Leather sandals are very comfortable, trendy, and tend to be sturdier than most other materials. On the downside, dirt stains, water spots or other marks cause leather sandals to easily lose their new look. Therefore, identify the steps and materials you will need to clean your sandals hassle-free.
Part 1 of 3: Cleaning the Surface of Leather Sandals
Step 1. Define your problem
Skin blemishes and discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors. Therefore, you need to know what soiled your sandals before fixing them
- Leather sandals usually show marks or discoloration from contact with water, which, even if they don't look good, doesn't mean they're dirty. One quick solution to this is to use a balanced (50:50) solution of vinegar and water that can be patted onto the discolored area of the sandal. This method also applies to salt stains on boots in winter. Make sure not to soak the sandal skin.
- Dirty sandals can carry anything from mud to stains of oil, wine, or other liquids. You need to consider the type of stain and the level of cleanliness you want to be able to clean leather sandals properly. You can also polish or polish any scratches, scuffs, or other marks on your sandals.
- If the stain on the sandals is small enough, use dish soap or mild hand soap. Try not to use bar soaps that have a higher pH than your skin, and can cause dryness. For large, stubborn stains, try using leather conditioner, which can be purchased at a major shoe or hardware store, or online.
Step 2. Wipe off all stains and dirt
You should always remove debris from your sandals before applying any kind of cleanser and moisturizer to your leather. Otherwise, the dirt will be more difficult to clean.
Use a dry, soft cloth, or a soft-bristled brush (you can use an old toothbrush) and careful hands. Note that soft, supple leather can be easily scratched so if you use too much force while scrubbing away dirt, you can leave permanent marks on your shoes
Step 3. Wash the sandals
Start by dampening a clean, soft cloth, then rub a small amount of soap or leather conditioner on the cloth.
Now, it's time to wipe the dirty spots. Wipe sandals in a circular and gently until foamy
Step 4. Wipe the foam and conditioner clean
Use another clean, slightly damp cloth to wipe the product off the leather in a circular motion. Make sure that no product remains on the skin.
Even if you want to reduce the amount of moisture imparted to your sandals, it's important to wipe all cleaning products off of clean sandals. A damp cloth is the best way to do this. If one cloth is not enough to clean the product, take another cloth to continue the work
Step 5. Dry the sandals
Before wearing, sandals should be dried completely. Otherwise, dust or wet spots may come back and cause stains.
- Natural light and sunlight are the best ways to dry leather footwear, but don't leave it in direct light. The sun's rays can break the skin and cause cracks.
- Try not to rub the sandals to dry them, and don't wear them until they are completely dry.
Part 2 of 3: Getting Rid of Smell
Step 1. Pour in the baking soda to get rid of the bad smell
Baking soda absorbs odors naturally, is affordable, and is easily available at grocery, pastry, or supermarket stores.
- Place the shoes in a large ziploc plastic bag. Sprinkle baking soda in it as much as you want. Seal the bag and leave it overnight.
- You can also add 1-2 drops of essential oil, such as lavender or sweet orange, for added fragrance. Drop the oil directly on the baking soda before you sprinkle it on the shoe, and not directly on the shoe itself. Do not add more than a few drops as the oil can cause problems with adhering to shoes or attracting dirt.
- Be sure to wipe off all the powder before putting your shoes back on.
Step 2. Try cat litter
If baking soda alone doesn't work on the odor, try using cat litter to absorb any lingering odors.
- Prepare a pair of used pantyhose. If you don't have one, use old or disposable socks.
- Fill the pantyhose with a spoonful of cat litter. If you don't have a cat, try asking a cat friend for a bit. You only need two cups so it's best not to buy a large bag.
- Tie the used pantyhose and tuck it into the shoe, and let it sit overnight again. Cat litter is specially made to absorb odors and many brands also add fragrance.
Step 3. Replace the insole
The odor in leather shoes usually comes from the insole, where dirt and sweat and bacteria collect and create odors. Removing the insole is often the only way to save the shoe.
