We all know that giving shoes a good cleaning makes them smell nice and stick around longer. Most people usually clean shoes with mild dish soap and water.
However, Nike shoes need extra attention to prevent any harm to the material.
So, how can you wash them easily without damaging them?
To clean Nike shoes, you can try the “Spot cleaning method” or simply use a bleach solution. Shoe cleaner kits are also available to get rid of dirt/dust from the shoes. Moreover, you can also try steam cleaning to give your Nike shoes a shiny look.
Don’t go anywhere- We're here to guide you on how to clean Nike easily.
Read on to learn some tips to get that just-bought look of your Nike shoes!
How To Clean Nike? Everything to Know
Keeping your Nike shoes looking sharp and making them last longer is all about cleaning them well. It's not just about getting rid of dirt and stains but also protecting the materials.
So, here are some simple (but effective) methods to help you clean your Nike shoes without hassle.
Method #01: Basic Cleaning With Brush
When your favorite Nike shoes look a bit worse, it's time to give them some basic cleaning. First, get everything you will need:
- A dry toothbrush or a soft cleaning brush.
Grab a mixing bowl and gather warm to hot water. Add around 15 grams of mild laundry detergent or dish soap – the same thing Nike recommends on their website. Mix it to create a cleaning solution.
Sometimes, you might need to refresh the solution a few times during cleaning. No worries, as it's normal. You may have to do it around three to four times to ensure the shoes get clean.
You should also take out the laces from your shoes – they need some attention, too. Let them take a dip in your cleaning solution for about five to 10 minutes. While they're soaking, use your fingers to rub and massage out any dirt or stains gently.
After that, let the laces air dry.
Next, it’s time to clean the shoes. Grab a dry toothbrush or a soft cleaning brush – make sure it's totally dry before you start. Sweep away any dirt that's stuck in the suede and stitching, as well as on the bottoms.
If you spot any stubborn spots or marks, give them a little extra attention. Keep brushing gently until they disappear. Take a step back and see if your shoes look cleaner.
If they're still not as clean as you want, you can always go over them again.
And that's it! With a simple brush and a bit of patience, your Nike shoes can go from looking dusty to dashing.
Method #02: Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning your Nike shoes is a quick and easy way to tackle specific dirty spots without having to clean the entire shoe.
Before you start, grab a few things:
- A clean cloth or sponge
- A small bowl of warm water
- A mild detergent or dish soap.
Here’s what to do next:
- Add a bit of the mild detergent or dish soap to the warm water in the bowl. Mix it gently to create a cleaning solution.
- For small stains or spots, use a soft cloth slightly dampened with a cleaning solution.
- Next, scrub in a circular motion.
- After this, rinse the area with clean water using a separate damp cloth, and then pat it dry with a clean towel.
- Once the spot is dry, check if the dirt is completely gone. If it's not, you can repeat the process.
Remember not to overdo it; you don't want to saturate your shoes with too much water.
Method #03: Bleach Solution (Caution Required)
Cleaning Nike shoes with bleach requires caution, as bleach can damage materials and colors. So, it's best to use this method only for white Nike shoes.
One more thing: Always refer to Nike's care instructions for your specific shoe model. Some shoes might not be suitable for bleach cleaning. So, checking manufacturers' instructions can save your shoes.
Now, let’s get into the step-by-step process of cleaning Nike with bleach.
- Before you start, wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Bleach can be harsh, so protecting your hands is crucial.
- Mix a solution of one part (one bowl) bleach to five parts (five bowl) water in a small bucket. For example, if you use 1 cup of bleach, mix it with 5 cups of water.
- Before applying, test it on a small area to ensure it doesn't discolor or damage the material.
- Now is the time to clean shoes with bleach. Dip a clean cloth, towel, or sponge into the diluted bleach solution. Gently blot or dab the dirty areas on your white Nike shoes. Avoid excessive rubbing, as it can cause the bleach to spread unevenly.
