How Do You Clean Rainbow Sandals?

Do your Rainbow sandals smell funky or look like they have seen better days? If so, you certainly are not alone. Being an avid flip flop and sandal wearer, I know just how dingy and smelly flip flops can get.

They are simple pieces of fashion footwear that are easy to kick on and kick off. They can be worn by lakes, beaches or rivers, or they can be worn when you go out to run errands.

You can dress Rainbow sandals down or dress them up, depending on what you wear. But, no matter how versatile they may seem, all of that wear takes a toll, and you are left with flip flops that look worse for wear, or even worse, flip flops that smell like smelly feet.

While some people may be quick to toss flip flops and sandals that look rough, Rainbow sandals are more expensive than other types of flip flops. As such, you may want to maximize your money by cleaning the sandals and making them smell better.

In this article, I’m going to tell you how to clean Rainbow sandals. Follow along to get both cleaning and care tips, as well as answers to the questions you may have about properly cleaning and caring for Rainbow sandals.

Infographic of 8 steps to clean your rainbow sandals

Should You Bother Cleaning Rainbow Sandals?

If you are looking at your flip flops or sandals and wondering whether you should bother cleaning them or whether you should bother tossing them, you are not alone.

The thought of having to clean my flip flops that are covered in mud, that are discolored from time spent out on the water, or that just look and smell plain funky can be terrifying. And sometimes, my mind instantly wants to take those sandals and toss them.

But then I’m reminded how much I love my Rainbow sandals and how much I have invested in them, and I want to do what I can to prolong their lifespan.

As a general rule of thumb, if the sandals are broken or on the verge of breaking, have worn tread on the bottom, are extremely faded or have your foot bed fully embedded in them, you will want to toss those suckers out and replace them with new ones.

If they are stained, muddy, dusty, dirty or smelly, but otherwise still have life left in them, cleaning may be the way to go.

What Factors Affect How to Clean Rainbow Sandals?

There are a few key factors that affect how you can clean and care for Rainbow sandals. The number one factor that you need to keep in mind is the material the sandal is made from. The top materials that Rainbow Sandals are made from are:

  • Leather
  • Rubber
  • Nylon
  • Hemp

In addition to the materials the sandals are made from, you also need to be mindful of the style of sandal. For example, removing scents from a solid nylon strap is a lot easier than being able to remove scents from braided straps.

What Do You Need to Know Before You Clean Your Rainbow Sandals?

No one wants to do something that may void their warranty. Rainbow sandals does offer a limited warranty for their flip flops and sandals. Unfortunately though, you can void that warranty by exposing your flip flops or sandals to water.

Anytime you are talking about cleaning your shoes, you are talking about exposing them to water. Their warranty does not cover sandals or flip flops getting dirty due to normal use, so you may have to decide between potentially voiding your warranty and keeping your flip flops or sandals looking and smelling their best. As long as you are aware of the risk, you can go ahead and clean your shoes.

Tips for Cleaning Your Rainbow Sandals

Rainbow sandals does not sell any cleaning products for their sandals. As such, the tips for cleaning your Rainbow sandals come from things that other people, including myself, have tried.

There are cleaning products endorsed or made by Rainbow, but we have found that dish soap works great. Follow these steps to clean your sandals:

  1. Fill a bowl with cool to lukewarm water. Do not use hot water as you can shrink materials on your sandals and cause possible dye leakage.
  2. Dip a soft clean cloth into the bowl, and wring it out so it is damp, not soaking wet.
  3. Dab your sandals to remove dirt, dust and other debris. It is important that you dab, not rub. Rubbing can spread stains and damage different materials, especially leather.
  4. If you have spots or stains that are not lifting, fill another bowl with room-temperature water and a squirt of liquid dish soap or liquid laundry detergent.
  5. Dip a clean toothbrush or cloth into the soapy water and lightly brush away stains using circular motions. This should only be done on nylon and rubber. If your shoes are leather, blot the stains with a cloth rather than rubbing them.
  6. Once you have removed as much staining and discoloration as possible, dab at the area with a water-dampened clean cloth to remove soap residue.
  7. Remove excess water using a paper towel.
  8. Allow the sandals to completely dry before wearing them again.

