orthotics or insoles

How to Clean Insoles and Orthotics

When you have to wear insoles or orthotics, the last thing you probably think about is how to clean them. But once they start to get a bit whiffy, you’ll certainly want to know the best way to do it!

So, let’s cover how to clean insoles. The method below will be suitable for everything from over-the-counter insoles to custom-made prescription orthotics.

It generally doesn’t matter what materials your insoles or orthotics are made from when it comes to cleaning.

Harder insoles, such as plastic ones, can take a bit more of a thorough cleaning, whereas foam and leather insoles might be best kept away from water.

So, you have a few options depending on the materials and how deeply they need to be cleaned.


Removing Smells from Insoles

remove smell from insoles with bicarbonate of soda

This method is ideal for foam and leather insoles that just need odour removal. All you need to do is get a Tupperware container and some bicarbonate of soda.

Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of bicarb into the container, add your insoles and put the lid on.

Give it a little shake and then leave it overnight. The next day, brush off any bicarb stuck to the insoles and you should find they no longer smell.


Deep Cleaning Insoles

brushing insoles

Deep cleaning insoles really isn’t a difficult job. It’s best done by hand because the heat, water levels and agitating motion of a washing machine can cause insoles to lose their shape.

As such, you’ll need:

  • A washing up bowl
  • Washing up liquid or mild laundry detergent
  • A damp cloth
  • An old toothbrush

The steps are as follows:

  1. Fill your bowl with warm water and a small amount of washing up liquid.
  2. Dip your cloth in the water and wring it out so it’s damp.
  3. Wipe your insoles down with the cloth. If they need a more thorough cleaning, get a toothbrush and scrub them.
  4. Using a clean cloth and fresh water, wipe your insoles down again to remove residue.
  5. Leave them somewhere out of direct sunlight to air dry overnight.

air drying insoles

Avoid submerging your insoles in the water. While a small dip probably won’t do any harm, it’s best to just wipe them down with a damp cloth to avoid this risk entirely.


Killing Bacteria on Insoles

Generally, the cleaning method above should be enough to keep your insoles fresh. But if you’re conscious about killing bacteria, you can spray your insoles with white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Use a spray bottle to evenly distribute the liquid and then leave your insoles for 5-10 minutes. Wipe them down with a clean damp cloth and leave them to air dry.


Can You Wash Orthotics and Insoles in the Washing Machine?

wash insoles in washing machine

You should avoid putting your orthotics or insoles in a washing machine.

The heat and excess water, combined with the agitating motion, can flatten them out or ruin the material.

Washing them by hand is always the best option because it’s the gentlest cleaning method you can use.


How Do You Get the Smell Out of Orthotics?

The best way to get smell out of orthotics is to use bicarbonate of soda. It’s a really good odour eliminator that’s also inexpensive and easy to use.

Other than that, you should aim to remove the orthotics from your shoes overnight to allow them to dry out and air properly.

If you’re in a pinch, a quick spray of Febreze won’t do any harm!

orthotics or insoles

Final Thoughts

Cleaning insoles and orthotics doesn’t need to be a difficult job. Provided you follow the tips above, it should be easy to keep them looking and smelling fresh so they’re ready to use whenever you need them.