How to Clean Shoe Insoles Naturally with Home Remedies and What You Should Avoid?

by Kremy

In the busy summer season, shoes get dirty much faster and need to be cleaned regularly. This also applies to the insoles. How to clean shoe insoles and which home remedies are best for cleaning, read on!

The Easiest Shoe Insoles Cleaning Method

how to clean shoe insoles with vinegar

The best way to wash your insoles is with soap and water. Hand wash your insoles with lukewarm water and mild soap or detergent. Remove them from the shoes and scrub gently with an old toothbrush. After cleaning, let them air dry.

Here’s what you need to clean your shoe insoles.

  • A plastic bowl for soaking/washing the shoes
  • An old toothbrush with soft bristles to gently clean the insoles
  • A mild soap such as fragrance-free laundry detergent, dish soap, or baby shampoo
  • A large towel to dry the insoles
  • A second large towel to pat the insoles dry

Note: If you clean your shoe insoles with soap, fragrance-free soaps are usually most effective because they eliminate odors instead of masking them.

How to Clean Shoe Insoles with Vinegar

cleaning shoe insoles with vinegar


Vinegar is one of the most common household cleaners because it is a natural disinfectant and kills bacteria hiding in your shoes. Spray your shoes and insoles with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent white distilled vinegar. Let the shoe insoles air dry for 30 minutes. Spray a small amount inside your shoes each time you take your shoes off. This will keep your shoes smelling good.

You can also make a mixture of vinegar and water, with 2 parts vinegar and 1 part hot water and soak the insoles for a few hours. After a few hours, rinse the insoles thoroughly to remove the vinegar.

Neutralize Odors with Baking Soda

neutralize odors with baking powder

Many people use baking soda to neutralize odors and kill bacteria Here’s how to clean shoe insoles properly: put one to two teaspoons of baking soda in a large plastic bag. Then put the insoles in the bag and shake it. Be sure to spread the baking soda all over the insoles as you do this. Leave the insoles in the bag overnight. Then simply remove the remains of the baking soda or wipe it off with a damp cloth. Your insoles should smell much better now.

Rubbing Alcohol for Disinfecting Shoe Insoles

rubbing alcohol can be used to clean shoe insoles

Rubbing alcohol can also be used to clean shoe inserts thanks to its disinfecting properties. This will kill bacteria and remove odors. Alcohol evaporates, so you don’t have to rinse it off. This method works well for non-removable insoles. Simply mix equal parts alcohol and water in a bowl or spray bottle and spray the insoles and shoes thoroughly. Let it dry and your shoes are good to wear again!

Also read: How to Clean Suede Sneakers Naturally to Make Them Look Brand New?

How to Clean Insoles: Kill Bacteria in the Freezer

Foot odor is a problem that is more common than you might think! Most of us spend at least 8 hours a day in our shoes, and with the summer heat when we sweat more than usual, it’s no surprise that many people suffer from foot odor. It may sound strange, but you can use the freezer to get rid of bacteria on smelly shoe inserts. Place your shoes or insoles in a clean freezer bag and leave them in the freezer for 24 to 48 hours. This trick is perfect for shoes or insoles that must not get wet. The cold kills bacteria and your insoles are clean and smell good again.

Can You Use the Washing Machine to Clean the Insoles?

Unless you have insoles that are suitable for machine washing, we recommend that you refrain from this method. If you want to thoroughly clean your removable insoles, you can wash them in the machine, but with caution! Place them in a laundry bag, wash them in cold water on the gentle cycle, and then air dry. Do not spin them as this will shrink them and the shape may be damaged.

What to Avoid When You Clean Shoe Insoles?

how to clean shoe insoles naturally with home remedies


When you clean shoe insoles, avoid heating them because heat can soften the adhesive on the insole, causing the layers to separate. It can also cause certain areas to contract, changing the shape of the insoles and your shoes won’t be as comfortable as they were before.

Insoles Care to Prevent Dirt and Odors

  • If you clean your insoles regularly, you prevent dirt and odors. Make it a habit to clean the soles of your shoes once a week or twice a month.
  • To reduce odor and dirt on your insoles, wear socks. Socks help absorb sweat and dirt so they don’t get onto your insoles.
  • Try to alternate your shoes and don’t always wear the same pair.
  • Replace the old insoles when you notice that they are worn out. Do this on shoes that you wear frequently so the insoles are always of good quality and clean.



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