Leather sandals are the epitome of summer chic. Sophisticated skin combined with an airy, comfortable design makes it a summer necessity. But, alas, the glamorous sandal can fall prey to the smelly foot. The combination of dirt and sweat that can accumulate on a leather sandal's exterior and insole can be a real deal breaker when putting on shoes for a day or evening about town. But some household cleaning products and leather conditioner from a local grocer or specialty shop can leave your sandals looking and smelling like new.
Cleaning the Leather
Open-toed shoes like sandals are especially vulnerable to dust and dirt in the summertime. But cleaning them doesn't have to be a long process. Begin by applying a generous amount of dish soap or leather cleaner to a slightly dampened cloth. Rub the leather with the cloth in a circular motion, working up a rich lather. Wipe away the lather with a separate dampened cloth. Wipe and polish the leather with a fresh, dry towel. Leave the sandals in the sun to dry completely. After sandals are dried, treat shoe with a leather conditioner, like one from Coach, to prevent future sweat and water damage.
Getting Rid of the Odor
For some, mere cleanliness isn't the total issue. Throughout the summer, leather sandals can accumulate an awful smell in the foot bed from the amount of sweat they absorb. To treat the smell, clean the leather with a real leather cleaner, which can be found in any major grocery store. Follow the cleaning directions that are listed on your chosen cleaner. After using the leather cleaner, liberally spray the foot bed of the sandal with a disinfectant spray. Sit the sandals in the sun to dry. The disinfectant and the sun's rays combine to kill the germs that are creating the awful smell in your sandals.
Preventing the Problem
There are things you can do to prevent having to exterminate the smelly germs from your shoes. Treating your leather sandals with a leather conditioner before wearing them will prevent some of the sweat from creating odors. It will also keep your leather cleaner and brighter for a longer period of time. Placing a slight dusting of baby powder or baking soda in the foot bed of the sandal before wearing can also prevent odors, since they both soak up moisture from the foot and neutralize the odors. Remember that moisture is leather's enemy in most cases. So be careful when cleaning not to soak your sandal or apply too much water.