How to Clean Air Force 1 Like a Pro


Nike Air Force 1 is a legendary shoe. It elevates your looks, and you will want to keep them always new. You can keep your shoes looking fresh by cleaning them regularly. In this article, I will show you how to clean Air Force 1 like I do. It will prevent bacterial and fungal infections to reduce foot odor and extend your shoes’ lifespan.

This guide will show you how to get your shoes ready and what tools you’ll need. After that, we’ll jump into the whole process. So say goodbye to scuffs, stains, and dirt on your shoes. Let’s begin!

Table of Contents

Why Do They Get Dirty So Quickly?


I remember my first pair of Air Force was pure white and quickly attracted dirt due to their design and material. Every dirt particle was visible in the white colorway, and the durable leather and synthetic materials were easily scuffed and stained. 

But instead of letting this put me off, it pushed me to learn the right cleaning techniques to keep them fresh and clean. No matter where I am, my sneakers always make a statement, remaining as clean as the day I bought them. So, if your Air Force 1 is attracting dirt, understand your shoes’ materials, employ the right cleaning methods, and stay vigilant to keep them looking fresh.

Air Force 1 Cleaning Kit

The Air Force 1 Cleaning Kit is like a special package with everything you need to keep your Air Force 1 sneakers nice and clean. It’s made just for these shoes, considering their special materials and how they’re built. This kit helps you take care of your sneakers, so they stay in good shape for a long time. It’s like a handy toolset to keep your Air Force 1s looking fresh.

Cleaning Solution:

The kit includes a high-quality cleaning solution or sneaker cleaner that is safe for Air Force 1 shoes. This cleaning solution is formulated to effectively remove dirt, stains, and grime from various parts of the sneakers without causing damage.


The kit usually has different brushes. These brushes are soft, so they won’t harm your shoes but are great at cleaning off dirt. Each brush is made for specific parts of your sneakers, like the tops, bottoms, and sides.

Microfiber Cloth:

A microfiber cloth is included in the kit to help with drying and wiping off excess cleaning solution. Microfiber cloths are known for absorbing moisture effectively and leaving no lint behind, making them ideal for maintaining the clean appearance of Air Force 1 sneakers.

Stain Remover:

Some kits may also provide a stain remover specifically formulated for removing tough stains from Air Force 1 shoes. This stain remover helps tackle deep-set marks and blemishes, restoring the shoes to their original condition.

Suede Brush:

The kit may include a specialized suede brush if your Air Force 1 sneakers have suede or nubuck elements. This brush has soft bristles designed to clean and restore delicate suede surfaces without causing damage.

Instruction Manual:

An instruction manual or guide is often included to ensure you get the best results from your Air Force 1 Cleaning Kit. This manual provides step-by-step instructions on using the products and tools effectively, offering guidance on proper cleaning techniques and helpful tips for maintaining your sneakers.

How to wash Air Force 1 by hand?


When I got my first pair of Air Force 1, they attracted dirt easily. Undeterred, I developed a cleaning routine. I’d start by unlacing the shoes and shaking off loose dirt. Using a soft toothbrush, I’d gently scrub the shoes with a mix of mild soap and warm water, paying extra attention to stained areas. 

The soles required a bit more scrubbing to remove scuffs. After rinsing off the soap, I’d pat them dry and leave them in a ventilated area. Once dry, I’d lace them back up. This process helped me maintain my sneakers’ pristine condition.

If you’re facing a similar issue, try this method to keep your Air Force Ones looking fresh.

What Will You Need To Clean Air Force 1?


My first time cleaning Air Force 1 was a memorable experience. I was a bit nervous, but I knew keeping them looking their best was essential. I gathered a soft-bristle toothbrush, mild soap, warm water, a towel, and other important things. The following are the reasons I used those things:

  1. A soft-bristle toothbrush: This was essential. A toothbrush is perfect because it’s gentle enough not to damage the material but tough enough to scrub away dirt.
  2. Mild soap: I used a bar of mild dish soap, but any gentle, non-bleach soap will do. It’s important not to use harsh chemicals that could harm the shoes.
  3. Warm water: Not too hot or cold – just right for helping the soap do its job without damaging the shoe.
  4. Clean cloth or towel: I chose an old but clean T-shirt. It was perfect for drying off the shoes after washing.
  5. Bowl: I used this for mixing the soap and water.
  6. Newspaper or paper towel: This came in handy to stuff the shoes to help them maintain their shape while drying.
  7. A well-ventilated area: I left my shoes here to air dry after cleaning.
  8. Patience: This was perhaps the most important thing I needed. Cleaning Air Force Ones isn’t a rush job; it requires care and attention.

