i have a pair of birkenstock sandals, and i’ve come to the decision that it is time for me to clean them. they’re disgusting. but, being a first-time birk wearer, i have no idea how i’m supposed to clean them. i heard two different ways, one having to do with a freezer but details were too fuzzy to remember anything else, and the other being to hose them down and leave them in the sun (but i dont know how good that would be for the shoes)
I would recommend just giving them a good scrub with water and a brush or a clean cloth, and then leaving them to dry. Unless you mince around in them, carefully avoiding puddles and humidity, Birkies get moist in the course of daily wear. I cannot imagine that a good thorough cleaning with plain water could do them any harm.
I would not recommend using any soap or detergents, or soaking them, as getting lots of water inside Birks will ruin them.
Speaking of, once they’re sparkly-clean and dry, recoat the exposed cork with Shoe-Goo.
I owned a pair of Birkenstocks for ten years, through four re-solings and one replacement of the footbed, before they really started to fall apart. Treat them well, recoat the cork yearly, and do maintainance as necessary. and they will be loyal long-time companions.
Ah yes. Long time Birk wearer. I usually keep an old tooth brugh in with cleaning supplies for those times when you need a small brush. This would be one of them. Although as Podkayne said , do not thoroughly submerge them. Thats would not be good. But in running water take the Birks and scrub the inside sole and inner part of the leather with light dish soap and then full on rinse when the brush is no longer brown. But keep brushing because you need to get all the fungi, oils, nasties out of the sole before they will be ok. Then either stick them outside if it is nice and sunny for a long time. Or next to the Furnace over night. Should be fine. Other ecs by Pod are spot on as well.
This is freaky because I specifically came on to the board to post a question on how to make my leather-soled sandals from stinking to high heaven.
My doc martins and timberlands are really bad right now. Will the brush and light detergent method work for them too?
Yes, but they will need to be thoroughly dried. I mean completely bone dried after you do it. Otherwise they’ll probably stink even more. Humidity Sucks!
Thanks Phlosphr! You’re the greatest!
Related question: how much does it cost to replace the sole and/or the footbed? I just bought a new pair of Birks after the soles on my last pair were worn smooth and the footbed was horribly stinky. (I hadn’t seen this thread, obviously.) I hadn’t realized you could replace footbed or soles.