How to clean toe prints & dirt from sandals

Wet sandals on a lava beach image by feferoni from

Sandals, a comfortable and cool form of footwear, come in a myriad of styles such as corks, gladiators and flip-flops. Each of these styles allows your feet to be exposed but also causes your sandals to get quite dirty. Sweaty feet will make sandals even dirtier. At some point, most sandals end up with dirty foot bases that have unsightly toe prints. There are simple ways you can clean your sandals. Leather sandals and sandals that have embellishments glued on need specialised cleaning and care.

Fill the washing tub with warm water and let the sandals soak in the warm water for a while. This will allow all the dirt particles to loosen up a bit. Soak for around 15 minutes.

Rub the laces together if there are any on the sandals. This will bring out the dirt that accumulates on the laces.

Use the soft brush and scrub the foot base gently. This will bring out all the dirt caked up around the toe bed, the foothold and the heels.

Mix in a penny-size amount of mild shampoo or hand sanitiser in the tub of water. These products are mild and will not destroy the material of your sandals.

Soak the sandals in this solution for another 10 minutes. Take them out and rinse them in clean water.

Air-dry your sandals.

Place a dime-sized amount of soap on the washcloth and dampen it a bit with water. Work up as much lather as possible. For untreated leather, use saddle soap.

Rub the lather all over the sandal while simultaneously rubbing it in. Be careful around embellishments and glued-on decorations.

Use a towel to rub and pat the sandal dry. Alternatively, you could use a hair dryer.

Use a cloth dampened with a teaspoon of vinegar mixed in a cup of warm water all over the sandals. This will kill any smell that emanates from leather sandals. Dry leather sandals in the sun. If you cannot dry them in the sun, dry them with a hair dryer. Dry embellished sandals in front of a fan or with a hair dryer. Quickly drying the sandals is essential to avoid odours.

Rub in a bit of leather preservative to protect untreated leather sandals.

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