Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Air Force Ones

how to clean air force ones


Air Force Ones, also known as Nike Air Force 1, are iconic sneakers that have been a staple in the world of fashion for decades. Their timeless design and comfortable fit make them a popular choice for both athletic performance and streetwear fashion. However, as with any shoe, Air Force Ones can become dirty and worn over time. Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to keep them looking fresh and extending their lifespan. In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to clean Air Force Ones, so you can keep them looking pristine.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin cleaning your Air Force Ones, gather the necessary materials

1. A soft-bristle brush or old toothbrush

2. A bowl of warm water

3. Mild detergent or sneaker cleaner

4. A clean, lint-free cloth or sponge

5. A second clean cloth or paper towels

6. Shoelaces (optional, for replacement)

Remove the Laces

Start by removing the shoelaces from your Air Force Ones. This will make the cleaning process easier and ensure you can clean every part of the shoe, including the tongue and eyelets. If your shoelaces are old and worn, you may want to consider replacing them with fresh ones to give your sneakers a revitalized look.

Dry Brush Loose Dirt

Before getting the sneakers wet, use a soft-bristle brush or an old toothbrush to gently brush off any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Pay special attention to the crevices and seams of the shoes. This will prevent the dirt from spreading and creating a muddy mess when you start cleaning with water.

Prepare the Cleaning Solution

In a bowl of warm water, add a small amount of mild detergent or sneaker cleaner. Mix the solution until it forms a soapy consistency. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the shoe’s materials.

Clean the Uppers

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring out any excess moisture. Gently scrub the uppers of your Air Force Ones, paying attention to any scuffs, stains, or discolored areas. Take your time and be patient, as you don’t want to damage the shoe’s material. Rinse the cloth or sponge regularly in the soapy water and continue until the uppers look clean.

Clean the Midsoles

The midsoles of Air Force Ones are often the dirtiest part of the shoe. Using the same soapy water and cloth or sponge, scrub the midsoles thoroughly. You can also use the soft-bristle brush or toothbrush to clean the textured areas of the sole. Again, rinse the brush or sponge regularly to prevent spreading dirt around.

Rinse and Repeat

After you’ve cleaned the uppers and midsoles, rinse the sneakers with clean water. Make sure to remove all soap residue. You may need to repeat the cleaning process a few times for stubborn stains or heavily soiled areas. Patience and persistence are key to restoring your Air Force Ones to their former glory.

Dry Properly

Once the shoes are clean, stuff them with paper towels or shoe trees to help them maintain their shape while drying. Avoid using newspapers, as the ink can transfer onto the sneakers. Place your Air Force Ones in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry. Do not use direct heat sources like heaters or hairdryers, as they can cause the materials to warp or crack.

Re-lace and Finish

After your sneakers are completely dry, re-lace them with the clean or new shoelaces. Your Air Force Ones should now look fresh and ready to wear.


Can Air Force 1 be washed?

Use a Laundry Bag: Always use a mesh bag when washing your air force 1s in the machine. This helps to protect it from getting damaged. Wash on a Gentle Cycle: Use cold water and set your washing machine to the gentle or delicate cycle. If your shoes are extremely dirty, you can wash them on a regular cycle.

Can we wash Air Force shoes in the washing machine?

Nike does not recommend washing shoes in the washing machine. The best way to clean sneakers without damaging them is to brush them with a mild cleaning solution and let them air-dry. It’s important to take special care when cleaning suede shoes.


Cleaning your Air Force Ones can be a rewarding process, as it helps maintain their appearance and prolong their lifespan. Regular cleaning and proper care will keep your sneakers looking fresh and stylish for years to come. By following this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your Air Force Ones remain in pristine condition and continue to be a stylish addition to your footwear collection.

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