May 10, 2022

How Long Does Fungus Live in Shoes?

by Jullie

Fungal spores can live for more than twelve months. They will form fungus when the environment is suitable. Fungal spores are a way of reproduction as spores do the same function as the seeds. The shoe’s environment decides how long does fungus live in shoes. Some other factors can also influence its age.

We will discuss these factors in detail.

Table of Contents

What Should I Do if I Have Fungus in My Shoes?

If you have fungus in your shoes, you need to use antifungal power or keep the shoes dry to stop the fungus spread.

If you place your shoes in a damp environment, fungal spores can attach to them. You may see patches on the shoes if the fungus is propagating there. It can damage your shoes.

The fungus can also grow in your shoes when you have fungal infections.

How Long Does Fungus Live in Shoes
How Long Does Fungus Live in Shoes?

How Long Does a Nail Fungus Live on a Surface?

The fungus can live for six months to one year on a surface. The lifespan depends on the type of surface.

If a place has a suitable temperature and humidity, the fungus will live longer. The fungus lives for a short time on dry surfaces.

The availability of nutrients is also a crucial factor. The fungus will live longer on the skin surface because of the availability of nutrients.

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Toenail Fungus Can be Acquired in a Variety of Ways

You can acquire fungus if you come in contact with the fungal spores. There are many ways these spores can attach to your skin.

  • When you walk barefoot on the gym floor or swimming pool, sores can attach to your skin.
  • If you wear the shoes of a person with fungal infections, it will transfer the fungal infection to you.
  • Sharing nail cutters, towels, or other items can also do the same.
  • High heels can damage the upper layer of the foot. It increases your chances of infection.
  • Toenail fungus will cause infection on your feet if the saloon uses unhygienic equipment.

What Is the Toenail Fungal Treatment?

Toenail fungal infection treatment depends on the severity because you may have to use topical antifungal creams, oral antifungal medicines, or laser treatments.

It is easy to treat this infection at an early stage. You may have to consult a podiatrist if the nail is deformed or has decoloration.

You can also get rid of it early with herbal remedies. Tea tree oil is effective in its treatment.

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Tips for Healthy Toenail Fungus Prevention Habits

Prevention is better than cure as you can prevent fungal nail infections through regular cleaning habits. The aim is to keep the feet clean and dry.

It is hard for the fungus to attack a clean foot. The fungus does not have enough moisture for germination when the feet are dry.

1. Clip your toenails right

It is suitable to cut your toenails with a clean nail cutter. If you have shared your nail cutter with some, it is essential to sterilize it.

Do not overcut the nails to expose the layer of skin under the nail. Clipping nails the right way will prevent fungal attacks.

2. Switch up your footwear

If you wear the same shoes every day, there is less time for drying. The moisture will accumulate in the footwear to increase the chances of infection. It is better to have a few extra pairs for switch up.

When you wear one pair of shoes in a day, the other shoes will get enough time to dry. The fungus will not propagate due to a lack of moisture.

3. Choose footwear that is ventilated

If you wear ventilated footwear, your feet will receive more air supply. It prevents the accumulation of moisture.

People who had a fungal attack in the past are more prone to the attack again. Wearing the ventilated shoes will prevent fungal propagation.

4. In public places, avoid going barefoot

Some public places like pools and saunas do not allow you to wear full shoes. You also need to protect your feet from the fungal spores at these places.

You can wear flip-flops as they are allowed in these places. Going bare feet is not suitable for anyone.

5. Sprinkle some salt on your shoes

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Salt can suck up the moisture from the shoes. If you sprinkle some salt on your shoes, it will enhance the drying process.

You can sprinkle the antifungal powder on your shoes when you want to treat the fungal infection.

6. Disinfect your shoes

If you wear shoes without socks, you need to scrub them with a solution to kill the fungus. You should clean them every few weeks to prevent fungal infection.

People who wear socks have to wash the socks with hot water and bleaching agents. If you do not have time to scrub clean your shoes, you can spray some antifungal solution in them.

Fungus in Shoes, What to Do
Fungus in My Shoes, What to Do?

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How to Kill Shoe Fungi in Your Old Shoes?

You can kill the fungi from your old shoes with some harsh antifungal items. We discussed the ways to prevent fungal nail infection by using healthy lifestyle tips.

You will learn how to kill the fungi when it has entered your shoes already. If you are wearing the old shoes of someone else, you need to take extra measures to the old shoes cleaning.

