Can I Put Birkenstocks in the Washing Machine?

The one sure way to get the best of any shoe, aside from having a sound understanding of its functionality, is to maintain it properly.

But then, many people have marred their shoes in the process of maintenance. So you must understand this as regards Birkenstock, especially as it is one shoe that gets easily stinky.

This brings us to the question of whether you can put your Birkenstock in a washing machine.

Yes, you can toss your Birkenstock in the washing machine. However, you must understand that Birkenstock that can be put in the washing machine are the types that are strong enough, with high wearing and tearing resistance.

This is so that they can withstand the rigorous tossing and turning involved in the cleaning process when they are put in a washing machine.

Putting shoes whose materials are fragile and highly susceptible to damage in a washing machine is a terrible idea and should not be practiced.

How Can I Put Birkenstocks In A Washing Machine?

The materials used in making Birkenstock are pretty fragile. Their durability level is not very high as they are mostly made of cork and jute suede.

While I maintain that these are high-quality materials, the nature of the materials can not for long withstand the pressure that comes from being continuously spun in high oscillation long without giving in to damage.

However, if there is a pressing need to use a washing machine for a Birkenstock, then a Birkenstock shoe can be washed in a washing machine by being put in a pillowcase or a lingerie bag before putting it in.

This would reduce the effect the spinning would have on it. Nevertheless, it would still shorten its life expectancy when done over again. The best and safest way to wash a Birkenstock shoe is through hand washing.

What are the different ways to wash your Birkenstock:


  • Firstly, you start with the removal of coarse dirt. This can be done by using a soft and dried brush.
  • The next step is to use a damp brush to clean. This will not only further remove debris, it’ll clean out dust particles as well.
  • Unbuckle the straps and remove all particles therein. It can be fit for use even in this state.
  • But then, it can still be further washed with soap and water.

Amsterdam and Boston

The Birkenstock Amsterdam and Boston shoe models are similar with the same washing method being ideal for both.

They are very easy to wash and care for. This is because they are more of easy slides with good air accessibility to the feet. As such, they do not cause excess sweating.

With that in mind:

  • You can use a soft sponge, preferably a foam, and a mild soap to give it a gentle wash without necessarily dipping the shoes inside of the bowl.
  • Then clean with a towel afterward and dry at either room temperature or under the sun for a few minutes.


This is one of the first Birkenstock true slippers. Because the footbed is made of cork and not very good at wicking up moisture, the footbed should be thoroughly washed, as well as the sides of the sole; they get quite dirty easily too.

The ease of their being able to get stained is dependent on the color. They come in varying colors.

Regardless of color, wash the uppers with a tad strong sponge using mild soap in tepid water.

Super Birki

This iteration is more like clog and Crocs. It mostly comes in darker hues. Truth is, it is one of the easiest washable.

It falls among one of the Birkenstock models that can be manipulated into being machine washable by inserting them into a pillowcase before putting them in.

Super Birki models can be washed by simply rinsing them first to get off the sand particles underneath. Then dip in a bowl of either cold or tepid water and brush up every part.

Profi Birki

Both Super Birki and Profi Birki are made of polyurethane material. So their washing methods are almost the same.

Although more energy needs to be added to the latter because it is a full cover shoe. Aside from that, rinsing first and washing afterward would do.


If not all, most shoes of the Mayari iterations are sandals and should be washed the same way as the Arizona model.

First, sand and debris should be brushed out of the seemingly hidden parts before washing ensues. The footbed should be given attention too.


To wash Birkenstock London, you’d pay attention to what material is used for which. Some are made of oiled leather while others are made of suede leather.

Knowing this will determine either using a wet towel to wash the former, or a sponge for the latter.

Their design is like a full-cover shoe with straps. Do not soak in water for too long.

Begin washing as soon as it is dipped in water. The footbed and the inside part of the upper must be washed thoroughly because they are the common harborers of sweat.

Do Birkenstocks make your feet stink?

Yes, Birkenstock makes the feet stink easily. And the odor could sometimes be so intense that the next person gets to perceive it. This is if not treated as soon as it starts giving off an offensive smell.

The chemistry behind this is that jute suede and cork, which are the common materials used in making Birkenstock shoes, do not have good enough air permissibility to dry up sweat.

And as such, the stored moisture leads to bacterial growth, and this causes protein molecules to break down within sweat. The result is an offensive smell.

Getting rid of Birkenstock stink

These are some of the easy ways to get rid of the stink out of Birkenstock shoes.

The use of baking soda

For many people, baking soda has always been the go-to guy when it comes to getting rid of the stink that comes from their shoes. And this has proven to work perfectly for Birkenstock shoes as well.

It is not used by directly applying it to the shoe. Firstly, every trace of moisture or debris is wiped out with a napkin.

Thereafter, the baking soda is mixed with a little amount of water to get a thick paste, afterwards, it is evenly applied not just to the footbed, but also to the straps and all seemingly damp parts.

The chemistry behind this is, that baking soda, being sodium bicarbonate, removes odor by bringing basic and acidic odor molecules to an odor-free and neutral state.

Baking Soda reacts with alkaline and acidic molecules, and turns them into a neutral-odor sodium salt, thereby reducing their stench.

Use alcohol or White Vinegar

You can use white vinegar or alcohol to get a bad smell out of your Birkenstock shoe.

First, you can pour either vinegar or alcohol into a bowl. Then dip a water-retaining towel into it.

Afterward, massage the water into the shoe. Enough of the liquid should get inside of it, after which you squeeze the towel to an almost-dry state and reabsorb the liquid therein for the enhancement of easy drying.

The remaining content there will do the magic.

While the use of alcohol or white Vinegar has proven to be effective when used to neutralize bad shoe stench, it is not advisable to mix them. The chemical reaction of both is not exactly safe and far from being effective.

What Are The General Ways To Take Care Of Your Birkenstock?

Since a Birkenstock shoe can only become smelly upon the presence of debris or unattended moisture build-up, it becomes an apparent and simple logic that the efficient way to generally take care of your Birkenstock is to prevent any of these from happening in the first place.

Now this question comes rolling. How do you do this?

  • Dry under direct Sunlight
  • Constantly clean up debris
  • Keep them accessible to the air
  • Use the product’s freshener

Dry under direct Sunlight

Yes, drying them under direct sunlight evaporates the moisture and dries up the shoes. Hence, there is no conducive environment for bacterial growth that should result in any terrible smell.

However, this should be done to a controlled extent as constant sun-dry is sure to slash down the durability of the shoe. Other methods should be adopted as well, and suitable rotation should ensue.

Constantly clean up debris

Constantly cleaning up your Birkenstocks leaves no room for debris. And this makes no home for a dirty environment where odor-causing agents can survive.

This can simply be done by adding a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid soap to a small bowl of water and mix. Then use a soft sponge to scrub the footbed, the straps, and the sides of the sole.

Keep them accessible to the air

Sometimes the storage place of shoes matters, especially Birkenstock shoes. Storing them in a place with good access to air, even after having used and sweated in them, will go a long way in reducing their smell.

Use the product’s freshener

Birkenstock knows the functionality of its product and has long made provisions for remedy in cases like this.

The brand produces its fresheners that are used for cleaning their shoes by spraying them on the important shoe areas – areas where the stench is more likely to come from; like the footbed.


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