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How To Take Care of Birkenstock Sandals

how to care for birkenstocks

If you’re the proud owner of a pair of Birkenstock sandals then you will know only too well the comfort they bring. That signature cork footbed contours to your foot arches and provides the perfect amount of support to take care of your feet and joints as you walk. But do you know how to return the favour?

Here are a few essential tips on how to take care of your Birkenstock sandals (and how not to) so you can keep your Birks as happy as they keep you:

Key Birkenstock Care Essentials:

  • Nubuck/Suede Brush
  • Cloth
  • Birkenstock Cork Sealer
  • Birkenstock Clean & Refresh
  • Birkenstock Water & Stain Repellent

Our Top Birkenstock Care Tips:

1. Keep them away from heat

Rule number one of caring for Birkenstocks is never to expose them to extreme or direct heat. The cork footbeds and EVA (Ethyl Vinyl Acetate) soles of Birkenstocks don’t do too well when exposed to concentrated heat sources like radiators, fireplaces or blow dryers, as this can cause the cork to dry out and crack. You should also avoid leaving them in hot cars or in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Don’t be tempted to try any ‘quick fix’ drying methods if your Birks get wet – air drying them slowly and gently is the only way to do it.

2. Keep your cork sealed

That supportive cork footbed on your Birkenstocks should be shiny and solid, but after extensive wearing it can dry out, go dull and start to crack. To counter this you will need a bottle of Birkenstock Cork Sealer, which you should apply in a thin layer whenever your cork starts to lose its shiny gloss. If you keep up this important regimen as often as they need it, you can make your Birkenstocks last a lifetime.

3. Keep them smelling fresh

Birkenstocks are best known for two things: comfort and smell. This unfortunate latter comes as a result of being exposed to bare feet, sweat and, of course, the elements. This is a natural ailment that’s to be expected, and luckily it is also easy to counteract with a little TLC. Simply grab yourself a bottle of Birkenstock’s Cleaner & Refresher, spray the entire footbed with an even layer and wipe away any dirt or excess cleaner with a clean cloth. Then use your nubuck/suede brush to gently brush the nap back to its natural state. Repeat this process whenever you detect a faint whiff from your sandals to keep them smelling and feeling fresh for longer.

4. Protect them from water stains

As well as the cork footbed, which needs to be cared for, your Birkenstock uppers are made from leather, suede or nubuck. These materials should be proactively protected from water damage from day one, which you can do using your Birkenstock Water & Stain Repellent. Simply brush your suede/leather/nubuck uppers with your suede brush to remove any dust, dirt and loose particles. Then apply the water repellent and give the material another gentle brush to restore the natural nap before leaving to air dry.

5. Scrub away the stains … gently

The cork footbeds of Birkenstocks have a tendency to develop dark footprint stains over time, which can be rather unsightly to say the least. But don’t worry, you don’t need any fancy chemicals to get rid of these; all you need is a basin of lukewarm water, a cloth and some good old-fashioned soap. Gently scrub away the footprint stains and any other stains with the cloth and leave them to dry naturally at room temperature. Remember, any direct or extreme heat could ruin your trusty Birks forever.


And that’s how to take care of Birkenstock sandals. Follow these basic steps and pay close attention to your sandals and they’ll remain ever your loyal, super comfortable sidekicks. Not yet invested in the footwear revelation that is Birkenstock? Find all the most popular styles including the Gizeh and classic Arizona in our full Birkenstock Shoes & Sandals collection.