Sandals are the ideal footwear for a hot summer day, but as you might know, they tend to get dirty just like any other footwear type and therefore require regular cleaning to maintain their quality as well as your foot hygiene. The footbed is the part of the sandal where the foot rests when you wear them, which means that it will inevitably get dirty after a couple of wear especially since most people prefer to wear their sandals barefoot. Read on to find out how you can go about cleaning the footbed.
How to clean sandals footbed?
- Use mild dish soap and water. Using a cloth dipped in the dish soap solution, scrub the footbed thoroughly until it is clean.
- You can toss your sandals in the washing machine, or if they have removable insoles, throw them in instead. This method is suitable as long as your sandals won’t get damaged in the process.
- Applying a baking soda paste to the footbed and scrubbing it clean with a soft brush.
- Clean the footbed using white vinegar. Before using the vinegar, ensure that you dilute it first so that it doesn’t affect the material.
- If you are wary about using DIY methods, opt to use a high-quality shoe cleaner that is suited for the material of the footbed.
Keeping the footbed of your sandal cleaning may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is often overlooked, with most people focusing on the upper and the sole. Here is a look at how you can clean and care for the footbed.
Cleaning techniques that you can use for the sandal footbed
- The washing machine – This is an easy technique that allows you to clean your sandals without much effort. However, it is best suited for sandals that have canvas and rubber insoles as they are less likely to end up damaged or completely useless. Ensure that the machine is on the gentlest setting, and only use a bit of mild detergent. You might want to place the sandals in a washable bag to reduce the risk of them tumbling around too much in the machine. Let the sandals go through the rinse cycle before taking them out of the washing machine and running them under cold water to get rid of any remaining soap residue. Repeat as needed until the footbeds are clean. Never use the dryer to dry the sandals as it will only damage the material. Instead, let them air dryer.
- Dish soap – For this technique, start by mixing some liquid dish soap with water to make a soapy solution. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution and squeeze away the excess before scrubbing the footbed of the sandal to remove the dirt and grime. Once they are sufficiently clean, use another clean sponge to wipe away the soap solution, then allow them to air dry.
If the footbed is especially dirty, opt to soak your sandals or removable insoles in warm, soapy water for about two hours. For this procedure, use concentrated dish soap, or if they are made of entirely white canvas, add a bit of bleach to the solution. Once the two hours elapse, remove the sandals and scrub the footbed to get rid of the stubborn stains. Rinse the footbed with cold water to remove the soap and repeat as needed. Use a towel to wipe away the excess moisture and then let the sandals air dry.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is very effective at removing dirt as well as getting rid of odor in the footbed. To clean your footbed, start by mixing baking soda and water in a container to make a thick, frothy paste. Dip a sponge into this mixture and use it to scrub the dirty footbed. If the footbed is dry, ensure that you wet it first with some water to make it easier to apply the mixture. For stubborn stains, use an old toothbrush that has soft bristles to work in the baking soda paste. Once you are satisfied with the results, use a damp soft cloth to wipe it away. Air-dry the sandals.
- Sandpaper – This technique is specifically suited for use on a suede footbed. Using sandpaper, simply rub the dirty footbed, making sure to reach all the dirty corners. Try to rub gently but firmly, repeating the motions until you get rid of the mud, dirt, or stain. Once you successfully clean most of the visible dirt, wipe it away using a soft cloth.
- Use a shoe cleaner kit – If you don’t want to use DIY ingredients, a shoe cleaner kit is your best option. There are plenty of shoe cleaner kits for different materials online, just ensure that you find one that is of good quality. For example, if you are cleaning a suede footbed, you will want to go for a kit that comes with a suede brush, cleaner, eraser and protectant spray. Follow the cleaning instructions provided on the package or look for them on the website of the brand.
- Rubbing alcohol – Rubbing alcohol is a superb cleaner as it has anti-bacterial properties. For this technique, mix pure rubbing alcohol with some water, then dip a few cotton balls in the solution, leaving them in for some seconds to allow for absorption. Rub down the dirty footbed with the cotton balls, and once clean, use a soft cloth to dab the excess solution before allowing it to dry.
- Vinegar – White vinegar, in particular, is very efficient when used as a cleaner, plus it is found in most homes. To clean the footbed, mix about four to five tablespoons of pure vinegar with water to lower the concentration of the vinegar. Dip a sponge or soft cotton cloth in the solution and then use it to scrub the footbed to remove scuff marks and dirt. Allow the footbed to dry once clean.
Caring for your sandals
Caring for the footbed is just as important as cleaning it.
- Always let them air dry – No matter the technique you choose to clean the footbed, always allow it to air dry – this simply means leaving them out in the open, away from direct heat or sunlight. This is because heat tends to dry the material and even cause it to crack, generally reducing its quality. Therefore, you will want to keep your sandals in the garage or on a shaded porch. Ensure that there is plenty of air circulation wherever you opt to place them.
- Ensure your feet are always clean – Dead skin, as well as sweat from the feet, gets easily trapped in the footbed. This contributes to the grime that accumulates and odor. To prevent this, ensure that you take the time to clean and scrub your feet with a pumice stone or exfoliating product to get rid of the dead skin. If your feet tend to get especially sweaty, apply baby powder or deodorant to them before wearing the sandals to reduce the amount of sweat that they release.
- Freshen them regularly – As previously mentioned, the footbed easily retains odor as a result of sweat accumulation. To eliminate the stink, sprinkle some baking soda on the footbeds once you take them off. This will also speed up the drying process if there is some moisture on them. Leave them like this overnight, then simply dump out the baking soda before you wear the sandals.
- Avoid using water to clean leather and suede footbed – Leather and suede materials are very delicate and can easily get damaged when they come in contact with water. Therefore, you will want to use very little water or if possible, avoid it completely.
- Apply protectant spray – After you clean footbeds made of leather and suede, consider applying protectant spray. This will ensure that the footbed stays cleaner for longer and make it easier for you to clean. You will find a variety of quality protectant sprays online along with instructions on the application process.
- Stuff the sandals with newspaper – When you take off your sandals, stuff them with sheets of crumpled newspaper. The newspaper will effectively absorb odor and moisture from the footbed. Replace the newspaper as needed and remove them when you need to wear the sandals.
- Rotate your footwear – No matter how much you love a particular pair of sandals, refrain from wearing them consecutively as this will only contribute to the buildup of grime and dirt on the footbed. Rotate your footwear as much as possible to keep the footbed cleaner for longer.
The footbed of the sandal is subjected to the sweat from your feet as well as dust and debris that you might pick up on your pathway. As a result, it is important to clean this part of the sandal frequently for the sake of hygiene as well as to maintain the appearance of the sandal. There are many techniques you can use, as long as they are suitable for the footbed material. By using the right techniques when cleaning the footbed, you will help preserve the quality of the sandal and consequently get the most out of them.