I received an email from someone on the East Coast who had recently purchased a pair of Gizeh’s with a white footbed. This person was reluctant to wear them out of the house without first knowing if the white soles could be cleaned. She said the floor model at Bloomingdales showed soil spots. The reader was concerned that if the white soles looked dirty simply from people trying the shoes indoors, that the dirt would only be magnified from outdoor walking.
This person scoured the internet to find instructions on how to clean white sole Birkenstocks. She could not find any instructions online. Information may be lacking on this topic because Birkenstocks made with white soles are a fairly new item sold in the US. Hence, she emailed me for advice on how to keep the white soles looking white.
I was up for the challenge. My red Arizona’s have white soles and I was noticing how filthy the white appeared.
In the past, I would occasionally wipe the white area clean with a baby wipe. Even with intermittent cleaning, there was still a build up over time. Like my reader, I also could not find instructions on how to clean the white portion of the Birkenstock soles. Therefore, I tried to create a cleaning solution with items I had at home.
I tried cleaning with dish soap. That didn’t work, so I tried Borax. Even with Borax, the white still looked filthy. I had a idea. I had recently cleaned a stroller by brushing on Oxi Clean Gel. After I applied the gel to the stroller fabric, I rinsed it with soap and water. The Oxi Clean Gel worked like a charm on the fabric. The stroller looked like new after my first cleaning attempt.
If Oxi Clean Gel could remove gnarly stains from a stroller, I was confident that it would spruce up the white on the soles of my Birkenstocks. I used an old toothbrush and applied a thin layer of Oxi-Gel. I let the gel sit for 5 minutes. While the gel worked its magic, I made a paste of dish soap, baking soda, and water. At the 5 minute mark, I brushed the paste on to the white soles. This helped to remove the gel and acted as a second level of cleaning and whitening for the soles. Then, I took a wet cloth and wiped the solution off. The shoes were set aside to dry overnight. I was amazed with the results. The white soles of my Birkenstocks looked as good as new.
Below is my video showing how to clean the white soles on your Birkenstocks:
Cleaning Items Needed:
1. Baking Soda
2. Dish soap
8. Oxi Clean Gel
How To Clean the White Soles Of Your Birkenstocks:
1. Use a toothbrush to apply a thin layer of Oxi Clean Gel to the white area on your shoes.
2. Let gel sit 5 minutes.
3. Mix together 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda and 1 teaspoon of dish soap.
4. Add enough water to make a thick paste with the Baking Soda and the dish soap.
5. Stir the mixture well.
5. Use a toothbrush and scrub the paste on to the white soles.
6. Wipe the footbed with a clean wet towel.
7. Let the shoes dry overnight.
8. Do not place the shoes in the sunlight or near direct heat.
This is a before and after picture of the white soles:
It took me about 10-15 minutes to thoroughly clean the white soles of my Birkenstocks. By using household products, I did not have to purchase anything new to clean the soles. Don’t be hesitant to purchase a pair of Birkenstocks with white soles for fear of them looking dirty over time. With a little elbow grease, you can make a pair of white sole Birkenstocks look as good as new in no time.
Birkenstock blogger since 2016.