How to Clean Smelly Insoles

Say Goodbye to Foot Odor: A Complete Guide to Cleaning Smelly Insoles


Smelly insoles can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable problem for anyone. Whether it’s the result of perspiration, bacteria buildup, or wearing shoes without socks, nobody wants to deal with unpleasant foot odor. Fortunately, cleaning smelly insoles is a straightforward process that can be easily incorporated into your regular shoe maintenance routine. In this blog post, we will provide you with a detailed guide on how to clean smelly insoles effectively, so you can enjoy fresh and odor-free shoes once again.

Step 1: Remove the Insoles:

Start by removing the insoles from your shoes. Most insoles are designed to be removable, making the cleaning process much easier. Take them out gently to avoid causing any damage.

Step 2: Shake Off Loose Dirt and Debris:

Once you have the insoles out, give them a good shake to remove any loose dirt, debris, or small particles that may have accumulated inside the shoes. This step will prepare them for a more thorough cleaning process.

Step 3: Hand Wash with Mild Soap:

For this step, you’ll need a bowl of warm water and some mild soap or detergent. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the insoles or irritate your skin. Gently scrub the insoles using a soft brush or your hands. Pay extra attention to the areas that have noticeable stains or discoloration.

Step 4: Disinfect with Vinegar or Baking Soda:

To eliminate any bacteria causing the odor, you can use either white vinegar or baking soda. Both are natural and effective deodorizers. For vinegar, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a bowl, then soak the insoles in the solution for about 30 minutes. If you prefer using baking soda, sprinkle a generous amount directly onto the insoles and let them sit for a few hours.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly:

After disinfecting, rinse the insoles thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap, vinegar, or baking soda residues. Ensure that no cleaning agents remain as they could cause irritation when in contact with your feet.

Step 6: Dry Properly:

Proper drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth. Avoid using direct heat sources like radiators or hair dryers, as excessive heat can deform the insoles. Instead, let them air dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or by an open window. If you’re in a hurry, you can place them near a fan to speed up the drying process.

Step 7: Sunlight:

Sunlight acts as a natural disinfectant and deodorizer. After washing and drying, expose the insoles to direct sunlight for a few hours. The sun’s UV rays will further help to kill any remaining bacteria and eliminate odors.

Step 8: Use Deodorizing Products:

Once your insoles are clean and dry, you can take preventive measures by using deodorizing products. Shoe deodorizing sprays, cedar wood shoe inserts, or activated charcoal pouches are excellent options to keep your shoes smelling fresh.

Step 9: Maintain Good Foot Hygiene:

Lastly, maintain good foot hygiene to prevent smelly insoles in the future. Wash your feet daily, wear moisture-wicking socks, and allow your shoes to air out between wears.


Cleaning smelly insoles doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily refresh your insoles and say goodbye to foot odor. Regular cleaning, proper drying, and preventive measures will not only keep your insoles smelling fresh but also prolong the lifespan of your shoes. So, follow these tips, and you’ll be stepping out with confidence and comfort in your odor-free shoes.

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