I got all these things ready, and it was worth it. My Air Force 1s looked brand new afterward.

Preparing the shoes


I’ve become quite familiar with preparing the nike air force shoes. Let me walk you through it.

Step 1: Dry Brushing: The first thing I do is dry brush the shoes. It means I take my soft-bristle toothbrush and gently brush away any loose dirt or debris. It’s surprising how much can come off in this initial step.

Step 2: Remove Laces: Next, I carefully remove the laces. These need to be cleaned separately to ensure they don’t get damaged or cause any damage to the shoe itself. Plus, removing them allows for better access to those hard-to-reach areas.

Step 3: Stuff the Shoes: I take my newspaper or paper towel and stuff the shoes. This helps them maintain their shape during the cleaning process. It also provides a nice, firm surface to work against when scrubbing.

Step 4: Prepare the Cleaning Solution: Now, it’s time to prepare the cleaning solution. I take my bowl, add some warm water, and mix in a few drops of mild soap. I stir it until it’s nicely mixed together.

Step 5: Dampen the Brush: Lastly, before the actual cleaning begins, I dip my toothbrush into the soapy water. It’s important not to drench the brush; it just needs to be damp.

And that’s it! My Air Force Ones are now prepped and ready for a good cleaning. It’s a simple process, but it’s proven effective for me. The key to any cleaning process is being gentle and patient. Good luck!

Cleaning the Upper

Cleaning the top part of my Air Force 1 is a few simple steps. I use a wet toothbrush with soap and gently scrub in little circles. Then, I wipe off the soap with a clean cloth. If there are tough stains, I do it again.

When I’m happy with how it looks, I use a wet cloth to get rid of any leftover soap. Finally, I pat the shoe dry with a clean cloth. It takes a bit of patience and care, but seeing my sneakers almost new again makes it all worth it.

Cleaning the Midsole

To clean the middle part of my Air Force 1s, I start by making a mix of baking soda, vinegar, and water at home. Then, I use an old toothbrush to scrub the mix all over the midsole gently.

After scrubbing, I wash off the mix with clean water and dry the midsole with a towel. If there are tough stains, I do it again until I’m happy. It takes a bit of work, but it feels great to see my sneakers looking fresh and ready to wear again.

How To Clean Air Force 1 Sole

Now, prepare to tackle the sole of your Air Force 1s, the part that has bravely faced the ground beneath your feet and collected the most dirt and grime. An old toothbrush works well for brushing off loose dirt from the undersoles of my Air Force 1. I soak the undersole in warm soapy water and scrub it with the brush.

A paste made of baking soda and water is applied for stubborn spots and left for a few minutes before scrubbing again. Once I’m satisfied, I rinse the sole under running water, pat it dry with a towel, and let it air dry completely. This process requires some effort but leaves the soles of my sneakers looking as good as new. 

How To Wash Air Force 1 In The Washing Machine?


It can be daunting to clean Air Force 1 in the washing machine, but I’ve found a method that works great for me. First, I remove the laces and insoles to clean them separately. Every part of the shoe gets properly cleaned in this way. Next, I gently brush off any loose dirt from the shoes. 

Then comes the exciting part: the washing machine. I put my shoes in a mesh bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash cycle. I add just a bit of ordinary laundry detergent – no need for anything fancy here.

I set the washing machine to a delicate cycle with cold water. It’s like giving the shoes a gentle, bubbly bath. Sometimes, I even toss in an old towel to prevent the shoes from thumping too much. That’s my personal method for cleaning my Air Force 1 in the washing machine. It might seem a bit involved, but for me, it’s become a routine that I quite enjoy. 

What Will You Need to Clean Air Force 1 In Washing Machine?

A few simple items are needed to clean my Air Force 1 in the washing machine. First, I use regular laundry detergent or dish soap to get rid of dirt from my shoes. Next, I put the shoes in a mesh bag or pillowcase to keep them safe during the wash. It’s like a safety net for them. Most importantly, I need to be patient. After the wash, I let the shoes air-dry completely.

Protecting the shoes

It feels risky to clean my beloved Air Force 1 in a washing machine. I remove the laces and inserts to prepare, akin to prepping for a big day. Next, I place my shoes in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase for protection during the wash, similar to a turtle’s shell.

