7 Ways to Clean and Freshen Up Your Sandals

The moment the weather heats up our sandals are put into use.  Sandals are exposed to all sorts of conditions, sweat, sun, sand, oils, bacteria, and dirt. And with all that exposure to grit and grime, they can get dirty and smelly fast!  By cleaning your sandals you can help extend the life of them and keep them looking great!  Here are a few tips on ways to clean your sandals.


  1. Mild Soap and Water. For synthetic fiber shoes, a generous scrub of warm water and mild soap can quickly and easily clean up your favorite sandals.
  2. Clean magic eraser. This magic eraser can make quick work of cleaning up the dirtiest of shoes.  We don’t recommend using this tool on leather sandals as it may scratch the material.
  3. Baking soda. Mix together 2 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 tablespoon of water to create a paste.  Use an old toothbrush to scrub the paste onto the footbed of the sandals in a circular motion.  Wipe off the baking soda paste with a warm damp cloth and then allow your sandals to completely dry in a cool place (this is especially important for leather sandals, you don’t want to keep them in a hot place as this can damage the fibers).
  4. Sandpaper for suede. Using a 125 or 150 grit sandpaper sheet, gently scrub the suede sections of your sandals in a circular motion until the dirt and grime are gone.
  5. Vinegar is tough on grime but gentle enough for leather.  Mix equal parts vinegar to water and apply the solution to your sandals with a soft sponge or washcloth.  Allow the shoes to completely dry before wearing them again.
  6. Rubbing Alcohol. Wipe down the footbed of your sandals with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.  This will not only remove dirt and grime, but it will also kill any bacteria on the sandal.  Be sure to rinse off the rubbing alcohol with a damp clean cloth and allow the shoes to dry.  This method is best for synthetic materials as it can have a drying effect on the leather.
  7. Footbed cleaner*. For a convenience factor, there are products available on the market that is made for cleaning sandals.  Sandal Rescue is a textured wipe that scrubs away dirt and oil build-up and comes in a convenient package you can take with you anywhere.  Vionic Footbed Cleaner is applied with a clean cloth, sponge, or brush and wiped off with a dry cloth.

By cleaning your sandals, you not only extend the look and life of your sandals, but you also will help keep your feet clean and odor-free.  If you are experiencing extreme foot odor or have thick or brittle nails, visit our website for more information on our successful methods of treatment. To schedule an appointment at our Santa Rosa office, you can reach us at (707) 578-1222.


*This is NOT a paid advertisement for Sandal Rescue or Vionic.  We only wish to provide our patients with effective solutions to their shoe care needs.