I love summer. After our cold and nasty winter, there’s nothing as freeing as ditching those winter boots and digging out the sandals and flip flops. But with hot days and being outside comes sweaty and smelly feet. And with that – dirty and smelly shoes. Yuck! If you don’t clean your sandals, why not get started now? Luckily there are many quick and easy ways to freshen them up.
Cleaning Rubber Flip Flops
Baking Soda Spa Treatment
No cleaning task would be complete without one of Clean My Space’s favorite ingredients, baking soda!
For plain rubber flip flops – like the cheap ones you get from Old Navy – run them under warm water in the tub.
Next sprinkle with baking soda. Leave for at least five minutes and scrub off with an old toothbrush. And don’t forget about the soles – they go through a lot. (Baking soda will help with the smell too).
If they still smell after that, mix baking soda with salt water so it becomes a paste. Use the toothbrush to scrub and then rinse them off with clean water.
Throw ‘em in the wash
The easiest way to clean a bunch of rubber flip flops at once is in the washing machine. Use the machine’s delicate setting (with cold water) and just a touch of detergent. Adding one cup of vinegar to the wash helps get rid of that funky sandal smell. Let them air dry.
If they’re still a bit grimy after going through the wash, the baking soda-toothbrush trick will get them looking like new again. The washer didn’t work for me when I tested it on a pair, but I would still encourage you to experiment. These things can be hit or miss.
Avoid the washing machine if your flip flops are decorated with beads or jewels – otherwise they’ll come out looking a tad sad!
Cleaning suede flip flops and sandals
Sandpaper: I know, it sounds weird. But if your suede insoles have seen better days, fine grit sandpaper, used gently, will remove that stubborn layer of dirt.
The insoles can also be cleaned with a small amount of dish soap (without dyes or smells) in warm water and rubbed on gently with that old toothbrush.
Cleaning leather flip flops and sandals
Saddle soap will do the trick – it’s a cleaner, smell killer and leather softener all in one. Apply with a damp cloth, let it sit and then buff it dry. It’s a terrific product!
For an easy DIY fix sprinkle baking soda in the sandal, leave it for a day. If the leather’s treated, dip a soft cloth in a vinegar-water mixture to clean the outside.
How to tell if it’s treated, you ask? Squeeze one drop of clean water onto the shoe. If the water beads up and doesn’t absorb into the sandal that means it’s treated leather.
As soon as you (or your hubby, or kids) kick those shoes off, put crumpled-up newspaper in the toe – this will attract moisture into the newspaper and keep them from stinking. So easy, and now you have another use for that pile of papers before they get recycled (you’re welcome)!
Other tips and tricks
- A fabric softener sheet (one per shoe) in the sole and tied in a plastic bag overnight will have them smelling fresh and ready for whatever the day throws at you
- One drop each of cedarwood essential oil and sandalwood essential oil onto each shoe every day leaves behind a nice scent
- Foot powder (amazon) is another excellent odor killer. Here’s a great way to make you own on the cheap!
- Don’t wear the same sandals every day – they need a chance to dry out
What do you do to keep your sandals in tip-top shape? Let me know in the comments below!
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