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Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black And Can You Save Them?

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black And Can You Save Them?

Let’s go back to 1966 when Birkenstocks were first released in the U.S. Ever since that year their popularity grew and even after so many years, they are still one of people’s favorites. However, there’s a common complaint about them. Why do Birkenstocks turn black?

People have been dealing with this issue for ages, yet, not many of them know the reason behind it. Today, you’ll learn everything you need to know about it. Birkenstocks turning black seems like one of the world’s biggest mysteries, however, it’s actually very simple to understand why it happens.

If you’re ready to reveal the secret, scroll down. You’re not only going to find this answer but also learn a lot of other useful information. We promise you, you’re in for a real treat, so, let’s get going!

Why do Birkenstocks turn black?

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black And Can You Save Them?

When you want to think of the most comfortable pair of footwear, you can’t help but remember Birkenstocks first. They aren’t only comfy, but also stylish and you can wear them on many different occasions. That’s why everyone needs a pair of them in their shoe rack.

However, everything has pros and cons, and so do Birkenstocks. Even though there are many more pros, there’s one con that everyone keeps talking about. Why do Birkenstocks turn black? Unfortunately, a day of noticing black stains on them will come for everyone who owns this pair of beauties.

What’s the reason behind it? Can you save them? Can they get moldy? What should you do?! Don’t worry, we’re here to teach you everything you need to know.

1. Sweat

The most common reason is that it happens because of sweat. Sweat can turn Birkenstocks black. When sweat comes into contact with the leather, it can cause discoloration. The salt in the sweat can also cause discoloration and damage to the leather over time.

It’s important that you clean and dry them properly after they become wet. Why? It’s possible that mold or mildew start forming and cause discoloration if you don’t dry them soon enough. Try to avoid wearing them in situations where they may get excessively sweaty or wet.

2. Dirt

Why do Birkenstocks turn black? Can dirt be one of the reasons why? Yes, dirt can turn Birkenstocks black. When dirt and dust accumulate on the leather, it can cause discoloration and make the shoes look dark and dirty. That’s why it’s common to hear people complaining about black stains that appeared.

Additionally, if the dirt is not cleaned off properly, it can get ground into the leather and become harder to remove. To prevent this, it is important to clean and maintain the shoes regularly and to avoid wearing them in situations where they may get excessively dirty.

If you still want to wear them on dusty terrains, it’s essential to remember you should clean them as soon as you get back home. That way you’ll definitely keep them spotless for a longer period of time.

3. Worn-out

Unfortunately, everything gets worn out after some time. Some shoes and clothes take ages for that to happen, while some others suffer serious damage after a few months. Luckily, Birkenstocks have a fresh look for a long time. However, nothing can last forever, so it’s common for Birkenstocks to turn black.

Worn-out Birkenstocks can turn black due to a combination of factors such as dirt, sweat, sunlight exposure, and wear and tear. The leather of these shoes can become discolored, stained, or faded over time. Additionally, the cork footbed can also become discolored due to exposure to moisture and sunlight.

Can they get moldy?

Birkenstocks, like any other shoes, can develop mold if exposed to certain conditions. Mold is a type of fungus that thrives in warm and moist environments, and can grow on various surfaces, including leather, cork, and other materials.

One of the main reasons Birkenstocks can get moldy is due to the cork footbed. Cork is a porous material that can absorb moisture, which can create an ideal environment for mold to grow.

Additionally, if the cork footbed is not cleaned and dried properly after each wear, mold can develop over time. Another factor contributing to mold growth on Birkenstocks is how they are stored. If they aren’t in a dry and well-ventilated area, mold can develop on the leather straps or linings.

For example, if the sandals are stored in a damp closet or in a sealed plastic bag, mold can proliferate. However, there are more factors that can contribute to mold growth on Birkenstocks such as the way they are worn.

If the sandals are worn frequently and not allowed to air out, mold can develop quickly. Additionally, if the sandals are worn without socks, the feet will come into direct contact with the cork footbed, which can increase the chances of mold growth.

Why do Birkenstocks have an unpleasant odor?

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black And Can You Save Them?

