How to wash your Unshoes

A few people have inquired about washing their sandals. Our sandals are designed for adventures which often come with dirt, mud, sand, or other unsavory things stuck to your sandals. For any rock climbers out there you know that dirt and sand is the mortal enemy of climbing ropes. The little grains  get into the fibers of the ropes and slowly cut away at them. Of course, unlike climbing, your sandals are not your only lifeline between you and certain death! The principle is the same though. If you periodically wash out your sandals then the straps will probably last longer. On that note I have to mention that we use high quality, climbing grade, tubular webbing on all our sandals. This webbing is built to take a beating.muddy sandals

Tip #1:
Never wash your sandals in hot water! The industrial adhesive we use on our sandals softens when heated. If you wash your sandals in hot or warm water the heat mixed with the movement can weaken the adhesive bond.

Tip #2:
It is best to wash them by hand but if you want to put them in the washer we recommend using cold water on a gentle setting if possible. Put your sandals in a mesh bag before placing in the washer. Use a minimal amount of laundry soap and let the soap dissolve in the water before placing your sandals into the washer.

Tip #3:
If you get mud in your straps it is best to rinse them out as soon as possible. Dry mud is more difficult to clean but more importantly, muddy straps are not comfortable. Muddy straps can cause chaffing (especially between the toes) and it can work the dirt grains deeper into the webbing.

Tip #4:
A mild or natural cleaner will probably clean your sandals just as well without the harsh residue. Don’t use bleach! Vinegar is an excellent cleaner. Lemon is also very good at removing undesirable smells. (note: I have not tested lemon to remove foot stink but I know that lemon has removed some pretty gross smells on our cooking wear and it also removes that fishy smell on my hands after gutting a fish)

Tip #5:
NEVER put your sandals in the dryer. That one is probably obvious but the dryer can loosen the adhesive and damage the straps. Set your sandals out in a dry place or hang them on a line. As your sandals dry the fibers in the webbing will contract and cause your straps to shrink a little bit. As you wear them they will stretch back to normal. You may have to make a few extra adjustments when you first wear them after they dry.

Tip #6:
Washing your sandals periodically is good but washing them too often may lead to further wear and tear. If you find that the ends of the straps begin to fray, you can take a lighter and melt the ends of the straps to prevent further fraying. Be careful not to melt the webbing too much and please don’t burn yourself!

About unshoes

Creator and designer of Unshoes minimal footwear.
This entry was posted in adventure, backpacking, barefoot, hiking, news, outdoors, running, sandal care. Bookmark the permalink.

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