Leather sandals are a great choice for summer, but they can get dirty and smelly, being worn all the time in hot weather. To keep leather sandals looking great and smelling fresh, they should be properly cleaned. In this article, I will show you how to clean leather sandals without shrinking them.
How to clean leather sandals is the various ways of removing dirt and debris from leather sandals to make them look better without causing damage. Cleaning leather sandals removes stains, grime, and odors. Leather sandals can be cleaned with a leather cleaner for an improved feel and durability.
Imagine you’re breaking out your summer wardrobe because warm weather has arrived, but your leather sandals from last year are looking dingy and dirty. Let’s explore how to clean leather sandals without shrinking them.
What Is Cleaning Leather Sandals?
Cleaning leather sandals is the process of using solutions to remove dirt, grime, sweat, germs, and odors. This can help maintain their appearance and prevent fungal and bacterial growth.
Cleaning leather sandals can be accomplished with simple cleaning items, improving fit, feel, and durability. Leather sandals should be air-dried away from heat and direct sunlight after cleaning to prevent shrinking.
What We’ll Explore
- Clearing up Myths & Misconceptions
- Reasons You Might Choose To Clean Leather Sandals
- Variations or Styles of How To Clean Leather Sandals
- How To Clean Leather Sandals Overview Table
- Skill Level of How To Clean Leather Sandals
- Tools and Supplies Needed To Clean Leather Sandals
- How to Clean Leather Sandals Step by Step
- How to Get Better at Cleaning Leather Sandals
- My Personal Research on How To Clean Leather Sandals
- Helpful Insights on How To Clean Leather Sandals
- Key Takeaways
Clearing Up Myths & Misconceptions
Many think that cleaning leather sandals is unnecessary. However, leather is a natural material that absorbs dirt, sweat, and oils from feet and the environment and requires regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Another misconception is that any soap can be used for cleaning leather sandals.
However, many soaps and detergents are too harsh for leather and can strip away color and natural oils, leading to cracking. Some people may also believe that speeding up the drying of leather sandals after cleaning them can be done with direct sunlight or high heat, however, these methods lead to cracking, fading, and shrinking.
Depending on the type of leather that the sandals are made from, some can simply be cleaned using a lint-free cloth or a soft-bristled brush.
Reasons You Might Choose To Clean Leather Sandals
Leather sandals can be a great look for spring, summer, and autumn when the weather is warm. They can put on a lot of miles, which leads to dirt and signs of wear. Leather sandals can become dull and look old, and cleaning them can make them look new and improve their durability and lifespan.
Wearing sandals in warm weather also leads to sweat, which leaves stains and smells. These can be removed with proper cleaning to improve their comfort and hygiene.
According to an article in the International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, researchers Rossi, Papetti, Marconi, and Germani inform the reader that every part of the leather sandal goes through multiple steps to manufacture and preserve the materials and should be cared for appropriately for sustainability reasons.
Variations or Styles of How To Clean Leather Sandals
Cleaning leather sandals is something not many of us think about, but thankfully it is easy to do. Depending on the type of leather that the sandals are made from, some can simply be cleaned using a lint-free cloth or a soft-bristled brush.
Most non-absorbent leathers can also be cleaned with a proper leather cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Sometimes all that is needed is spot cleaning and some gentle scrubbing to get the job done. Generally, rubbing alcohol may be used to clean the soles of leather sandals.
How To Clean Leather Sandals Overview Table
|Area of Preparation||Details|
|Technique||How To Clean Leather Sandals|
|Overall Level of Skill (1–5)||2|
|Time to Complete (minutes/hours)||1 hour|
|Tools and Supplies Needed||Leather cleaner, microfiber towels or old t-shirts, bowl, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, leather conditioner|
|Key Helpful Tip||Basic leather care knowledge|
Skill Level of How To Clean Leather Sandals
Cleaning leather sandals is not difficult, but it requires some special attention and care. No special equipment or expertise is needed, just some simple items and a gentle touch. Important things to remember are to avoid using too much cleaner, rubbing alcohol, or heat. Also, regularly condition the leather once it has dried to keep it looking soft and supple.
