How to Clean Insoles

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Insoles for Fresher and Odor-Free Footwear


Insoles are an essential part of our shoes, providing comfort, support, and cushioning to our feet. However, over time, they can accumulate sweat, bacteria, and unpleasant odors, making it crucial to clean them regularly. Cleaning insoles not only extends their lifespan but also ensures a fresher and more hygienic environment for your feet. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through a simple step-by-step guide on how to clean insoles effectively, so you can enjoy odor-free and comfortable shoes.

Materials Needed:

Before we begin, gather the following materials:

  1. Mild soap or laundry detergent
  2. Warm water
  3. Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  4. Clean cloth or sponge
  5. Baking soda (optional)
  6. Essential oils (optional)

Step 1: Remove the Insoles:

Take the insoles out of your shoes carefully. Most insoles are removable, but some may be glued in place. If they are glued, proceed with caution to avoid damaging the insoles or the shoes themselves.

Step 2: Shake Off Debris:

Gently shake the insoles to remove any loose dirt, debris, or excess powder, such as baking soda, if you have previously used it to combat odor.

Step 3: Pre-Treatment (Optional):

If your insoles have a strong odor, pre-treat them with baking soda to absorb the smell. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on both sides of the insoles and leave them to sit for at least 1-2 hours or overnight. The baking soda will help neutralize odors effectively.

Step 4: Hand Washing:

Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild soap or laundry detergent. Mix it gently to create a soapy solution.

Step 5: Scrubbing:

Dip the soft-bristled brush or toothbrush into the soapy water. Start scrubbing the insoles gently on both sides. Pay special attention to areas with stains or buildup. Be cautious not to use excessive force to avoid damaging the insoles’ material.

Step 6: Rinsing:

After scrubbing, rinse the insoles thoroughly under running water to remove any soap residue.

Step 7: Odor Removal (Optional):

If the odor persists, you can add a few drops of essential oil to warm water and soak the insoles for a few minutes. Essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender, or eucalyptus have antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate bacteria and bad smells. However, remember that some essential oils may cause allergic reactions in some individuals, so use them with caution.

Step 8: Drying:

Place the insoles on a clean towel and gently press to remove excess water. Allow them to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources, as excessive heat may warp or damage the insoles.

Step 9: Reinserting the Insoles:

Once the insoles are completely dry, carefully place them back into your shoes.

Tips to Maintain Clean Insoles:

  1. Clean your insoles regularly to prevent dirt and odor buildup.
  2. Consider wearing moisture-wicking socks to reduce sweat absorption and odor.
  3. Use shoe deodorizers or cedar shoe inserts to maintain a fresh-smelling environment.
  4. Rotate between multiple pairs of shoes to allow each pair’s insoles to dry out fully between wears.
  5. Replace insoles when they show signs of wear, such as flattened cushioning or visible damage.


Cleaning insoles is a simple task that can significantly impact the freshness and comfort of your footwear. By following these easy steps and incorporating good foot hygiene practices, you can ensure that your shoes and insoles remain in top-notch condition, providing maximum comfort and support for your feet. Clean insoles not only enhance your overall shoe-wearing experience but also contribute to better foot health and hygiene in the long run

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