Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black?

Why do Birkenstocks turn black? To prevent your Birkenstocks from turning black, you need to take the proper steps to clean the outer and interior materials to keep them looking new, shiny, and stylish! After all, who wants stains on their shoes when they want nice footwear for a dressy outfit?

Your shoes tell a lot about who you are. Having versatile footwear that can work with both casual and dressy outfits not only saves you money and time, but can make it easier for you to choose your outfit while in a time crunch!

Keeping your Birkenstocks in pristine condition is essential to increasing the longevity of the shoe’s lifespan, putting together a fashionable outfit, and looking good whether you are going to school, work, or special events.

But let’s face it — sometimes you do not keep up to date with the cleaning maintenance. You may have walked through mud, stood out in the rain, or forgotten to clean your shoes for a few days — or weeks.

In this case, you need to immediately take care of your Birkenstocks to prevent them from turning black and having stains that will never fade!

If you feel like your shoes have soaked up a lot of mud, sweat, grime, dirt, rain, snow, and city debris, then it is time to start scrubbing and cleaning your Birkenstocks so they can return to their original splendor.

Luckily there are just a few steps that you must follow to restore the leather to its original condition and get your shoes looking new and clean once more.

why do birkenstocks turn black

Why do Birkenstocks Turn Balck?

So, you know that Birkentossks are good for your feet, they are easy to clean, and it only takes a few steps to remove black spots from your shoes.

But why do Birkenstocks turn black? Basically, Birkenstocks are made of porous materials that can turn black due to exposure to outside contaminants. After you’ve worn your shoes for long periods of time, they can turn black.

However, learning the steps of how to prevent your Birkenstocks from turning black keeps them looking stylish and new for years to come!

Tips Before Cleaning Your Birkenstocks

Before you clean your Birkenstocks, there are a few tips to keep in mind so you can prevent any more damage, take your time, and do it properly.

After all, cleaning the shoes carefully and with the right material is one of the only ways they can ensure the Birkenstocks will look stylish and clean for long periods of time.

Avoid direct sunlight

The Birkenstock company recommends not drying your shoes in direct sunlight to avoid shrinking, staining, and mud from drying and cracking into your leather material.

Along with the fading and spotting that can happen, direct exposure to prolonged periods of sunlight can damage the cork in the bottom of the soles of your shoes and cause the Birkenstocks to break down quicker.

Professional cleaning

Even though you want to save money and try a DIY project to clean the Birkenstocks on your own, having a professional do the first cleaning can help you learn more about the process and avoid any future damage.

Plus, you spent a lot of money on your shoes — so spending a little bit more on the best cleaning service ensures your shoes stay high-quality.

Clean the footbeds

Spending more time on the footbeds is better for the lifespan of your Birkenstocks than only cleaning them regularly.

Even though you can get away with only cleaning the upper material of your shoes occasionally and after they get dirty from weather or staining, the footbeds require more regular cleaning practices.

If you wear your Birkenstocks multiple times per week, then try to set aside between 5-10 minutes every 2 weeks or once a month to refresh and clean the shoes.

How to Clean Suede Birkenstocks Shoes

The next step of cleaning your Birkenstocks is to do the actual cleaning steps required to prevent your shoes from turning black after extreme water, even though you might be worried about taking products or harsh brushes to your soft suede

Birkenstocks, these cleaning practices are a must — and easier to do than working with leather shoes. The best thing to keep in mind? Stay patient, go slow, and keep your suede material dry.

Before you begin, gather the necessary materials to start cleaning your suede Birkenstocks. Owners will need a cleaning brush, erase, white vinegar, and microfiber cloth to wipe away excess fluid.

Step 1: Remove loose dirt – Use the suede cleaning brush to remove any debris, dirt, mud, or city grime that is stuck to the exterior of your shoes before you begin treating the suede.

Step 2: Use the suede eraser – If the scuffs and stains are still on the outside of your Birks, the suede erase is going to be your new best friend.

Just use a sweeping motion like you would clean a counter and remove the marks. Once the stains embedded into the deeper layers of the suede have been brushed off, scrape the dirt and soot particles off the suede.

Step 3: Vinegar and cloth – If your Birkenstocks still have stains, use the vinegar and micro cloth to rub the vinegar onto the stain and let them dry.

If this does not work, repeat steps one and two a few more times.

How to Clean Leather Birkenstocks Shoes

If you have leather Birkenstocks, there is a completely different method to your cleaning process. Unfortunately, cleaning leather free of stains, dirt, debris, and particles is a little more timely.

Cleaning leather is harder, trickier, and typically requires a professional or someone who knows what they are doing. If you have patent leather, make sure you bring your Birkenstocks to a professional who can help you get rid of any deeply-embedded stains.

Before you begin, gather two microfiber cloths, leather cleaner, and water.

Step 1: Use the cloth and leather cleaner – The first step is to wet the cloths to get them damp. Then, use the leather cleaner with the cloths to begin scrubbing the surface of the leather.

Step 2: Focus on the stain – The second step is to specifically focus on the stain in a circular motion to remove the dirt, debris, and discolorations.

