How Can I Get Spray Paint Off Nike Shoes?


If you get spray paint on your Nike shoes, you may be tempted to toss them in the garbage. Fortunately, you can remove water- or oil-based paint from tennis shoe material using products you normally have in your household. Cleaning the paint from the shoes while still wet also helps reduce the chances of permanent staining.

Things You'll Need

  • Wash tub
  • Bowl
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Cloths
  • Rags
  • Towels
  • Paint thinner

Latex Paint

  • Fill a wash tub or sink with cold water. Set the Nike shoes in the water and allow them to soak for one hour. Remove the shoes and place them on an old towel.

  • Fill a bowl with warm water and 1/4 tsp. liquid laundry detergent.

  • Dip a clean cloth into the mixture and blot it onto the spray paint stains. As the paint lifts from the shoes, wet another area of the cloth and continue blotting. Use light pressure and avoid rubbing the cloth into the shoes. Clean the shoes with the detergent until stains have disappeared.

  • Rinse the soap from the shoes by blotting with a clean, wet rag.

  • Press clean towels into the shoes to remove excess water. Lay shoes in a well ventilated area to dry completely.

Oil-Based Paint

  • Moisten a small area of a cloth with paint thinner.

  • Blot the paint stains lightly with the cloth. Pour additional paint thinner onto a different area of the cloth as the paint lifts from the shoes. Continue blotting the paint from the shoes and do not allow the paint on the cloth to touch other surfaces as it may transfer and produce an additional stain. Remove as much of the paint as possible using this method.

  • Mix 1/4 tsp. liquid detergent in a sink of warm water. Wet a rag with the soapy water and blot off the remaining paint stains from the shoes. Rinse and dry the Nike shoes in the same manner as above.

Tips & Warnings

  • For dried spray paint, remove as much of the paint as possible by brushing the shoes with an old toothbrush. Clean the remaining stains using one of the above procedures.
  • Test the paint thinner on a hidden area of the shoe before treating the paint stains.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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