How To Clean Birkenstocks

Sandal season is rapidly approaching (if it hasn’t already arrived where you live). I always take out my sandals and prep them for the busy days ahead, giving them a deep clean before the season starts.

My favorite pair happens to be a pair of Birkenstocks. Here’s how to clean Birkenstocks!

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Cleaning The Foot Bed

Let’s be honest here, every owner of a Birkenstock knows what I say when I talk about the gross footprint left behind when you wear your Birks. I’ve found a solution to help minimize the gross factor of that foot shadow left behind.

Take some baking soda and just enough water to turn it into a paste. Rub the paste into the foot bed of your Birkenstocks with an old, soft-bristled toothbrush. Make sure entire foot bed is covered.

Then, let it sit overnight. In the morning, rinse it with lukewarm water. Voila! Noticeably cleaner foot beds!

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A caution for drying, though: don’t let them sit out in direct sunlight while drying. This may lead to faster deterioration of your shoes. Find a shaded, cool place to let your sandals dry out instead.

Cleaning The Leather Straps

I usually clean up the leather straps on my Birkenstocks once or twice a season, especially if I’ve been caught in the rain with them. You’ll need to order some leather cleaner.

DO NOT attempt to clean your leather with the baking soda and water paste. This will cause major leather dry out, which can totally ruin your shoes.

The leather cleaner is specially designed to help seal your leather and moisturize it. This will help keep your straps stay strong and soft, regardless of how often you wear them.

You may not realize just how much dust and sunlight they’re being exposed to, which will dry them out and damage them in the long run.

Follow the directions for cleaning on the leather cleaner you purchased. The cleaner I use is concentrated, so it requires that I mix it with water to dilute it. It’s usually best to use a small amount of cleaner. Remember, less is definitely more!

When applying the cleaner, work it into the leather using circular motions. Be gentle and work slow. You only want to put enough cleaner into the leather to get a noticeable shine back to the leather.

For Rubber Sole Birkenstocks

Here’s how to clean Birkenstocks with a rubber sole: do a soak with rubbing alcohol! Remember, this will not work with any leather-soled shoes. You don’t need to use a ton, either. This will help get that stink out, too!

Buy A Suede Brush

I also recommend buying a suede brush for regular cleaning and maintenance. These specialized brushes help get rid of all the dirt and grass that collects on the foot beds.

The brush helps remove the debris you pick up while walking, but gentle enough not to damage the foot bed itself. A win-win!

It’s important to remember that, even though you know how to clean Birkenstocks, general care and maintenance will help keep them looking their best!