How to Clean Air Force 1s

Product Care

Want to keep your all-white Air Force 1s spotless? Use these cleaning tips to remove stains and have them looking fresh out of the box.

Last updated: June 13, 2022
4 min read
How to Clean Nike Air Force 1 Shoes
Time Required
15 min
Estimated Cost

Supplies

  • Bicarb of soda
  • White vinegar
  • White, non-gel toothpaste
  • Micellar water
  • Dish soap (optional)
  • Laundry detergent (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • Leather cleaner (optional)

Tools

  • Spare, clean toothbrush or soft cloth
  • Household cleaning rubber

With a range of colourways and high-, mid- and low-top styles, Nike Air Force 1 shoes are a fashion staple. The white-on-white Air Force 1 in particular remains an iconic style for everyday streetwear.

If you're rocking white-on-white Air Force 1s, chances are they're going to encounter dirt, stains and scuffs. To remedy any soiling, it's key to know how to keep Air Force 1s clean. Check out these tips to freshen them up and get them back in rotation.

The Best Household Supplies for Cleaning Air Force 1s

If you live in your all-white Nike Air Force 1s, it can be difficult to keep them pristine. The key to clean shoes is having a few essential shoe-cleaning supplies on hand. Luckily, many effective options are household staples.

  1. 1.Bicarbonate of Soda and White Vinegar

    Bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar are effective home remedies for stubborn stains on leather shoes. When it comes to Air Force 1s, this combo is best used as a spot cleaner.

    Make a solution with one tablespoon of bicarb, two tablespoons of white vinegar and a cup of water. Use a brush or a cloth to apply the mixture to the shoe and gently scrub away dirt and debris.

    Tip: another benefit of cleaning shoes with bicarbonate of soda is that it's a natural odour neutraliser, so it helps keep your shoes smelling fresh and clean as well.

  2. 2.Toothpaste

    If you don't have bicarbonate of soda or vinegar on hand, a white, non-gel toothpaste can serve as an alternative cleaning solution. It works on dirt, stains and even scuff marks.

    First, wipe down your shoe with a damp cloth to remove any excess dirt or debris. Then, use a soft brush or cloth to apply the toothpaste to any dirty areas. Gently scrub the toothpaste on dirty areas, then wipe the whole shoe clean when done.

  3. 3.Micellar Water

    While micellar water is designed to cleanse the skin, it's also gentle enough to use on leather shoes. The molecules in micellar water act on dirt and oil, pulling them away from the surface and leaving your shoes clean and white.

  4. 4.Household Cleaning Rubber

    If you're wearing your Air Force 1s all the time, it's a good idea to have a cleaning rubber at home for quick and easy cleaning. To use it on your shoes, simply dip it in water and use it to scrub out stains from the leather upper and the sole of the shoe.

How to Remove Grass Stains from Air Force 1s

While a damp cloth and gentle cleaning agent will take care of many marks on your shoes, you may also need to use a special cleaner on tougher stains. To remove grass stains, you can use rubbing alcohol, vinegar or leather cleaner.

First, try dabbing the stain with a cotton ball or cloth dipped in isopropyl alcohol and see if the stain lifts. If that doesn't work, wet the stain with white vinegar and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before scrubbing it away with a toothbrush. You can also try using a store-bought leather cleaner to remove the stain.

RELATED: How to Get Your White Shoes Looking Brand New

How to Clean White Shoelaces

Shoelaces can be washed in the washing machine, with dish soap or with a solution of water and detergent.

RELATED: 3 Easy Ways to Clean Shoelaces

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put Air Force 1s in the Washing Machine?
To avoid damaging the shoes in the cleaning process, it's important to know when to hand wash and when to machine wash. For leather sneakers, like white-on-white leather Air Force 1s, it's best to avoid the washing machine and hand wash instead. Before attempting to clean your shoes, always check care instructions on the label.
How Do You Clean Suede Air Force 1s?
To remove marks from suede shoes, a suede rubber goes a long way. If you don't have one, use a pencil rubber or household cleaning rubber. Make sure the rubber is clean from stains itself. Apply a little bit of pressure, but don't rub the suede too hard or you might risk damaging the fabric. Use a back-and-forth motion to scrub away any tricky stains.

If that doesn't work, wet the corner of a dry cloth with a small amount of suede cleaner, white vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Make sure you don't drench the shoe in liquid, but rather lightly dampen the suede. Massage the shoe with a rapid side-to-side motion, then allow the suede to dry. If the stain is still visible, repeat the process.

Words by Lesly Gregory

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