If you have a pair of stinky shoes that have dirty insoles and are looking for ways to clean and deodorize them then you have come to the right place. We have a number of solutions that can show you how to clean non-removable insoles and get your shoes smelling fresh again.
The key to doing this the right way is to understand the shoe material and its limitations before doing something that might ruin your shoes.
You will also need to know the difference between disinfecting, deodorizing and cleaning which may have slightly different outcomes. So let’s talk about the different ways to clean shoe insoles and what may work for your particular problem.
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Different Insole Cleaning Solutions
Firstly before starting to work on cleaning your non-removable insoles you need to understand the basics of each method.
If you are cleaning your shoe insoles then you are probably expecting to remove all visible dirt and grime so that your shoes are smelling fresh again.
This differs from disinfecting a shoe. When you deodorize a non-removable insole you don’t necessarily have to make the insole look like new again. You do however want to kill bacteria that could cause problems with your feet or that are creating odor.
When you are deodorizing insoles then you are simply hoping to remove any bad odors from the shoe so that they no longer smell. Some deodorizing methods will naturally kill bacteria but others may not.
So before tackling your shoe insoles think about which method is most suitable for your particular needs.
Think Carefully About the Shoe Material Before You Start Cleaning
Some shoes are going to be more robust and able to deal with vigorous cleaning methods than others. Make sure you are aware of what your shoes are able to handle before doing any vigorous cleaning.
For example, suede shoes are going to need more delicate cleaning methods than some other shoe materials.
We always suggest that you think before acting as you don’t want to ruin your shoes. Be particularly carefully for example about placing shoes in a washing machine or allowing them to be completely submerged in water.
A washing machine may be suitable for some trainers when a delicate cycle is used but the same method could render other types of shoes unwearable. This is why we believe that hand washing your shoes and insoles is a safer method than using a washing machine.
How Do You Disinfect Insoles?
If you want to disinfect your non-removeable insoles then our first method is a relatively easy solution.
We recommend using a handheld steamer for deep cleaning to kill most of the viruses and bacteria that might be found inside your shoe insole.
There are lots of different models of steam cleaners that are on the market that you can use to remove odor and kill bacteria. Many people for example have handheld steamers that they use at home to remove wrinkles from clothing that should work relatively well.
Just fill the steamer with water and then blast the jet of hot steam inside the shoe to kill the bacteria and the nasty smells.
This Polardo Steamer is a great example of a product that you can use for your clothes as well as your shoes.
Just remember that steam cleaning does mean that there may be a small amount of moisture in your shoe from the hot steam. Therefore it makes sense to air dry your shoes before wearing them after trying this method.
How To Clean The Inside of Leather Shoes
If you want to know how to clean non-removable insoles in leather shoes then you need to take a gentler approach to avoid ruining the material of the shoe.
The standard way of cleaning the inside of leather shoes is to fill a spray bottle with a mixture of warm water, white vinegar and a few drops of tea tree oil. When you have the mixture ready spray it onto a clean cloth and then start wiping down your insoles with the product.
Vinegar is a great way of deodorizing and disinfecting your shoes whilst tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties. The only downside is that vinegar does smell so try and air dry your shoes in a well-ventilated place for a few days to allow the smell to dissipate.
Alternative Methods of Cleaning the Inside of Shoes
Alternatively, if you want to clean non-removable insoles and you know that your shoes can tolerate a little water then the next method also works well.
Firstly remove any shoelaces from the shoes and put them to one side. Make sure you remove any excess dirt or debris from the outside of the shoes and then shake your shoes upside down to remove anything that may be inside the shoe.
Get a small bowl and fill it with warm water and then add either a mild liquid dish detergent or alternatively some liquid laundry detergent and mix it into the water. This should create a soapy water mix that is perfect for cleaning.
Now get a toothbrush or a small scrubbing brush and start to dip the brush into the soapy water and start scrubbing the inside of your shoes and insoles.
There is no need to saturate the shoes completely but you need to rub the dish soap mixture into the insoles so that you are removing as much dirt and grime as possible. When you have the insoles looking clean get a clean cloth and dip it into cold water and gently start wiping away the dish soap suds until the inside of your shoes is clean.
Now place some paper towels into the shoes to absorb the excess moisture. Leave them inside your shoes for a few hours and then remove them and allow your shoes to air dry naturally.
