Why Do My Feet Get So Dirty When I Wear Sandals or Flip Flops?

Wearing sandals and flip-flops can be great until you notice your feet keep getting dirty. That’s not to say you will do away with them. They do a great job keeping your feet cool in the heat.

Your feet will get dirty in sandals and flip-flops because they have open ends and do not completely cover the feet.

Your feet are exposed to dirt when you walk in the dust or work in a dirty environment.

Again, sweat attracts dirt and when you wear sandals and flip flops that cause your feet to sweat, you pull dirt to your feet.

Why Do My Feet Get So Dirty When I Wear Sandals or Flip Flops
Why Do My Feet Get So Dirty When I Wear Sandals or Flip Flops
Flip flops

What Happens When Your Feet Get Dirty?

Why Do My Feet Get So Dirty When I Wear Sandals or Flip Flops

Dirty feet, apart from being unhealthy, aren’t attractive and it’s safe to say that no one wants unattractive feet. When your feet get dirty, the following happens:

You feel uncomfortable

Yes, no one will feel good going about his daily activities with sweaty and dirty feet. You tend to find ways even in your busy schedule to make them clean again.

Dirty feet will leave you too conscious of yourself and may leave you distracted when you can’t find ways to get them clean.

Good breeding ground for germs

Naturally, the feet harbor about 200 fungi that will only become harmful when they multiply.

Exposing your feet daily to dirt can keep you at risk of coming in contact with the fungal and bacterial causing infection.

Your feet are susceptible to infections like Athlete feet caused by fungus and Pitted keratolysis caused by bacteria.

Your feet smell

When your feet are dirty, they tend to smell especially when they are sweaty. This is another condition that keeps you worried.

The bottom of your feet may turn black: with constantly dirty feet, the bottom of your feet may turn black and might not easily clean off during your bath unless you take extra care.

How To Take Care Of Dirty Feet?

The feet need to be paid adequate attention especially after spending the day in the heat and dirt. The various steps are ways to take care of dirty feet:

Clean your feet regularly

Why Do My Feet Get So Dirty When I Wear Sandals or Flip Flops?

Clean your feet twice every day while taking your bath. You can also have a special routine where you wash only your feet.

While cleaning, check for cuts and bruises as these are means for germs to get into the feet and cause infection.

Treat your feet delicately as you will treat other parts of your body. Cleaning them regularly will prevent them from smelling.

Use your scrub

Using your bathing soap or body wash can clean your feet, but it’s mainly the dirt on the surface it can remove. Using scrubs will effectively cleanse your skin.

It exfoliates your skin and removes the unwanted dirt and germs your body wash won’t get to. The good thing is you can make this scrub yourself at home. They are also very good at removing dead skin.

To make your scrub, dilute 2 tablespoons of sea salt into baby oil and lemon juice of equal proportion.

Apply directly to each foot and gently rub. Rinse your feet with warm water thoroughly after use.

You can also make use of brown sugar, baking soda, and olive oil. Mix 1 tablespoon of each in a bowl.

Place your feet in a large basin filled with ½ cup of olive oil and warm water. Soak your feet for some time, then remove each foot from water and apply the scrub.

Smooth it all over the skin of your feet and place both feet back into the water. Rinse thoroughly and then remove feet from water, then dry with a towel. This procedure will also help soften your feet.

Moisturize your feet every day

Moisturizing your feet every day will help keep them dehydrated and fresh. The feet have very few sebaceous glands and easily get dry. But you can tackle this by applying moisturizer right after using a scrub or after a shower.

Avoid applying in-between your toes because moisture is a good breeding ground for bacteria and in-between the toes is their best place to start breeding.

Avoid wearing tight-fitted shoes

If you are the type that sweats a lot, avoid tight-fitting shoes and shoes that don’t offer good breathability. It is bad enough when your feet are dirty and sweaty and even worse when it is not receiving enough air.

Keep your toenails low and neat

Your toenail is a good harbor for germs. Always keep it low and neat.

How To Wear Sandals And Flip Flops To Keep Your Feet Clean

Go for thick soles

When buying sandals and flip-flops, go for those that will lift your feet off the ground.

Some designs of sandals and flip flops have very thin soles and will not make an effective barrier between your foot and the ground.

As you walk, dirt will easily get to your feet. So avoid flats.

Go for good materials

The materials your sandals and flip flops are made of could be part of what causes your feet to sweat, and you know what sweat does, it attracts much dirt to your feet.

Go for materials that offer good breathability and readily absorb moisture. Natural materials like rubber, suede, leather, cork, and crochet are good material that keeps your feet cool.

They absorb sweat and leave you comfortable all day. Avoid synthetic materials like plastic and synthetic fibers.

Keep your wet wipes and paper towel near you

They will come in handy in helping you wipe off your sweaty feet regularly in private. Use your paper towel to dry your feet after every wipe. This is a good way to stay dry all day.

Wear clean footwear always

One of the things that contribute to your soiled feet is the dirt from your sandals and flip-flops.

As you walk on the streets, dirt doesn’t only accumulate on your feet, they also get your footwear dirty. Ensure you wash them regularly so you don’t transfer them to your feet when next you wear them.

You can use the washing machine to wash your rubber sandals and flip flops, but do not do this regularly so as not to damage them.

Make sure to set the machine to a delicate setting and only use cold water. It is advisable to put your sandals and flip-flops in a mesh bag before putting them in the machine.

You can also handwash your sandals and flip-flops

For your rubber sandals and flip-flops,  you can use the baking soda technique. Dampen your sandals or flip flops with a wet cloth before sprinkling baking soda.

Leave for a  few minutes, then scrub with a soft brush before rinsing off with water. Washing with your dish soap and sponge will also do the magic.

For suede material, use a soft brush to clean off dirt. Do not let it come in contact with water.

For leather, use a soft brush too, or use a wet cloth rubbed with leather cleaner or any non-alcoholic cleaner to wipe stains off.

Wear them dry

Always put on your sandals and flip flops when they are dry. Wearing them when they are wet means inviting dirt that will automatically get your feet soiled.

How To Stop Getting Dirty Feet

To ensure you stop getting dirty feet, you can do the following:

Keep your feet always dry

Moisture as we know attracts dirt and is a good breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.

Before stepping into your sandals or flip-flops, ensure your feet are well dried. Your wet wipes and paper towel can do a great job of keeping your feet dry throughout the day. Ensure you have this handy.

Wear socks

You can wear socks with your sandals and flip-flops. Although this depends on the design you buy. Socks will protect your feet from dirt.

However, they can make you sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat. It is best if you go for materials like cotton and wool that will make you less sweaty.


Dirty feet are unhealthy and unadvisable. Although it can be unavoidable sometimes, it can be minimized. Ensure you take proper care of your feet daily.

Go for sandals and flip-flops that will help minimize the dirt on your feet. Go for natural materials.

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