I include soft towels in the wash to minimize potential damage for added safety. These steps help me protect my shoes, ensuring they emerge from the wash looking as good as new. This process, while initially daunting, has become a routine that preserves the longevity of my beloved sneakers.

Pre Treat Heavy Stains

Air Force Ones must be kept in pristine condition to be considered masterpieces. They’re like works of art when stained, especially with stubborn scuffs or grass stains. However, I’ve discovered the power of pre-treatment. 

By applying a mixture of warm water and detergent to the stains, I can break them down, much like a superhero launching the first attack on a villain. This technique has proven invaluable in keeping my Nike Air Force 1s looking as fresh as when I first got them. It’s my secret weapon for tackling tough stains head-on.

Choosing the right settings

Making sure you set things up right is super important when washing your Air Force 1s in a machine. First, use cold water to keep them from shrinking and to protect the shoe’s parts from getting weaker.

Choose a gentle or delicate wash cycle to be gentle on your shoes and avoid scuffs or damage. Also, use a mild detergent so it cleans well without messing up the color or material. By picking the right settings, you can clean your Air Force 1s in the washing machine confidently.

Washing Your Sneakers

You can almost feel the anticipation building as you place the mesh laundry bag or pillowcase containing your Air Force 1 into the washing machine. The gentle whirring of the machine signals the beginning of a transformative journey for your sneakers.

The cleaning solution and the water work harmoniously with each drum rotation, extracting the accumulated dirt and grime over time. You can almost imagine the shoes rejoicing, knowing a fresh start awaits them.

Drying Your Sneakers

When the wash cycle ends, I carefully remove my refreshed Air Force Ones from their protective bag. Patting them dry feels like liberating them from past stains. As they air-dry, they seem to whisper tales of anticipation. The final act of rethreading the laces and replacing the inserts completes their transformation, ready for them to make a statement again.

How To Treat Tough Stains On White Air Force 1s?


I have a special way of cleaning my white Air Force 1s. I make a mix with warm water, dish soap, and vinegar to gently scrub off the dirt. For tougher stains, I use a baking soda paste.

After brushing it off, I wipe the shoes with a damp cloth and stuff them with paper towels to help keep their shape while they dry. By following these steps, my sneakers look as good as new and ready for their next outing.

Baking Soda

My white Air Force 1s are like a labor of love. I use baking soda paste as my secret cleaning weapon when they get dirty. I apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for around 15 minutes before gently scrubbing it off with a soft toothbrush.

After wiping off the residue with a damp cloth, I air-dry the shoes and stuff them with paper towels to maintain their shape. This simple yet effective method helps me keep my beloved sneakers looking as good as new.

White Vinegar

I love my white Air Force 1 shoes, but they get dirty easily. So, I use white vinegar from my kitchen to clean them. I mix the vinegar with water and use a cloth to clean the dirty spots on my shoes gently.

If the stain is very tough, I put a paste using vinegar and baking soda on it.

After a few minutes, I scrub it off with a soft brush and rinse the shoes with clean water. This way, my shoes look as good as new. White vinegar helps me keep my shoes clean and shiny.

White Toothpaste

Whenever my white Air Force 1s get dirty, I use white toothpaste to clean them! I rub it onto the stains using a cloth or a soft brush and let it sit for a few minutes. The scrubbing bits in the toothpaste help remove the dirt.

After wiping off the toothpaste with a wet cloth and rinsing the shoes, they look bright and white again.

So, a bit of toothpaste and some elbow grease can keep your sneakers looking new. This is a handy trick to remember when your shoes need a clean.

How To Make Your Stinky Air Force 1s Smell Fresh Again?

As soon as my Air Force 1s start to smell, I remove the insoles and laces and clean them with warm water and mild soap. After rinsing and drying, I sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes and on the insoles, leaving it overnight to absorb the odor.

In the morning, I shake out the excess baking soda. Voila! My sneakers smell fresh again. So, remember this trick when your shoes start to stink: a bit of soap, water, and baking soda can make them smell as good as new.

How To Clean Air Force 1 Without Turning Yellow?


Restoring your Air Force 1 to their original white color without turning them yellow can be achieved using various methods. One method, recommended by Nike, involves making a solution of baking soda, white vinegar, and water and gently applying it with a soft brush. Clean Stuff Easy suggests using warm water, mild detergent, and a soft brush for deep cleaning, followed by wiping with a damp cloth.

