How to Clean the Inside of Your Shoes

How to Clean the Inside of Your Shoes 

Keeping your shoes clean is one thing, but keeping your shoes fresh? Now that’s a different territory. And while cleaning the outside of your shoes is fairly obvious for that new-sneaker feel, have you ever considered that you’ve been neglecting the inside of your shoes? If the answer is yes, that’s okay, we forgive you. But from now on, let’s commit to cleaning the entirety of the shoe. Now that we’ve taken that pledge together, here’s a guide on how to clean the inside of your shoes: 


Starting With The Insoles 

Perhaps the best way to clean the inside of your shoes if you’re concerned about any smell is by tackling the insoles first. Here are a few different ways to clean the insoles of your sneakers: 


The Soap and Water Method

For anyone that wants the deepest clean possible, this should be your go-to method. 

What you need: 

  • Dish soap 
  • Hot water 
  • A stiff-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • Clean cloth (a paper towel or washrag will do the job) 
  1. Remove the insoles from your shoes and remove any debris if needed. If your shoes do not have removable insoles, then use a toothbrush in step three to carefully clean the insoles while they’re still inside of the shoes. 
  2. Combine dish soap and hot water, a few drops of soap in about two cups of the water should be enough to get you started.
  3. Dip your brush or toothbrush into the soapy water solution, giving the brush a little shake to get rid of the excess. 
  4. Scrub the insoles down with the brush, using small circular motions. Concentrate on the areas where your heel and ball of the foot touches the insole, as those are the places that get the most wear. 
  5. When you’re done scrubbing, gently wipe them down with a clean cloth to get rid of any excess soap and water.
  6. Make sure to let those insoles dry completely before putting them back in your shoe or wearing them. As a rule of thumb, wait at least 24 hours.

Rubbing Alcohol Deodorizer

A quick and easy way to get any odors out of those insoles. 

What you need: 

  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) 
  • Lukewarm water
  • Spray bottle
  1. Remove the insole from your shoe. Again, if you do not have removable insoles, that’s just fine. Just make sure to keep the spray focused on the inside of the shoes. 
  2. Combine equal amounts of water and the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. 
  3. Spray the alcohol mixture directly onto the insoles. You don’t have to get them soaking wet, but make sure to get them at least damp throughout. 
  4. For the best deodorizing results, flip over the insole and repeat step three on the bottom of the insole.
  5. Let them dry. Alcohol typically dries pretty quickly, but make sure they have completely dried before putting them back into the shoe or wearing them.

Cleaning Inside of Shoes 

For the inside parts of the shoe that’s not the insole, you probably won’t have to clean as often, but it’s definitely recommended that you do. To do this, you’ll want to start by creating a little mixture made with a pantry staple you might have lying around. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Sponge or toothbrush 
  • White Vinegar 
  • Water 
  • Clean cloth (again, a paper towel or washrags work great)
  1. Combine equal parts water and vinegar in a bowl. We know that vinegar may not sound like the best smelling solution, but because of its natural deodorizing properties, it’s going to neutralize any odors within your shoes. 
  2. Dip your sponge or toothbrush into the vinegar and water solution, shaking the brush or squeezing the sponge to get rid of any excess moisture. 
  3. Gently scrub down the inside of your shoes, picking up more of the cleaning solution when needed. 
  4. Wipe down the inside of your shoes with a cloth and leave them to dry. Again, 24 hours is standard. 

The Next Steps

Now that you know how to clean inside of sneakers, you might be thinking that you want to clean the outside of your shoes too. We have you covered with a guide on cleaning the outside of the shoe. We also highly suggest using our Crep Cure Cleaning kit for cleaning up those sneakers. 


While you have cleaning your shoes on the brain, you might also be thinking about getting yourself a new pair of sneakers that you’ll love so much you’ll want to keep them clean. May we be so bold as to suggest a nice new pair of KOIO’s? Made with genuine leather and constructed in the heart of Italy, our sneakers offer both style and practicality. So what are you waiting for? Shop men’s and women’s KOIO shoes today.