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Washing Guide for Reef Shoes & Sandals

May 11, 2023

Reef is a footwear company that specializes in casual sandals, which are especially popular among surfers and beachgoers.

About REEF

reef casual shoesREEF was founded by two brothers, Santiago and Fernando Aguerre, both of whom are avid surfers, in 1984. Their goal was to create high-quality sandals – ones that could keep up with their active lifestyle.

After many years of running the company, the brand was acquired by VF Corporation, a global leader in lifestyle apparel and footwear. Then in 2011, the brand was sold to The Rockport Group.

More About Reef Shoes

REEF specializes in sandals, which are available in a variety of styles. Some of their products include leather sandals, water-friendly sandals, and slide sandals. They even have a line of sandals that come with a bottle opener on the bottom.

Price-wise, their shoes are quite affordable. Depending on the style, you’re looking at anywhere between $50 to $110. They also have frequent sales, which will bring the price down further.

How to Wash REEF Flip Flops

There’s more than one way to wash your REEF sandals. Here’s what you need to know.

Machine Washing Flip Flops

Start by removing the dirt and mud on the soles. One of the easiest ways to do that is by clapping them together lightly. Alternatively, you can use a soft bristle brush.

Next, place the flip-flops in a mesh laundry bag – it’ll prevent them from being thrown around during the wash cycle, which can damage your shoes. If you don’t have a laundry bag that’s big enough, you can improvise with a pillowcase.

Tip: Wash the rubber flip-flops separately from your clothes for the best results. However, you can add a few towels to help balance the load.

how to wash reef sandalsZip up the laundry bag and toss it in the washing machine.

Measure one scoop of ACTIVE Detergent and add it to the tub. Once the powder is in, choose a cold water setting and run a delicate wash cycle. Make sure not to use bleach or other chemicals as they can harm the shoes.

Wait for the washing machine to finish before removing the flip-flops. Don’t leave them in for long periods as it can result in odors developing.

Once you’ve taken them out, leave them in a well-ventilated room so that they can air dry. Do not put them in the dryer or under direct sunlight as it can damage the adhesives.

Cleaning Flip Flops By Hand

You can also gently clean each flip-flop by hand. Start by removing any excess dirt with a soft-bristled brush (you can also clap them together).

Next, mix a scoop of ACTIVE Detergent with warm water in a tub or large sink. Agitate it lightly with your hand until there are soap suds.

Dampen a soft sponge with the cleaning solution and use it to clean the affected areas. Pay extra attention to the heel area as dirt tends to accumulate there.

When you’re finished, rinse the sponge with warm water and use it to remove the detergent from the shoes. The final step is to let them air dry at room temperature.


reef sandals washing instructionsCombine ACTIVE Detergent with water in the sink (you can also use a tub) and place the shoes in, making sure they are completely immersed.

Let them sit in the soapy water and soak them for at least 20 minutes.

Rinse the flip-flops clean with water afterward. Continue rinsing until there are no more soap suds.

Place them in a shaded area and allow them to air dry.

How to Wash Leather REEF Sandals

Most of their shoes are made from synthetic materials, however, they do have some that are made from leather. For those, you’ll want to wash them differently.

First and foremost, you never want to put them in the washing machine. The leather is delicate and can easily be damaged by the heat.

best detergent to remove odors from reef shoesInstead, you want to wash them by hand. While you can use ACTIVE Detergent, it’s probably best to use a saddle soap or a leather conditioner. Follow the product’s instructions and use it to clean the leather surfaces.

Avoid saturating leather with water as it can cause damage to the sandals.

Deodorizing Your REEF Sandals/Shoes

Let’s face it—your REEF sandals are probably going to get stinky after a while. Here are a few easy ways to deodorize them:

Eliminating Odors With Baking Soda

Baking soda is super versatile and can be used to eliminate odors. Simply sprinkle the powder onto the material and leave it on overnight. The next morning, dump the powder. Rinse it with water if you have to. You’ll be surprised at the difference!

Eliminating Odor With Vinegar

how to deodorize reef shoesVinegar, or more specifically white vinegar, is also great for odors. To use it, dampen a sponge or cloth with the vinegar and use it to wipe the sandal. The vinegar scent will be gone as soon as they’re dry.

Put Them in the Freezer

Believe it or not, you can also deodorize your sandals by putting them in the freezer. Simply place them in a plastic bag and put them in. Remove them the next day and the odor will be gone. The cold temperature will kill off the odor-causing agents.

How to Wash REEF Shoes – FAQs

Can you wash REEF shoes with dish soap?

ACTIVE Detergent is the best option as it contains enzymes that will break down and dissolve oil, dirt, and residues. However, you can use dish soap in a pinch.

Should you clean REEF shoes with hot water or cold water?

It’s best to clean your REEF shoes with cold water as excessive heat may damage the material over time.

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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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