Quora recommends using toothpaste with dish soap and warm water, while TidyLife advises using a paste of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar. Regular cleaning and proper storage can prevent yellowing caused by sunlight, sweat, grime, or harsh cleaners.

How To Clean Nike Air Force 1 Shadow?

You don’t have to worry about keeping your Nike Air Force 1 Shadow sneakers clean. Maintaining their fresh-out-of-the-box appearance is easy with a few simple steps. 

First, remove any loose dirt or debris from the surface by gently brushing them with a soft-bristled brush or cloth. Next, use a cleaner specifically designed for leather or canvas shoes. Apply a small amount of cleaner to a damp cloth and gently scrub the shoe’s surface.

Do not soak the shoes in water or use harsh chemicals. To finish, wipe the shoes clean with a damp cloth and allow them to air dry. Properly caring for your Nike Air Force, 1 Shadow will keep them looking their best and extend their lifespan.

How To clean Nike Air Force 1 black?


Keeping your Nike Air Force 1 black sneakers looking fresh and clean may seem daunting, but with the right techniques, you can easily keep them looking their best. Remove the laces and gently brush off any loose dirt or debris to get started. Next, mix a small amount of laundry detergent with water and use a soft-bristled brush to clean the surface of the shoes.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the shoes. Once you’ve finished cleaning, rinse your shoes with water and let them air dry completely before putting them back on. By following these simple steps, your Nike Air Force 1 black sneakers will look new for much longer.

Maintenance Tips

Maintaining the brand-new look of your sneakers can be tough, especially when maintaining the quality of iconic shoes such as the Nike Air Force 1s.

What’s the secret to keeping them looking just out of the box? Thankfully, you don’t have to fork out much cash on professional cleaning services to keep your sneakers in shape. A basic clean with household materials might be all you need for refreshed kicks.

For example, when learning to clean Air Force 1s, you need basic materials like a soft-bristled brush, laundry detergent or soap, and some warm water. Not only does a good cleaning routine make your Air Force 1s look new, but it also helps protect them from dirt and grime over time.


Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using these cleaning products and test them on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to your entire shoe. Here are some top-rated products for cleaning your Nike Air Force 1s:

Crep Protect Cure Kit:

This comprehensive cleaning kit includes a brush, cleaning solution, and microfiber cloth. It’s suitable for all types of sneakers, including the AF1.

Estimated Cost: $18

Jason Markk Essential Kit:

This popular sneaker cleaning kit contains a gentle foaming solution and a high-quality brush to clean without damaging your shoes.

Estimated Cost: $18

Sneaker LAB Basic Kit:

This environmentally friendly cleaning kit includes a sneaker cleaner and a premium brush. The Sneaker LAB cleaner is safe for all materials, including leather, suede, and canvas.

Estimated Cost: $14.99

Reshoevn8r Shoe Cleaning Kit:

This versatile cleaning system includes a cleaning solution, brush, and microfiber cloth. It’s designed to work on various sneakers, including AF1s.

Estimated Cost: $38.99

Angelus Easy Cleaner:

This all-purpose cleaner is perfect for cleaning and restoring your AF1s. Use a soft brush or cloth to remove dirt and stains effectively.

Estimated Cost: $16.94

You May Also Like


It’s important to keep your Air Force 1 clean to make them look good and last long. Just use a gentle cleaning mix and a soft brush. You need to be careful when drying them. You can keep shoes for a long time. A spotless pair of Air Force 1s shows your style and love for these classic shoes. Thanks for reading how to clean Air Force 1.


Can Air Force 1 Be Washed?

Yes, Air Force 1s can be washed in a washing machine, however, it is not recommended to do this frequently as the rigors of machine washing may cause damage, especially since these shoes are made of leather and other mixed materials.

Are Air Force 1s Easy To Clean?

Air Force 1s are relatively easy to clean. You can use a mixture of warm, soapy water or a sneaker-cleaning solution. Shoelaces can also be cleaned separately in the washing machine or with dish soap.

Why Are My White Air Forces Turning Yellow?

White sneakers, including Air Force 1s, can turn yellow due to prolonged exposure to dirt, sweat, and even sunlight. This discoloration can also occur when they’re washed with hard water or left to dry in a humid environment.

How Do You Clean Shoes Quickly?

The quickest way to clean shoes, including Air Force 1s, is by using a soft cloth or sponge, warm water, and mild detergent. For stubborn stains, a soft-bristled toothbrush can be used. It’s important to always let them air dry naturally after cleaning.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *