Can You Wash Shoe Insoles? A Guide to Proper Insole Cleaning


First Published:


Yes and No, it depends on the material the insole is made out of.

When it comes to washing shoe insoles, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The ability to wash insoles depends on the material they are made of. Here are some common types of insoles and whether or not they can be washed:

Insole MaterialCan it be washed?
GelYes, but not recommended

If the insoles are made of foam or gel, they can typically be washed. However, following the manufacturer’s instructions is important to avoid damaging the insoles.

On the other hand, if the insoles are made of leather or cork, they should not be washed. Water can damage these materials and lose their shape or texture if exposed to moisture.

It is important to note that even if the insoles can be washed, it may not be necessary. Simply airing out the insoles or wiping them down with a damp cloth can be enough to keep them clean and fresh.

Do’s and Don’ts

When washing shoe insoles, there are some do’s and don’ts to remember to ensure that the insoles remain in good condition and do not get damaged during the cleaning process.


  • Remove the insoles from the shoes before washing them.
  • Use a mild detergent and warm water to wash the insoles.
  • Gently scrub the insoles with a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove any dirt or stains.
  • Rinse the insoles thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.
  • Allow the insoles to air dry completely before putting them back in the shoes.
  • Consider using a shoe deodorizer to eliminate any odors.


  • Do not put the insoles in the washing machine or dryer.
  • Do not use hot water or bleach to wash the insoles.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or brushes that can damage the insoles.
  • Do not dry the insoles in direct sunlight or with a heat source, such as a hair dryer.

5 Step Guide to Washing Shoe Insoles

Washing shoe insoles is a simple process that can help keep your shoes fresh and odor-free. Here is a 5 step guide to washing your shoe insoles:

Step 1

Remove the insoles from the shoes. This will make it easier to wash them thoroughly and prevent any damage to the shoes.

Step 2

Brush off any loose dirt or debris from the insoles using a soft-bristled brush. This will help remove any surface-level dirt or dust.

Step 3

Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Swish the water around to create suds.

Step 4

Place the insoles in the water and gently scrub them with a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to clean all areas of the insoles, including the edges and crevices.

Step 5

Rinse the insoles thoroughly with clean water and gently squeeze out any excess water. Allow the insoles to air dry completely before placing them back in the shoes.

It is important to note that not all shoe insoles are machine washable, so be sure to check the care instructions before attempting to wash them. Additionally, avoid using hot water or bleach, as this can damage the insoles and cause them to deteriorate more quickly.

By following this simple 5 step guide, you can effectively wash your shoe insoles and keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean.


When it comes to shoe insoles, there are a lot of questions that people tend to have. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions:

Can you wash shoe insoles in the washing machine?

Yes, you can wash most shoe insoles in the washing machine. However, it’s important to check the care instructions for your specific insoles before doing so. Some insoles may need to be hand-washed or air-dried to prevent damage.

What about insoles with gel or foam inserts?

Insoles with gel or foam inserts can still be washed in the washing machine, but you may need to take extra care to prevent damage. Consider placing them in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle. You may also want to air-dry them instead of putting them in the dryer.

Can you wash insoles with baking soda or vinegar?

Yes, you can use baking soda or vinegar to help clean your shoe insoles. Baking soda can help absorb odors and remove stains, while vinegar can help kill bacteria and fungus. However, it’s important to dilute the vinegar and rinse the insoles thoroughly to avoid any damage.

How often should you wash your shoe insoles?

It’s a good idea to wash your shoe insoles every few weeks or whenever they start to smell or look dirty. However, be sure to check the care instructions for your specific insoles before washing them to avoid any damage.

Final thoughts 💭

Washing shoe insoles can be a tricky task, but it is essential to keep them clean and fresh. The methods discussed in this article are all effective in their way, and the choice ultimately depends on the type of insole and personal preference.

It is important to note that not all insoles are washable, and attempting to do so may damage them. It is crucial to read the care instructions provided by the manufacturer before washing them.

Regular cleaning and maintenance of shoe insoles can prolong their lifespan and keep them hygienic. Insoles can harbor bacteria and cause foot odor, so it is recommended to clean them every few weeks, depending on the frequency of use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest posts