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How to clean your Birkenstocks

  • 2 min read

Birkenstocks are beloved to those that own them, so it’s not surprising that one of the questions we get asked all the time is ‘how do I clean my Birkenstocks?’ We know you want them to last forever so we’ve put together a few simple maintenance and care tips and tricks that will extend the life of your beloved Birks.

Let’s be honest, we all know that our Birki’s can get a little on the nose after a long hot summer. So, to freshen them up, make a paste from Baking Soda and Water (approx. 2:1). Spread it on the footbed liner. You can even give them a little scrub with an old toothbrush if you want a deep clean. Leave them to sit overnight and simply brush off when the baking soda has done its magic.

When your Birkenstocks leave the factory, they come with a light coating of cork sealer on the exposed cork edge. This is designed to protect the cork and help prevent it from drying out. If you see the layer starting to peel or wear, dilute a little PVA (or wood) glue with water and simply wipe on with your finger and allow it to dry completely.

How to clean your Birkenstocks?

The easiest way to clean your Birki’s is to simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth. For Birko-Flor, try soap and water to remove stubborn stains and for the leather uppers you can use a leather conditioner to keep them hydrated and prevent cracks.

Tips that will keep your Birkenstocks looking good for longer

Tip 1. Avoid extreme heat.

Exposure to concentrated heat can damage your Birkenstocks. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or in the car on warm days and keep them away from radiators and fireplaces.

Tip 2. Don’t immerse them in water.

Water can damage the cork and dissolve the glue/sealant. If your shoes get wet, dry them slowly and away from direct heat, never directly in front of a heater. If the buckles are exposed to salt water, rinse them to avoid corrosion.

Tip 3. Air out those footbeds

Birkenstock footbeds are constructed of layers of jute and cork covered in a suede lining. It’s designed to absorb moisture from your feet. Airing the footbeds prevents the build up of odours caused by excess moisture.