Nobody wants a smelly pair of Birks. It makes us uncomfortable, especially when other people smell the stink! But can this be prevented? Why do Birks get smelly?
Birkenstocks tend to get smelly over time if you use them often. Some of the causes are the sweat from your feet, high temperatures, skin problems, and improper cleaning and drying. You can white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, baking soda, a freezer, enzyme cleaner, cat litter, and Birks washing products to remove the stink.
Want to learn more about the causes and solutions to your smelly Birks? Read this guide until the end!
Even though Birkenstocks are high-quality, they tend to get smelly over time. If you use them often, they can develop a foul odor, especially after hours of putting them on. Usually, just letting them air dry will not solve the problem as it only targets wetness, not the stink it leaves after.
Some of the Birk parts that may smell are the footbed, the bottom surface of the uppers, and the sole. The first two are the internal portion of the footwear that are usually wrapping up your feet, whereas the latter is in contact with the ground where different types of dirt and bacteria are found.
As you know, Birks are created using a wide variety of materials and processes. This means that they require a certain type of footwear care to remove the smelly odor, too. Even though you clean them once in a while, if you are not mindful of what cleaning materials to use, you might just be wasting your time, effort, and money.
I know you wouldn't want your Birks to get smelly, but it is inevitable, especially if you are fond of using them often. To solve this problem, it is very important to know first what causes your Birks to smell.
Now that you know what causes your Birks to smell bad, what should you do now? Do not worry because I prepared a list of the best cleaning solutions to help you. And the good thing is that most of them can be found in your kitchen!
One of the first things that you should do before doing any cleaning procedure is to dry the sweat or rainwater from your Birks. To do this, you can place them under soft sunlight to let the heat and the breeze of the air dry and reduce the smell.
Just be careful not to overdo it because too much heat can damage the materials of your Birks.
White vinegar does not only remove the fishy smell of seafood but also the stink of your Birks. Its acid is a fantastic smell neutralizer, leaving your Birks odorless.
Just mix white vinegar and water in a bowl. Get clean paper towels, and soak them in the solution. Place them on the inner part of your Birks until fully covered. Wait for 6–8 hours before removing them. Also, make sure that your Birks are dry before using them again.
As we all know, rubbing alcohol is a good disinfectant. It does not only destroy the bacteria buildup on your Birks that causes the foul smell. It is also an incredible odor neutralizer that conditions a great foot odor.
To use this, get paper towels as well, and wet them with rubbing alcohol. Cover the inner surface of your Birks with them, and let the footwear sit for about 3–5 hours.
Apart from being popular in the kitchen, baking soda also has excellent cleaning properties. It can absorb all of the impurities and foul odor of your Birks. When partnered with anti-bacterial agents, such as tea tree oil, this can work wonders even more!
Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water. Spread it all over the footbeds, and leave them overnight. In the morning, get an old toothbrush, and brush off the dried paste. Before using them, let them rest first for an entire day.
Freezing inhibits the growth of bacteria. This is usually done with meats and other perishable goods. Because smelly Birks are full of bacteria, freezing them in the refrigerator is a great cleaning solution as low temperatures destroy the buildup.
To do this effectively, put your Birks in a ziplock bag. Place it inside the refrigerator, and let it freeze for 1–2 days. Once done, get it out of the freezer, and thaw the Birks well before using them again.
For a more potent cleaning solution, enzyme cleaner is truly effective. It can eat away all the odor-causing bacteria on your Birks. Just be extra careful because the materials used in making your Birks might not react well with a potent enzyme cleaner.
Wet paper towels with the enzyme cleaner. Carefully place them on the inside part of your Birks, and leave them for 6–8 hours. Remove them once done before wearing them again.
You might be thinking why animal waste made it to this list. Believe it or not, cat litter is an excellent deodorizer. It also sucks up moisture that, in turn, neutralizes the odor in your footwear.
Before getting the cat litter, make sure that it hardens a bit indicating that it is dry. Get a pair of stockings or socks, and fill them in with the litter. Stuff your Birks with them, and leave them for 4–5 days. Do not worry because, by this time, the cat litter no longer stinks.
Birkenstock does not only ensure that your footwear is in style but also deserving of care. The brand has created a set of cleaning products that you can purchase to maintain the quality and odorless smell of your Birks.
Just spray the liquid solution on the footbeds. Leave them for a few minutes before brushing off excess moisture and dirt. Let them dry, too, before putting them on again.
If you are having a hard time memorizing the different uses of the cleaning materials mentioned above, here is a general 5-step procedure that you can follow:
People say that prevention is better than cure. True enough, this can also be applied to keeping your Birks from smelling. Here are some prevention tips:
Cleaning using a washing machine can be too damaging for your Birks. It is not advisable to get rid of the foul smell by this as the intense spinning of the machine can weaken the integrity of the footwear. It may result in the detachment of some parts, like the uppers from the sole.
In addition, the cleaning detergent that goes with the washing machine might be too strong for the materials of your Birks. It can lead to the cracking of the leather, discoloration, and rustiness of the buckles.
Instead of using a washing machine, opt for gentler cleaning options like using products found in the kitchen. You can also go to the nearest footwear store to have them cleaned professionally.
You should clean your Birks regularly. If you use them daily, you can schedule cleaning them once a week by brushing off visible stains and dirt. But if not often, cleaning them twice a month is advisable. Just always be gentle when holding them.
Non-waterproof Birkenstocks absorb water when wet or exposed to moist environments. If not dried up well, they can lead to the weakening of the materials used and developing a foul odor. To avoid these, do not immerse your Birks in water.
Yes. Birks are good for sweaty feet because they are lightweight and pliable. This lessens the restrain from your feet which, in turn, decreases the chances of excessive sweating. Some Birkenstock models are moisture-absorbing, too, which makes your skin feel very supple.
As discussed in this blog, a smelly Birkenstock is caused by sweat from your feet, high temperatures that induce excessive sweating, skin problems, and improper cleaning and drying. The good thing is that you can find some of the best cleaning remedies in your kitchen.
If you still haven't gotten rid of the smell, better ask a professional or someone from Birks to help you.