How to Clean Sandals

Sandals suck because they get dirty easily. Thankfully they are also easy to clean.

This blog post is all about keeping your sandals clean and fresh.

We’ll also share some tips on how to prevent sandals from getting dirty in the first place.

In this article, we will tell you a bit about cleaning any type of sandal. However, if you want to explore how to clean a particular type of sandal, say leather sandals, we have in-depth guides for those.

Let’s start with the precautions you need to take when cleaning a pair of sandals.


  1. Do not scrub your sandals too hard. It can damage their material.
  2. Never put your sandals in the dryer for drying.
  3. Do not put your sandals in the sun to dry. It can damage the material.
  4. Before applying a cleaner or a cleaning solution, always test on an inconspicuous area to ensure the cleaner doesn’t damage or discolor the sandal.

Clean Dirt and Grime with a Brush

Three steps with illustration for cleaning dirt and grime from the sandals with a toothbrush.

Take off any dirt or grime from the sandals. You can do this with a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush.

Materials required

  1. A soft-bristled brush (or an old toothbrush)
  2. A piece of cloth


  1. Scrub the sandals with the brush in circular motions. Don’t forget clean treads and strap corners, which tend to get dirty more quickly.
  2. Ensure that the tops of the shoes and the tread are scrubbed thoroughly.
  3. After scrubbing the sandals, wipe them with a clean and dry cloth.

This process is suitable for day-to-day cleaning. If you want a deep cleaning, please move on to the next section.

Clean Fabric Sandals with Baking Soda

Five simple steps with illustrations for cleaning fabric shoes with baking soda.

Fabric sandals, such as canvas sandals, can be cleaned with baking soda. You can read our comprehensive guide on cleaning and deodorizing fabric sandals.

Materials Required

  1. Baking Soda
  2. An old toothbrush


  1. Start by mixing equal parts of water and baking soda to form a paste.
  2. Dip the brush in the baking soda paste and scrub the surface of the sandal. Scrub gently to avoid damaging the fabric. You can apply just enough pressure to get those stubborn stains out.
  3. Once you’ve scrubbed the entire sandal, rinse it off with clean water.
  4. Before wearing the sandals again, let them air dry completely.
  5. If the sandal is still dirty, repeat the process until it’s clean.

Faux leather is a popular fabric. Please read our article on how to clean faux leather sandals.

Clean Leather Sandals with Vinegar

Four steps with Illustrations for cleaning leather sandals with vinegar.

Materials Required

  1. White vinegar
  2. Sponge
  3. Leather conditioner


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine equal parts of water and distilled white vinegar.
  2. Soak the sponge in the mixture and scrub the surface of the leather sandal. This will help to remove any dirt and grime. Ensure that the sponge is not soaking wet.
  3. Allow them to air dry completely.
  4. Once the sandals are dry, apply a leather conditioner. This will help to keep them looking new for longer.

You may also like to read our comprehensive leather sandal cleaning guide.

Clean Suede Sandals with a Suede Eraser

Three simple cleaning steps with illustrations on how to clean suede sandals with suede eraser

Materials Required

  1. Suede brush
  2. Suede eraser
  3. Protectant Spray


  1. Gently brush away dirt and grime with a suede brush.
  2. Use the suede eraser to remove scuff marks and stains. Rub the suede eraser over the surface of your sandals and brush off the residue with the suede brush.
  3. After cleaning the sandals, apply suede protectant spray.

Don’t forget to check our in-depth guide on how to clean suede sandals.

Clean Rubber Flip-flops in the Washing Machine

Six simple steps with illustrations for cleaning rubber flip-flops in the washing machine

Rubber flip-flops can be cleaned all at once in the washing machine.

Materials Required

  1. Laundry detergent
  2. White vinegar
  3. Mesh laundry bag
  4. A cloth


  1. Place your flip-flop in the mesh laundry bag.
  2. Set your washing machine on a delicate cycle.
  3. Place the bag in the washing machine. Remember to use cold water to wash the flip-flops.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar with a quarter amount of laundry detergent you usually use in the washing machine.
  5. Run the regular wash cycle.
  6. When the wash cycle is complete, remove the clean flip-flops from the mesh bag. Wipe them with a clean cloth.
  7. Let your flip-flops air dry.

Do not put rubber flip-flops in the dryer as this can damage them. You can find more methods of cleaning rubber sandals here.

Clean the Footbed with Rubbing Alcohol

Three steps with illustrations on how to clean footbed of the sandals with rubbing alcohol

The sandal footbed is where your feet rest. As you can imagine it can get pretty dirty. Rubbing alcohol cleans not only the dirt and grime but also kills germs. It also deodorizes the sandals.

Materials Required

  1. Rubbing Alcohol
  2. Cotton balls
  3. A cloth


  1. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and scrub the surface of the footbed. You can also use a cotton cloth.
  2. After scrubbing the footbed with cotton balls, wipe them with a damp cloth.
  3. Let your sandals air dry.

Repeat this process every two weeks. It will keep your sandal clean and odor-free for a long time.

If the footbed is cork, read our guide on cleaning cork sandals.

Quick Tips

The following tips will help you keep your sandals clean for a long time:

  1. Make sure your feet are clean before putting on sandals. The dead skin cells get trapped in the footbed (or insole). No wonder sandals get stinky. Therefore, to keep your sandals fresh and odor-free, scrub and clean your feet while taking a shower.
  2. Let your sandals air dry completely after every wear. Our sandals get wet because we sweat a lot during summers. If you wear sandals without letting them dry completely, the sweat and bacteria will cause them to stink.
  3. If you have sweaty feet, sprinkle some baby powder on the sandal footbed after each wear. This will keep your sandals fresh and odor-free for an extended period. Dump out the excess powder before wearing them again.
  4. If you wear sandals daily, then make sure to clean them at least once a week.
  5. Stuff your sandals with newspaper when you are not wearing them. This will absorb odor and moisture from the sandals and keep them in shape.


There you have it! These are some of the ways you can clean your sandals.

Choose the one that best suits your needs and sandal material. Remember to follow the quick tips to keep your sandals clean and fresh for a long time.

Did not find your sandal type? Check our other guides.

You may also like our guide on how to remove foot marks from sandals.

Got any other tips or tricks for keeping sandals clean? Let us know in the comments below!

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