Real talk: Your Birkenstock sandals have seen better days. If you’re anything like us, you’ve worn those babies so much they’ve conformed to your feet. And they’ve soaked up so much sweat and grime that the footbed is no longer its original shade of tan but rather a muddy brown color. In a word, gross. Luckily, we’ve got three easy steps for how to clean Birkenstocks, whether you’re rocking a suede pair or leather, all with items you probably already have at home. But if you really want to go pro, Birkenstock does sell its own cleaning kit ($18), complete with everything you need to get your beloved sandals looking like new once again.
A few pro tips before you begin.
- Birkenstock warns against letting your shoes dry in the sun. In addition to fading the color faster, exposure to direct sunlight can actually damage the cork footbeds and can cause your precious Birks to deteriorate at a much faster rate.
- If you’re working with a patent leather pair, you should really consider taking them to a professional to be cleaned rather than attempting anything yourself. That shiny finish on the leather might react poorly to at-home treatments and lose their shine, but a pro will know exactly what to do.
- While you can probably get away with treating the uppers only when you spy a new stain or spot, the footbed of your Birks will benefit from regular cleaning. If you wear your sandals often, you might want to set aside 10 minutes once a month to give them a refresher.