Shoe insoles can be one of the dirtiest parts, as they absorb most of the sweat. Therefore, cleaning them regularly is a must.
Whether you’re working with standard insoles, foam ones, or specialist orthotics, cleaning help keeps them fresh.
But can you put insoles in the washing machine? Find out below.
Can You Put Insoles in the Washing Machine?
While it ultimately depends on the materials used in your insoles, you generally won’t be able to put them in the washing machine.
Many insoles contain rubber or leather, which could be damaged by the heat and agitating motion.
However, pure foam insoles should be fine if washed on a delicate cycle in a mesh laundry bag.
Of course, knowing what your insoles are made from can be difficult. If you’re not sure what they’re made of, it’s best to just wash them by hand. This isn’t a difficult job, and there are plenty of household products you can use depending on what you need to do.
How Do You Clean Stinky Insoles?
The methods below will be fine on all types of insoles. For leather, just be sparing with the amount of water you use and don’t dry on a radiator or in the tumble dryer.
Foam and rubber (and orthotics materials) can withstand a bit more water.
Deodorising with bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda is a great all-round cleaning product known for its deodorising abilities. Using it on insoles is super easy:
- Using a Tupperware container or zip-lock bag, add a few tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. It should be enough for the insoles to sit in it.
- Add the insoles, pushing down into the bicarb. Alternatively, put the insoles in a container and sprinkle it on top.
- Put the lid on or seal the bag and leave overnight.
- Remove the insoles and shake off any powder. You could also vacuum them.
Disinfecting insoles with rubbing alcohol
- Mix the rubbing alcohol 50/50 with water in a spray bottle. If you’re using the other products, make it stronger (70/30).
- Remove the insoles from your shoes and spray with the solution. Leave to dry and put them back in your shoes.
Washing with soapy water
Finally, you can simply wash them with soapy water. You can do this with leather insoles, but just be sparing with the amount of water you use and make sure they don’t get wet.
This method hardly needs instructions. Mix a small amount of washing up liquid with warm water and then scrub the insoles using a toothbrush or nail brush. Wipe down and leave somewhere to dry.
Insoles are fairly easy to clean, so there’s no real need to put them in the washing machine. Keeping them clean will help your shoes (and feet) smell fresher, so don’t underestimate the benefit scrubbing your insoles can have!
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.