I’ve been doing it for years, and it’s probably some major fashion faux-pas, but I’m going to tell you anyway:
I put my shoes through the wash cycle. Let me back that train up and be a little más específico, now. I have not, nor will ever try to, put leather shoes or heels through the washing machine. That said, my method to keeping my shoes clean has always worked perfectly for canvas sneakers (I have a pair of Chuck Taylors that are a solid five years old that look maybe one).
To clean foamy platform sandals, I’d always ended up just using an old toothbrush and bleach.
But this last weekend, I threw my Reef Sandys in with my whites. Just like anyone who has a regular pair of well-loved flip-flops, mine got really dirty, really fast. Especially since the thong straps were a lighter color AND fabric. They were getting pretty brown, and I was almost embarrassed to wear them (although I continued to do so because the sandals are so darn comfy!).
Anyway, to make a long story short, the flip-flops turned out…seriously…as good as new! Super clean, even the soles. No harm done, and now I can walk with clean style!