How should I clean these sandals a dog peed on?
June 26, 2014 1:34 PM   Subscribe

On Tuesday, my cousin's dog let forth a deluge of pee on my feet. It was LOTS of pee. I was wearing my favorite leather sandals (very similar to these). While I cleaned off my feet, my cousin cleaned my sandals with a wet towel (no soap). I had to wear them the rest of the day, before I traveled home on Wednesday. I feel kind of icky at the prospect of wearing them again. How should I clean them?
posted by ocherdraco to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Soak them in Nature's Miracle. Then dry in the shade.

If that ruins them, buy a new pair.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:35 PM on June 26, 2014

Seconding Nature's Miracle. It will get the smell out. Don't know what it'll do to leather, though.
posted by wierdo at 1:38 PM on June 26, 2014

Do they actually smell super stinky, or are you just squicked out?

If the latter, just run them through the washing machine. Gentle cycle, in a pillowcase, warm water. Leave them somewhere where they'll dry not too quickly and not too slowly, use a little leather conditioner on the leather parts afterwards, they'll be fine. I have done this to literally over 100 pairs of shoes and promise a pair like the ones you linked to will be fine.
posted by kmennie at 1:46 PM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: kmennie: "Do they actually smell super stinky, or are you just squicked out?"

Primarily squicked out, but there is a bit of smell. Unfortunately I can't put shoes in the washers at my apartment building or the nearby laundromats, as it's explicitly forbidden. I do have Nature's Miracle on hand.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:50 PM on June 26, 2014

I'd wash the leather parts with a leather cleaner (saddle soap or if you have leather cleaner for your car or couch), and the bottom with Nature's Miracle or another enzymatic cleaner. My favorite is Bac-Out but many of them work quite well.

They should smell fine after that. Condition the leather if they feel a little dry after the cleaning - this stuff is the bomb and can be used to revitalize all of your other leather goods (belts, shoes, etc.)
posted by barnone at 1:59 PM on June 26, 2014 [2 favorites]

Feel free to ignore this/or flag it if it is going way outside your question, but I am answering from the perspective that a) I would be squicked out and clean it or throw it out and b) I used to work in an STD lab and process (human) urine and blood samples on a daily basis.

The protocol that we used to clean up a place that had an urine or blood on it (spilled or resting in a container) was as follows, but I will suggest a modification or two for you:

1) Run 10% bleach over it (ie, 9 parts water to 1 part bleach, think basic chemistry/basic googling should help you with this) with a tissue/wear gloves. The modification that I would do? First test a small corner of your shoe and let it dry.IF the color changes, you might want to skip this step.

2) Run 70% alcohol over it (same idea, this time most of it will be alcohol, the rest water). This will dry quickly, I never had clothes/lab coat/anything damaged by it.

3) Turn on the hood with UV light (modification: put it in the sun).

These steps were to destroy and DNA/RNA left over because we worked with diseases, and honestly, even if the probability is low that it is in the fluid from a domestic pet, I would probably want to take these steps because, oh, too much biology plus wild imagination....

The alternative is to just throw it out. I tend to be cheap, but I would consider that as a possibility if it were me.
posted by Wolfster at 2:18 PM on June 26, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I am 99% sure these sandals are salvageable. You can wash leather; I have washed my motorcycle leathers many times. Throw your sandals in the sink with some dish soap or Nature's Miracle. Wash them thoroughly and rinse them REALLY thoroughly. Let them air dry, then rub them down with cheap hand lotion to moisturize.
posted by workerant at 2:30 PM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

if any of these at-home suggestions don't work and you really really want to salvage these shoes, i recommend getting an estimate from leather spa in midtown.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 2:47 PM on June 26, 2014

Response by poster: Excellent. Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to try workerant's method first, as I've got all the necessary materials on hand. I'll let you know how it goes.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:52 PM on June 26, 2014

I'd spray them with a solution of half water, half vinegar. Wipe it down, then sprinkle with baking soda and let them sit for a few hours or overnight. Rinse them off and then see what condition the leather is in. Apply a bit of lotion or leather conditioner.

The vinegar will neutralize the chemicals in the dog's urine that smell and the baking soda will take care of anything else. As others have said, test an inconspicuous spot to test first as the vinegar might discolor the leather.

We did the same routine (minus the leather care part) on our carpets when we were house training our dog and it cleaned up the spots like it had never happened.
posted by VTX at 2:54 PM on June 26, 2014

I might be tempted to spray them with Lysol. Mostly just passing them through the mist. But that's me.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:02 PM on June 26, 2014

I had a leather back that my cats peed on. I soaked the CRAP out of it in Nature's Miracle and let it dry. It looks fine and no worse for the wear. But I'm not kidding about soaking--NM works, but you have to get whatever is soiled dripping wet.
posted by schroedinger at 3:11 PM on June 26, 2014

FYI, do not use vinegar or chemical cleaners (dish soap is fine) on the sandals before using the Nature's Miracle. The vinegar will break down the enzymes that should be breaking down the urea before they have a chance to do anything.

That said, vinegar does make an excellent rinse after the Nature's Miracle has done its thing, especially if you're doing a machine wash.
posted by wierdo at 3:27 PM on June 26, 2014

Hey, how'd it go?
posted by workerant at 8:32 AM on July 6, 2014

Response by poster: I've been so pressed for time lately, they're still sitting uncleaned in a corner of my bathroom. Oy.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:28 AM on July 6, 2014

Response by poster: Super late update, but I finally found the time to drag these out of the corner of my closet and deal with them. By the time I was dealing with it, there was no smell at all, so I just followed workerant's instructions for peace of mind and to make sure I had taken care of them before warm weather returns. They seem just fine. Probably they were already actually clean enough.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:15 PM on January 28, 2015

Response by poster: Oh, and since the smell seemed to have gone, I skipped the Nature's Miracle and just used dish soap.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:16 PM on January 28, 2015

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