How to Clean Sandals

How to Clean Sandals

Sandals are a popular choice of footwear, especially during the warmer months. They offer comfort and style, but they can also accumulate dirt, sweat, and odors over time. To ensure your sandals stay fresh and comfortable, it's essential to know how to clean them properly. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on cleaning different types of sandals, from leather to rubber, and everything in between.

    Gathering Your Cleaning Supplies

    Before you start cleaning your sandals, it's essential to gather the necessary supplies. You'll typically need:

    • Mild soap or detergent
    • Soft-bristle brush or toothbrush
    • Water
    • Cloth or sponge
    • White vinegar
    • Baking soda
    • Leather conditioner (for leather sandals)
    • Plastic bags (for sandals with buckles or metal hardware)

    Preparation is Key

    Begin by removing any loose dirt or debris from your sandals. Give them a good shake or tap them together to dislodge any loose particles.

    Cleaning Leather Sandals

    Cleaning Suede Leather Sandals

    1. Use a soft brush or suede brush to gently brush away surface dirt.
    2. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with water and add a small amount of mild soap.
    3. Gently wipe the suede in a circular motion.
    4. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe away the soap.
    5. Allow the sandals to air dry, away from direct sunlight.

    Cleaning Smooth Leather Sandals

    1. Mix a small amount of mild soap with water to create a soapy solution.
    2. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the soapy solution.
    3. Wipe the smooth leather in a gentle, circular motion.
    4. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe away the soap.
    5. Apply leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.

    Cleaning Fabric and Canvas Sandals

    1. Create a mixture of mild soap and warm water.
    2. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the soapy solution.
    3. Gently scrub the fabric or canvas material.
    4. Rinse the cloth or sponge and wipe away the soap.
    5. Allow the sandals to air dry.

    Cleaning Rubber and Plastic Sandals

    1. Fill a basin or sink with warm, soapy water.
    2. Submerge the sandals and use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away dirt and stains.
    3. Rinse the sandals thoroughly with clean water.
    4. Let them air dry.

    Cleaning Birkenstock-Style Footbed Sandals

    1. Remove the footbed if possible.
    2. Wipe the footbed with a damp cloth or sponge.
    3. For stubborn stains, mix water and a small amount of white vinegar.
    4. Rinse and dry the footbed thoroughly before reinserting it.

    Cleaning EVA Foam Sandals

    1. Soak the sandals in warm, soapy water.
    2. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away dirt.
    3. Rinse the sandals and let them air dry.

    Cleaning Flip-Flops

    Remove any dirt or debris from the sole and straps. Fill a basin with soapy water and soak the flip-flops. Use a brush or cloth to clean the sole and straps. Rinse and air dry.

      Cleaning Sport Sandals

      Refer to the manufacturer's cleaning instructions, as sport sandals vary widely.
      Generally, a mild soapy solution and gentle scrubbing work for most sport sandals.

      Removing Odors

      To eliminate odors, sprinkle baking soda inside your sandals and let it sit overnight. Shake out the excess baking soda the next day.

      Drying Your Sandals

      Always let your sandals air dry to avoid damage from direct heat or sunlight.

      Protecting and Maintaining Your Sandals

      Regularly applying appropriate protection products can extend the life of your sandals. Leather conditioner, fabric protectors, and UV-resistant sprays are good options.

      Tips for Cleaning Sandals Regularly

      Clean your sandals after each use, especially if they are exposed to dirt or water.
      Store your sandals in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Check the manufacturer's care instructions for specific guidance.

      Common Mistakes to Avoid

      Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach on your sandals. Do not machine wash or tumble dry sandals unless the care instructions explicitly state it. Don't expose your sandals to extreme heat or direct sunlight for extended periods.


      Properly cleaning and maintaining your sandals can prolong their life and keep your feet comfortable. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can enjoy clean, fresh-smelling sandals throughout the year.


      Q1: How often should I clean my sandals?

      Ans: It's best to clean your sandals after each use, especially if they've been exposed to dirt or water.

      Q2: Can I machine wash my sandals?

      Ans: Generally, it's not recommended unless the care instructions specifically state it. Hand cleaning is usually the safest option.

      Q3: What can I do about stubborn stains on my sandals?

      Ans: For stubborn stains, consult the care instructions if available. If not, try using a mixture of mild soap and water or a specialized stain remover.

      Q4: Should I apply leather conditioner to all leather sandals?

      Ans: Leather conditioner is recommended for smooth leather sandals to keep them soft and supple. However, it may not be suitable for suede or other leather types.

      Q5: How can I prevent my sandals from smelling bad?

      Ans: To prevent odors, make sure to clean your sandals regularly and use baking soda to absorb any lingering smells.
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        This article was written by Muhammad Saleem Shahzad, Managing Editor of Fashion and Manufacturing. With more than a decade of experience in the Fashion industry, Muhammad reports on breaking news and provides analysis and commentary on all things related to fashion, clothing and manufacturing.