I’ll make a larger discussion here sometime, but here are the basics on how to remove odors from your Teva slippers:
- I tried putting them in the laundry. The fabric was tattered so I didn’t like that.
- I tried soaking them in floor cleaner but it didn’t help much.
- I tried Windex to no avail.
- I tried a bunch of other tools.
Here’s what works best for me:
- Fill the sink with warm water
- Put a little Tide washing powder on the clothes
- Weigh the Tevas in the sink (they float)
- After a few hours of soaking, scrub all the nooks and crannies in the top part of the base with a toothbrush (not your active toothbrush)
- The smell will go away in a few weeks
Update September 2005:
I gave up trying to clean perfectly fine but totally stinky slippers and got a new pair. If you have a better solution (easier!), write me at email@example.com.
Update June 2007:
From the mail bag. I cannot guarantee any of this.
Quoth Libby F:
I was scouring the internet looking for ways to clean some white sandals and came across your teva problem, or should I say common teva problem. My brother came up with the best way with the least amount of effort. Exposed. Soak 1/3 to 2/3 of bleach in the water solution overnight. Rinse with warm water and let dry (I usually re-hook the straps to give the upper more more contact). Once they’re dry, try putting some baby powder on your feet as you put them on, this will help keep the smell out a little longer. Dead skin to keep your feet in good shape also helps. Another thing we’ve noticed is that if you just leave them outside after you take them “outside” they get pretty dirty.
Quoth Shu H. from Singapore:
I also have smelly Teva slippers. In fact, I booked an entire tutorial room 2 days ago. What’s worse is that I didn’t know that my own slippers smelled so bad. We always eat in the room so I just think some of the food went bad. Anyway, I’m apathetic and indifferent to these things, I really don’t care. Unfortunately, several other people I roomed with apparently did. And they know it’s me! And they talked to me, as a friend later told me. However, Tevas will definitely smell, and some of my friends have reassured me that it is normal. We have a brand here called Dettol, which is very strong. It has a really strong, almost overpowering, clinical… smell that I like because it makes everything smell so… good… clean and fragrant. Let it shoot. It may work for you, just as it did for me!
Words from Teva, August 2008
George, I stumbled across your blog last night while looking for an effective way to clean my teva. Anyway, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with what I found there (or anywhere else, for that matter), so I e-mailed teva directly. pasted below are their answers. not sure if you are interested, but i thought i would share with you (for posting) when your blog came up first in a google search “cleaning teva slippers”, so i thought you is getting at least some traffic. Anyway… that’s fine.-Jason Thank you for the email. Here is a Teva Footwear Cleaning Guide: We recommend using mild soap and water and hand washing, not machine washing. Also, try scrubbing the upper with a soft-bristled brush while cleaning and gently curl the sandal from heel to toe under water pressure so any dirt in the grooves of the upper will be washed away. in a re-sealable freezer and freeze them overnight.
- Mix 1 cup of Listerine (or any antibacterial mouthwash) with 2 cups of water. Soak for 15 minutes and scrub with a bristle brush. Let dry in the air.
- Put slippers in the pool with chlorine for 15-20 minutes. Scrub with a stiff bristle brush. Wash. Dry air.
- Wash them in the shower with Shampoo.
Leather shoes: For our leather sandals, we recommend cleaning with nubuck leather cleaner. This will clean the slippers and remove odors, while preserving the unique look of the leather. If you just want to clean the upper sole, a gentle scrub with a mild soap and rinse is usually sufficient. Please let your slippers dry in a well-ventilated, well-ventilated place – but not in direct sunlight. Frequency: We recommend washing your slippers every two to four weeks, depending on intended use. or by phone at (800)367-8382 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Arizona Time. Tim Beauchamp Customer Service Representative
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