Your shoes require regular and frequent cleanings to keep them pristine and well maintained. If you have dirty, grimy or stinky leather insoles, you can clean them at home without taking a trip to your local cobbler for a pricey leather treatment. To keep your leather insoles from cracking, place them in a well-ventilated area and far away from direct heat and sunlight to dry.
Things You'll Need
Take the insoles out of your shoes. Use a microfiber cloth or old T-shirt to remove surface dust and dirt from the insoles.
Place your insoles on a table covered with three or four sheets of newspaper. Using a dampened clean white cloth, rub a pea-sized amount of mild liquid detergent on the insoles. To avoid shrinking or drying out the leather, dampen the cloth with lukewarm or cold water instead of using hot temperatures.
Rub liquid soap onto the leather until your create a small lather. Using small circular motions clean the entire insole to remove dirt and odors.
Remove any liquid soap residue. Don’t rinse the insole; dry and buff the leather clean with a soft cloth.
Kill any mildew or odor-causing bacteria from your feet. If your insoles are damp due to moisture or sweat, cleaning them with mild soap may not be enough to remove the smell or mildew. Mist on a thin layer of anti-bacterial spray to remove mildew or any foot bacteria hiding with the cracks of the leather.
Let the disinfectant remain on the shoes for a few minutes, and then wipe the product away with a clean cloth.
Place the clean insoles on newspaper or a large towel to dry overnight, away from heat or sunlight. Moisturize your leather insoles with a pea-sized drop of leather conditioning cream applied with a cloth or rag.
Dust a teaspoon of baking soda over the top of each leather insole, as a natural solution to remove odors from the inside of your shoes. Let the odor-busting product remain on the top of the leather overnight. Use a clean rag to remove the powdery product off the shoes before storing or wearing them.
Place cedar shoe trees inside of your shoes to absorb moisture from your leather insoles.
References and ResourcesThe Cleaning Encyclopedia; Don Aslett
Steve Madden: Care and Cleaning
Field & Stream; Storing Your Camping Gear; Steve Netherby
Heloise.com: Heloise Hints
Complete Idiot's Guide to Household Solutions; Melodie Moore
Clarks: Shoe Care