soda would have absorbed all the mildew from your golf shoes thereby leaving them odorless in the process.

However, if you choose to use baking soda on your golf shoes, first take a small drop of the liquid and apply it on an unnoticeable part. If the soda reacts strong with the material of your golf shoes, abort the cleaning mission and consider another method.

3.Use Crumpled Newspaper

If you have wet golf shoes, stuffing them with crumpled newspaper can do the trick. According to what experts say, crumpled newspaper can absorb all the wetness and odor caused by mildew. It takes only a few hours to soak dry your golf shoes and do away with any odor present. However, you should not wear the golf shoes until they are completely dry. Also, you should remove any loose dirt from your golf shoes before inserting the crumpled newspaper.

4.Use Charcoal Briquettes

Aside from making fire and helping in general cooking in most homes, charcoal can also help you to get rid of the stains and odor caused by mildew. In my experience, I can attest that putting about two charcoal briquettes in an old pair of socks will help to absorb the moisture caused by mildew. This will however take some time. For better results, leave the golf shoes to sit overnight.


Vinegar is another important supplement in most homes. Apart from aiding in cooking and washing of utensils, vinegar is an effective fungicide with the ability to do away with stench-causing organisms. First, remove the excess dirt deposited on your golf shoes. The next step is to spray distilled vinegar in the affected regions of your golf shoes then set them outside to dry. By the time your golf shoes dry, there would be no traces of stains or odor caused by mildew on your golf shoes.

It is important to note that vinegar does not do generally well with leather. In that case, it would be unwise to try this procedure on your leather golf shoes.

6.Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon Peels

Most people do not know the benefits that come with fruit pills. According to various tests however, peels from oranges. Lemons and grapefruits can help clean your mildew-infested golf shoes. All you have to do is take a fair amount of the peels and put them in your golf shoes then let them sit for a night. In the morning, you will find your golf shoes having a nice smell contrary to the one caused by mildew.

7.Kitty Litter

Kitty litter also works perfectly when it comes to mildew odor removal. Fill socks with kitty litter and place them in your golf shoes for a night. In the morning, you will find the foul smell gone and your golf shoes as clean as new. Actually, using kitty litter to remove mildew smell from golf shoes it is one of the most effective and easy to execute methods that I know.

8.Direct Sunlight

Sometimes the solutions to our problems do not have to be as complicated. For instance, if you want to get rid of the foul smell in your golf shoes caused by mildew, you can do so by leaving them out to dry under direct sunlight. Simply remove the laces and open up the shoes so that a larger inner surface area is exposed to the sunlight. At the end of the day, you will notice that most of the odor would have been gone.
If you have leather gold shoes, you might want to pass on this odor-removing method because direct sun rays can cause discoloration to your beloved golf shoes.

9.Tea Tree Oil

If you can gain access to tea tree oil, you do not have to worry about mildew smell. Simply mix 2 teaspoons of the oil with an equal amount of water. Carefully spray the mixture on your smelly shoes then set them outside to dry. According to what people who have tried the method have to say, tea tree oil is very efficient especially in removing mildew odor.

10.Free the Shoes

Normally, the main of purpose of having a freezer is to keep your foodstuffs and drinks fresh. What if I tell you that your freezer can help you get rid of the bad smell caused by mildew from your shoes? Well, while that might be astonishing, it totally works. All you need to do is place your shoes in a plastic bag then store them in the freezer for about a day. Remove your shoes and put them out to dry. Doing this helps to remove the bad smell and preventing the growth of mildew at the same time.

11.Use Dry Bags

Dry bags can also deodorize your shoes effectively. Simply put the bags in your golf shoes and let them sit for a while. This is another example of an easy but effective method of dealing with mildew smell.

As you have seen, removing mildew smell from golf shoes is not as hard a task. If anything, you have 11 great tips to choose from. However, it is important to note that the various methods discussed above might suit some types of golf shoes and discolor the others. In that case, always test with a small sport on your shoe before proceeding with the mildew smell-removal process. In addition to that, always remove the excessive dirt from your golf shoes before applying any of the methods discussed above. It is only through such cleaning that you will be certain that you are dealing with mildew smell. Always ensure that there is no any other possible source of foul smell other than mildew before beginning. 

What is Mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus that mainly thrives in areas that are dark, warm and moist. Golf shoes are therefore a nice habitat for mildew and that explains why we should take so much precaution. While it is true that the methods discussed in this article are very effective, it is important to keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. Here are some effective mildew prevention tips:

  • Always keep your shoes in places that are dry and properly ventilated. This will provide an unsuitable habitat for the mildew to live.
  • Ensure that you wear dry shoes at all times. As aforementioned, mildew thrives on damp shoe/ environment.
  • Consider using a dehumidifier to get rid of the moisture in the room where you have placed your shoes. If mildew cannot settle in your room, then there is little to no chance that it will settle in your shoes.
  • I understand that you love your golf shoes a lot. However, getting a pair or two more will see to it that you do not rely on one pair. According to golf experts, switching through golf shoes allows them to dry out completely before you can put them on again. This leaves little room for the establishment of mildew.
  • Clean your golf shoes regularly. When you allow dirt to settle in your shoes, it provides food for the mildew spores thereby giving them an ideal habitat where they can thrive and reproduce.
  • Use silica gel sachets in your golf shoes to absorb the excess moisture.

Why Removing Mildew Smell from Your Golf Shoes is Important 

Many people know that preventing their golf shoes from mildew is very important but they do not know why that is so. Here are some reasons as to why you need to keep your golf shoes free from mildew:

1.Helps to Improve the Durability of Your Golf Shoes

The process of buying new shoes regularly is not entirely enticing especially if you are on a budget. To keep your current golf shoes going, you have to keep them away from hazardous external factors such as mildew. The more your shoes stay away from these factors, the more they will serve you for longer.

2.Maintains the Health of Your Feet 

Mildew is a fungus, which means that when your shoes are attacked, your legs are in danger as well. Wearing golf shoes full of mildew will only expose you to foot diseases. At the end of the day, you will spend a lot of money treating your feet while you could have prevented the calamity before by keeping your shoes free from the fungus.

3.Boosts Your Confidence

Golf shoes that do not have mildew on them are very dry and comfortable. As you walk on the golf ground, you will feel the comfort and focus on your game without having to worry of the possible bad smell that your shoes might be omitting. Just like any other sport, confidence is key to a great performance.


Golf shoes are very important because of the confidence that they give to a player. Without my golf shoes, I would be somewhere still struggling with the game. Golf shoes also provide great leg support, amazing flexibility and utmost comfort. However, bad smell from mildew can destroy the prestige of putting on an amazing golf shoes. I have received many requests of people asking me to address the issues of mildew smell on golf shoes and today I have.

In this article, I have provided 11 tips to remove smell from golf shoes that I hope would be helpful. If you find this article interesting, please like and leave a message in the comment box below. Your views will be taken into account as I try to make my posts more informative. 

Jennifer Collins

Hi This Is Jennifer Collins, a home blogger, and lover of golf. I have built my website around my passion for golf, so that fellow golf lovers will enjoy the content and also find it interesting and useful. My life-long pursuit of the sport has given me in-depth experience in writing about golfing. Follow my blog for tips to improve your golfing game information about the season's hottest golfing products.

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