Using Rubbing Alcohol To Clean Non-Removeable Insoles
As an alternative to soap and water, you could use rubbing alcohol to clean your shoes and kill those odors. This is a great method if you are worried about water causing damage to your shoes.
Simply buy some Rubbing Alcohol and either place it in a spray bottle and spritz your insoles with it or alternatively place some of the product onto a cloth and rub it into the areas you need to clean.
As the alcohol will evaporate there is no worry about moisture causing damage to your shoe. Just allow your shoes to completely dry naturally before wearing your deodorized shoes again.
Does Baking Soda Deodorize Shoes?
When your shoes have been cleaned and are dry this is the perfect time to use baking soda as a way of deodorizing your shoe insoles.
Baking soda is an amazing cheap product that you can use to help you get rid of smells caused by your feet in shoes.
Sprinkle the baking powder into your shoes or alternatively place the baking powder into a pair of old socks and allow the product to work its magic.
Remember that baking soda isn’t cleaning your shoes so that they look clean but rather removing the funky odor.
How Long Should You Leave Baking Soda in Shoes?
If you are going to use baking soda in your shoes then it is better to allow the product to work for around 24 hours to really work its magic.
When the product has done its job you can simply tip your shoe upside down and shake away any excess product so that you aren’t walking around with clouds of baking soda coming off your shoes.
How to Clean Hey Dude Insoles
If you have a pair of Hey Dude Shoes then you are likely to find that they have removable insoles which makes the whole cleaning process a little easier.
As with the previous method we have mentioned all you need to do is use a soapy water mix and scrub the insole with a stiff-bristled brush. When the insoles look clean rinse them in cold water and allow the insole to dry before wearing your shoes again.
Can I Spray My Shoes With Lysol?
Whilst many people have used Lysol in their shoes without ill effects it is always advisable to buy a product that has been specially created for shoes rather than using something that you would use for general household cleaning.
Remember that Lysol may not have been tested on shoes for discoloration or staining which means that if you use it you could have a problem.
10 Seconds Shoe Disinfectant and Deoderizer would be a better choice if you are looking to kill bacteria and remove the smell from your insoles.
Are Clorox Wipes Safe for Shoes?
Clorox wipes tend to be used around the home and are not designed especially for shoes or sneakers. Therefore there is a chance that if you use them on your shoes you may cause marks or stains.
You are always better using a wipe that has been designed for use with shoes and one of the leading brands in the market is Jason Markks Shoe Wipes. These are individually wrapped which means that you can pop one in your pocket or bag and use it on the go.
These can be used to clean the outside of your shoe or remove marks or dirt from the insole if you rub the problem area with the wipe.
If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful way to get rid of the smell from your shoes and insoles then freezing them is an excellent solution to kill bacteria.
This method is simple to use but make sure that you don’t put your shoes straight into the freezer. They should always be wrapped in a clear freezer bag first which is sealed and then placed into the appliance. This prevents the smell from your shoes from transferring to the food that is already stored in the freezer.
To make sure that you do this effectively you will need to leave your shoes in the freezer for a couple of days. When the time is up just take them out, remove the plastic bags and allow them to get back up to room temperature before wearing them.
Can Gel Insoles Be Washed?
Gel insoles are generally ok to be washed or cleaned but they should never be placed in a washing machine or in hot water.
Simple giving them a clean with soapy water and a soft brush to remove any dirt should do the trick. Rinse with cold water and then allow them to dry before placing them back in your shoes.
Can You Wash Orthotics Insoles?
Finally, we know that we are talking mainly about how to clean non-removable insoles but plenty of people also wear orthotics so what can you do if these start to smell or look dirty?
As orthotics are expensive, especially the custom-made ones it makes sense to keep them clean and make them last for as long as possible.
Luckily orthotics can be cleaned by the soapy water method that we discussed earlier or you can use rubbing alcohol on them if you are worried about the smell. Just remember that you should never place them in the washing machine or dryer as they may lose their shape and this will render them useless.
Walkhero Orthotics are one of the leading brands on the market and are suitable for cleaning by hand so it makes sense to buy these if you are looking for something to help with arch support or plantar fasciitis. If you take care of them they should last you two years which is quite some time for the price.
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