how to clean reef flip flops

Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Tenn John

We have researched How To Clean Reef Flip Flops. Hence, this article on how to clean smelly flip flops. Below, in this article, you will find how to clean fabric flip flops. Read on to discover them.

I love summer. After our cold and nasty winter, there’s nothing as freeing as ditching those winter boots and digging out the sandals and flip flops. But with hot days and being outside comes sweaty and smelly feet. And with that – dirty and smelly shoes. Yuck!  If you don’t clean your sandals, why not get started now? Luckily there are many quick and easy ways to freshen them up.

Reef flip flops are some of the most popular footwear in the world, and they’re also some of the most durable. But that doesn’t mean they’re invincible! There are a few things you can do to keep your reef flip flops in good condition—and keep yourself from getting sick from wearing them.

how to clean fabric flip flops

How To Clean Reef Flip Flops

Baking Soda Spa Treatment

No cleaning task would be complete without one of Clean My Space’s favorite ingredients, baking soda!

For plain rubber flip flops – like the cheap ones you get from Old Navy – run them under warm water in the tub.

Next sprinkle with baking soda. Leave for at least five minutes and scrub off with an old toothbrush. And don’t forget about the soles – they go through a lot. (Baking soda will help with the smell too).

If they still smell after that, mix baking soda with salt water so it becomes a paste. Use the toothbrush to scrub and then rinse them off with clean water.

Throw ‘em in the wash

The easiest way to clean a bunch of rubber flip flops at once is in the washing machine. Use the machine’s delicate setting (with cold water) and just a touch of detergent. Adding one cup of vinegar to the wash helps get rid of that funky sandal smell. Let them air dry.

If they’re still a bit grimy after going through the wash, the baking soda-toothbrush trick will get them looking like new again.  The washer didn’t work for me when I tested it on a pair, but I would still encourage you to experiment.  These things can be hit or miss.

Avoid the washing machine if your flip flops are decorated with beads or jewels – otherwise they’ll come out looking a tad sad!

Cleaning suede flip flops and sandals

Sandpaper: I know, it sounds weird. But if your suede insoles have seen better days, fine grit sandpaper, used gently, will remove that stubborn layer of dirt.

The insoles can also be cleaned with a small amount of dish soap (without dyes or smells) in warm water and rubbed on gently with that old toothbrush.

Cleaning leather flip flops and sandals

Saddle soap will do the trick – it’s a cleaner, smell killer and leather softener all in one.  Apply with a damp cloth, let it sit and then buff it dry.  It’s a terrific product!

For an easy DIY fix sprinkle baking soda in the sandal, leave it for a day. If the leather’s treated, dip a soft cloth in a vinegar-water mixture to clean the outside.

How to tell if it’s treated, you ask? Squeeze one drop of clean water onto the shoe. If the water beads up and doesn’t absorb into the sandal that means it’s treated leather.

As soon as you (or your hubby, or kids) kick those shoes off, put crumpled-up newspaper in the toe – this will attract moisture into the newspaper and keep them from stinking. So easy, and now you have another use for that pile of papers before they get recycled (you’re welcome)!

Other tips and tricks

how to clean smelly flip flops

Are Your Feet Still Growing?

Are you wondering why you are wearing bigger shoes as you get older? Do you think you feet are getting bigger?  Well, that is because they are getting bigger

Nearly 100% of us will need bigger shoes as we get older. Essentially what is happening is that over time our feet slowly flatten out. As they flatten, the arch lengthens and your feet get longer. In addition they splay out and your feet get wider.

Since your feet are getting bigger, you should be wearing larger shoes as you get older. If you are still wearing the same shoes you wore 10 years ago, we can pretty much guarantee that they are too small.

Besides Age, Why Else Do Feet Get Bigger?

1. Weight gain can cause feet to get bigger

If you are carrying extra weight, you are going to carry extra fat everywhere including around your feet with the result of larger feet.

2. Pregnancy can cause feet to get bigger

During pregnancy the same hormones that relax the ligaments of the birth canal also relax the ligaments in the rest of your body including the feet. Since the feet are carrying extra load during pregnancy due to normal weight  gain, the feet will often flatten leading to lengthening and widening of the feet.