Step 3: Let the Birkenstocks dry – The last step is to let your Brikentsock shoes dry before going any further. Although this should not take too much longer since you are only dampening the material, wait at least two hours before moving on towards the next step (repeating steps one and two).

Read Also: Are Birkenstocks Comfortable?

How to Clean the Footbed of the Birkenstocks Shoes

If you have cleaned the upper material of your Birkenstocks, especially if you have Birkenstocks sandals that are easier to clean, you might need to specifically focus on the footbed of your shoes.

Since you are walking on the footbed every day, you will encounter dirt, debris, dust, and discolorations that can ruin your shoes if you do not regularly clean the footwear.

Even though this is the part that people typically do not see, cleaning your footbeds is essential to keeping your feet smelling good, ensuring your cork does not deteriorate over time, and preventing bits of your footbed’s cork from falling off after long-term use.

Before you begin, make sure you gather a suede brush, two microfiber cloths, baking soda, water, and a cork sealer.

Gather all of the necessary materials to prevent your Birkenstocks from turning black and the bottom from breaking down after everyday use and consistent walking.

Step 1: Remove loose dirt and debris – The first step of how to clean the footbed of your Birkenstocks shoes is to remove any particles, such as dirt, debris, and sticks from the bottom of the cork that has been embedded into the material.

If you have been walking in the woods, crowded streets, or on a beach, it can be helpful to unbuckle your Birkenstocks straps to get the debris out of the creases.

Step 2: Combine the water and baking soda – The second step of cleaning the Birkenstocks cork bottom is to combine the water with baking soda and mix vigorously until they form a paste to spread over the material.

Step 3: Spread the paste – The third step is to use the microfiber cloth and dip it into the paste.

Once you dampen the cloth, move the microfiber cloth in circles to get rid of any debris, dirt, and stains on the bottom of the shoes.

Step 4: Let them dry! – This is the easy part. All you have to do here is let your shoes dry! Make sure you wait a few hours before you try to go through steps 1 to 3 to target rid of any remaining dirt and stains.

Not sure how often to repeat his procesS? Try to clean your Birkenstocks cork every 3-r weeks to get rid of any built-up debris.

Step 5: To protect the lifespan of the cork and prevent any early deterioration and damage, make sure you apply a cork sealer to increase the lifespan, maintain support, and avoid premature wear that can ruin your shoes.

Read Also: Birkenstock Size Chart Guide

How to Remove Black Stains from Birkenstocks

After you learn how to remove stains and debris from your suede Birkenstocks, leather Birkenstocks, and the cork sole of your Birkenstocks, make sure you figure out how to remove black stains and gunk from the outside of your shoes.

Since black can be unsightly for your Birkenstocks and can indicate a lack of care and maintenance, make sure you read the steps carefully to remove built-in stains and long-term discolorations.

Luckily for you, Birkenstocks are easy to clean if you have the right materials!

Step 1: Combine baking soda and water – The first step of learning how to get black stains off your Birkenstocks is to combine water and baking soda into one mixture.

This way, you can use it for your washcloth or brush to get rid of the black from the outside of your shoes.

Step 2: Add dishwashing liquid – The second step of how to remove black stains from your Birkenstocks shoes is to add dishwashing liquid into the mixture of baking soda and water.

Once you add the liquid into one part of baking soda and two parts of water, you can mix the entire formula to create the cleaning paste.

Step 3: Use the toothbrush – The third step of how to clean the black stains off your Birkenstocks is to use the toothbrush with your baking soda, water, and dishwashing liquid mixture to clean the footbed and the cork part of your shoes.

Step 4: Brush – To remove the dirt and stains from your shoes, make sure you use the toothbrush to scrub the mixture onto the exterior material vigorously and the footbed of your Birkenstocks to get rid of dirt, debris, discolorations, and black stains.

Step 5: Wipe – Once you have used the toothbrush to scrub the paste onto your shoes, leave the shoes overnight to dry and let the mixture soak in.

Wipe the paste off of the shoes with a towel the next day after the mixture has mixed with the exterior material of the shoes.

Step 6: Drying – The last step of learning how to get the black stains off of your Birkenstocks is to leave them to dry after you have completed the entire cleaning process.

This will typically take 4-5 days to completely dry and look brand new!

Here’s a detailed video of how to clean Birkenstocks footbed:

Is Wearing Birkenstocks Good for Your Feet?

Sure, you may get black stains on your Birkenstocks shoes after wearing them for an extended period of time. But these shoes are great for your feet — AND they are easy to clean! Birkenstocks are helpful, supportive, and stylish, which is everything you can want in some footwear.

  • Orthopedic help – Not only are Birkenstocks stylish, but they contain an orthopedic insole that helps get rid of any arch and heel pain.
  • Support – The next benefit of wearing Birkenstocks is that they can support your feet and provide ample security during unstable surfaces.
  • Prevents damage – The third benefit of wearing Birkenstocks is that they can keep your feet healthy and prevent the formation of blisters and calluses.
  • Pressure – along with being supportive and orthopedic-friendly, the Birkenstocks help reduce pressure on your feet and provide stability.