Did you know that sandals are both the oldest and most common footwear in the world, dating back more than 8,000 years?
Generally thought of as no-fuss footwear, sandals sometimes require a bit of maintenance especially if you’re trying to control odors and extend their beautiful appearance.
There are some aspects of sandal care that are equal across all types of sandals, but when it comes to cleaning, you’ll need to pay particular attention to the material of your sandals to clean it properly.
Keep reading to learn great tips about how to care for sandals.
A big part of sandal care is preventing damage before it happens. That doesn’t mean avoiding puddles in your suede sandals, but getting the right protectants for water, dirt, and other elements that put your sandals at risk.
For example, if you have suede sandals, we recommend purchasing a water-repellant that is designed for suede. With some brands, these can add years to your sandals and only needs to be applied occasionally.
Importantly, if your sandals come with cleaning and care instructions, be sure to consult and follow those instructions because some sandals are designed with unique technology. Your manufacturer will know how to best care for your particular sandal.
Cleaning Your Sandals
There are some things that can’t be cleaned regardless of the type of sandal you have, but for regular maintenance here are some tips that might be helpful.
You can clean dirt and grime with a soft bristled brush on almost any type of sandal. Sometimes thick-bristle brushes can be a good choice for removing dirt and mud from both the sole of your sandal and between the straps, and we recommend using the bristled brush before putting any type of liquid or liquid cleaner on the sandals.
You can also clean the footbeds of any sandal with rubbing alcohol. Wipe rubbing alcohol across the surface of your footbeds and then wipe them with a damp cloth. This will help remove dirt and grime as well as kill any germs that have built up.
After you’ve cleaned your sandals let them air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area like a shaded porch. You should never put any type of sandal in an electric dryer.
You can use vinegar and water to clean leather sandals without damaging the leather. Combine equal parts water and white vinegar and use a sponge to wipe down the leather part of your sandal. After wiping them down, allow them to air dry.
When your sandals have completely dried, apply a leather conditioner. Place a few drops on a dry cloth and apply it to any dirty spots or stains. Always apply leather conditioner using a gentle, circular motion.
If your sandals are made of canvas, you can use a mix of baking soda and water to clean them. You’ll need equal parts baking soda and water mixed into a paste. You can apply that paste to the canvas using an old toothbrush.
Apply the paste using the toothbrush in a circular motion to remove stains and dirt. To remove the paste, place the sandals under cool running water.
Cleaning Rubber Flip Flops
In terms of low maintenance, there’s no less than summer flip flops. You can just throw them in the washing machine with a bit of detergent and white vinegar and run the normal cycle.
In some cases, it is good to have a water-repellant on your suede sandals to protect them from water stains. Use a suede cleaner if possible and be careful not to get them wet unless you have a protectant spray on them already.
You can use both rubbing alcohol and sandpaper to clean suede. A cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and gently applied to suede can help remove stains. Light buffing with sandpaper can also help to remove dirt and grime.
Sandal Care to Rid of Odors
You wear your sandals with your bare feet, in hot weather, while you’re sweating. It’s not surprising that some sandals tend to pick up odors after wearing them long enough. But there are some things you can do to help rid of those odors.
Baby powder actually helps soak up and rid the sandals of odors. You just have to sprinkle a bit on the footbeds of your sandals to help absorb moisture and prevent odors from occurring.
You might also try placing a fabric softener sheet in the sole of your sandals and tying them up in a plastic bag. Leave this to sit overnight and your sandal will absorb the scent of the fabric softener.
Essential oils like sandalwood and cedarwood help eliminate odors as well. Place a drop or two into the sole of the shoe to keep them smelling earthy and fresh.
Wearing the same sandals every day can also contribute to unwanted odors. Give your sandals a chance to air out a few times per week and you’ll notice that they smell better over time.
Low Maintenance Sandals
Sandal care is a combination of taking preventative measures to care for certain materials and knowing how to clean your type of sandal properly. But you should also ensure you keep your own feet clean if you want to prevent odors, grime, and dirt from building up inside your sandal. With the right maintenance and cleaning regiment, you can get a lot more time out of your sandals and wear them for the lifespan the manufacturer intended.
If you want low-maintenance and long-lasting, then you need to check out Flojos. For a full list of our products, click here.