Birkenstocks are known for their comfortable, supportive cork footbeds, but many people have complained about their distinct odor. This odor is caused by a combination of factors, including the materials used in the construction of the sandals, the way they are worn, and the environment.

The cork footbeds, which are made from compressed cork granules, can absorb moisture and bacteria from the feet. This can lead to the growth of odor-causing bacteria, which can give the sandals an unpleasant smell.

Additionally, the natural leather straps and linings of the sandals can also absorb sweat and bacteria, further contributing to the odor.

Another factor contributing to the smell of Birkenstocks is how they are worn. If the sandals are worn without socks, the feet will come into direct contact with the cork footbed and leather straps, which can increase the chances of bacteria and odor buildup.

On top of that, if the sandals are worn frequently and not allowed to air out, the odor can become more pronounced. Lastly, the environment in which the sandals are worn can also play a role. For example, if the sandals are worn in hot, humid conditions, sweat will be more likely to accumulate.

To minimize the odor, it is recommended to clean the sandals regularly, use talcum powder or foot powder to absorb moisture and sweat, and allow the sandals to air out between wears.

It’s also recommended to avoid wearing them with bare feet and use clean, dry socks, and clean the footbed and straps with mild soap and water.

How to get rid of the black stains?

Oh, no! It happened! Your Birkenstocks don’t look spick and span anymore and you don’t know how to save them. Since you already know why do Birkenstocks turn black, you’ll now learn how to get rid of those black stains too.

Are you ready to get to work? Yes? That’s the spirit! Luckily, the process isn’t too demanding and it works well most of the time. In case there are some stains left, you can wait for a few days and repeat the whole process again. Then, your Birkenstocks should get their brand-new look.

1. Prepare the needed products

The first step you’ll have to make is to gather all the products you’ll need for this quest. Don’t worry, you probably already have all of these items at home. So, what will you need to give your pair of Birkenstocks a fresh look?

You’ll need a bowl, a piece of cloth, an old toothbrush, a spoon, some baking soda, and distilled white vinegar. When it comes to the piece of cloth, it’s best you use microfiber if possible, if not, then use any other soft cloth.

2. Time to do some work

Now that you’ve gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to make a paste. Take the bowl, and mix vinegar and baking soda until you notice that you’ve made a paste. Leave it for a few minutes, and use that free time to get rid of any dirt from your Birkenstocks.

Then apply that paste on the black stains and gently scrub it with the toothbrush. Rinse and repeat the process until you see the changes. Finally, you’ll put the last layer of paste on your Birkenstocks and leave it overnight. In the morning, you’ll rinse them again, and gently wipe them with a piece of a soft cloth.

3. Let’s dry your Birkenstocks and enjoy the brand-new look

Why Do Birkenstocks Turn Black And Can You Save Them?

You just woke up, rinsed your Birkenstocks, and wiped them with a piece of cloth. Now it’s time to let them air dry. Even though they’re still wet, you should already see that the black stains are gone. But, don’t let it fool you! You can’t wear them before they’re fully dry.

We know you can barely resist wearing them immediately, but don’t use a hairdryer or any other kind of heat to speed up the process. It’s best you let them air dry, and you won’t have to worry about damaging them.

Oh no, it didn’t help, can I replace the soles?

Now that you know why do Birkenstocks turn black and how to clean them, it’s time to move on to the last thing we want to share with you. Unfortunately, it’s possible that no matter how hard you try, the stains still remain visible on the pair of your favorite Birkenstocks.

We know that you might be thinking about using shoe cream or polish, but that’s not going to help you give your Birkenstocks a much-needed makeover. So, what to do if the stains are still visible? Is it possible to replace the soles and give them a brand-new look? We have some good news for you!

Yes, it is possible to replace the soles of Birkenstocks. Many shoe repair shops and cobbler services offer this type of service, and in some cases, it may also be possible to purchase replacement soles directly from the manufacturer.

However, please note that it is important to make sure that the replacement soles are compatible with your specific Birkenstock model and that they are installed properly to ensure a comfortable fit and to preserve the overall quality of the sandals.