How To Clean Birkenstocks

Birkenstocks are easily some of the most comfortable shoes available on the market today. Not only this, but they’re the perfect sandals for the summer season, pairing beautifully with the likes of both summer dresses and raincoats alike. 

Made with high quality leather and cork footbeds, Birkenstocks are a true delight for the feet. With durable properties and orthopedic insoles to help aid foot problems, it’s likely you’re going to get a lot of wear out of your new pair of iconic Birkenstock sandals. 

But like any shoe you wear frequently, your Birkenstocks are likely to show a bit of wear and tear eventually. Keeping them clean and well looked after is a good way to ensure they always look their best, so today we’ll be sharing our Birkenstock cleaning method, as well as offering some more tips and tricks to help keep them as pristine as possible.

Cleaning method

You’ll need: 

  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Old toothbrush
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl
  • Suede brush
  • Cloth


  1. Using the suede brush, gently brush out any dirt that has been accumulated over time. Using a suede brush will ensure that the sandals aren’t damaged by a brush that might be too harsh.
  2. Mix together two parts bicarbonate of soda to one part water to create a thick paste.
  3. Rub the paste into the footbed of the shoes using the old toothbrush in a circular motion, making sure the whole footbed is covered.
  4. Dampen the cloth and fully remove the mixture, ensuring not to over-saturate with water.
  5. Leave to dry in a cool place that isn’t in direct sunlight.
  6. Use the suede brush again to make sure the soles are nice and soft after cleaning.

When NOT to wear your Birkenstocks

It’s understandable that you probably want to wear your Birkenstocks all the time, but doing so would unfortunately result in them being pretty badly damaged.

Try not to wear them when it’s unavoidably rainy and wet, muddy or generally grimy. While you can always give them a thorough clean with the above method, it’s always better to not risk causing damage at all.

For shoes you can wear in these conditions, take a look at our range of women’s wellies and long boots.

Avoid extreme heat & full water immersion

Never expose your Birkenstocks to extreme/direct heat for long periods of time, as the cork footbeds will start drying out and cracking. 

This includes avoiding radiators, direct sunlight, fireplaces, hot cars/vehicles and hair dryers. 

If they do get wet, dry them by keeping them somewhere away from these elements, such as by keeping them in a cupboard or drawer until they are fully dry.

Take a look at our range of men’s Birkenstocks and women’s Birkenstocks today, and discover the classic Arizona design amongst more favourites. 

Browse our wider selection of sandals for women for more sandal designs for every occasion, and keep an eye on our blog for more helpful tips and tricks.