How To Clean Birkenstocks Sandals in 4 Steps

Keeping your Birkenstocks clean can be quite a challenge. Whether you wear them to the beach or to walk around the mall, your shoes are inevitably going to get dirty. Lucky for you, we have done our research and found some great ways to get those Birkenstocks looking brand spanking new. Let's get into it.

When cleaning your Birkenstocks, you should first assess the amount of dirt and scuffing on the shoes to decide what products you will need. Then, follow our cleaning tips:

  1. Buy a suede brush or suede friendly utensil. 
  2. Scrub areas of dirt and scuffing with your suede brush.
  3. Avoid placing your Birkenstocks in full sunlight post-cleaning. 
  4. Consider investing in a care kit for your shoes moving forward.

Now that you've had a quick look at our cleaning tips, please keep reading as we dive into the nitty-gritty when it comes to all things Birkenstock. As you read, we will show pictures and insight into how to keep your shoes looking and smelling fresh all the time.

Stylish rattan bag, birkenstocks, succulent and sunglasses on blue background, How To Clean Birkenstocks Sandals in 4 Steps

This article may include affiliate links and elements that were carefully created by our team using advanced ai to help you envision the best style advice.

What Are Birkenstocks?

Before we teach you how to clean your Birkenstocks, we want to ensure you know exactly what we are working with. These super stylish sandals have been around for years and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity among Gen Z age wearers. They come in a variety of colors and are for both men and women to enjoy.

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona EVA Sandals

Here we have found an example of this style of footwear that is unisex. This particular style comes in a ton of fun colors and won't break the bank. Follow this link to Amazon to check these out!

Cleaning Your Birkenstocks

1. Buy a suede brush or suede friendly utensil.

The first step to getting your shoes cleaned is getting the right brush. Going with a suede friendly scrub or brush will make this process easier and get your shoes cleaned better than other products. Suede works like coarse, short hair and needs to be deeply exfoliated to get that dirt up and off your shoes.

Pedag Suede Shoe Cleaner Brush

This brush by Pedag promises to work well on suede sandals and shoes to alleviate any dirt or scuff you may have. Check out this suede shoe brush on Amazon by clicking here.

2. Scrub areas of dirt and scuffing with your suede brush.

Second, you will want to scrub your Birkenstocks with the suede brush and move in circular motions. This will pick up and exfoliate off any dirt or grime that may be trapped on your shoes. We recommend using a suede cleaner or warm water. Remember to be careful as you do not want to damage your shoes or their fabric.

Bickmore Suede And Nubuck Cleaner

This suede friendly cleaner comes from the Bickmore brand and promises to get your shoes looking fresh. This product fights against water stains, dirt, and oil and is made in the USA. Follow this link on Amazon to check this cleaner out.

3. Avoid placing your Birkenstocks in full sunlight post-cleaning.

Now that you have cleaned your Birkenstocks, we advise you not to put them out to dry in the full sun. Laying your shoes out in the direct light will actually cause fading and even damage to the suede on your shoes. Allow them to dry in a shaded, well-ventilated area, just not out in the elements. Suede is a durable material but is not intended to get extremely wet or be left in the sun.

4. Consider investing in a care kit for your shoes moving forward.

Once you have cleaned your Birkenstocks, we recommend purchasing a long term maintenance kit to keep them looking amazing. Birkenstock actually does make their own care kit, and from the reviews and testimonials we've reviewed, it looks like a great option. If you are also looking not from the Birkenstock brand, there are great alternatives. It is much easier to maintain little scuffs and dirt patches as they occur rather than let your shoes get really beat up over time.

Birkenstock Delux Shoe Care Kit

Here we have the Birkenstock branded care kit that is formulated just for your Birkenstock shoes. This product's benefit is that it does come with a brush already included and cleaner, cork sealer, and water-resistant spray. To check this care kit out from Birkenstock on Amazon, click here.

Red Moose Suede And Nubuck Cleaner Kit

This next care kit for your Birkenstocks comes from Red Moose and promises to clean suede material. This brand specializes in suede cleaning products and is made in the USA. Check this kit out on Amazon here.

Can you wash Birkenstocks in the washing machine?

Deciding to put your Birkenstocks in the washing machine would be the equivalent of baking them in your oven. Suede and cork materials will literally dissolve in water, and your shoes will be destroyed. We recommend going with either warm water (a little goes a long way) or suede cleaning techniques, as discussed above.

How do you get water stains out of Birkenstocks? [and prevent them!]

Water stains are inevitable when it comes to wearing your Birkenstocks. Whether it just started raining even though the weather told you it would be sunny, or you have worn your shoes to the beach, we have got you covered! Removing those pesky watermarks off your shoes is actually much easier than dirt or oil if you use the right products. A good rule of thumb would be to spray your Birkenstocks with a water-resistant spray every once in a while to prevent marking.

Gear Aid Revivex Suede Boot/Shoe Care Kit

This water stain remover and repellant from Gear Aid promises to work on suede boots and shoes and has great reviews from customers who tried it out. Follow this link to Amazon to check it out.

KIWI Suede And Nubuck Shoe Protector

The water stain repellant from the KIWI store that promises to fight off moisture on your suede shoes. The instructions for using this spray would be to clean off your Birkenstocks before application for best results. To view this on Amazon, click here.

How do you get black stains out of Birkenstocks?

Getting the darker or black stains out of your Birkenstocks may take a little extra TLC when cleaning your shoes. Dark stains tend to stick around much longer than easily wipeable ones, and it is important to get a strong cleaner for your shoes. We previously mentioned the Birkenstock care kit and recommend that for a more severe stain. You will want to go with Birkenstocks product for this situation because they have formulated it to work on black to dark stains on your Birkenstocks.

There is hope, though, for your shoes, and the dark to black stains should come out with some deep cleaning. Use your brush and product along with warm water and apply it in circular motions for the best result.

Keeping Your Birkenstocks Fresh

Now that you have got your shoes cleaned off, what are we going to do about the smell? Birkenstocks are suede material and are infamous for lingering odors after heavy use. We have found a great product to help keep your shoes smelling as good as they look well into the future.

Arofine Odor Eliminating Spray

We found this all-natural and effective odor eliminating spray from the brand Arofine. This product promises to be safe on all shoe types and even can be used on the skin. Check out this naturally scented spray on Amazon here.

Wrapping Up

Birkenstocks are comfortable enough to wear daily but your shoes don't have to look like they have been worn as much as they have. Maintaining clean and wearable Birkenstocks is much easier than one would imagine, and using the right products can really help make this process easier. Going with a care kit from the Birkenstock brand is a no brainer for those of you who have many pairs of these style shoes and will only end up saving you time and money. Remember to care for your shoes regularly and avoid leaving them out in the elements.

For smelly shoes, make sure to try an extra-strength odor spray to get your shoes smelling fresh. Nobody wants to have to lock their shoes in a safe so nobody can smell them. Take care of your shoes with whichever products make you feel most comfortable, and do not forget to be gentle while cleaning them.

While we have your attention, check out these awesome articles!

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