Orthotics, or insoles, are a specialized shoe insert that are used to alleviate a variety of foot issues. If you use these inserts, than you probably know that they can take on the smell of your shoes—or worse, your feet. If your smelly feet have left your orthotics a bit repugnant, do not fear. You can easily freshen your insoles—and remove the offensive odor—by implementing a few tips and tricks.

Here are six methods for freshening all types of inserts:

1. Apply Talcum Powder

A proven and time-tested method for removing foot odor from shoes is talcum powder. The same talcum powder you use in your shoes can also be used to remove funky smells from your insoles. Simply apply a generous coating of talcum powder to the orthotics and let sit overnight—or for at least a few minutes—tap the excess powder away, put them back into your shoes, and slip your feet inside.

If you want to really kill the odor, make sure you apply the talcum powder to the insides of your shoes as well. The powder will remove any excess moisture, as well as bacteria—which are the causes of the smell.

2. Toss Into the Freezer

Another way you can remove offensive odors is by placing your shoes and inserts into the freezer. The theory is simple: temperatures below freezing kill bacteria, which reduces the odor.

If you want to use this technique, put your orthotics into a baggie and place them into the freezer overnight. You can also put your shoes into the freezer as well—just make sure you put them into a baggie, too.

3. Remove Orthotics Before Bed

If you want to remove funky smells with minimal effort, simply remove your inserts from your shoes before you head to bed. By removing the insoles, you will give them plenty of time—and space—to dry out, which will help kill the bacteria that causes the smell.

4. Rotate Use

If you have a serious case of "swamp foot," or sweaty feet, make sure you never wear the same shoes or insoles two days in a row. Make sure you remove the insoles from the shoes and let both sit and dry for at least a full 24 hours before using again.

In the meantime, wear a second pair of shoes and insoles. Rotate what shoes and orthotics you wear every other day, and soon the odor should be gone.

5. Opt for Cotton Socks

If you have smelly feet, then you know how important it is that you wear socks. Socks help to act as a barrier from the shoe and insert by absorbing some of the sweat. Aside from wearing socks, you must also make sure you that wear the appropriate socks. You should always wear cotton socks, as they absorb the moisture while letting your feet breathe.

6. Wash the Insoles

Finally, make sure you periodically wash your orthotics and insoles. If you have very smelly feet, wash them at least every two weeks—or once a month for less smelly feet.

Wash the insoles in lukewarm water and soap. Rinse and let air dry before using again.

While orthotics and insoles do not last forever, you should get at least two years of usage from them. If you have tried these methods and the offending odor just won't budge, you might want to visit your podiatrist for new orthotics—and to check on the condition of your feet.

Click here for additional info on using and caring for orthotics. 

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