How to clean women’s sandals

How to Clean & Fix Women’s Sandals

Women’s shoe care is extremely important. Just like anything, the better you take care of it, the longer it lasts. This guide will help you learn how to clean women’s sandals and the best way to increase their longevity and keep them in good nick.

Cleaning any shoes is the best way to look after them, especially sandals which may come into contact with harsh substances such as sea water and sand. Avoiding a build-up of dirt and dust will keep your shoes in great condition for longer.

Here's our easy guide on how to clean women’s sandals.

In this guide:

  • How to clean women’s sandals
  • How to clean women’s sandals that smell
  • How to clean leather and suede sandals
  • How to clean fabric and canvas sandals
  • How to store ladies’ sandals
  • How to fix broken and scuffed sandals
  • question icon

    How to clean women's sandals

    Deciding how to clean women’s shoes will depend on the material they are made from and how deep of a clean is needed – scrubbing rain spots will be easier than mud, for example. Before you get started, there are some essential items you’ll need that can make cleaning sandals – and many other shoes – easier.

    You Will Need:

    Four simple ingredients are all it takes to get tired flip-flops restored to their former glory! Rubber flip-flops get dirty very easily but it’s easy to correct that. Here’s how:

  • Baking soda
  • Toothbrush
  • A cloth
  • Water
  • These simple household items can help return your tired sandals to their former glory - worthy of being packed in your suitcase for your next trip away. Below is a simple step-by-step cleaning guide. This can be used on materials such as rubber, silicon and fabrics such as canvas (but we’ll dive deeper into each material later).

    How to clean women's sandals:

    1. First, cover the flip-flops in baking soda. Try and get an even spread and cover the whole area that needs cleaning. Try to avoid big clumps of baking soda forming.
    2. Apply water to the flip-flops, using a spray bottle.
    3. With your toothbrush, scrub away at the stains and you should find they lift off easily. Rinse your toothbrush as you go for the best results.
    4. Wipe down with a cloth.
    exclamation icon

    How to clean women’s sandals that smell

    Shoes may smell after long-term wear, especially ones that see a lot of use, like your summer sandals. However, that smell is easy to remove with the right technique. Follow the guide above, but add some white vinegar to the water.

    If vinegar isn’t quite doing the job, you might need to invest in some shoe wash. There are some simple ways to help you keep your shoes and sandals smelling fresh including adding tea bags or orange peel.

    question icon

    How to clean leather and suede sandals

    You need a soft, clean toothbrush, a cloth and some shoe polish.

    1. Remove all large spots of mud and dirt with the toothbrush.
    2. With a slightly damp cloth, buff any remaining dirt off.
    3. Polish your shoes.

    The products you use to clean leather sandals will vary depending on if the sandals are treated or untreated. You can check this by checking the label in your shoes.

    Leather and suede are tough materials, but perhaps the most delicate when it comes to shoes and sandals – mainly because certain weather conditions can have an adverse effect, so you might only need to clean them every few months, and condition them every year to keep the leather soft and supple.

    When it comes to suede shoes, instead of opting for a toothbrush, you should look to invest in a proper suede brush. They can be bought relatively cheaply and are an integral part in any women’s shoe care kit. It’s best to brush any mud or dirt off when they are dry. Brush in a light, circular motion to avoid damaging the material.

    question icon

    How to clean fabric and canvas sandals

    Cleaning fabric and canvas plimsolls is much easier than leather and suede. If there are visible spots of mud, simply give them a scrub with a toothbrush or a washing-up sponge, rinsing with a little water as you need.

    Once mud is removed, you may be able to machine wash them, but before you do this, check the label. If you do wash them in your washing machine, add a few towels to the wash. This will reduce noisy banging while they spin and prevent damage to your washing drum.

    While these methods can be used on a range of fabric shoes, you don’t want to use them on velvet sandals. To tackle a stain on velvet you ideally want to spot it before it’s had time to dry. If the mark is still fresh, grab a clean microfiber cloth and try to soak up as much of the stain as possible. If it has dried, washing up liquid mixed into water can help.

    question icon

    How to store ladies’ sandals

    How to Store Ladies’ Sandals

    Storing your sandals correctly is one of the best ways to prevent them from getting dirtier and damaged. There’s no way to prevent any shoes becoming dirty, but there are ways you can look after them.

    Firstly, you want to try and keep them off the floor. Shelving units are a great way to organise your shoes as well as keeping them clean. Having them up off the floor makes them easier to identify quickly and saves you from rummaging through heaps (which can damage to your shoes).

    Alternatively, a hanging organiser is a cheap, easy solution. You can get hanging fabric shelves that can go over your door or inside your wardrobe. Each compartment will fit a pair of sandals easily.

    question icon

    How to fix broken and scuffed sandals

    As well as helping you learn how to clean women’s sandals, we want to give you some tips on how you can repair your broken of scuffed shoes.

    First let’s look at flip-flops. The most common damage sustained is usually the strap falling through the sole. To repair, all you’ll need are some scissors and a plastic bag (ideally one that matches the colour of the flip-flops).

    1. Take your broken strap and pull it back through so it’s on top of the sole. Use the scissors to cut the toe-post as close to where it intersects with the rest of the strap. You should be left with a kind of V-shaped strap (the bit that usually sits on top of your foot).
    2. Take the plastic bag, and put it on its side so its handles are on top of each other. With the handles facing the heel of your flip-flop, put them underneath the strap. Take the bottom part of the bag and pull it through the loops of the handles so it wraps around the strap.
    3. Twist the plastic bag so it forms a thin "strap", removing air as you go. You should be able to pull the twisted bag through the hole in the sole. Pull it through so that the V of the strap is actually touching the sole.
    4. Tie a double or triple knot, depending on the strength of the bag, underneath the sole and cut off any excess. Try and cut it as close to the knot as possible.

    The knot underneath will gradually push itself into the hole and become part of the sole.

    Next, if you’ve scuffed some leather sandals, you can fix these too.

    1. Warm the scuffed area using a hairdryer. Avoid the hairdryer getting too hot.
    2. Dab the area with distilled white vinegar using a cotton swab.
    3. Let the area dry and then add colourless shoe polish.
    4. Use a clean cloth to apply petroleum to the affected area and leave for 10 minutes.
    5. Apply a recolouring balm according to instructions.

    Looking for more guides? Visit the Shoe Zone guide hub.

    Live Chat