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How to Clean Your Birkenstocks?

how to clean birkenstocks

Birkenstocks – the iconic summer sandals. Perfect for slipping on and off at your leisure, your Birkenstocks are a go-to choice for the warmer weather. Birkenstocks are a wardrobe staple and last year after year if they’re properly cared for. So how do you look after your Birkenstocks? This blog aims to advise you on how to properly clean your Birkenstocks so that you can get them back to looking brand new every summer!

What will I need to clean my Birkenstocks? 

  1. A sponge
  2. Unused toothbrush
  3. Clean cloth
  4. Bowl of water 
  5. Bicarbonate of soda 
  6. Suede brush
  7. Leather cleaner
  8. Stiff bristle brush
  9. Soap

If you have got your Birkenstocks into a bit of a state then the place to start is to remove the excess dirt so that you can begin to clean more intricately. Of course, Birkenstocks aren’t designed to be squeaky clean – the worn-in look often gives your footwear choice that little bit of character. However, keeping them in good condition will prolong the life of your Birkenstocks so that you can continue to wear them as your summer staples. Be careful to ensure that you aren’t using the same method for suede and leather Birkenstocks as this may cause irreversible damage to your footwear. 

How to clean leather Birkenstocks

Leather Birkenstocks make a great addition to your summer wardrobe for hassle-free wearing. It’s inevitable that your Birkenstocks will become dirty if you’re wearing them day in and day out; by cleaning your leather Birkenstocks, you’ll be able to keep their condition better for longer which in turn will allow you to return to the same sandals year after year. 

Step 1 

Take your leather cleaner and apply a small amount to your clean cloth. Proceed to rub the cloth all over the leather to ensure you are covering the whole shoe. You can use your leather cleaner to remove scuffs as well as dirt but you must ensure that you don’t allow the leather to become overly wet.

Step 2 

Make sure that you thoroughly clean your leather, taking the time to go back over areas that you could have potentially missed. To be as efficient as possible, take another cloth to buff your leather.

Step 3

Allow the leather to fully dry overnight, placing them somewhere where they won’t be exposed to excessive sunlight. 

Step 4

Apply polish to a cloth and rub the shoes, aiming for a circular motion. Then take a new cloth and remove the polish with the same circular motion.

Step 5

Allow your shoes to dry, again, overnight whilst avoiding exposure to sunlight. 

Step 6 

Buff your Birkenstocks by applying some leather conditioner to get your leather looking shiny and new.

How to clean suede Birkenstocks

Suede Birkenstocks are always in on the footwear-front and make great additions to beachy, care-free outfit vibes. Often, we can be thrown by suede, automatically categorising it as a difficult fabric that is ruined all too easily. However, with the right method, suede can be cleaned up so that it’s back to new in no time meaning that we can continue to incorporate it into our everyday fashion favourites. 

Step 1 

Once you have removed the excess dirt, you’ll want to make a start on the surface dirt. To do this, you will need to use your suede brush. Take your suede brush to the sole of your shoe and gently brush until the majority of the dirt has fallen off. Be sure to clean your Birkenstocks outside or above a dish to ensure you aren’t going to be getting dirt in the house.

Step 2

Take your leather cleaner and add a small amount to your cloth. Proceed to clean your Birkenstocks by gently rubbing it onto the shoe. Be careful not to apply too much of the leather cleaner onto the shoe as this may over saturate the suede. 

Step 3 

You must be patient and allow your Birkenstocks time to dry after cleaning. Once the shoes are fully dried, take your suede brush and gently brush the areas that have been treated.

How to clean the sole of Birkenstocks

Birkenstocks are renowned for their foot-shaped sole, offering comfortable and secure wearing, but these cork footbeds can be easily marked with dirt and the imprint of your foot. Never fear – you can clean up your Birkenstock soles rather easily by following some simple steps. Although it may seem excessive, washing your Birkenstock soles every few weeks will ensure the task isn’t overly arduous and will avoid irreversible damage.

Option 1

Step 1 

Take your mixing bowl and add two tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of baking soda until you create a paste-like consistency. 

Step 2 

Rub the paste onto the cork base of the Birkenstocks using a toothbrush, ensuring that you rub in a circular motion. 

Step 3 

Remove the excess of the paste by washing off with a damp cloth.

Step 4 

Allow your Birkenstocks to dry overnight and again, avoid direct exposure to sunlight. 

Option 2 

Step 1 

Take a damp cloth to your Birkenstock soles, make sure not to over-wet them, leaving them to try overnight. 

If your Birkenstocks are neither leather nor suede, a popular choice is often synthetic materials. Birkenstock offers sandal options in lightweight jelly rubber, however, this doesn’t mean they’re exempt from getting dirty. The following steps will encourage cleaner and more presentable Birkenstocks so that you can continue to enjoy your footwear.

How to clean synthetic Birkenstocks

Step 1 

Use your stiff bristle brush to remove the excess dirt on the Birkenstocks, be careful not to brush too hard to avoid scratching.

Step 2 

Add some unfragranced soap to your damp cloth and rub the stains until they disappear.

Step 3

Leave the Birkenstocks to dry overnight whilst avoiding exposure to direct sunlight.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your Birkenstocks presentable, wearable and prolong their lifespan. Birkenstocks are always the perfect addition to finish off any outfit, whether you’re pairing them with jeans, shorts or even a skirt they always look effortlessly stylish. 


If this blog has inspired you to purchase a pair of our Birkenstocks (or to add to your collection) check them out here at Daniel Footwear for an extensive and diverse selection. 




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