Can you wash insoles?

Part of looking after your feet is looking after the things that are in regular contact with your feet, such as your socks, your shoes and, yes, your insoles. Whether they’re specialist pressure-relieving insoles or standard cushioning insoles, they can and should be washed in order to maintain good foot hygiene, helping to reduce the risk of infections and other foot health issues. Frequent washing can also help to avoid unpleasant odours, particularly if you wear your insoles often.

Think of it in a similar way to maintaining your general hygiene. You wouldn’t take a shower and then continue to wear dirty, sweaty clothes afterwards, so it makes sense to clean your insoles regularly for the same reason.

Should you take insoles out of shoes when washing them?

Before we get down to the method you should use when washing insoles, it’s helpful to know whether you should wash them separately from the shoes you wear them with, or together. The answer is that you should wash shoes and insoles separately.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, it’s just easier to clean an insole when it’s not hidden away inside your shoe. Taking the insole out makes it simpler for you to reach the toes area, allowing you to perform a more comprehensive clean of both the insole and the shoe, leading to reduced odours, a lower risk of infections and an overall cleaner space for your feet to be in.

Secondly, washing your shoes and insoles separately allows you to take the best possible care of them according to their individual needs. This is important if your shoes and insoles have differing care instructions – for instance if your shoes shouldn’t be washed in soapy water but your insoles should. This applies to instructions for drying the items as well as the washing process.

How to clean shoe insoles

Knowing how best to wash your shoes is as simple as finding out the garment care instructions for that particular pair, but what about your insoles?

The first and most important thing to note is that it’s best to steer clear of machine washing when it comes to insoles. It might be the more convenient option, but heated washes can damage the insoles.

Fortunately, we’ve collected four methods below that shouldn’t put a big dent in your time – the active parts are quick and easy, and the parts that involve waiting around don’t require supervision, so you can get on with whatever you need to.

The method you choose is entirely up to you, but it can depend in part on how smelly or dirty your insoles are, or how long it’s been since they were last cleaned. Take a look at the options below.

The wet wipe method

If you’re in a hurry and you just want to quickly freshen up your insoles, an antibacterial or deodorant wet wipe will do the trick. Just wipe the insole down and give it a few minutes to let any moisture dry off before popping your shoes on.

The soapy water and damp cloth method

This first method uses warm water mixed with a mild soap or detergent such as you’d use for washing dishes. Gently wipe down or scrub the insoles using a soft, damp cloth – don’t soak them in the liquid or they’ll take much longer to dry. For stubborn stains, an old toothbrush can be used to scrub, but be aware that harsh abrasions could damage the surface of the insole.

The water/vinegar spritz method

Using a mixture of one part warm water and one part distilled white vinegar, spritz your insole all over and let the cleaning solution sit. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant which will help to get rid of unpleasant odours lurking on your insoles.

The soaking method

If your insoles need more of a deep cleaning, you may need to soak them. Be aware that this method will take longer at the drying stage. Fill a washing up bowl or similar receptacle with two parts distilled white vinegar and one part warm water. Allow the insoles to soak for two to three hours in order to give the vinegar time to kill off bacteria on the insoles.

Whichever method you choose, another thing you can try so as to avoid odours building back up so quickly is to remove your insoles from your shoes every night so that they get some air around them. This can help to dry any sweat and lessen odours in between cleans.

Can you put shoe insoles in the dryer?

For each of these methods, the recommended drying method is to leave your insoles out to air dry, well away from any radiators or other heat sources. This is because too much heat may cause an insole to lose its shape, which can impact how well it supports and protects your feet. For this reason, steer clear of washing machines and tumble dryers for the best results.

It’s also important to make sure your insoles are completely dry before putting them back in your shoes. Moist, damp conditions around your feet can lead to foot health problems such as athlete’s foot which can be uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with.

For the last three methods, it’s recommended to leave them overnight to dry. If you’re likely to need the insoles the next day after washing them – or even sooner – then it’s a good idea to have a spare set of insoles to use while your primary set is drying. Rotating different pairs of insoles between washes can also help to reduce odours and extend the longevity of each pair of insoles.

Finally, if you’re at all unsure about what’s best when it comes to cleaning your insoles, check the care instructions that came with them. Whether they’re cushioning insoles designed to relieve blisters or are designed for a more specific purpose, the best thing you can do is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Summary
Can you wash insoles?
Article Name
Can you wash insoles?
Description
Part of looking after your feet is looking after the things that are in regular contact with your feet, such as your socks, your shoes and, yes, your insoles. Whether they’re specialist pressure-relieving insoles or standard cushioning insoles, they can and should be washed in order to maintain good foot hygiene, helping to reduce the risk of infections and other foot health issues.
Author
Publisher Name
ZeroSole

About the author

David Barton

David began innovating offloading insoles and orthotic devices for diabetic foot ulcers as an undergraduate. His research provided instrumental data which sparked off further R&D projects relating to the ZeroSole Reliever insole, all of which has paved the way to developing numerous disruptive products, not just in the pharmaceutical retail sector, but in the medical sector too. As a founder, David is on a mission to make ZeroSole the go-to brand for innovative offloading (pressure-relieving) technologies that are effective, simple and easy to use.
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