How to Clean Your Merrell Sandals (The Right Way)

Nobody likes walking around in dirty shoes or sandals, but not every pair can be cleaned the same way.

When I first bought my Merrell sandals I took some time to learn the best way to wash them and keep them looking new and clean.

To remove dirt and debris from your Merrell sandals, you’ll need to clean them by hand. A mixture of mild soap and water, a brush with soft bristles, and a gentle cloth should do the trick. Air drying is highly recommended to prevent damage to the sandals’ materials.

Learning how to clean Merrell sandals is a straightforward process. Here are the steps you’ll want to take to keep them in good shape.

Hiker Wearing Merrell Sandals

Guide to Cleaning Merrell Sandals

1. Prepare The Sandals

Before you wear your sandals, apply a pretreatment solution to the leather portions of the shoes. By doing this, you’ll ward off most stains and damage from the elements. Leather pretreatment solutions help repel water and keep other liquids from soaking in.

You can purchase pretreatment solutions for leather either directly from the manufacturer or a third party. Test a small section of your sandal first to ensure the solution won’t fade or alter the color. Then, follow the directions on the label to apply the solution evenly.

2. Assemble Your Cleaning materials

You can purchase Merrell Sandal Cleaner or mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water.

This cleaning solution is safe for use on canvas, fabric, leather, nubuck, and suede products.

With either cleaning solution, you want to apply some to a tiny portion of your sandals. You should not notice any fading, but adjust the solution’s concentration if you do.

You’ll also want to get a soft bristle brush to scrub off ingrained dirt and debris, plus a gentle washcloth. Unless you’re cleaning your sandals over a sink, you’ll want to lay down enough paper or cloth towels to catch the dirt and absorb the soapy water.

3. Remove Stuck On Debris

If there are larger chunks of dried dirt and debris, remove these pieces first with your hands or brush. Throw these pieces away or make sure that they’re out of the way.

If your sandals become wet during removal, let them air dry before you apply the cleaning solution.

Be sure to look for and remove larger pieces of debris from both the bottom of the sandals’ soles and the outer leather portions.

4. Apply Cleaning Solution

When using the manufacturer’s cleaning solution, you’ll want to shake the bottle first. You’ll also want to only apply the solution to the leather portions of the sandal. Press the bottle’s applicator down on the shoe to activate the solution.

Once you’ve activated the solution, apply it evenly using a circular motion with your hand. After you’ve finished applying the solution, use a dry cloth to wipe away the dirt and any leftover solution.

If you opt to use a mixture of gentle dish soap and water, plan on applying it with a gentle cloth or brush. Apply the soapy mixture in even and circular strokes. You may need to scrub caked-on dirt a little, but not so hard that you damage the leather.

After applying the soap and water, use another gentle cloth to wipe away the dirt and any excess water.

5. Leave Your Sandals Out to Air Dry

To avoid damaging your Merrell sandals, you’ll want to avoid putting them in a clothes dryer. Instead, find a safe place where you can leave them out to dry. In general, it’s a good idea to avoid places like bathrooms where a high amount of humidity can build up.

You’ll also want to avoid placing your sandals in direct sunlight, as this may cause the color to fade. But placing your shoes on a dry cloth that’s spread over a kitchen table or a bookshelf in a bedroom may be suitable. A shoe rack or shelf in a closet is even better.

6. Wipe Down Insoles

It’s easy to overlook your sandal’s insoles, but this is an area that can begin to smell due to the buildup of sweat and debris. You can either use the manufacturer’s sandal cleaner or baking soda to clean the insoles.

Apply the manufacturer’s cleaning solution to the insoles the same way you used it to clean the sandals’ exteriors. If you’re using baking soda, start by sprinkling it directly on the insoles. You don’t want to go overboard, so remember a little bit will suffice.

Leave your sandals out for 24 hours in a dry and cool room. After 24 hours, turn the sandals over and pat the soles to remove the baking soda. Once all the baking soda is out or the insoles are dry, you can wear them again.

A third method is to fill socks with baking soda and place them on your sandals’ insoles overnight.

How Often to Clean Merrell Sandals

There isn’t a limit on how often you can clean your sandals as long the recommended cleaning instructions are being followed. It depends on what activities you do in your sandals and how quickly they will build up dirt and other grime.

I prefer to wash my sandals every couple of weeks if I’m using wearing them a lot, hopefully before I can notice them becoming dirty.