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How to Clean Non-Removable Insoles

Learn effective methods to clean and maintain non-removable insoles to keep your shoes fresh and odor-free.

Table of Contents


Non-removable insoles, found in many types of footwear, can become dirty and develop unpleasant odors over time. Properly cleaning and maintaining these insoles is essential not only for hygiene but also for the longevity of your shoes. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of cleaning non-removable insoles, the supplies you’ll need, effective cleaning methods, drying techniques, tips for odor elimination, and how to maintain these insoles to keep your shoes fresh and comfortable.

1. Importance of Cleaning Non-Removable Insoles

Cleaning non-removable insoles is vital for several reasons:

  • Hygiene: Over time, sweat, dirt, and bacteria can accumulate on insoles, leading to unpleasant odors and potential health issues.
  • Comfort: Clean insoles offer better comfort and support, ensuring your feet feel good in your shoes.
  • Longevity: Regular cleaning can extend the lifespan of your shoes by preventing the breakdown of materials caused by dirt and bacteria.

Now, let’s gather the supplies you’ll need for the cleaning process.

2. Supplies You’ll Need

Before you begin cleaning non-removable insoles, make sure you have the following supplies on hand:

  • Mild detergent or dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft brush or toothbrush
  • Microfiber cloth or sponge
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

Now, let’s move on to effective cleaning methods.

3. Cleaning Methods

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning non-removable insoles:

3.1. Remove Loose Dirt

Start by tapping the shoes together to remove any loose dirt and debris. You can also use a soft brush or toothbrush to gently brush away dirt from the insoles.

3.2. Prepare Cleaning Solution

Fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of mild detergent or dish soap. You can also add a tablespoon of white vinegar for extra cleaning power. Mix the solution until it forms a soapy mixture.

3.3. Scrub Gently

Dip the soft brush or toothbrush into the soapy water and gently scrub the non-removable insoles. Pay close attention to areas with stains or built-up grime. Avoid using excessive force to prevent damaging the insoles or shoe lining.

3.4. Rinse Thoroughly

Use a microfiber cloth or sponge dampened with clean water to wipe away the soapy residue from the insoles. Ensure that no soap is left behind.

3.5. Optional Baking Soda Treatment

If your insoles still have lingering odors, you can sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on them. Leave the baking soda on the insoles for a few hours or overnight to help absorb odors. Then, shake or brush off the excess baking soda.

Now, let’s explore effective drying techniques.

4. Drying Techniques

Proper drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth and maintain the integrity of your non-removable insoles:

4.1. Air Drying

The best way to dry non-removable insoles is by allowing them to air dry naturally. Remove the insoles from your shoes and place them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Let them air dry completely before putting them back into your shoes.

4.2. Use a Fan

If you need to expedite the drying process, you can place a small electric fan near the insoles to improve air circulation. This can help them dry faster while preventing moisture buildup.

4.3. Avoid Heat Sources

Avoid using direct heat sources like heaters, hairdryers, or radiators to dry non-removable insoles, as excessive heat can damage the materials and cause them to lose their shape.

Now, let’s explore some tips for eliminating odors.

5. Odor Elimination Tips

Eliminating odors from non-removable insoles can be challenging, but these tips can help:

5.1. Baking Soda:

As mentioned earlier, sprinkle baking soda on the insoles and leave it overnight to absorb odors. Shake or brush off the excess baking soda the next day.

5.2. Activated Charcoal:

Placing activated charcoal in your shoes when you’re not wearing them can help absorb moisture and odors.

5.3. Freeze Odors:

Seal your shoes in a plastic bag and place them in the freezer overnight. The cold temperatures can kill odor-causing bacteria.

6. Maintenance and Prevention

To prevent odors and maintain clean non-removable insoles:

  • Rotate your shoes regularly to allow them to air out between wears.
  • Wear moisture-wicking socks to reduce sweat buildup.
  • Consider using insole inserts that can be removed and cleaned separately.


Cleaning non-removable insoles is essential for hygiene, comfort, and the longevity of your shoes. By following the steps outlined in this guide and practicing regular maintenance, you can ensure that your shoes stay fresh and odor-free. Remember that clean insoles contribute to a more pleasant and comfortable wearing experience, so invest the time in their care to enjoy your footwear to the fullest.

Additional Tips and Recommendations

For those seeking further guidance on shoe care, here are some additional tips and recommendations:

Choose the Right Shoe Material:

Consider the material of your shoes when selecting a cleaning method. Leather, suede, and fabric shoes may require different cleaning techniques.

Regular Cleaning Routine:

Make shoe cleaning and maintenance a regular part of your routine. This can help prevent the buildup of dirt and odors.

Professional Cleaning:

If your shoes are particularly valuable or delicate, you may want to consider professional cleaning services offered by shoe repair shops.

Shoe Deodorizers:

Invest in shoe deodorizers or inserts designed to absorb moisture and neutralize odors.

By following these additional tips and recommendations, you can ensure that your shoes not only have clean non-removable insoles but also maintain their overall condition for an extended period.