Here’s How You Can Wash Air Force Ones Properly

Given that they are among the most recognizable sneakers of all time, Air Force Ones are very well-liked, followed, and used. And due to extensive use by many sneakerheads, inquiries like, “Can you wash Air Force Ones?” start to come up often.

These sneakers are undoubtedly prone to getting dirty, which is unfortunate because any stains or scuffs will stand out against the shoe’s background.

The good thing, however, is you can wash Air Force Ones. So, in this article, you will learn how to clean your Air Force Ones and what household supplies you can use when washing them.

SEE: Why Are Air Force 1s So Popular?

What makes Air Force Ones unclean?

Anything and everything can cause your Air Force Ones to become dirty or stained. It could be dust, grass stains, mud, stew stains, juice spills, or anything else.

Similarly, if you wear shoes frequently and engage in strenuous tasks, sweat easily gets into the rims and collars of the shoes.

Therefore, always spot-clean your sneakers as soon as you see scuff marks or impurities to keep them immaculate and prevent dirt from accumulating over time.

Can you wash Air Force Ones?

Yes, you can wash Air Force Ones.

You can wash your Air Force Ones by hand or in the washing machine. However, when cleaning your sneakers, always remember to wash the shoelaces independently.

Why should you wash Air Force Ones?

You must schedule a time to wash these shoes occasionally because they are prone to getting soiled and stained.

Additionally, clean sneakers look better than dirty ones, which can attract dirt and give you a messy appearance.

How to wash Air Force Ones

Use these methods to wash your Air Force Ones properly.

1. Washing by hand


Before you think of using the washing machine on sneakers, washing by hand should be your first choice.

  • The first step is to remove the laces of your sneakers and stuff them with newspaper or shoe trees.
  • A block of wood or plastic with a handle on it is a shoe tree. When you clean or are not wearing your shoes, they prevent the fabric, plastic, and rubber from shrinking or crinkling.
  • Fill a bowl with 2-3 cups (470-710 mL) of sneaker cleaner or soapy water. If you don’t have a cleaning solution, make your own by combining 2 cups (470 mL) of water with 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of dish soap or laundry soap.
  • Rubber, leather, and textile are used to make Air Force Ones, so use any all-purpose shoe cleaner for this sneaker type.
  • While you work, let your shoelaces soak in the cleaning solution.
  • Scrub the outer leather of your shoes with a soft-bristled brush after dipping it in the cleaning solution. To be sure you removed all the dirt from your sneakers, go over each region of your shoes two or three times.
  • Although you shouldn’t need to push the brush into the insole, it is best to clean the inner fabric around the heel.
  • Lift the tongue with your non-dominant hand to avoid wearing down the leather by using quick flicking motions to clean it.
  • Grab a hard brush if your shoes still appear to be dirty. Scrub your shoes once more after dipping them in your cleaning solution. If you’d rather, you can use a Magic Eraser in place of a brush.
  • Use a microfiber towel to remove any more stubborn scuff marks. This will only work if the stain or scuff is small. However, you cannot remove the mark if the shoe has already been torn and the inner layer of leather is visible.
  • After removing the soap with a damp towel, allow your sneakers to air dry. To let your shoes air out, place them next to a fan or beside a window. Additionally, you can leave them outdoors, but avoid placing them in the sun’s direct path.

SEE: What Is The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Air Force 1?

2. Using the washing machine


Although washing your shoes isn’t necessarily bad, it’s a good idea to only do it when necessary. You risk wearing out the leather if you use a washing machine more than once or twice a year.

  • The first step is to remove your shoelaces from your shoes, then put the sneakers with the removed laces in a laundry bag.
  • To prevent the shoes from diminishing or creasing in the water, affix a shoe tree. The shoe tree may rust due to this, but that is a small price to pay for making your clean sneakers.
  • Wash your shoes in the washing machine on the delicate cycle with rags and old white towels. This way, your shoes won’t be thrown around the machine.
  • To clean your sneakers, use regular laundry detergent. If you’re washing a large load with shoes, you can add more detergent like a third of a capful.
  • Once washed and clean, dry your shoes by keeping them somewhere with good ventilation for 24 hours. Shoes should never be dried in a dryer. Your shoes will shrink as a result of heat if you do this.
  • Also, do not put it out in the sun as your shoes will become hot, and the leather will start to dry.
  • If you do leave them outdoors, keep them shaded from the sun by placing them under a glass roof or overhang.

SEE: What Do People Believe Is Wrong With Black Air Force 1?

How to clean Air Force Ones of tough stains and odor

  • Use water and white, non-gel toothpaste to get rid of tough stains. Use a damp toothbrush and the pad of your index finger to rub toothpaste into the fabric of your shoes.
  • You can also do this using any baking soda mixed with white toothpaste. If it’s gel toothpaste, it might leave a layer of residue on your shoes.
  • Deodorize your insoles by putting your shoes in a box, adding baking soda to the box, and covering and lifting the tongues of the shoes for 24 hours.
  • If the smell is really bad, add some baking soda to the interior of your shoes as well. To fully restore your shoes, wash them in the washing machine or by hand after 24 hours.
  • If stains still show, you can use a Magic Eraser and water to effectively remove tough scuff marks or stains.
  • After washing, if your shoelaces are still very dirty, get a plastic or glass bowl and half-fill it with chlorine bleach and washing powder to restore their whiteness.
  • To get rid of specks stuck to your shoes, you can scrape them off with a toothpick and then use lighter fluid to remove any smudges.

Note: If your Air Force Ones aren’t completely white and have other colors on the rubber sole trim; you need to be careful as the lighter fluid will wear the paint away. Therefore, you should only use a light fluid if your shoes are completely white.

What cleaning supplies should you use for Air Force Ones?

  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • Non-gel toothpaste
  • Micellar water
  • Magic eraser


Why are your Air Forces turning yellow?

This is because the materials on your sneakers have been exposed to oxidation.

Can you put Air Force 1s in the washing machine?

Yes, you can. But it is better to wash by hand to avoid damaging the shoes in the cleaning process.

What should you do if the sneakers are extra dirty?

Manually remove any significant mud or dirt chunks.

Then, clean the shoes and shoelaces with a solution of water and mild laundry detergent. To get rid of the soapy dirt, wash them in warm water, then dry them with a soft towel.

SEE: Get A Chance To Win A Pair Of Vans Shoes Worth $85


Nike Air Force Ones are a mainstay of fashion with a variety of colorways and high, mid, and low-top designs.

Because of this, you should always take utmost care to ensure that your Air Force 1 sneakers are cleaned when due.

If you follow the instructions in this article, you’ll avoid having to put up with the smell of your shoes. And more importantly, you’ll avoid overwashing when stains and dirt are too numerous and difficult to remove.

Thanks for reading.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, check out Africana Fashion for more.