Written by Suleth Villeda - June 22, 2020
Huaraches are one of the most delicate and beautiful crafts belonging to the Mexican culture. The best way to honor this antique vocation and the shoemaker is to take care of your sandal. Here are a few ways to beautify your huaraches. But of course the basics of leather care is to keep them dry, don't leave them in the sun for too long, and use leather protectors.
Tips for Cleaning Huaraches:
Pinpoint the issue: dirty spots, etc.
- Contact with water can sometimes result in spots or discoloration. If this is your case, use a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water and gently dab on to the discolored area.
- If you have a small stain, dish or liquid hand soap should work just fine. Try to avoid any soap that has a more alkaline, or higher, pH level than the sandal itself because it can cause it to dry out.
- For larger stains, use leather conditioners which are available in many big retailers or shoe stores.
- Use a dry, soft cloth or soft-bristled brush (like an old toothbrush) to gently remove the debris. If too much force is used, you might actually cause a permanent mark on your huarache.
- Begin by damping a soft cloth and applying a small amount of soap or leather conditioner to it.
- Then use gentle motions to create a lather on the dirty spots.
- Use another moisturized cloth to gently and completely remove the product.
- Make sure you let your huaraches dry thoroughly.
- Preferably, let them dry in natural light but not under direct sunlight, in order to avoid cracking of the leather.
- Don’t try to dry the sandals with a cloth or wear them before they are completely dry.
Tips To Remove Odor:
There are many remedies to remove odor from leather sandals. Odar is simply the result of bacteria feeding on sweat and dirt within the shoe. So make sure that at the end of every wear, spray the inside of your shoe with a commercial shoe deodorizer or disinfectant that is specially formulated to kill bacteria. You can use spray specialized for athletic shoes; they are the strongest! As long as you practice good leather care, odor will be reduced. You can also try remedies like the one listed below to remove the smell.
- Apply baking soda to leather sandals. Baking soda can be found in any store and it naturally absorbs odor.
- Put shoes in a plastic bag, sprinkle baking soda on the inside, and leave overnight.
- You can add essential oils on top of the baking soda (not directly on the shoe!) in order to add a nice scent.
- Completely remove the powder before wearing again.
Tips To Prevent Stains on Your Huaraches:
- Make sure that when you first buy your leather sandal, apply a preservative spray to the outer leather parts to make them water-resistant and stain-resistant.
- Make sure to cover the inside with newspaper or a towel to avoid the spray getting on the shoe’s footbed.
- Make sure your sandals stay dry! If they do become wet, allow them to dry thoroughly. Do not place them in direct sunlight; a window is a good location.
- Be consistent in keeping your huaraches clean from dirt. Remember that the dirt will cause odor when combined with sweat.
- Be hygienic and practice good leather care!
- Enjoy your huarache’s long life!