Flip flops are the ultimate easy-going summer shoe. But because we wear them barefoot, they can get pretty dirty (and a bit smelly).
Cleaning them properly is a must before you store them away for the winter, otherwise they won’t be nice to wear next year.
So, can you put flip flops in the washing machine, or are there better options for cleaning them? Read on to find out.
Can You Put Flip Flops in the Washing Machine?
You can put rubber and foam flip flops in the washing machine, but you shouldn’t machine wash ones that have any leather or suede components.
Provided your flip flops are machine washable, a 30-degree delicate cycle with a slow spin should do the job fine.
Of course, make sure you wash flip flops without anything else in the machine.
It’s important to use cold water when machine washing flip flops, as hotter temperatures will warp the material.
If you’ve got several pairs of flip flops to wash, the washing machine is a sensible option. But if it’s only one pair, it’s not an economical way to clean them because it’s a lot of water for a pair of shoes.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Flip Flops?
There are several other options for cleaning flip flops that make better use of resources. The most obvious is by hand as follows:
- Fill a washing up bowl or basin with warm water and a few drops of laundry detergent or washing up liquid. The water should be lukewarm (around 35-40 °C).
- Wash them with an old sponge or soft-bristled brush, such as a toothbrush.
- Rinse in clean water and hang somewhere to dry.
If your flip flops are sandy or dirty, you can always spray them with a hose or run them under a tap. While this won’t provide the same level of deep cleaning as machine washing, it should be more than enough to remove loose debris.
Leather flip flops are best kept away from water as much as possible. If they’re a bit smelly, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the insole and leave it for an hour.
Vacuum it off and remove any remaining powder with a brush or dry cloth.
Can You Wash Flip Flops in the Dishwasher?
Due to the materials used, another option is to put flip flops in the dishwasher. However, there are a few reasons why this isn’t the best idea.
Firstly, dishwashers often don’t have similar cold cycles to washing machines. As mentioned earlier, you want to avoid using hot water for flip flops. Also, as with washing machines, it’s not a super economical use of water.
Secondly, it’s not particularly hygienic to wash your shoes in the same place as your dishes. There are plenty of better options than a dishwasher.
Flip flops are generally suitable for the washing machine if this is the most convenient option for you. However, if you’re conscious of your water use or only need to give them a quick rinse, washing flip flops by hand is a much quicker option.
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.