One of the main reasons why flip flops are so popular is due to their open design that allows the feet to breathe on hot summer days. However, after a long hot day of exposing your feet in flip flops, you may notice that they look very dirty – after all, sweaty feet tend to attract dust. In some cases, you may even be walking on surfaces that are seemingly clean but still end up with filthy feet. Read on to find out how you can keep your favorite pair of flip flops from turning your feet black.
How to keep flip flops from turning feet black? To avoid getting your feet dirty when you walk on dirty surfaces, ensure that you wear flip flops with a high higher footbed. This way, it will be harder for dirt to reach your heels and toes.
When choosing flip flops, go for a pair that is made from breathable materials such as cork and rubber that will absorb sweat from your feet. Keep wet wipes and paper towels handy to wipe the grime off your flip flops as well as your feet. Ensure that your flip flops are always dry before you wear them. The dye can be easily transferred from your leather flip flops to your feet when they get soaking wet. Clean your flip flops thoroughly regularly to get rid of the grime that may have accumulated on the footbed. Your feet may also add to the grime of the flip flops. The dirt easily sticks on dry and dead skin, so you will want to ensure that your feet are always clean before wearing your flip flops.
It is not uncommon to find that your feet are visibly soiled to the point of turning black after spending a majority of your day in flip flops. This can be frustrating and embarrassing to deal with, especially if you are out in public.
How to keep your feet from turning black when wearing flip flops
1. Wear flip flops with a higher footbed
Some flip flop designs are very flimsy, which means that the barrier between your foot and the ground is not too effective in keeping the dust, dirt, bacteria, and other nasty things on your path. As you walk in flip flops, your feet pound the pavement and lift these substances from the ground and onto your feet. If your feet are sweaty, all these things will easily stick your feet and subsequently soil them. As the dirt continues to pile up, your feet will eventually turn black. Therefore, you will always want to go for flip flops that have a higher footbed that has raised dirt to provide more distance between your feet and the ground.
2. Go for materials like cork, rubber, and leather
When shopping for flip flops, go for varieties that are made from materials such as rubber, leather, and cork. These materials will efficiently absorb sweat that tends to build up when you wear flip flops in warm weather. Dirt and debris easily stick onto sweat on your heels and toes, so by opting to go for flip flops that don’t allow accumulation of sweat, you will significantly reduce the chances of your feet turning black.
3. Wipe the grime frequently
Carry wet wipes with you next time you expect to walk a considerable distance in your flip flops. Use them to wipe the grime that may build up off your feet in private, making sure to wipe the flip flops down as well. Once they are clean, dry them using a paper towel.
4. Wear them when they are dry
Wearing flip flops and walking around in them while they are wet automatically means that dirt and debris will easily stick onto them. With dirt on your flip flops, it will only be a matter of time before your feet also end up soiled and black. Therefore, air out your flip fops until they are completely dry before you wear them to ensure that your feet remain clean.
4. Clean your flip flops thoroughly
In many cases, flip flops end up soiling your feet because you overlook cleaning them regularly. The grime that builds up over time will, therefore, end up transferring to your feet and soiling them.
How you clean your flip flops will depend on the material they are made from
1. Rubber flip flops
There are a variety of ways you can clean your rubber flip flops:
- Use the washing machine – For a quick and easy clean, use the washing machine. Ensure that it is on the gentlest setting and a cold cycle, using only a bit of mild detergent. Before you wash the flip flops, place them in a mesh bag or washable bag to keep them from tumbling around too much when in the machine. Before you remove the flip flops, allow them to go through the rinse cycle and then rinse them under cold water to remove any remaining soap residue. Air dry them once dry.
- The baking soda technique – Before you sprinkle your flip flops with baking soda, run them under warm water for a few minutes first. Pour some baking soda on them evenly and let them sit for at least half an hour before scrubbing them with a soft brush or an old toothbrush. Scrub the entire flip flop, including the sole, until it is clean and then rinse with water before air-drying them.
- Use dish soap – Dilute liquid dish soap by adding some water to make a soapy solution. Using a sponge, rub the soapy solution all over the flip flops to get rid of the dirt. Once they are clean, wipe the soapy solution off the flip flops using another clean damp sponge, then let them air dry.
For stubborn stains, deep clean your flip flops by first blasting them with some water to remove the surface dirt. The next step is to soak your flip flops in a bucket of soapy water for at least two hours.to make your soapy solution, use concentrated dish soap, or if your flip flops are white, add a bit of bleach. Remove the flip flops after the two hours have elapsed and scrub the soiled areas of the flip flops using a sponge. Use cold water to rinse the flip flops, and if needed, repeat the cleaning process. Allow them to air dry.
2. Suede flip flops
Suede flip flops are easily susceptible to dirt and scuff marks that can easily transfer to your feet. Here are some guidelines on how to clean flip flops made from suede:
- Use a suede brush for mud and dirt – Use a suede brush to remove mud and dirt from the stained areas of your flip flops. For mud, ensure that it is completely dry first before brushing them. Keep the brushing strokes in the same direction before switching to a back and forth motion with a little more force to reach dirt that is more ground-into the suede fibers.
- A stain or pencil eraser for stains that have set in – For stains that have set into the flip flop, use a stain eraser from your suede kit (if you have one) or a normal pencil eraser. Rub the eraser over the stain repeatedly until the stain disappears.
- Rubbing alcohol for stubborn stains – If the stains are still visible, use a washcloth to rub in white vinegar or rubbing alcohol into the stain. Brush the area using a suede brush once it is dry to fluff up the fabric and remove the loosened dirt.
- Shave and fluff the suede to restore it – If your suede looks stringy after cleaning, simply shave the affected areas using a razor and then brush away the strings with your suede brush.
- Apply a protectant spray – To protect your flip flops from dirt and debris, spray them with a suede protectant spray after cleaning them, following the application instructions provided on the package.
3. Leather flip flops
Never saturate your leather flip flops with water to avoid damaging them.
- Brush away the dirt – Use an old toothbrush, a dry soft cloth, or a soft brush to remove dry loose dirt from your leather flip flops. Be firm but gentle in your brushing motions to avoid damaging the leather.
- Washing the flip flops – Rub some leather cleaner into the flip flops then use a damp soft cloth to work it into the leather to create a bit of lather. Use another damp clean washcloth to wipe away the lather. Do this until the flip flops are clean.
Regardless of the material of your flip flops, ensure that you wash them thoroughly at least once a week to keep the grime at bay.
- Keep your feet clean – Your flip flops might be clean, but if your feet are dirty, the dirt and grime will end up transferring to them. Dirt tends to stick to dry and dead skin, so you will want to scrub your heels and feet using a pumice stone to keep them clean and smooth.
If your feet end up turning black as a result of wearing flip flops, there are several precautions you can take, such as opting to wear flip flops that have a higher footbed, going for breathable materials that easily absorb sweat, and keeping both your feet and the flip flops clean.