Tips for Removing Odors From Rainbow Sandals

Talking about smelly sweaty feet may be embarrassing, but if your shoes start to smell, you certainly are not alone. Fortunately, there are many tips that can help you with reducing the likelihood of your sandals or flip flops starting to stink and/or removing the stench if they already stink.

The first tip involves preventing odors from forming. It is recommended that you allow your flip flops to fully air dry between each use. Additionally, you should work to deodorize the sandals or flip flops at least once every one to two weeks. You can sprinkle the sandals with foot powder or spray them with a deodorizing foot spray. This is the best way to prevent stenches from forming.

If your Rainbow sandals already stink, there are a few ways to treat the odor. First, you can attempt to sprinkle baking soda onto your sandals and allow it to soak up the odor. You can sprinkle the baking soda directly on your sandals or flip flops or you can fill a bag with baking soda, place your flip flops inside and shake the bag up to sprinkle the power around. You can then dust off or wipe away excess powder after a few hours.

If your shoes still stink, consider mixing equal parts baking soda and water to form a paste. Use a soft cloth to rub the paste onto the foot bed of the flip flop or sandal and onto hemp, rubber or nylon straps. Once the paste begins to dry, use a water-dampened cloth to wipe the residue away.

If you are looking to immediately mask the odor of your flip flops or sandals, you can spray them down with rubbing alcohol. Many people mix the alcohol with water to tone down the smell. Rubbing alcohol will mask foot stench on the sandals, but in turn, may leave behind its own smell, but at least that smell is a clean smell.

What You Need to Know About Drying Rainbow Sandals

After cleaning your Rainbow sandals or flip flops, or wearing them somewhere in or around water, you will need to allow them to properly dry. Allowing the shoes to properly dry can help to extend their lifespan, protect them from fading, and prevent mold and mildew from growing on them.

The best way to dry your Rainbow sandals or flip flops is to allow them to air dry. This means that you should not try to use a heat source, like a blow dryer or clothes dryer, to dry the sandals. Heat can crack leather and rubber, as well as weaken nylon. Ideally, you will want to place your shoes somewhere warm, but out of direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will dry your flip flops quickly, but may fade or damage them.

Don’t Forget About Storing Your Rainbow Sandals

As we talk about properly caring for our Rainbow sandals and flip flops, it is important to talk about storing your sandals. After summer comes to an end, you will want to take steps to store your sandals or flip flops so they are ready to go again next year. Follow these steps to properly store your Rainbow sandals:

  1. Consider cleaning the sandals or flip flops before storing them. This prevents stains from setting and ensures you are not introducing dirt into your home.
  2. Allow the sandals or flip flops to completely dry before you store them. If they are wet or damp, mold or mildew can grow.
  3. Lightly sprinkle foot powder or baking soda over the foot bed of the sandals or flip flops. This neutralizes odors while the shoes are being stored.
  4. Store the shoes in a dry place indoors, such as a closet. Do not store your shoes on your patio when they are not in use.
sandals propped against blue door with starfish

What to Avoid When Cleaning and Caring for Rainbow Sandals

When you are caring for your rainbow sandals or flip flops, you may be tempted to use an oil- or petroleum-based leather cleaner or leather conditioner. Rainbow specifically warns against using either of these products on their sandals or flip flops. Oil and petroleum-based products can both be damaging to the materials used to create the sole and can cause delamination to occur. Should this happen, Rainbow’s product warranty will be void and there is not a way to fix your shoes. As such, this should always be avoided.

The Bottom Line

As an avid flip flop wearer, I know first hand how nice it feels to air your feet out and let them get some sunshine on warm summer days. I also know the flip side to that is that flip flops can start to look aged and start to smell over time. I love my Rainbow sandals and flip flops, as they are one of the few manufacturers who offer arch support in their sandals and flip flops. Because I love their footwear that much, it is important to me that I properly clean and care for my sandals and flip flops to help them last. The bottom line is that while Rainbow does not offer any cleaning products for their products, there are still ways to clean their sandals, get rid of foot stench on flip flops and protect your footwear so it looks great and lasts.

Scroll to Top