1. Shoe powder with antifungal properties

Medline Remedy Phytoplex Antifungal Powder with 2% Miconazole Nitrate for Common Fungal Infections incuding Athlete’s Foot, Talc Free, 3 oz
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Medline Remedy Phytoplex Antifungal Powder with 2% Miconazole Nitrate for Common Fungal Infections incuding Athlete’s Foot, Talc Free, 3 oz
  • Remedy Phytoplex Antifungal Powder helps treat the most common fungal infections including athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm
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Last update on 2023-09-26 // Source: Amazon Affiliates

It is the most effective way to get rid of the athlete’s foot spores from your shoes. The shoe powder will take the moisture from the feet to keep your shoes dry.

It will kill the spores shed by the athlete’s foot fungus in your feet. When these spores are killed, there are fewer chances of secondary fungal infection.

2. UV shoe sanitizers

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You can kill the fungi quickly because the technology is on your side. UV light can damage the fungal cell structure. It will kill the fungus.

You may have to place the shoes in UV light for many hours to kill the spores. Spores are much resistant to many fungi-killing measures.

Some shoe holders also have a UV light-producing function. You can start the light for extensive sanitization when you place your shoes there.

3. Use the finest socks

There are socks to prevent moisture accumulation. You should wear those socks. It is also crucial to wear clean socks every day as old socks can have fungal spores attached.

Always wash the socks and bleach them before wearing them the second day. Wool is the material that provides warmth even when wet.

4. Deodorizing sprays for your shoes

Hongo Killer Antifungal Ultra Spray Liquid 5.3oz - Athlete's Foot Treatment
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Hongo Killer Antifungal Ultra Spray Liquid 5.3oz - Athlete's Foot Treatment
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  • For effective relief of itching, cracking, burning, scaling and discomfort.

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There are many deodorizing sprays on the market with antifungal solutions. Toenail fungus can produce a bad smell if your shoes.

When you spray the deodorizer on your shoes, it will prevent the smell for the whole day.

When it has an antifungal solution, it will prevent fungal infection. It helps if there is already an infection in your feet.

5. Sunlight

Drying your shoes in the sunlight is an effective way to kill the spores. The sunlight will kill the spores because it has ultraviolet light to kill them.

It will also use heat to dry all the moisture from the shoes. You can add some antifungal powder to your shoes and place them in the sunlight to enhance the fungi-killing ability.

6. Apply natural techniques

When you have a mild fungal infection, it is possible to reduce it using natural remedies. These remedies work by reducing the moisture in the shoes and disturbing the natural habitat of the fungus.

These techniques are suitable if you are allergic to topical antifungal medicines.

Use vinegar

You need strong acidic chemicals to treat the toenail fungal infection. You can dip your toenail in vinegar many times a day. It will stop the fungal growth on the surface.

People use apple cider vinegar because of its antimicrobial activity. Spraying some vinegar on the feet before wearing shoes will prevent the smell also.

Use baking soda

You can make the baking soda paste to kill the fungus in your toenail. It is essential to make a thick paste to suck out all the moisture.

You can also add hydrogen peroxide to enhance the fungi killing capabilities.

7. Maintaining proper foot hygiene

If you had a toenail fungal infection, you are more prone to the new fungal infection. It is essential to maintain foot hygiene for new and recurrent infections.

You can start by keeping your feet and shoes dry. Avoid wearing shoes when your feet are wet. It is crucial to dry your socks and feet before wearing the shoes.

Using the deodorizer and antifungal powder is an excellent foot hygiene routine. People infected should apply antifungal lotion to the foot nail even after the infection has cleared.

It is crucial to never share your shoes and socks with people having fungal infections.

Final Thoughts on How Long Does Fungus Live in Shoes

It is essential to identify it early because toenail fungus is hard to treat at advanced stages.

You can use different measures to prevent and cure the foot fungal infection without taking medicines. Most natural remedies may prevent a fungal attack.

You need to visit the podiatrist if you see discoloration or patches on your foot nails. It is a sign of advanced levels of infection.

Search through our camping article archives for more informational articles on camping-related topics.

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Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Roger

About the author


Jullie is a professional indoor climber. She loves speed climbing competitions. This style makes her feel like she's flying. Maybe because her other passion is flying airplanes. Obviously, high speeds are her thing.

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