Tools and Supplies Needed to Clean Leather Sandals
Cleaning leather sandals is easy with the right tools. It doesn’t take much; these are already in most homes, so all it takes is gathering the tools and getting the job done. Here are some supplies needed to clean leather sandals:
- Leather cleaner
- Soft-bristled bush
- Leather wipes
- Microfiber towels or old t-shirts
- Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls or a soft cloth
- Leather conditioner
How To Clean Leather Sandals Step by Step
For cleaning leather sandals using leather cleaner it’s best to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, however, in general, follow these steps:
- Remove any loose dirt with a dry, soft cloth or a soft-bristled brush.
- Test the leather cleaner in an inconspicuous place for any unwanted color changes or damage.
- Apply a small amount of the leather cleaner to a microfiber or lint-free cloth.
- Gently apply the cloth and cleaner, working the cleaner into the leather material..
- Remove any excess leather cleaner using a clean cloth.
- Optional step: use a cotton ball moistened in rubbing alcohol to wipe down the footbeds or surfaces the feet touch to remove sweat and bacteria.
- Allow the leather sandals to air dry away from direct sunlight and heat.
- Apply leather conditioner.
How To Get Better at Cleaning Leather Sandals
Getting better at cleaning leather sandals is all about repetition. If multiple pairs of leather sandals are in the closet, clean them all. Try different methods and see which works best.
Always start with removing dirt and debris with a soft-bristled brush or soft cloth for easier cleaning and to prevent scratching during cleaning. Don’t use too much leather cleaner, and allow the leather sandals to air dry completely. Apply leather conditioner once they dry.
This video from Savvy Serena demonstrates cleaning the leather footbed of sandals.
My Personal Research on How To Clean Leather Sandals
Summer is upon us, and many people are starting to get their warm-weather clothing and sandals out of storage. So, how do people clean their leather sandals in preparation for summer? I asked friends and family members how they prefer to do this. Here is a table representing their responses and what I learned from the poll about how to clean leather sandals.
|How People Clean Leather Sandals||Times Selected|
|I don’t clean them||13%|
|I buy new sandals||9%|
|Mild soap and water (not recommended)||22%|
|White vinegar (not recommended)||17%|
|Baking soda and a brush (not recommended)||9%|
Helpful Insights On How To Clean Leather Sandals
What can I use to clean leather sandals?
Leather sandals can be cleaned with a soft-bristled brush, lint-free cloth, and leather cleaner. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for leather cleaner, wipe off any excess moisture, and don’t get the leather too wet. Allow the leather sandals to air dry, and apply a leather conditioner.
Is it okay to wash leather sandals?
It is okay to wash leather sandals if done appropriately. Leather sandals cannot go in a clothes washer or dryer; they must be hand washed. This can be done with a soft-bristled brush or a leather cleaner using a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt.
How do you clean the leather footbed of sandals?
The leather footbed of sandals can be cleaned with mild soap and water or with rubbing alcohol, using caution to avoid the leather material. Mild soap and water will remove dirt and grime, while rubbing alcohol will remove germs and odors. Avoid getting the footbeds too wet and air dry after cleaning away from sunlight and heat.
Can you clean leather shoes with Dawn soap?
While it is possible to clean leather shoes with Dawn soap, most household cleaning products are not made for use on leather and should not be regularly used to clean leather shoes. Since Dawn soap doesn’t match the pH of the leather, damage like stickiness, color changes, or stripping can occur. If used lightly, most people won’t notice the damage for weeks, months, or even years.
- Leather sandals can be cleaned using lint-free cloths and a leather cleaner.
- Allow leather sandals to air dry completely after cleaning and apply leather conditioner.
- Clean leather sandal footbeds with mild soap and water or rubbing alcohol.
Leather, sandals are built to last on the street or in the sand and deserve proper care. Following these tips can prevent odors and stains from damaging them. Cleaning leather sandals is easy and quick, and routine cleanings can help them last a very long time.
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