Can Water Shoes be Washed?

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Do you need to wash water shoes?


Water shoes will help your feet in situations where they’re likely to get wet. The protection, comfort, traction and insulation these bad boys provide are second to none! While they can do a great job at keeping your feet clean, is it necessary to keep them clean? Can water shoes be washed? Or do you even need to wash them? We’ll dive into these topics in today’s article.

Can water shoes be washed?

To come to our question, can water shoes be washed? Certainly! Water shoes can be washed to make them nice and clean for your next hike or visit to the beach.

How to wash water shoes

Luckily for us, washing water shoes is super simple! Just follow the following steps and you should have a clean and fresh pair of water shoes waiting for your next trip!

  • Right after you come back home, take off your water shoes and rinse them thoroughly with clean water. By thoroughly, we mean super thoroughly. This initial step is really important to get all the visible gunk, dirt and/or sand off your shoes. It’s better if you do this with pressurized water, as that’ll get every spot easily and effectively.
  • Next, soak your shoes in some warm water while you get the wetsuit cleaner (if you’re not using a dedicated wetsuit cleaner, you can use powdered detergent or a neutral ph soap) ready.
  • Take the cleaner of your choice and liberally apply and rub it into the shoe on the insides and wherever you feel it’s needed.
  • Once you’ve scrubbed your shoes, let them sit with the cleaner in them for a while to allow it to kill the nasty bacteria and fungi in the water shoes.
  • After around 5 minutes, soak your shoes in new, clean warm water and massage all the soap off.
  • Next, you have to repeat the first step. Rinse out your water shoes with pressurized water and really make sure they’re completely clean.
  • Now that your water shoes are all clean, we have our final important step. Drying them. Drying your water shoes is as important as cleaning them. You don’t want to store wet water shoes for a long time! To dry out your water shoes quickly, use a dry rag to completely soak up all the water inside them. Try to really absorb all the excess water from the shoes, into the rags. Afterwards, use a hairdryer to blow air (not hot!) into the shoes to take care of anything you might have missed. Then just keep your water shoes in a dry, well-ventilated area (away from direct sunlight) till all the residual moisture dries up.

What happens if you wear dirty water shoes

Needless to say, water shoes should be washed after every use. If you’re wearing water shoes, you’re probably gonna get them wet in some kind of natural water body. Say, a lake or the ocean. Even if you were to find the cleanest lake or swim in the clearest waters, there would still be millions and billions of microbes in them! Mix these microbes with the wet and warm conditions of a water shoe and you get the Goldilocks’ zone of living arrangements for them.


While this may make the perfect home for these microorganisms, it will be a nightmare for you to have all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and fungi living in your water shoes. For starters, the stench alone will be enough to drive a sane man berserk. Bad smelling shoes are everyone’s worst enemy and you will regret not washing your water shoes immediately after coming back from the beach.

Apart from the stench, you can also get a nasty infection like an athlete’s foot from these microbes. It will usually start as a minor rash, but can quickly grow into a full-blown problem complete with blisters and pus if left untreated!


Final thoughts

If you were wondering; can water shoes be washed? Then you’ve got your answer. Water shoes can and should be washed after every use to prevent unwanted microbial growth in them. Washing water shoes is a fairly easy and quick affair and we urge everyone to take it seriously! Negligence with water shoe hygiene can turn into stinky and diseased feet pretty quickly. Happy cleaning!

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Jenny Schmidt

Jenny Schmidt

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I'll let you in on some secrets only a few know...

About Me

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I’ll let you in on some secrets only a few know…

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