Leather sandals are sturdy, look great, and they can be super comfortable. You can’t have all of these benefits without some kind of drawback. In this case, it’s maintenance.

You’ll need to take good care of your sandals to keep them from falling apart. By cleaning them often, you’ll stop the leather from cracking and they’ll stay odor-free. Still, that doesn’t mean you can clean your sandals any old way.

There’s a certain amount of thought that you’ll have to put into it. Don’t worry; we can teach you how to clean leather sandals. Check out these maintenance steps to learn more.

Keep Up with Proper Maintenance

Of course, the best way to keep your mules sandals clean is not to let them get dirty in the first place. This will ease up your workload when your sandals do manage to get dirty.

Many manufacturers post maintenance guidelines on their site. Check and see if they have instructions for your specific sandal model.

There are also leather conditioners and sprays on the market that will do the trick. They’ll protect them from the elements and keep them looking brand-new.

Leather Sandals

Above all else, you need to make sure that your footwear stays dry. If your sandals get wet, put them up to dry before you slide them on again. Doing so will cut back on any unnecessary wear and tear.

Spot Clean Them

Cleaning leather sandals too often can put a strain on them. You can cut back on the strain by only cleaning the spots that need your attention.

To spot clean your shoes, grab a soft cloth and dampen it. Put a bit of soap or leather conditioner on the cloth and gently remove the spots. While you’re cleaning, make sure that you avoid spreading dirt around.

Use A Soft Brush

Of course, if you step outside in your sandals when it’s muddy out, spot cleaning them isn’t going to be enough to get them clean all the way. Before you can wipe them off with a liquid cleaner, you’ll have to get as much dirt off them as possible.

Take a soft brush and knock off the loose dirt, starting with the outside of the shoe and working your way to the bottom. If there is any dirt that the brush can’t knock off, you can use a soft cloth.

Liquid Cleaner

Once you get as much of the dirt off as you can, go behind the brush with a liquid cleaner. Put a few drops of soap or leather conditioner on a rag and wipe down the sandal.

After you apply the soap or leather conditioner, use a damp cloth to wipe it off. Leave your footwear out so it may air dry.

Saddle Soap

When it comes to soap, you can use mild dish soap or saddle soap. The benefit of using saddle soap is that it’s made specifically for leather.

Rub-down the sandals until they’re shinning again. Remove the saddle soap using a clean, damp cloth and leave your sandals out to dry.

White Vinegar and Water

Sometimes spots and discoloration appear on leather sandals from the elements. They may not be dirty but the spots aren’t attractive so you’ll want to get rid of them. You can do this using white vinegar.

Create a solution that is equal parts water and vinegar and dab it on the sandal until the discoloration is gone. Don’t dunk your entire sandal into the solution.

Getting Rid of Odor

You got your sandals clean but there is still a nasty odor left behind. There are several things you can put on the footwear to get rid of the smell.

Baking Soda

Grab a plastic bag and place your sandals in it. Sprinkle baking soda into the bag, seal it, and let the footwear sit overnight.

Remove the sandals from the bag the next morning and brush off the baking soda. All odors should have been absorbed.

Baby Powder

If you don’t have any baking soda on hand, applying baby powder the inside of your sandals will work fine.

Like the baking soda, it will soak up the smell with the added bonus of leaving behind a pleasant sweet scent.

Essential Oils

The number one way of dealing with sandal smell is by preventing the odor in the first place. Put a bit of tea tree, sandalwood, or cedarwood oil in a bottle and spray it on the inside of your shoes.

Essential oils fight odor-causing bacteria to keep bad smells away and get rid of any of the ones that already exist.

Fabric Sheets

Instead of throwing your fabric sheets into the dryer, put them in a plastic bag with your leather sandals.

Leave the sandals in the bag overnight and take them out the next morning. Your footwear should have a pleasant, fresh scent now.

Leather Preservative

Now that you have your leather sandals nice and clean, you’ve got to do what you can to keep them that way. Apply a leather preservative to get the job done.

It will keep dirt and stains away and cut back on the number of times you’ll have to clean your sandals.

How to Clean Leather Sandals and Keep Them Clean

That’s how to clean leather sandals. It’s not so hard, but it is necessary to keep them in great shape. Take necessary maintenance steps and make your footwear look brand-new for years to come.


Are your sandals squeaky clean again? We’re happy to hear it! Check out our blog daily for even more articles like this one.