How to clean your Vibram Five Fingers
I am a big fan of the Vibram Five Fingers and wear them during my training - indoors and out. One thing is for sure the only complaint I have (and that I hear from Vibram users most often) is about the smell. They can really stink.
There are 3 things you can do:
- wear them very infrequently;
- wear them with toe socks;
- or wash them frequently AND use an effective cleaner.
I wear my Five Fingers for all my regular training, driving and walking around town (where appropriate). For me the last option is the only feasible choice.
I followed the instructions on the main Vibram Five Finger site which suggests regular machine washing and detergent alone is sufficient.
"Vibram FiveFingers are machine washable. Use gentle, warm water cycle with liquid or powdered detergent. Hang to air dry."
This does keep them clean, however if you wear them regularly or for lengthy periods (which I do) the odour still remains even after repeated washing. If you find you have the same problem, then try the following:
A simple and natural way to deodorise the Vibrams.
Things you'll need:
- A bowl of hand hot (not boiling) water
- 1/2 tablespoon of Baking Soda
- 1/2 tablespoon of Baking Powder
- 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 drops of Lemon Oil*
- 5 drops of Peppermint Oil*
*Aromatherapy oils will do.
- Soak the Vibrams for an hour or two in the solution above (preferably overnight);
- If heavily soiled use an old toothbrush to clean inside the toe pockets;
- Fasten any loose velcro attachments;
- Machine or hand wash in warm water;
- Hang them up to dry (for obvious reasons do not tumble dry).
The Vibrams will not lose shape after repeated washing. The solution is a natural disinfectant/deodoriser, cheap and safe to use (it also avoids the use of toxic chemicals/cleaners too).
I have experimented with the quantities above and have found this to be the ideal ratio to clean and freshen up my five fingers, but feel free to experiment.