3 Quick Ways To Clean & Dry Air Force Ones! (Easily & Damage-Free)

After 40 years of love, air technology, and bold design, Nike Air Force 1s remain the best-selling footwear in the United States. When it comes to purchasing a pair of Nike Air Force 1 Low ’07’ White, most buyers wonder if they will be able to keep them white or new forever.

Fortunately, you have several options for cleaning Air Force Ones of any color. You can either choose household items or take them to the cleaners based on your preferences.

In this article, we’ll show you how to clean your Air Force Ones with common household items like detergents, soaps, shaving cream, toothpaste, micellar water, and so on.

how to clean nike air force ones

How To Clean Air Force At Home?

Giving Air Force 1s for dry-cleaning is intimidating because they require seasonal or regular cleaning. So, how can you keep your Air Force clean at home? There are numerous options, including toothpaste, vinegar, baking soda, detergent, soap, erasers, cleaning solutions, and so on. You will go through a trial and error process to find the best method for your Air Force 1s condition. Here are some methods to get you started:

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Method 1: Liquid Soap And Stain Remover

  1. Unlace the shoes and apply some liquid hand soap on a soft-bristled nail brush.
  2. Dampen the brush in a bowl of warm water and brush the entire shoe to remove any visible dirt.
  3. Using a cloth, wipe down your benchtop.
  4. Squirt more soap onto the brush and scrub the inside mesh and sole, forming as many suds as possible.
  5. Spray a stain-removing spray on the stained areas, particularly the sock liner.
  6. Scrub the shoe once more, as previously described.
  7. Scrub the stains with the rougher side of a sponge and wipe the shoes with a dry cloth for more stubborn stains.
  8. To avoid creases, stuff some newspaper balls or socks into the toe box and hang them to dry in a well-ventilated area.
  9. Make a solution of soap and stain remover in a cup of water and soak the laces in it for a few minutes.
  10. Rinse the laces in your hands until they are completely clean. Then, dry them in the same manner.

If scuffs appear after drying the shoes, simply rub them with sandpaper and you’re good to go.

Method 2: Shaving Cream

  1. Take the laces off and wash them as usual.
  2. Put on your gloves and smear shaving cream all over your shoes. One cup should suffice for both.
  3. Allow the shoes to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Scrub the shoes gently with a soft brush, then wipe away any remaining cream with a damp cloth.
  5. Dry the laces and shoes. 

Method 3: Micellar Water

Micellar water cleans your Air Force ones in the same way that it cleans your face. Water is made up of micelles, which are tiny molecules that attract impurities and dirt like a magnet without damaging the surface. Simply dampen a cotton ball with micellar water and rub it over the Air Force 1s. Then, repeat until you’ve achieved the desired level of cleanup.

More methods will be discussed in the following sections.

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methods to clean nike air force one

Can You Use A Toothpaste To Clean Air Force One?

You should clean your Air Force 1s with toothpaste because it keeps everything white. It’s made with baking soda and other abrasive agents to give your shoes a new look. So, how can you use it to clean your Air Force? The steps are as follows:

  1. Take off the laces.
  2. Using a soft medium-bristled brush, brush away the dry dirt.
  3. Make a detergent-and-lukewarm-water solution and soak the same brush in it.
  4. Begin by gently scrubbing the entire upper and bottom of the shoe.
  5. After you’ve brushed off the dirt, wipe them down with a clean cloth.
  6. Then, using a soft toothbrush, apply some non-gel/colorless toothpaste. It is preferable to dilute the toothpaste slightly.
  7. Brush the toothpaste on the shoe’s center in a circular motion until it’s completely white.
  8. Allow the shoes to dry after wiping them down with a damp cloth.
  9. Laces can be cleaned by soaking them in detergent water overnight before washing and drying them.

Can You Use Bleach To Clean Air Force One?

I’ve seen a lot of people clean their Air Force 1s with bleach. It does turn them white at first, but after a while, the bleach leaves yellow stains. There are two types of bleaches: oxygen and chlorine. The chlorine one is a no-no because it leaves yellow stains on the fabric and can even burn it.

