Shoe-Cleaning Protocol for Eliminating Bacteria and Fungi


Purra Performance socks and insoles embed a safe and natural zinc antimicrobial into the foams and yarns for lifetime-lasting performance. The EPA-registered Copptech antimicrobial technology inhibits the growth of bacteria, fungi, germs and microbes that lead to funky odor. 

Here are the "sweat" facts.

  • Feet have about 250,000 sweat glands
  • Feet can sweat up to half a pint a day
  • This sweat is a breeding ground for bacteria
  • Bacteria lives on your skin
  • Plus, shoes have around 421,000 bacteria
  • Bacteria thrive in damp and dark places, like the inside of your shoes
  • Sweat + bacteria = odor 

In addition to the embedded antimicrobial to fight these nasty germs, Purra socks also feature moisture wicking and breathable yarns to minimize sweat buildup in your socks and shoes. 

However, our socks won't magically wipe out the funkiness that has built up in your favorite pair of sneakers over months and months of usage. In other words, if you are just now switching to Purra socks, your shoes may already be pretty ripe. 

We recommend not only cleaning your shoes, but also considering swapping out your shoe inserts. 

Below is a comprehensive shoe-cleaning protocol for once and for all eliminating bacteria and fungi from shoes. 

Remember when determining which cleaning supplies to use, you should first check the care instructions for your specific shoes, and consider the material to choose an appropriate disinfection method. 

Shoe Interior Disinfection Protocol 


  • Disinfectant spray or wipes
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Cloth


  1. Preparation:
  • Remove the insoles from your shoes.
  1. Mild Soap and Water Solution:
  • Apply a mild soap and water solution to the inside of the shoes.
  • Allow the solution to dry for one minute.
  1. Disinfecting Methods:

a. Disinfectant Spray or Wipes:

  • Use a disinfectant spray or wipe specifically designed for shoes.
  • Apply the spray or wipe thoroughly inside each shoe.
  • Ensure the interior remains wet with the product for three to five minutes.

b. Hydrogen Peroxide:

  • Spray a three-percent hydrogen peroxide solution inside each shoe.
  • Let it sit for five minutes.
  • Optionally, mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to create a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the interior and wipe or rinse after drying.

c. Rubbing Alcohol:

  • Mix three parts rubbing alcohol with one part water.
  • Dampen a cloth with the solution.
  • Apply the solution to the entire interior of the shoes.
  • Allow shoes to air dry.

d. Baking Soda and Vinegar:

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally inside the shoes.
  • Spray white or apple cider vinegar diluted with water
  • Use a clean cloth to rub the interior, employing a circular motion.
  • Let the shoes sit for 12 hours before wiping them with a damp cloth.
  1. Post-Cleaning:
  • After disinfection, ensure the shoes are completely dry before wearing.
  • Optionally, insert a shoe deodorizer or sprinkle baking soda inside to absorb odors.

Repeat this process regularly, especially if you have fungal infections or noticeable odors.  Another pro tip — alternate your shoes on a daily basis so that they have a chance to dry! If you feel your shoe is particularly wet, you might want to remove the insoles and allow them to dry separately.