How to Clean Kids Sandals

How to Clean Kids Sandals

We know cleaning your kids sandals isn’t exactly the most exciting job to do, but it is important to help keep your kids feet comfortable and improve the overall longevity of the sandals. 

At Lelli Kelly, we’ve gathered our top tips for keeping your kids' sandals clean this summer on a budget. 

How often should you clean your kids summer sandals?

Ideally, you should be cleaning your kids summer sandals every few weeks to help prevent any build-up of dirt and bacteria. 

Since the weather is much warmer in the summer, your kids' feet are more likely to sweat more and therefore more bacteria can cling onto the sandals. If this bacteria isn’t properly cleaned off, it can cause the sandals to smell and may even cause sores on those little feet. 

Your kids are also likely to be exploring the outdoors much more, whether that’s on the beach, in a city or out in the countryside. All these environments can cause a build up of dirt and debris, which means they may need to be cleaned more frequently than you may think. 

Can sandals go in the washing machine?

Yes, sandals can go in the washing machine, but it will depend on the style. If the sandals are made from synthetic materials without any decorative accessories or embellishments on them, then they are completely safe for machine washing. 


However, if you have a pair of sandals like our White Fantasy Honey Unicorn Sandals, you may want to hand wash them instead. This is because the beading can easily be damaged by a machine wash. We have a full guide to cleaning sequin and embellished shoes which may help you!

A good example of our sandals which are great for machine washing are the Bull Boys Velociraptor Royal Blue Light Up Dinosaur Sandals and the Hope Rosa Heart Soft Leather Sandals Shoes since they don’t have any delicate beading or sequins on them.

How to safely hand wash kids sandals

Washing your kids sandals by hand is super simple, and you’ll only need a few pieces of equipment:

  • An old toothbrush or small soft bristle brush
  • Mild soap or detergent
  • A soft cleaning cloth 

Using the toothbrush or bristle brush, dip it in a soap and warm water mixture and start to scrub on any parts of the sandals that are dirty. Once any large chunks of dirt have been removed, you can then move onto using the soft cloth dipped in the soap mixture and wipe down the sandals. 

Use the cloth again, this time only with warm water and clean the shoes again to remove any excess soap. Finally, leave the sandals to cool in a warm, dry area out of direct sunlight. 

How do you clean the inside of dirty sandals?

Some sandal insoles can be removed and placed in the washing machine. However, many sandals don’t have removable insoles, meaning they can be trickier to clean. 

A really simple way you can clean insoles of dirty sandals that don't have removable insoles is by using an old toothbrush again and some bicarbonate of soda. Mix a small amount of the bicarbonate of soda with some warm water until it makes a paste. Using the toothbrush, rub the paste in a circular motion into the insoles until they become clean. 

Again, using a soft cleaning cloth, rub the insides of the shoes down with some warm water to remove the excess paste. Leave the sandals to air dry, keeping away from direct sunlight. 

How to stop kids sandals from smelling

While you can buy specific products designed to stop sandals from smelling, there is a simple homemade remedy that you can make with just two ingredients. 

All you need to do is make a 70/30 mix of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Simply spray the inside of your kids sandals with the mixture and leave to air dry. White vinegar is an effective acid that can help to kill mould and bacteria spores that live in the fibres of footwear.
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