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How to Wash Water Shoes

June 1, 2023

Water shoes are a specific type of footwear that’s designed for water sports.

Unlike regular shoes, they’re made so that they won’t get heavy even when waterlogged. Most types of wet shoes also have tiny holes on the sides or bottom that allow for water drainage.

Types of Water Shoes

There are three types of water shoes: the “standard” water shoe, which can be worn in and out of water, water sandals, and water socks.

Water shoes

The most common type that also functions as a normal shoe.

Water socks

what are water shoesAppearance-wise, they’re very similar to your everyday socks. However, they’re thick and will protect your feet from sand, pebbles, or rocks. Usually worn when swimming or playing by the water.

Water Sandals

Water sandals allow for water and sand to pass through easily. The soles are thick with a noticeable tread pattern, which provides excellent traction on wet surfaces.

Picking the Right Water Shoes

There are several things that you want to keep in mind when shopping for a pair of water shoes. For one thing, you want to make sure that they have a secure grip.

Next, protection. For instance, you’ll want something more durable than mesh if you plan on hiking on hard and unforgiving terrains.

Taking Care of Your Water Shoes

Ideally, you want to wash your water shoes after each wear. They may be designed for the water but that doesn’t mean they won’t get icky after a while.

Odor-causing grime is another potential issue as they’re always wet.

That’s why you want to be diligent about washing them. The last thing that you want is to wear something that’s ridden with contaminants – it won’t be good for your feet nor will it be good for the shoes.

How to Wash Water Shoes the Right Way

Depending on the design, you may be able to put them in the washing machine. Hand washing is another option.

Are Water Shoes Machine Washable?

how to wash water shoes in the washerSome water shoes may be machine washable. To be sure, check the care tag label – it’ll tell you what you need to know.

If they’re machine washable:

Start by rinsing them with hot water for a few minutes. That will help remove any loose debris inside the shoes. If the sole is removable, take it out and rinse it separately.

Close any rubber fasteners and place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag to keep them together and place them in the drum. For the best results, wash them separately from your other items. However, you can balance the load weight by adding a few towels.

Once everything is in the washer, add one scoop of ACTIVE Detergent. Do not use bleach.

Set and run a delicate cycle.

Wait until the washer cycle is finished and take out the shoes. Do not put them in the dryer – the heat will cause the material to warp and potentially melt.

Let them air dry outdoors instead. If you want, you can speed up the drying process by putting a couple of small towels in the shoes. Using a blow dryer on low works as well.

Make sure that they’re completely dry before storing them away.

Washing Water Shoes By Hand

Rinse the shoes with water for a couple of minutes and set them aside.

best detergent for water shoesMix a small amount of ACTIVE Detergent with warm water in the sink. Agitate the water with your hand to dissolve the powder.

Place your water shoes in the sink and rub the material with your hands to get rid of any residue and dirt. If necessary, you can add some baking soda to the water to help neutralize odors.

Soak the shoes for about 15 minutes.

Saturate a sponge with the soapy mixture and use it to scrub the inside and outside of the shoe. Don’t forget to clean the sole as well.

When you’re done scrubbing, rinse the shoes clean with running water. Make sure there’s no detergent left before taking them out of the sink. Stuff a dry rag in each of the shoes to help with the drying process.

Washing Water Socks

Water socks are similar to water shoes in that you can put them in the washer or wash them by hand. If anything, they’re a little easier to deal with.

Putting Your Water Socks in the Washer

The first thing that you want to do is rinse them with water. Once you’ve done that, turn the socks inside out and place them in a laundry bag – that will keep them together and minimize friction.

how to wash water socksPlace them in the washer and add one scoop of ACTIVE Detergent. Do not add bleach.

With the detergent added, set the washing machine to “gentle” and run a cold cycle.

Press the start button and allow the washing machine to run. Once everything’s been washed, take out your water socks and hang them up to dry. It’s not recommended that you put them in the dryer.

Washing Your Water Socks By Hand

Rinse the socks with clean water as soon as you take them off. Turn them inside out and place them aside as you fill a sink with water.

Create a sudsy solution by mixing in a bit of ACTIVE Detergent. Once the powder is dissolved, place your socks in and move them through the water to work in the detergent.

Let them soak for at least 10 minutes.

Hold the socks under running water afterward to rinse off the soap; there shouldn’t be any bubbles left when you’re done. You may have to rub the material several times while you’re rinsing.

Once they’re free of detergent, hang them up in the shower to dry, preferably upside down. Alternatively, you can let them air dry in a sunny spot.

Do not put them in the dryer; it will damage the neoprene material. Extreme heat can shrink or even worse, melt your socks.

Deodorizing Your Water Shoes

how to remove odors from water shoesStart by putting the shoes in a sink. Fill it with water and add a bit of ACTIVE Detergent. Dish soap or hand soap will also do in a pinch.

Next, add half a cup of baking soda, swishing the water to help it dissolve. Dampen a sponge with the solution; you can also sprinkle a bit of baking soda directly onto the top. Use it to scrub the inside and outside of your shoes.

Let the shoes soak in the sink after scrubbing them for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the sink afterward and rinse the shoes completely under the faucet.

If the odor is still present, consider placing a few teaspoons of baking soda in each shoe, leaving the powder in overnight, and rinsing them the next morning.

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Picture of Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant

Sophia Grant brings her extensive knowledge of laundry and clothing care to the masses with her intensive cleaning guides. Her thorough understanding of fabrics, detergents, and washing techniques helps readers master the art of maintaining their wardrobe. Sophia's advice ensures that anyone can achieve professional-level results at home, keeping their garments looking pristine and lasting longer.

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