By Brendan Leonard

If you’re lucky enough to be able to keep your feet in sandals for the majority of your waking hours, you might notice one negative: they eventually get a little funky. Everyone’s got their own method of maintenance—putting them in the dishwasher, in a washing machine, in a kitchen sink full of soapy water—but if you’re living out of your car on the road (I have been for the past two years), access to the dishwasher, washing machine and kitchen sink is limited. 


I won’t get into the science of how the funk begins, but I’ve got a couple strategies for how to deal with it, and neither one of them costs more than $3, or takes more than five minutes. If you’re on a road trip or traveling, these are the least-intensive methods of de-funking your Chacos, and even if you’re not on the road, they work really well. 


1. Wear your Chacos in the shower. 

On a road trip—or if you’re just being lazy—this is the easiest way to clean a pair of Chacos. I don’t know how it exactly works, but it does. Soapy water runs over and through the footbeds and the straps, and of course gets rinsed off when you rinse yourself off. When you’re done showering, remove your Chacos and let them dry. Or don’t—they’ll actually dry while on your feet, but it takes a little longer. 


2. Use a small brush and scrub a little bit. 

I prefer this type of brush, available at most grocery stores. I keep one stuffed inside a Ziploc bag in a duffel, and when the going gets funky, I scrub the footbeds with a little soap and water. On road trips, any type of liquid soap will do: Dr. Bronner’s, dish soap, those little bottles of hotel shampoo, whatever. A few drops of soap and a one-liter water bottle is all you need to get your Chacos back to So Fresh And So Clean status again. Put a drop of soap on the footbed, scrub with the brush, rinse, repeat if necessary. This method is a little bit nicer than wearing your sandals in the shower because you can mostly avoid getting the straps wet. 

Comments (2)

By user_135196 12/2/2013

my straps always get stuck after a week of wearing them, flossing is totally impossible. I always wear my chacos into the shower, even my own! I have an awful fear of foot fungus from public showers, and slipping and breaking my neck in my own. lol

By Vicki 10/1/2013

When I first cleaned my sandals I was surprised how much dirt and mud were under the straps; the part you cannot see but are in the shoe. I love my Chaco's...stink or no stink. :)

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