What to do with water damaged foot wear?

vintage 1960s MUDSLIDE Heels

Salvaging water damaged shoes can be tricky. (Photo Credits)

After a flood or water damage incident, it can be unnerving to see the aftermath of the flooding and how it has inundated personal items including shoes. But does a person really need to toss flooded shoes? Will water damage destroy it?

The University of Florida has published a guide aiming to help those recovering from flood damage in their homes. The guide also discussed ways to salvage leather and suede goods and accessories, particularly footwear. 24hr Water Damage Repair San Diego CA

“Leather and suede garments, shoes, belts and handbags should be allowed to dry away from direct heat. Then: (1) Brush off as much mud as possible. (2) Use mild soap suds and cool water to wipe off remaining dirt. (3) Rinse with clean water and wipe gently with clean cloth until all dirt is removed. Do not get the leather or suede too wet while cleaning. (4) Stuff shoes, handbags and sleeves with paper to maintain their shape. (5) Dry away from sun and heat.”

The continuation of the disinfecting and drying procedure can be downloaded here.

Mold Growth

The website The Spruce also came up with an almost identical guide. They also included in their article, a guide on what to do if molds have already settled into the shoes.

“It only takes one spore to start a mildew colony. So, when you discover a mildew covered item it is essential to prevent the spread of spores from one area to another. Always take the mildewed leather items outside for the initial cleaning. Use a soft bristled brush or a dry clean cloth to brush away the spores. If the items were stored in any type of paper storage boxes, discard those right away. If the mildewed leather items were stored in fabric storage containers or hanging bags, they should be washed in hot water and dried at high heat to kill the mildew spores. Plastic storage containers should be cleaned with a solution of chlorine bleach and water and allowed to air dry in the sun.”

Take a look at the rest of the procedure in removing molds from footwear here.

Comprehensive Guide in Disinfecting Flooded Shoes

Live About meanwhile discussed ways to salvage water damaged foot wear. It particularly gave attention to disinfecting the insoles of a footwear. They cautioned as well to never subject the shoe to direct heat, and have patience in waiting for it to dry on its own.

“Once you get your shoes somewhat free of any dirt or grime, find a newspaper. Wad up smaller pieces and then stuff your shoes full. The newspaper will draw out any moisture in your shoes and attempt to save them. Again, you don’t want direct heat on any part of the shoe, so don’t put them over a heater or in the dryer. It will dry out the leather and lead to cracking and ruin the shoe. Exercise a little patience and let your shoes dry on their own — they’ll be good as new in no time.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Water damage can indeed be very destructive even for personal items. But when the owner has been able to act on the damage quickly, then chances are an item, like a footwear, can still be saved.

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