When it’s time to slip into your flip-flops to hit the beach, think again before putting your tootsies into the shoes. A study by the University of Miami found over 18,000 bacteria on one ordinary pair of flip-flops. This doesn’t mean you have to forego your germ-laden shoes altogether; after all, most people don’t want their feet covered in socks and sneakers all summer long. Instead of kicking your flip-flops to the curb, disinfect them every so often with a bleach solution to kill the germs and keep them clean.
Fill a bucket with 9 cups warm water, and mix in 1 cup chlorine bleach.
Place the flip-flops into the bleach solution so they’re completely submerged. Let them soak for 10 to 20 minutes.
Remove the flip-flops and rinse them under clean water. Place them outside in the sun to dry, or let them air-dry indoors.
Fill a clean, empty spray bottle with 2 cups of water. Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil.
Put the lid on the bottle. Shake the bottle well to combine the ingredients.
Place the flip-flops in the sink or bathtub, or take them outside. Spray all sides of the shoes generously with the tea tree solution.
Let the flip-flops air-dry completely without rinsing off the tea tree oil. If possible, let them dry outside in the sun.
Things You Will Need
- 1 cup chlorine bleach
- Empty spray bottle
- 2 teaspoons tea tree oil
- Don’t soak fabric flip-flops in bleach unless they are all white and the fabric can tolerate bleach. It may discolor or eat away at the fabric.
- Test the bleach on an inconspicuous spot of the flip-flops before submerging them. Look for any changes in color or damage to the material. Most plastic or rubber flips-flops can be soaked in bleach without damage or color changes.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images