And, if diluted or used correctly, the oxygen one works perfectly. However, after reading scathing reviews about the use of Oxiclean (a chlorine-free oxygen bleach) in turning white fabric yellow, I would not recommend using it as well. Furthermore, not everyone is skilled or cautious enough to work with bleach. As a result, I recommend sticking to the other safe cleaning methods we discussed.

Why Do Air Force 1s Turn Yellow?

The Air 1 Force, like other canvas shoes, turns yellow. This occurs for four primary reasons:

  1. Discoloration occurs when the fabric or leather reacts with the oxygen in the environment. It’s called oxidation, and it’s completely natural.
  2. This oxidation is accelerated by UV rays or sunlight. So, never leave your Air Force One in the path of the sun’s rays.
  3. Bleaching the Air Force can turn them yellow.
  4. Finally, there is dirt and dust from wearing the shoes.

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How To Clean Air Force Ones Without Turning Yellow?

In addition to the toothpaste and Eraser methods, baking soda and vinegar can be used to clean and prevent yellowish discoloration after washing. Here’s how it works:

  1. In two cups of water, combine four tablespoons of white vinegar and two tablespoons of baking soda.
  2. Divide the solution into two equal parts(containers).
  3. Remove the shoe laces and soak them in one of the containers overnight.
  4. Meanwhile, use a soft, medium-bristled brush to remove the dry dirt from the shoes.
  5. Dip your soft brush in the other solution and gently scrub the entire shoe in circular motions.
  6. Wipe the shoes with a dry cloth and dry them overnight.
  7. Rinse and dry the laces after they start looking clean.

Baking soda will not only help clean the shoes without turning them yellow, but it will also neutralize the odor and make them fresh.

How To Get Stains Out Of Air Force Ones?

For thorough cleaning, use detergent, soap, and toothpaste. However, some stains and marks require tedious work to remove them. So, if you want to get rid of them quickly, I recommend using a Magic Eraser. A Magic eraser is melamine foam, where melamine is the abrasive agent.

yellow nike air force one

How To Clean Air Force Ones With Magic Eraser? 

The best thing about using Magic erasers is that they are both long-lasting and reusable. So, once you’ve purchased a high-quality Magic Eraser, here’s how to remove stains and scuffs from your Air Force 1s:

  1. Remove the laces, protrude the tongue, and dampen your Magic Eraser according to instructions (if available).
  2. Rub the eraser on scuffs and marks, focusing on the toe box, sole, wedge, tongue, and eyelets. 
  3. Remove the excess with a soft brush.
  4. If necessary, wipe the residue with a clean cloth and allow it to dry.
  5. Laces can be washed and dried as previously mentioned, or manually with soap and water.

Before using any Magic Eraser, wear gloves and read the label instructions.

Can You Clean Air Forces In The Washing Machine?

Washing Air Forces in the washing machine should be your last resort because high pressure and excess water can harm them. However, if it is, I recommend the following steps:

  1. Manually clean the shoes with detergent or soap water (as discussed previously).
  2. Scrubbing can be done with either the Magic Eraser or a brush.
  3. Wipe the shoes with a dry clean cloth.
  4. Place the shoe, with the shoe horns in there, inside a laundry bag with the laces and zip it up. The horns may rust, but this is a necessary step.
  5. Drop some white clothes in the machine with this laundry bag, add ⅓ of detergent powder, and close the lid.
  6. Set the dial to low power or a delicate setting with one or fewer washing cycles.
  7. Pat and dry the shoes naturally for 24 hours.

How To Dry Air Force After Cleaning?

Air Force 1s, like New Balance sneakers, should not be dried in the dryer, in the sun, or with a hair dryer. Instead, simply dry them in a ventilated area near a fan, using newspaper inserts, rice bags, and other methods similar to those described for New Balance shoes.

Final Words: How To Clean Nike Air Force Ones?

Air Force 1s are difficult to clean but easier to maintain if necessary. You can clean them with micellar water, soap, toothpaste, baking soda, and other household items. To avoid risks, perform a patch test before attempting the above methods. Second, avoid using bleach and air-dry the shoes instead of using a dryer.

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