How to Clean Air Jordan Shoes

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Air Jordans become dirty and smelly quickly when worn while playing sports.
Air Jordans become dirty and smelly quickly when worn while playing sports. (Image: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Air Jordan sneakers have become a staple in many people's wardrobe. Not only do they protect and support your foot, providing a comfortable wear, they also are also fashionable. Whether you wear your Air Jordans on a daily basis or just on occasion, keeping them clean will help protect your investment by making the shoes last longer, in addition to giving them a tidier appearance.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Rags
  • Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Magic Eraser
  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Cornmeal
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sea Glow
  • Container
  • Paintbrush
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ice packs
  • Shoe box
  • Baking soda

Preparing the Shoe

Step 1

Place shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag to prevent tangles.
Place shoelaces in a mesh laundry bag to prevent tangles. (Image: apichat_naweewong/iStock/Getty Images)

Remove the shoelaces and wash separately. You can wash them by hand using laundry detergent or dish soap, but you can also wash them in a machine. Put them in a mesh laundry bag to prevent the laces from tangling. Hang them to dry while cleaning the rest of the shoe.

Step 2

Brush off dirt and debris from the surface of the shoes and soles using a dry, soft bristled brush or rag.

Dip the brush or rag in water to remove the remaining dirt from the soles. Do not saturate the upper leather of the shoes. It is best to use a damp cloth only if necessary.

Step 3

Dry the surface of the shoe with a clean, dry rag.

Deep Cleaning

Step 1

Cornmeal will degrease hard-to-clean suede.
Cornmeal will degrease hard-to-clean suede. (Image: HeikeRau/iStock/Getty Images)

Line the inside of your shoes with a dry, clean towel to protect them from excess or dripping water throughout the cleaning process.

Moisten a Magic Eraser cleaning pad and scrub the entire shoe, avoiding any suede areas, if present. Pay close attention to trouble areas such as marks and stains. Do not use excessive water on leather areas of the shoe. Avoid drips and runs of water.

Whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush work well to clean sneakers and can be used in place of a Magic Eraser pad. Apply a non-gel whitening toothpaste to the shoe and use a toothbrush to gently scrub the surface clean. Use a damp rag to clean off the toothpaste when finished.

Step 2

Rub cornmeal gently into any suede sections of the shoe. Let it sit for several minutes; then brush the cornmeal off using a dry, clean soft bristled brush.

Cornmeal absorbs grease from suede without causing damage or staining it. If cornmeal becomes dampened, allow several hours for it to dry before removing it.

Step 3

Dampen the tongue of the shoe with a wet rag. Apply a drop of dish or laundry soap and scrub the tongue of the shoes gently with a soft bristled brush. Scrub the inside and outside of the tongue. Continue scrubbing until the tongues are clean.

Use cold water to rinse out the tongue. Squeeze the tongue with your hands until the rinse water runs cold. Avoid allowing water to enter the shoe.

Whitening Soles With Sea Glow

Step 1

Use a small paintbrush to apply Sea Glow to clear soles.
Use a small paintbrush to apply Sea Glow to clear soles. (Image: Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of Sea Glow into a container. Dip the tip of a paintbrush or cotton swab into the Sea Glow and apply the clear rubber areas of the soles. Use caution to avoid getting Sea Glow on any area of your shoe that is not clear to avoid staining. Do not allow Sea Glow to run or drip.

Step 2

Place shoes in the sun with the soles facing upwards. The sun will activate the Sea Glow and begin the process of restoring yellowed rubber back to clear. Check on the shoes every 30 minutes until the desired level of clear is achieved.

If the Sea Glow becomes dry during that time, reapply it with a paintbrush and place it back in the sun. Do not leave shoes in sunlight for longer than three hours at a time or in temperatures that exceed 90 degrees. Excessive sunlight and heat can damage the shoes and cause the soles to separate from the shoe. Place ice packs underneath the shoes while sunning to prevent the glue from melting.

Step 3

Wipe the Sea Glow from the soles of your shoes using a wet cloth. Do not allow water or Sea Glow to come in contact with the rest of the shoe.

Step 4

Remove towels from inside of the Jordans. Place the Jordans in a shoe box once they are thoroughly dry. Set an open box of baking powder in the box with the shoes. Put the lid back on the shoe box and allow the shoes to sit in the box for at least several hours. Baking soda will naturally and safely remove odors from the shoes.

Tip

  • Wipe off the shoes with a rag and remove clumps of dirt after each wear to reduce the amount of damage you do to your Jordans.

    Place the shoes in front of fan in a cool, dry place to dry faster.

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