Cleaning And Caring For Your Birkenstocks 101

Keep Your Birks Looking Great

As the explosive revival of Birkenstocks continues to trend through 2016, the memes are, of course, in no short supply. Additionally, the amount of night crawler-esque photographs of celebrities running errands in Gizehs has dramatically increased.

style sense moments
Image Source: Style Sense Moments

However, for those of you who wear Birks on the regular and have finally managed to cull a perfect footprint from the once virgin landscape of a Classic Birkenstock footbed—this article is for you.

I know what you’re thinking. How will you be able to keep up the image of post-Occupy activist/weekend survivalist/posterchild of the generation that “only wants handouts from the government” if you clean your Birkenstocks? Defy stereotypes and smash cultural standards with these four easy steps to rid your sole of that smelly, sweaty stain.

birklolImage Source: Mark Greenwood

1. As your once shiny cork diminishes to a dull shade of sandpaper, reapply your trusty cork sealer in a thin layer. You can use a paintbrush to apply the sealant if the applicator seems like a risky endeavor. This is an especially important upkeep regimen if you live on the coast, as direct heat can cause dry rot and crack the cork.
cork-seal-application

 

2. For those of you wondering, what happens when you get Birkenstocks wet? If your Birkenstocks are basically your favorite shoe, because they’re the most supportive orthotic sandal that’s trending as hard as high waist denim shorts, you need to protect those babies from the elements. And not just the freak thunderstorm—I’m talking drunk-bro-spilling-his-beer-on-you level protection. To protect your sole, brush uppers with a Nubuck/Suede brush to loosen dirt and dust particles. Wipe with a dry paper towel or rag. Last, apply a Birkenstock Water and Stain Repellent on the regular.

Water & Stain Repellant

3. For many, Birkenstocks do two things; look/feel incredible, and smell. After accumulating unavoidable toe jam and sweat stains, your sandals need some refreshing. Douse the entire footbed in Birkenstock’s Cleaner and Refresher. Wipe the byproduct off with a clean cloth. Brush to restore natural nap with the Nubuck/Suede brush.

clean

4. Hard-core stainage will require some good ol’ fashion soap. Use lukewarm water and a cloth to scrub your footprint away. To dry, do not place in direct heat or sunlight, as this again, will cause dry rot and cork cracking. Clean your Birkenstocks on a day where you won’t be tempted to wear them and allow them to dry away from windows and doors for 24 hours.

cork sealer

All of the care tools mentioned in the above steps are included in the Birkenstock Deluxe Shoe Care kit. Beyond that, my best advice is to wipe your shoes regularly after you’ve frolicked through an open field or peacefully protested outside your nearest polling center. Sandpaper also works if nothing else does!

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