Can You Wash Shoe Insoles? Yes and Here’s How

Got smelly insoles driving the rest of the office mad? Are you known as Smelly Nelly? Your insoles may need a good old scrub.

Shoe Insoles

It’s normal to perspire from our feet. In fact we sweat about half a pint a day due to the 250,000 sweat glands.

Sweat is more concentrated on our feet than any other body part.

For those that sweat a little too much (like me), it becomes a huge problem.

I’m a sweater. I can’t change that.

It just means I have to wash my shoes and insoles a little more frequently than others.

So that begs the question. Can you wash shoe insoles?

Yes, Insoles Can Be Washed

Insoles absorb all the sweat that our feet perspire throughout the day.

And like I said, that’s a whopping half a pint that they absorb.

Your socks absorb a lot but not enough.

However, insoles should not be washed with your shoes because it can damage them.

They need to be washed separately as they need more attention.

There are multiple ways to do so but I will recommend my favorite methods.

These 2 are the easiest and most effective.

5-Minute Hand Wash

This method takes only 5 minutes and it’s very effective at cleaning your grubby soles.

  • Fill a sink with warm water
  • Add a few drops of liquid detergent
  • Scrub the dirt and grime off using a soft brush
  • Rinse excess soap with clean tap water
  • Let them air dry overnight

3-Hour Advanced Wash

This method is for insoles that continue to smell after you’ve completed a hand wash.

Vinegar is famous for killing bacteria and germs, which is what’s driving your coworkers insane.

  • Simply add 1 part vinegar and 1 part water in the sink
  • Place the insoles inside
  • Add essential oils if you want to (optional)
  • Leave to sit for 3 hours
  • Rinse with tap water, ensuring all the vinegar has been removed
  • Leave to sit overnight

These are the most effective ways at cleaning your insoles.

They’re easy and cost-effective.

If you have any of your own tricks you would like to add, pop them in the comments below.

We would love to hear them!

How Often Should You Wash Them?

In all honesty it’s personal personal preference and depends on how often you wash your shoes.

Some might wash theirs every 2 weeks, others every month, and some might not only wash their shoes every 6 months.

Personally I wash all my shoes every 4 weeks.

Sometimes I’ll leave it a bit longer if I’m not wearing them everyday.

It’s good to wash your daily shoes every month but not mandatory.

But what about insoles? Should you wash them when you wash your shoes?


Sometimes I’ll skip washing the shoe altogether and just wash the insoles because they have the most bacteria and odor.

A good rule of thumb for washing insoles is every 2 weeks, or at the very least, once a month.

But what if you have a ton of sneakers and don’t want to be washing them all the time?

Something I like to do is set a day that I wash ALL my insoles.

That way I can do a full blowout and get them done all at once. No need to worry about what shoes have been cleaned and what hasn’t.


It’s important to let your insoles air dry.

Throwing them in the dryer is a recipe for disaster.

Heat can and will shrink your insoles up to 2 sizes, or warp them so much they’re virtually unwearable.

It’s best to let them sit on a rack and air dry, or even sit on a paper towel overnight.

Also do not machine wash your insoles or shoes.

Again, heat is your enemy.

Do no expose them to heat sources and you won’t have a problem.

And that’s why it’s so important to use warm water during the hand washing process and not hot water.

Wrapping Up

I hope you enjoyed this short and sweet article.

This is going to rid your name of Smelly Nelly once and for all, I just know it.

These 2 methods are a great for ridding your insoles of smells and odors that have all the women running for the hills.

But you also need to know how to wash your shoes too.

I bet they’ve got some STANCH to them.

Here’s a whole article on that <== You definitely need to check it out

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