Cleaning/sterilizing plush pile - fungus

I’ve got some ankle-high suede house slippers with a plush lining, the kind that keep cold feet at bay in winter. Not the now super-expensive kind that still have the wool, the kind that have plush instead. IOW, ~$50 shoes (or more, depending on where you buy them). On top of that, I paid $60 to have a lift sole attached to the one, because thanks to a hip & knee replacement on one leg, there is now a 1¼ inch difference between the relative lengths of my legs, compared to what they were before the surgeries. The cheaper alternative would have been to insert a lift, as I do with some of my shoes, but that would have negated the benefits of the plush on half the sole of one foot - not what I had in mind. They’re only two years old. Slippers of this kind are well-made, and have lasted me for 7 or 8 years in the past.

Last summer, my son started going barefoot in my apartment, and I didn’t even think about the possible consequences. He’s got a permanent fungal infection on his feet - which he shared with me via the bare feet on my carpeting. It’s starting to be warm house slippers weather again, but if I use those slippers, I’ll reinfect my own feet. The prescription antifungal cream isn’t very effective for me, and the oral med that does clear up the infection is really, really hard on the liver. Neither the doctor nor I want me to have to take it repeated times.

I’m on Social Security, so this is a substantial investment for me. I really can’t afford to throw them out. How can I disinfect the inside of those slippers, without destroying the plush?

Could you buy some inexpensive light socks and wear them with the slippers? Then you could disinfect the socks whenever they needed it, which I’m assuming would be easier than the slippers themselves.

Socks and Lysol?

I don’t wear socks to bed. I have a lightweight wool afghan that I lay across the bottom third of the bed to give extra warmth to the cold tootsies. It works much better than bed socks (or any other kind) - I’ve tried both. I got the idea of the afghan (or folded blanket, for someone with even worse cold feet problems) from an older friend some years ago. It works great, and that way my feet also aren’t going to sweat, if by chance they get too warm (not impossible).

I put the slippers on as I get out of bed. Waking up, whether it’s in the middle of the night for a bathroom break, or in the morning - I’m equally foggy-brained, either way - I just want something on my feet. Stopping to put on socks might mean I don’t get to the bathroom quite as fast as I need (I’m an old lady).

How can I spray Lysol in thoroughly enough to be sure I’ve got the fungus without ruining the plush?? I had thought of the Lysol, but I really don’t want to ruin the plush. :frowning:

You could try patch testing the Lysol. Plain bleach is recommended to kill various fungi as well, and might be less damaging to the fabric.

High heat works too. Unfortunately, you can’t iron plush the way you can iron bedding and clothing, and while baking the slippers in the oven would probably work, the potential for fire is just too high. (I recall a news story about a lady burning her apartment complex down microwaving her panties post yeast infection.)

I do know from having a prodigious collection of plush toys as a child, that one can clean soiled plush with soapsuds and elbow grease to little or no ill effect depending on the texture of the plush. Sponge with a damp (but not wet) sponge afterwards to get the soap residue off, air dry, brush. There may be heavy duty anti-fungal soaps available that would work for this.

Hmm, maybe if you know the composition of the plush you can google it a bit? There must be other people that have athlete’s foot and want to avoid the same dilemma you have. Maybe google the slipper manufacturer for care instructions?

Also, if you know the weakness of the fungus it may help. E.g. for kitchen sponges, I’m told that the way to kill what lurks within is a one minute trip in the microwave…do your slippers have metal? Or, maybe you can through them in the dryer on high. Some fungi don’t like sunlight…turn the slippers inside out, set outside to bake in the sun? How about some OTC antifungal powders in/on your sox, e.g. Desenex or whatever? Dryel?


(May want to lower volume)

Maybe I should have said houseshoes? They have hard soles (even without the ¾ inch added outersole on the one shoe) you could go outside on wet ground in, and are ankle-high. Turning them inside out is flat impossible, without destroying them. If you’re imagining some sort of soft fabric things that can be washed & dried, you’ve pictured the wrong thing, alas. I use an antifungal powder - have been for years, and it was insufficient to keep me from succumbing to this nasty fungus. I still use it, including putting it in my socks before I put them on, as it does seem to keep the fungal infection/infestation on my foot (only toenails affected on the other) from getting worse while I have shoes and socks on.