How to Stop Your Feet from Getting Bigger

There may not be a way to completely stop your feet from getting bigger. But you may be able to slow the progression. Below are our best suggestions of what you can do to combat the flattening of the foot that occurs with aging, weight gain and pregnancy.

Please read this important disclosure about the products recommended in this article.

1. Use arch supports in your shoes

By using arch support to stop the flattening of the feet you may be able to stop or slow the splay that leads to feet getting bigger. The key is to get an arch support that conforms very close to the arch of foot. The closer it grabs your arch the better it will be at stopping your foot from flattening and splaying. Another way to look at this is to wear the highest arched orthotic you can tolerate.

Custom orthotics that are made to betotal contact to the arch of your footwill provide the best support and protection. There are, however, some very good over-the-counter arch supports that will offer excellent protection.

Over-the-Counter Orthotics with the Best Arch Support

For athletic shoes and walking shoes try the FootChair Plus Orthotic with adjustable arch height.  It has a great arch to help stop flattening of the foot plus pads that can be used to increase the arch for even more support. This may help stop the foot from getting bigger over time.

For smaller casual shoes and small athletic shoes (such as soccer cleats) try the smaller version – the FootChair 3/4 Length Orthotic.

For women’s dress shoes, the FootChair Slim Orthotic with Adjustable Arch Support is also is the one we recommend to our patients. This is by far the best OTC arch support we have found for women’s flats and dress shoes. It has a great arch support, a very slim profile and flexes to adapt to most heel heights.

Here is a list of all of our recommended prefabricated orthotics.

2. Wear arch support sandals or slippers anytime you are not wearing shoes

Vionic flip flops with arch support

At times that you are not wearing shoes, for example when in your house, wear sandals or slippers with arch support. The is particularly important if you are on hard, flat surfaces such as hardwood floors.

These arch support sandals will help prevent flattening and splaying of your feet.

The sandal brand with the most supportive arch is currently Vionic. You can see a selection of Vionic sandals and slippers here.

The key to avoiding flattening of the arch is to wear arch support as much as you can – even when at home.

3. Custom orthotics offer more protection against feet getting bigger

If prefabricated orthotics are not providing enough support, we can prescribe use a custom orthotic. Custom orthotics will conform closer to the arch of the foot, so they do a better job stopping your feet from flattening out. In particular a “total-contact orthotic” that hugs the arch of the foot very close will help the the arch from flattening the foot from getting longer.

If you are in the Seattle area contact us for an appointment to find out if you are a good candidate for custom orthotics.

4. Wear stable shoes

Stable shoes that don’t flex too much will also help support your feet and prevent the flattening that leads to larger feet. Our list of recommended shoes can be subscribed to here.

5. Have your feet sized when you buy shoes

Go to specialty shoe stores with well-trained staff and believe the clerk when they tell you that you are no longer a size 8.

6. Lose weight to shrink your feet

Extra weight puts a lot of flattening force on the foot. If you can take off a few pounds you will decrease those harmful forces on your feet.

So our general recommendation is that it is good idea to wear arch supports or custom othotics to help prevent the foot from flattening over time. Stable shoes will also help. These suggestions will probably help slow or decrease the enlargement of your feet, but  regardless of what you do you will probably need a somewhat larger shoe as time progresses.

Most Important for Preventing Your Foot From Splaying and Getting Bigger

If you want to try to limit how much your foot splays out the most important things you can do are to ALWAYS wear arch support as described above and, if you are overweight, then lose some weight.

Reef flip flops are a great addition to your wardrobe, but they can get dirty pretty quickly. If you want to keep them looking like new, check out these tips for keeping them clean:

  1. Use a toothbrush to scrub off dirt from the treads on the bottom of your Reef flip flops. The bristles will help loosen up any dirt that’s lodged in there!
  2. If you’re going to be wearing your Reef flip flops in the rain or snow, make sure that you don’t wear them barefoot (unless you want your feet to freeze!). This can cause an unpleasant buildup of ice and snow between your toes and around the shoes themselves.
  3. If you have sensitive skin around where the strap meets your foot, use some lotion or petroleum jelly before putting on your flip flops so that the material doesn’t chafe against your skin while walking around town all day long!

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