I bought some nice leather sandals 3 months ago. I wore them since, and my feet were sweaty in it a couple of times that I suspect now caused this bad smell. Should I put the shoes in the washing machine?

  • 1
    Note that leather can harbor athlete's foot fungus, which can smell. If you've got athlete's foot, leather may not be the way to go for you. (Regardless, it might be useful to spray an anti-fungal on your sandals each time after you wear them, like bowling alleys do with the leather shoes they rent.) Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 20:34
  • Related: lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/7872/… Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 1:12
  • @CaryBondoc I believe that this is a duplicate, but I also think that the other one is a duplicate of this.
    – michaelpri
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 14:45
  • Sandals are different from shoes.
    – giorgio79
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 18:10

3 Answers 3


No you should not put them in the washing machine.

Use saddle soap. Work it into a lather and apply to the leather, wiping it off as you go. Try not to use a lot of water as you do this. If you don't have saddle soap use something mild like Ivory or Dove.

Warning - leather cleaners can change the appearance of leather.

Also check with the manufacturer. Most manufacturers provide such conservative instructions that they are useless but you might get lucky.


Read the instructions for your washing machine, but normally you can, use wool wash or something similarly gentle. Dry them somewhere well aired.

Now go out and buy another identical pair, and wear them on alternate days, so they can get nice and dry in between.


Another solution would be to put a teabag in each shoe for a night.

  • 1
    Why and how do you think this would work? Please extend and clarify, if possible.
    – holroy
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:39

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