Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Birkenstocks shoes have been on the top of the trend whenever comfort and style were the customers’ primary goals. Despite having such good qualities, some individuals had different issues with them, such as not getting fit into it or uncomfortableness while wearing it and more. You are not alone if you have faced these issues too.

But that one issue that bothered most customers was observing their Birkenstock sandals turning black over time. Why do Birkenstocks turn black is a question asked by many Bireken users.

In this article, we are here to solve this particular problem of yours whereby the end you will know:

● Why are Birkenstocks turning black?

● How to stop Birkenstocks from turning black?

● Steps to avoid staining your feet and more

So keep on reading to make your Birkenstocks neat & clean again!

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black?

Birkenstocks have been and still are considered excellent footwear for making one comfortable and presentable. But turning it into a black or brownish moldy sandal doesn’t make your look perfect. The reasons behind this transformation are mainly two:



The main reason why Birkenstocks change color is because of the dirt you get every day on them and not to wash them afterward. These specks of dirt remain on the footwear for a long time, changing the color of these sandals.

Another reason is sweating while wearing them. Birkenstocks are made up of jute, latex, cork, and leather, which are prone to sweating. Sweating contains oil that makes the Birkenstocks black as these materials react with oil while getting exposed to it.

Why Do Birkenstocks Get Moldy?

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Neglecting Birkenstocks for too long can cause your shoes to get moldy over time. Especially in humid weather or drying them inappropriately can cause the mold to grow. These molds can not only cause uncomfortableness and nauseous feeling but also can cause dangerous spores if breathed!

This is the reason why you should never ignore these molds. You can clean them with a soft, damp cloth and white vinegar/ alcohol. Just apply the vinegar with the fabric on the mold and rinse it.

But do take safety precautions.

Why Do Birkenstocks Smell?

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Though Birkenstocks are renowned for their odor-resistant feature, many customers did face odor issues. A few reasons behind it would be:


● Moisture/ humidity

● Overtime wearing

Sweating and moisture can both cause discoloration and molds to grow. In this case, you can stop making them smell by sprinkling baking soda over them and letting them sit overnight. Just wipe it with a soft cloth the next day.

You can also use a silicon bag to keep your Birkenstocks in it. It will stop both moisture and smell from ruining your shoes.

Also, avoid wearing them in humid conditions until you make them waterproof. Why do Birkenstocks smell? You have the answer. Later, you will know how to make Birkenstocks Not Stink?

How to Clean the Footbed of Birkenstocks?

You can easily clean your Birkenstock footbed. Start with brushing off any specks of dirt with the suede brush and then take a 2:1 ratio of water and baking soda to make a paste. Apply it on the stain with another cloth and let it dry before repeating the process.

How to Stop Birkenstocks from Staining Your Feet?

If Birkenstocks being stylish footwear, stains your feet, you might want to stop wearing them. But instead of doing that, you can clean your shoes with specific steps.

Cleaning suede Birkenstocks: To clean suede Birkenstocks, you will need:

● White vinegar

● Suede brush and suede eraser

● Microfiber cloth

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Start off with cleaning the dirt using a suede brush and clean the residues afterward with a suede eraser in a back and forth motion. If the stain is still on your suede Birkenstocks, use vinegar and a microfiber cloth to gently scrub the stain.

Clean and let the shoes dry completely.

Cleaning leather Birkenstocks:

Hey, wait! Are Birkenstocks real leather? What is the difference between Suede Birkenstocks and leather Birkenstocks? You can check our articles on this interesting topic. Now, let’s go back to the cleaning part.

To clean the leather ones; you will need:

● Leather cleaner

● Water

● Two microfiber cloth

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Take a small amount of the leather cleaner on a damp cloth. Next, apply the cleaner on the stain and gently scrub until the color doesn’t go away. Use another cloth to clear excess solution and then let it dry.

Lastly, you may use soap and water to clean the stain as well. It is also recommended to use a leather conditioner once in a year so that shoes don’t dry out.

How to Remove Black Stains from Birkenstocks?

You already know how to stain off your Birkenstocks, but these steps are for you

if you have any Birks with black stains.

Tools and materials:

● Baking soda

● Water

● Dishwashing liquid

● Toothbrush

● Damp towel

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black? (Complete Guide)

Step 01: Make a mixture of baking soda, water, and dishwashing liquid.

Take a bowl and make a thick consistency by mixing water and baking soda into a 2:1 ratio. Squirt dishwashing liquid and remix it.

Step 02: Cleaning the stain

Dip a toothbrush into the mixture and brush the stain in circular motions until the color goes away. Leave it overnight and wipe it with a damp towel the next day.

Step 03: Drying

Let your Birks dry after cleaning, which might take 4-5 days. But please don’t dry them under direct sunlight. Now you know the reasons of Birkenstocks turning black, why do they get stained, and the ways to fix these problems.

Why Do Birkenstocks Make Your Feet Orange?

Sometimes you might see your feet turning orange after wearing Birkenstocks. It happens mainly again due to sweating and a humid climate. Birkenstocks have four significant parts, which include- cork sealer, leather, latex, and jute. An excessive dye can leach out of colored leather shoes when they become saturated by sweat, causing your feet to turn orange.

You can clean Birkenstocks if you face this issue with proper guidelines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Best Way To Remove Oil Stains From Birkenstocks?

Answer: Apply baking soda paste on the stain and clean it with a damp cloth for oil stains. In the case of suede Birks, dab the discoloration with cornstarch or baby powder and brush it away after an hour.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Birkenstock Straps?

Answer: Birkenstock sells a wetness and dye protector that keeps the straps from getting soiled or wet. The stain can be cleaned with a damp cloth in this method.


Now that you have read it so far, you must have a clear idea of why do Birkenstocks turn black and how to clean them. You can also use Water and Stain Repellent produced by Birkenstocks. Since you know all the guidelines, follow them with patience and keep your Birkenstocks clean.

So, what are you waiting for? Go and clean your Birks and share your experience with others and us also.

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