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Do you own a pair of Birkenstock sandals? These famous shoes are known for their comfort, offering optimal support to your feet and joints while walking. With various designs, sizes, and colours, Birkenstocks are universally popular footwear for all ages and genders.

As with any type of shoes, it is important to clean your Birkenstock sandals from time to time. Without proper maintenance, your new Birkenstock sandals may become dirty, smelly, and wear out a lot faster. It would typically take about an hour to clean your sandals, but there are some tips on how to clean Birkenstock sandals with more care and efficiency.

Here are five cleaning tips for Birkenstock sandals:

Tip #1: Wipe the Birkenstocks regularly to remove dirt or debris.

Wipe the Birkenstocks regularly to remove dirt or debris

When left dirty, Birkenstock sandals are unseemly since this may discolour their foot bed. You can use a damp cloth or brush to remove dirt and debris. If you are in a muddy environment, clean them as soon as you take them off. This will prevent the mud from sticking onto your sandals.

In most cases, the upper part of the sandal is made of leather, nubuck or suede, which can easily be damaged by water. You can easily protect these uppers from water by using a Birkenstock water and stain repellant. First, you will have to remove all the dirt and dust using a brush. Afterwards, apply the water repellant. Just make sure you don’t dip the shoes entirely in water, and the Birkenstocks should be wearable again on the next day.

Typically, Birkenstock sandals are made of leather and suede. However, there are some in the market made of synthetic material such as EVA Malibu, Waikiki sandals, and others made from polyurethane.  Synthetic Birkenstock sandals are much easier to clean compared to the typical leather and suede ones. All you need for a clean synthetic Birkenstock sandal is a cloth, some water, soap and a brush to dust off the dirt before cleaning them.

Tip #2: Use a cleaner to scrub the stains.

Use a cleaner to scrub the stains.

Wondering what cleaner to use for cleaning your Birkenstock sandals? The best cleaning solution is sitting in your kitchen, if not at your nearest grocery store. Just a little paste of baking soda (or borax) and water will go a long way in ensuring those stubborn stains get off your sandals.

After making your paste, spread it on the foot bed using your hands. Then, gently scrub in circular motions using a toothbrush. You will notice that the paste starts to darken, which is a normal sign of the cleaning process. For even better results, you may apply more paste and let it sit for a few hours. Rinse and dry off your Birkenstocks afterwards.

Tip #3: Remove the scuffs.

Remove the scuffs.

To clean up the leather part of your Birkenstock sandal, you need a soft piece of cloth and some leather cleaner. Using the fabric, apply the cleaner generously on the entire leather of the sandal. This will ensure the cleaner soaks into the leather.

Without letting the leather get too wet, gently scrub until the scuffs are no more. You can substitute your leather cleaner for some water saddle salt, which gets the job done just as well. After scrubbing, use another cloth to buff the sandal.

Tip #4: Dry your sandals, but never in direct sunlight.

Dry your sandals, but never in direct sunlight.

Typically, Birkenstock sandals are very comfortable. However, don’t be tempted to dry them hastily so that you can wear them again. Direct heat causes cracks on your sandals, causing them to wear out faster. After cleaning your sandals, air dry them in cool or shaded places. Since they take longer to dry, always avoid cleaning them on a day you intend to wear them.

Tip #5: Apply polish, conditioner & sealant onto the sandals.

Apply polish, conditioner & sealant onto the sandals.

After the sandal dries up, it is time to polish your Birkenstocks. Put some polish on a piece of cloth and apply it onto the sandals in a circular motion. When the entire sandal is covered with polish, use another cloth to remove the polish, but be gentle and use circular movements. Leave your sandal overnight to air dry.

Shiny leather is beautiful. You can get this result by using a soft damp cloth to buff your sandals. Use a circular motion when buffing to reach every leather part of your Birkenstock sandals. To ensure the leather does not harden, apply a leather conditioner on your sandals at least twice a year.

If you have been wearing your Birkenstocks for a while, the cork foot bed may dry out, become dull, and cracks could start to form. You will need a bottle of Birkenstock sealer, which comes in handy when your cork starts to lose its shine. By periodically using this cleaning regimen, you significantly increase the life span of your Birkenstock sandals.