How to Clean White Air Force One Shoes

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Since its first release in 1982, almost 2,000 styles of Nike Air Force One sneakers have hit the shelves -- with one throwback revival after another, despite Nike's penchant for the new and innovative. Public demand for the style's classic basketball look, durable cupsole and pivot point sole design brought the initially discontinued Air Force Ones out of the archives in 1986, with no gap in production since.

The original white-on-white design remains in high demand. Keep your ever-in-style kicks looking clean and fresh by washing them as soon as they get dirty.

Cleaning the Uppers

Air Force One uppers are made from leather, with some mesh patches worked into the design. To clean the leather and mesh, make a solution of warm water and a few drops of detergent or sneaker shampoo. Dip a toothbrush or leather brush into the solution, and gently scrub the shoes in a circular motion to remove the dirt. Then wipe the excess suds away with a damp cloth. Let the shoes air dry before you wear them.

Sparkling Soles

Knock the soles of the shoes together to get off any loose dirt and mud. Wipe away the bulk of the dirt off with a damp cloth. If dirt is stuck in the soles or the seam between the sole and the upper, scrub it out with a toothbrush. Gently rub a melamine eraser sponge over the soles to remove any remaining dirt, and then let the soles air dry before wearing.

Take Scuffs Away

Get out stubborn scuff marks with judicious use of a melamine eraser sponge. Work the sponge over each scuff in a back and forth motion until the scuff disappears completely. The eraser sponge can also minimize the look of gouges by cleaning discoloration out of them.

Ankle Strap Cleaning

Clean the outsides of the ankle straps just like the rest of your shoes' uppers. What really makes ankle straps look dirty is the lint and debris stuck in the Velcro. To clean it out, scrub the Velcro with a dry toothbrush, or pick all the dirt and lint pieces out with a sewing pin or needle.

Keep Laces White

Don't ruin the look of clean, fresh Air Force One shoes with a pair of grimy gray laces. If you don't want to pick up a new pair, pull your old ones out of the shoes and soak them briefly in a small amount of laundry detergent or spot cleaner; then place them inside a mesh lingerie bag and wash them on a hot machine cycle. Air dry them, and relace your shoes to complete your look.

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