October 16

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How to Clean the Insoles of Your Shoes (Without Ruining Them)

By Teddy

October 16, 2022


The insoles of your shoes are important. They provide cushioning and support for your feet, and they can also help to keep your shoes smelling fresh. But over time, they can get dirty and smelly. If you don’t clean them regularly, the dirt and sweat can build up and lead to foot fungus or other problems. So how do you clean the insoles of your shoes without ruining them? Read on to find out!

What You’ll Need: 

  • Liquid dish soap
  • A soft-bristled brush (toothbrushes work well)
  • A bowl, basin, or sink filled with warm water
  • A clean, dry cloth
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

Why it is important to clean the insoles of your shoes

It’s important to clean the insoles of your shoes for health reasons. Dirty and sweaty insoles can lead to foot fungus, which can cause itchiness and can also lead to skin irritation, blisters, and ulcers. If left untreated, foot fungus can spread to the nails and cause nail discoloration, brittleness, and deformity. While foot fungus is not dangerous, it can be extremely uncomfortable and make it difficult to walk or wear shoes. If you think you have foot fungus, it is important to see a doctor so that it can be properly treated.

To summarize there are two main reason to clean your insoles:

  1. Keeping shoe insoles clean helps prevent foot fungus and other problems caused by dirt and sweat buildup.
  2. Clean insoles can also help keep your shoes smelling fresh and reduce the odor they produce.

What cleaning solution to use on your insoles

If your feet sweat a lot, you know how important it is to keep your shoes and insoles clean. But what’s the best way to clean them? You don’t want to use a harsh cleaning solution that will damage the material, but you also don’t want to use something that’s not strong enough to kill bacteria. Dish soap mixed with warm water is a good choice. It’s gentle enough for most materials but still effective at getting rid of dirt and bacteria.

Here are a few dish soaps you can use:

  • Dawn (my personal choice)
  • Joy
  • Ivory

If you want to add extra odor-fighting power, you can mix in a little bit of white vinegar or sprinkle some baking soda onto the insoles before cleaning. Both are natural deodorizers that will help eliminate odors.

Remove the Insoles

Begin by removing the insoles from your shoes. You might find that they are difficult to remove so if they are stuck, use a butter knife or similar tool to pry them out. The insoles might need to be brushed off if there is dirt or debris on them. If they’re particularly dirty, you may want to place them in the freezer for an hour or two first. This will make any hardened dirt and grime making them much easier to remove. 

Mix a Cleaning Solution

Fill your basin or bucket with warm water and a squirt or two of mild dish soap (I personally use dawn). Be sure to swish the water around. Swishing soap in water helps to create suds, which can trap dirt and grime and prevent it from redepositing on clean surfaces. As a result, swishing soap in water is an essential step in cleaning the insoles.

If your insoles are still looking a little dingy or smell particularly bad then add ½ cup of white vinegar to the cleaning solution.

Place the Insoles in the Cleaning Solution

Place the insoles in the soapy water and let them soak for a few minutes. Personally I like to let them sit for 5 minutes to give the dirt and sweat a chance to break up before doing anything else. If the insole is really gross, then let it soak for 10-15 minutes.

Start Scrubbing

Use an old toothbrush or shoe brush to scrub the insoles clean. Be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies! Since you are using a soft-bristled brush, you don’t have to worry about damaging the insole so you can go to town. Scrub the entire surface to make sure you have really broken down all the sweat and bacteria.

Rinse off Your Insoles

Just use regular warm water at first to rinse off the cleaning solution for a few minutes. Be sure to remove all of the soap suds from the insoles.

Dry Them Off

Place the insoles on a towel or cloth and pat them down until they are reasonably dry. Then leave them so that they are able to air dry before putting them back in your shoes. Make sure they are bone dry before putting them back in the shoe! If they aren’t, then this will cause a build-up of mold and fungus, which is exactly what we wanted to avoid.

Deodorize Your Insoles

To help deodorize your insoles (and shoes), sprinkle baking soda on them before putting them back in your shoes. You can also put a dryer sheet in each shoe overnight to absorb any bad smells. 

Conclusion

Your feet deserve the best—and that includes clean, fresh-smelling insoles! With this simple guide, you can easily keep your shoe insoles clean without ruining them. So what are you waiting for? Get cleaning!

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