How to Clean Stinky Flip-Flops

A thorough cleaning can eliminate embarassing flip-flop odors.
A thorough cleaning can eliminate embarassing flip-flop odors. (Image: Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

When summer comes and the sun is out in all its glory, it’s only natural to want to keep as cool as possible. Flip-flops are often preferred, as they allow your feet to get air and keep cool. When flip-flops are worn often, they become dirty easily, which eventually leads to an unpleasant odor. Keeping your flip-flops clean is important not only for aesthetic reasons, but to help eliminate and prevent odors and potential foot infections.

Things You'll Need

  • Old toothbrush
  • Powdered bleach-free laundry detergent
  • Tea tree oil
  • Spray bottle

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Rinse the flip-flops under warm running water. Use a brush to help dislodge stubborn dirt and debris.

Sprinkle a powdered bleach-free laundry detergent over the flip-flops liberally.

Scrub the flip-flops with a small brush such as an old toothbrush.

Rinse the flip-flops again under running water to eliminate the residual soap and dirt.

Mix 2 tbsp. of tea tree oil into 1 cup of warm water in a spray bottle.

Take the flip-flops outside and saturate them with the solution.

Set the flip-flops outside in the sunlight to air-dry for at least an hour.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the flip-flops if any lingering odors persist and leave it overnight. Shake off the baking soda into the trash in the morning.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your flip-flops, as this can lead to skin irritation later.


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