- If the insole can be removed, replace it with a new one. You can buy insoles according to your shoe size at a shoe store or online. Look for brands that get good reviews from buyers and are designed specifically for open footwear.
- If the insole of the shoe cannot be removed, it is best to take it to a professional. Usually a cobbler is able to cut the insole of the footwear and install a new one. This method may only be feasible if the shoes are very expensive and can no longer be purchased because the cobbler will charge a hefty fee to replace the insole of the shoe.
Step 4. Kill germs
Shoe odor is caused by bacteria that feed on dirt and sweat in the shoes. If you want to get rid of the odor, the bacteria must be killed first.
- At the end of each day, spray the inside of your shoes with a commercial shoe deodorizer or disinfectant specifically designed to kill bacteria. Look for shoe sprays made for athletic shoes; This is the strongest type of deodorizer because athletic shoes tend to smell the most.
- You can also try making your own disinfectant spray using water, tea tree oil, and vinegar to spray your shoes.
- Make sure the shoes are completely dry before putting them back on. You can place it outdoors on a warm, dry day, but make sure not to leave it in direct sunlight. You can also place it on top of a dryer or other warm place in the room.
Part 3 of 3: Preventing Stains and Dirt
Step 1. Use leather preservative on new sandals
When buying leather sandals or other footwear for the first time, you can spray the outside of the leather to make it water-resistant and stain-resistant.
To prevent spray from hitting the insole of your sandal, fill it with a newspaper ball squeeze before spraying
Step 2. Keep the sandals dry
Leather can change color if it gets wet, and drenched sandals are prone to odor problems.
- Choose synthetic footwear for rainy weather, such as rain boots or rubber sandals. If you want to wear nice leather sandals for a special occasion, store them in a bag or backpack and change shoes when in a dry building.
- Make sure to dry the sandals completely in case they get wet. Place in a dry, warm and sunny place to dry. However, do not dry in direct sunlight as it can dry out the skin and cause cracks. The window is suitable as a place to dry.
Step 3. Try to keep the inside of the shoe clean
During hot weather, dirt, dust or sand is often trapped inside the sandals. When dirt mixes with natural foot sweat, the resulting odor can be very pungent. This is common in humid climates because the humidity in the air contributes to the warm and wet conditions inside the shoe. This is why people who usually don't have stinky feet suddenly experience it in summer.
- Wear closed shoes such as tennis shoes when going out on the playground or the beach. If you want to feel sand on your toes, take off your shoes and don't put them back on until your feet have been thoroughly washed.
- Try to keep the inside of the shoe consistently clean. Shoes only need one carelessness to get dirty and produce odors, especially if the shoes have insoles that are difficult to clean.
Step 4. Practice good foot hygiene
You should know this by now, but sometimes smelly shoes are the result of bad-smelling feet, and the only way to get rid of the smell is to keep the feet clean!
- Wash your feet with soap and water every day when you get home from work or school, and come back before going to bed at night.
- Sprinkle foot powder daily, which will help absorb odors and reduce sweating. You can also try a foot antiperspirant which can help prevent sweating. Look for products with good customer reviews on the internet.
- Clean sandals after long trips or heavy use. It is best to clean and remove liquid and solid dirt as soon as possible. However, don't clean them too often or before heavy use: the cleaning process itself does a lot of damage to your sandals.
- It's only natural that your sandpaper color isn't the same as before. This discoloration is natural for frequently used skin, and will lose its new and unique look over time. If this irritates you, apply a leather preservative after drying your sandals to keep the color consistent, or try a shoe polish to darken the leather.
- Never soak leather footwear. Good sandal care can reduce the risk of problems developing, and many people actually make the stains wider after hours of cleaning. Try not to use a lot of water and wipe gently.
- Some types of upholstered leather or suede are very difficult to clean at home. If you spend a lot of money on footwear and want clean sandals that can last for years while maintaining their appearance, it's best to consult a professional.