When the weather is warm, out come our sandals.

Unfortunately, after a few wears, foot odor can start to come with them, and over time, our favorite sandals can become our stinkiest.

Sweat, dirt, grime, campfire smoke, and other crud can begin to prevent us from feeling as confident in our sandals as we once did. If we’re not cleaning our footwear regularly, odor-causing bacteria can build up over time, and our footwear starts to smell; some call it “foot funk.”

Nobody wants to be known as “that one person whose feet stink.”

And even if you don’t mind your own stench, believe me…..other folks might.

(Dipping them in the river or rinsing them off in the ocean waves doesn’t exactly count as “cleaning” them… *ahem, ahem*)

Many folks might rely on the warm-water-and-soap method of cleaning sandals and next-to-skin footwear, and it may work a little for superficial cleaning and providing a cleaner appearance. Unfortunately, some soaps can harm your footwear, and controlling odor is a bigger problem than one that can be solved with a little soap and water.

Luckily, it’s easy to clean and deodorize your sandals, slip-ons, and other next-to-skin footwear!

Sandal Wash will make your sandals sparkly clean again, yes, but more importantly, it will also remove odor. It will also remove even the funkiest funk from hiking sandals, climbing shoes, sports sandals, slip-ons, fashion footwear, and anything else you happen to wear barefoot. As with all Nikwax products, Sandal Wash is PFC-free, biodegradable, home and kid-friendly, water-based, non-flammable, and completely safe for you skin, pipes, and sinks.





1) PREP. Wet down your sandals/footwear with water. Sandal Wash works best when used in conjunction with water.



2) WASH. Break the seal on the bottle’s scrub brush tip by pushing your finger downward. Then start scrubbing! Be sure to cover ALL the areas of the sandal or shoe. Odors, dirt, and grime can get trapped anywhere. To release more cleaning treatment from the bottle, give a gentle squeeze as you push the brush head into the sandal or shoe. Special note: If your sandals have deeper grooved or patterned footbeds or soles, you may want to use a separate bristle brush or scrub brush, to allow yourself to get a little more aggressive with that deeper dirt and grime.



3) RINSE. Give them a thorough rinse. Maybe two…




4) DRY. Allow them to air dry completely, in a space with a normal amount of air flow (open living room, back deck under shade, etc.), before using them again. Don’t toss them under the bed, or back in the closet, where they usually live, until they are completely dry. Never dry your sandals in the sun, in a dryer, in front of a vent or heater, or with any other method other than naturally drying at room temperature. Those types of artificial drying could result in your sandals shrinking, warping, weakening, brittling, and other effects that deteriorate the function of the sandals.







There you have it! Now you’re ready to step out in confidence in your sandals and next-to-skin footwear, knowing that they are clean, looking good, and deodorized.

Stride on!



*REMEMBER: Sandal Wash isn’t only for sandals…it also works well for slip-ons, climbing shoes, canvas shoes, boat shoes, and more!


7 thoughts on “How to Clean Sandals and Next-to-skin Footwear!”

  1. Can I use Sandal Wash on the footbed of my suede Birkenstocks? Should I get the whole shoe wet or just the footbed? They are FUNKY!

    1. Hey Amy! Great question! Our Sandal Wash product is completely safe to use on Birkenstocks. It is safe to use on leather and the footbed. For protecting and conditioning the leather, I would also use Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof. Definitely Feel free to learn more about Sandal Wash, HERE! Hope that helps! – Brennon

    1. Hey Wynne! That’s great to hear! Thanks for being a loyal, vocal customer. Have a great week! – Brennon

  2. But does it work on smelly leather sandals? I’d love to get the funk out of my leather sandals but I don’t love the idea of soaking them in water

    1. Hey there! Sandal Wash is completely safe to use on leather sandals. It is a gentle cleaner that does not strip leather of its properties. Letting leather dry naturally is key…do not dry leather artificially (in a dryer, in the sun, in front of a vent, etc.). Just let it dry in an open room, at room temperature. To go a step further in your leather care, you can waterproof, condition, and protect your leather using one of our leather products: Waterproofing Wax for Leather, Conditioner for Leather, or Nubuck & Suede Proof. Hope that helps! – Brennon

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