Sandals offer a lot to love, especially in the low-fuss department; they slip on easily, let your toes take in the breeze and pair well with dozens of different styles. Like any type of footwear, though, proper care and maintenance ensure that these seasonal shoes see more than just one summer. True to their low-key nature, it only takes a wee bit of effort to care for summer sandals – the key lies in knowing how to properly treat a variety of common materials, as each type calls for different care methods.
Rubbery flip-flops, sports sandals, and synthetic slides call for straightforward routine cleaning with common household items. Give your synthetic sandals a dunk in soapy water – mild dish soap or shampoo both do the trick – and a thorough scrub with a soft-bristled brush to wash away grime. Let the sandals air-dry thoroughly in a sunny outdoor area and repeat the process every two to four weeks, depending on need. After drying, seal them in a zipper bag and store them in the freezer overnight to put stinky bacteria on ice.
Natural Textile Techniques
Finished leather sandals need regular cleaning and conditioning with a gentle leather cleaner, which restores the material’s natural oils and spruces up your shoes for a night out. For unfinished leather, use saddle soap as a polish. Treat leather scuffs with a matching polish and suede spots with an eraser-like suede block. Softer suede materials, a common type of upper for dress sandals and wedges, need regular brushing to clear out dust and keep them supple.
Keep Strappy Sandals Happy
Because smelly bacteria love to dwell under warm feet, wearing sandals on a hot summer day may lead to a little ripeness. To head this problem off before it happens, remember to give your sandals’ insoles a light spritz with a household disinfectant spray and store them in a cool, airy location between outings. This simple technique works on strappy sandals like the Report Greenlyn Sandal just as well as it does rubber flip-flops, though you’ll always want to test the disinfectant on a small patch of material first.
Pro Care Tips
Preventive maintenance goes a long way in helping your sandals withstand the elements. A water-repellent spray made for suede can add years to suede sandals, and a cork sealant has the same effect for cork-soled styles. Whether your sandals have EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate) soles or cork footbeds, keeping them clear of extra-hot areas such as sun-drenched cars, campfires or radiators will extend their lifespan. Before you settle on a care routine, always give the designer’s care and cleaning instructions a thorough look.