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How to Clean & Reseal your Birkenstock Cork

Birkenstock's signature footbed is a cork and latex combination that is molded into a orthopedic footbed. It is the signature building block of all their shoes. Whether you buy a sandals or a shoe, almost every Birkenstock has a cork footbed. In the sandals and clogs models there will be exposed cork on the outside of your shoe. On the outside of the cork there is a thin layer of cork sealant that Birkenstock applies at the the factory. See that shiny layer on the sandal right here - that's the sealant. All new pairs are sealed and ready to go - the catch is that you have to reseal them every so often or your Birkenstocks won't look as nice and won't last as long as they could.

I saw this on the internet and wanted to assure you that Cork Sealant or Cork Renew is not overpriced Elmer's glue. I have had a few customers over the years tell me that they used the Elmer's and came back because as the Elmer's wore off it TOOK CORK WITH IT. I don't recommend using this.

It really doesn't work.

So after you've worn them for a while the sealer will wear off. It might take you 3 month, 6 months or more. It depends how often you wear them and how hard you are on your shoes - everyone is different. You will need some supplies in order to take care of them. The cork sealant is probably one of the only unique products that might only use on your Birkenstocks. You may be able to use on a couple other brands, such as Mephisto or Naot - but if you have doubts - let us look at your shoe. Some of the latex to cork ratio - if it even is latex - may not work well with a sealant on it.


Cleaning Solution: Use your favorite cleaner that you have at home - Simple Green, 409, etc

Rag: Can use a microfiber cloth or a torn up towel

Birkenstock Kit: Has a small cork seal included in the kit.

Cork Renew: A cork sealer we like. Has a brush applicator.

Cleaning and sealing your cork is an easy way to keep your sandals lasting longer!

Watch this quick video on our Youtube channel to see how the pros Clean and Seal the Birkenstock Cork

Tiff shows us how to clean many different types of Birks like Oiled Leather & Suede as well as the most important parts like the Footbed.

Step One:

new and sealed
raw cork

Take a look at your Birkenstocks periodically to see if you need to reseal your cork. The cork, when new, has a shine to it - that's the sealant. When it wears off the cork will have a raw look to it. You may have patches in high wear spots or it may need it all around.

Step Two:

You may find that the old Cork Seal is starting to peel away from the cork towards edge of the cork where the suede liner begins (where your foot sits). We recommend removing those pieces with either nippers or a nail file so that you are getting a good, fresh seal on your cork.

Step Three:

Take a lightly damp rag and wipe the cork off. If it has tough ground in dirt, you may want to use some cleaner to get it off. Use sparingly. This will help you get the cork as clean as possible before resealing.

Step Four:

You can apply the Birkenstock Cork Seal in one of two ways:

1. Apply a pea sized amount of cork seal to the cork

and use your finger or paint brush to smooth out in a thin layer.

2. Use the built in sponge applicator to apply a thin layer of cork seal.

Be sure to avoid the straps, use your finger if necessary.

The Cork Renew already has a brush inside the bottle which makes application a little easier.

Pro Tips:

  • Keep it in the fridge and it will last longer.

  • For either product you will apply a thin layer of sealant.

  • It will go on white and dry clear.

  • Should take about 15 - 20 minutes to dry.

  • For really dry or raw areas you may need to reapply.


Please ONLY seal the exposed cork on the side of the shoe.

NOT the footbed where your foot sits.

THAT'S IT - BUT it is so important. In Las Vegas we live in a very dry climate which causes the cork and latex to dry out quickly. Too dry or too wet and the cork suffers. Birkenstocks are an investment and we want to help you take care of them. We aren't just trying to sell you something extra - we are trying to help you make your investment last longer.

Now this pair has had it. They definitely need a repair. There is too much damage to the footbed to repair the cork. So we do a Recraft. What we do is take the uppers or straps off and replace everything else. You would receive a new footbed and sole in a recraft and we clean the upper as good as we can. No miracles - but we try to get them as clean as possible.

Repairing a Birkenstock seems like a no brainer. Have a style or color you can't replace, let's fix them! Nostalgia making you keep them or you just love them so much - let's do a repair. We have different levels of repairs and all it takes is for us to look at your shoes to give you an idea about how much it will cost. Trust me - Don't ever throw away your Birks until we tell you to.

Not sure if your cork needs more work? If you have any questions bring your sandals or shoes into the store and we will take a look. We will definitely help you figure out the best solution to take care of your shoes.

Hope this helps!

*By using our Affiliate links - it is no extra cost to you, but it gives us a small commission to help support our blog & Youtube channel😉👍 THANKS!

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