Can Fungus Live in Shoes for a While?

It may be tough to talk about your ongoing battle with toenail fungus. With over 20 different species of dermatophyte infections, you’re not alone!

How long toenail fungus lives in shoes is among the most frequently asked questions! Learn more about this here, and you will be much more knowledgeable by the end of this article.

Can Fungus Live in Shoes for a While?

How long does toenail fungus survive in shoes? The answer is situational and will vary depending on the circumstances.

Anyone who battled fungal spores will tell you they are tenacious and long-lived. Spores can be found on clothing and shoes, rugs, bedding, and furniture, and also anywhere there are dead skin cells.

Onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, lives in boots and shoes where moisture is easily absorbed, and fungal spores can live and be active for 12 to 20 months. This is determined by how instantly you treat your nails and how well you treat your shoes.

Why Does Your Foot Fungus Recur?

Foot fungus is among the most frequent complaints. This can range from the bottom of the boot’s toes to the skin between your toes. There are various treatment types for all foot fungus types, regardless of location, and going to your podiatrist will aid you with those steps.

When the treatment is finished, and the fungus has vanished, most patients believe it’s gone for good. Regrettably, that’s not always the case. Today, we’ll give you pointers on how to keep your foot fungus from returning.

Taking Care of Your Shoes

three pairs of shoes hanged on a clothesline

Fungus of any kind prefers three conditions: darkness, dampness, and warmth. Your shoes are a perfect match for this description. So, when you wear shoes all the time, the fungus is constantly contaminating them.

Fungus is already a difficult infection to treat, and many people are surprised to learn that it can live in shoes for up to 20 months. As a result, treating your shoes continuously throughout treatment is critical. Lysol, antifungal mists, and UV shoe cleaning devices are among the many ways to treat shoes.

Treating Your Socks

While it is obvious that shoes can become infected, you would think frequently washed socks would be less so. Sadly, this couldn’t be further off from the truth.

Previous research examined the socks of treated patients and discovered that fungus remained after regular washings months after treatment. This is an obvious problem to avoid failure to heal or recurrence in the first place. So treating socks is necessary, especially to clean them up and regulate the amount of fungus in them.

While some believe buying new socks and discarding all old socks is the solution, your new socks will become infected the moment you put them on. Numerous sock regimens are available, including soaks, bleach components, and sprays.

Stopping Treatment Too Soon

It is common for patients to discontinue their daily regimens once their nails or skin appear to be healed. Because the fungus is smaller than our naked eyes can see, it is critical to continue treatment after physical improvement. Allow your podiatrist to evaluate you once the infection has healed to determine how long you should continue the routine before discontinuing.


a focused woman doing a pedicure on the foot of a client

Although many people love being pampered, there are some things to avoid when visiting a salon. Because not all salons are equally attentive to clean instruments, if any filing or trimming is required, these are the two ways patients can contract a new fungal infection. It is safer to bring your nail trimming tools and request that the technician use them instead.

Furthermore, there is proof that nail polish bottles, particularly their applicators, can propagate fungus. It’s also an excellent idea to bring your polish in this case. Finally, if you have recently been treated for nail fungus, applying nail polish soon after healing is the worst thing you can do.

Because nail polish suffocates the nail, any remaining nail fungus will use this chance to reinoculate itself and potentially reverse all progress. Inquire with your podiatrist about the best time to get pedicures after treatment.

While these are some of the reasons your foot fungus has returned, there are many more to consider.

How to Remove Fungus Out of Your Shoes

Whether or not you are using shoes with memory foam, getting foot fungus off your shoes will be simple if you use appropriate and effective methods. You can use common ingredients and solutions to remove fungus from shoes. They are as follows:

Using Bleach or Antifungal Laundry Detergent

There is a wide variety of effective antifungal laundry detergents on the market. These products clean your shoes and disinfect the fungal spores.

You can also utilize bleach to clean your infected shoes. This substance is a strong disinfectant that can quickly kill fungal spores in your shoes. However, you should avoid using bleach regularly because it can destroy your shoes.

The procedure is straightforward. Place your shoes in the washing machine with antifungal laundry detergent and warm water.

Making Use of Antibacterial Spray

different shaped, sized, and colored spray bottles on a table

If you use an antifungal spray to treat your foot fungus, you can use this product to remove foot fungus from shoes.  Many antibacterial sprays on the market can quickly kill fungi inside the boots and eliminate odors!

There are two methods for using an antifungal spray to treat foot fungus. The first method is to directly spray it into your shoes before you put them on. Second, spray your antibacterial solution on tissue paper or rags, place them in your shoes and leave them overnight.

Using Vinegar and Baking Soda

Baking soda and vinegar are simple ways to reduce the activity of fungi and bacteria. You can keep your shoes clean and fresh with these common kitchen ingredients!

Drizzle baking soda into your shoes to reduce odor and the growth of foot fungus. A spray bottle is required to use vinegar.

Fill a spray bottle halfway with the vinegar-water solution and spray it into your shoes. This product will minimize fungus activity.

The Use of UV Shoe Sanitizers

UV shoe sanitizers kill fungi. These small machines simultaneously disinfect odors and remove foot fungus from your shoes.

All you have to do is put shoe sanitizer in your shoes for 25-30 minutes. UV rays will then kill the fungal spores.

Spores of toenail fungus have a relatively long life cycle. As a result, removing them will be difficult. We hope this article can help you eliminate them once and for all.