Sandals offer unparalleled freedom and comfort when it comes to footwear. Unfortunately, with this added airflow and luxury, there’s bound to be some mess to clean up.

But not all sandals are cut from the same cloth (or, you know, whatever material they’re made of). There’s suede, rubber, contoured cork, and even leather sandals tromping about out there.

In this article, we’re going to cover how to clean sandals of all shapes and sizes. Strap in and check out our information below.

Rubber Flip-Flops

The classic sandal. These shoes are pretty easy to wash, usually only requiring detergent and water.

This means that, yes, you can toss them in your washing machine. It’s advised not to throw them into the dryer and instead let them air dry.

This is because the rubber can melt, damaging the shoe, your dryer, and leaving an awful smell in your laundry room.

Contoured Cork

There are several brands that use this as a base for their sandals, due to its spongy, yet firm nature. These require a bit more diligence to clean.

To remove any stains that may have accumulated, combine a tablespoon of baking soda with a small amount of water, till it forms a paste. Rub the stain vigorously with the paste.

If it’s particularly stubborn, you can use a toothbrush or a hard-bristled brush to work the paste in deeper.

These shoes can be air-dried. However, don’t leave the shoe in direct sunlight as this can cause cracks, permanently damaging the shoe.

Leather and Vegan Leather Sandals

The good news is that these sandals should be mostly waterproof. Scents shouldn’t build up quickly, nor should you be seeing many stains on the soles of the shoe.

If you are experiencing stains or stenches, you can use the same method of cleaning as Contoured Cork. Leather sandals often are washing-machine friendly, but this varies by brand.

The best walking sandals are easy to clean, stylish, and provide good support.

If you’re concerned that baking soda may ruin your sandal, test the method recommended on an inconspicuous part of the sandal and wait till it dries.

Dry these shoes with a towel and don’t leave them out in the sun. Cracked leather is one of the signs you need new sandals, and may be a result of sun overexposure.

Why Do I Need to Clean My Sandals?

Let’s start with the obvious: they stink! Feet sweat like crazy. With over 250,000 sweat glands in each foot, a human adult is producing nearly half a pint of moisture per day.

That sweat builds up, even in open-toed shoes. Sometimes even more so, depending on how humid it is outside.

And that sweat causes your shoes to stink. So clean them.

The next reason is for protection. Clean sandals are less likely to rip, tear, break, or get damaged. Debris builds up in the nooks and crannies and unless it’s removed, it’ll eventually ruin your sandal.

How to Clean Sandals

Now you know how to clean sandals. There’s nothing too difficult about it, you just need to know which materials are right for your particular shoe.

Make sure to follow the guidelines mentioned above, and if your sandal is of a different material, make sure to check before you just throw it into the washing machine.

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