- After applying the bleach solution, dampen another clean cloth with water and gently wipe the shoes to remove any residual bleach.
- Place your shoes in a well-ventilated area to air dry naturally.
- If your shoelaces are also white and need cleaning, you can soak them in a diluted bleach solution for a short period. Rinse thoroughly with water afterward and let them air dry.
Method #04: Shoe Cleaner Kit
Using a shoe cleaner kit is another easiest way you can follow. We suggest investing in a high-quality shoe cleaner kit, which usually includes a cleaner and a brush. These kits are formulated to be gentle yet effective on sneakers.
To use the shoe cleaner kit, follow the instructions on the kit's solution. Generally, apply a small amount to the brush or rub directly onto the shoe.
If the kit includes a microfiber cloth, use it to remove the excess cleaning solution and dirt. If not, a clean, damp cloth will do. Some kits advise rinsing the shoes with water after cleaning.
Remember to place your Nike shoes in a well-ventilated area to air dry.
Method #05: Washing Machine (Mesh and Fabric Uppers Only)
Nike doesn't officially suggest using a washing machine for their mesh shoes. They recommend hand washing as the best method for getting the best results.
But if your Nike shoes are seriously dirty and other methods haven't worked, you might consider using your washing machine.
Using the washing machine to clean mesh footwear can be quite effective if you're doing it correctly. Let’s discuss how to clean Nike shoes in the washing machine below:
- The first step is to remove the shoelaces and any loose dirt or debris from your Nike shoes.
- Add 15 grams of mild laundry detergent to the machine. Don’t use bleach (or any harsh chemical), as it can damage the materials.
- Place your shoes in a laundry bag/pillowcase to protect them during the wash. This prevents the shoes from banging around too much.
- Put the shoes into the washing machine and start the gentle cycle. Do not overload the machine; washing only one or two pairs at a time is better.
- Once the wash is complete, take out the shoes and remove them from the bag or pillowcase.
- Stuff the insides with paper towels to help them retain their shape, then let them air dry in a well-ventilated area.
Remember, this method is suitable only for mesh and fabric uppers. Leather, suede, or other delicate materials may not withstand machine washing. It's best to clean those shoes with more gentle methods if in doubt.
Method #06: Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is generally gentler than more aggressive cleaning methods, like scrubbing. If you have access to a handheld steamer, it can be a gentle way to clean up your shoes.
Steam can help loosen dirt, stains, and grime from the surface of your shoes and can even eliminate odor.
To steam-clean your Nike shoes;
- If your steam cleaner has heat settings, opt for the lowest setting to prevent any potential damage to the shoe's glue or structure.
- Keep the steam cleaner nozzle a few inches (5-6 inches) from the shoe's surface to prevent overheating or scalding the material.
- Before steam cleaning the entire shoe, do a spot test to ensure the material reacts well to the steam.
- After steam cleaning, air dry your Nike shoes. And that’s it, your shoes are clean.
That’s all about how you can clean your Nike shoes easily!
How Often Should I Clean My Nike Shoes?
Nike’s official website recommends cleaning your shoes every two weeks or whenever they look dirty. However, this can vary- based on the type of shoes and how often you wear them.
For instance, if you wear sneakers daily, you might need to wash them more often than someone who only wears them a few times a month.
Here’s what we suggest:
- Every Wear (High Activity or Outdoor Use): If you use your Nike shoes for activities like running, sports, or outdoor adventures, it's a good idea to give them a quick clean after each wear. We know it’s quite an effort, but it can prevent dirt and sweat from building up and prolong the life of your shoes.
- Weekly or Bi-weekly (Regular Use): If you wear your shoes daily, consider gently cleaning your Nike shoes every week or every two weeks (as recommended by Nike’s official website).
- Monthly (Casual Use): A monthly cleaning should suffice if you wear your Nike shoes casually and they don't get exposed to heavy dirt or sweat.
- As Needed (Special Occasions): If you have a special event or occasion where you want your Nike shoes to look their best, give them a thorough cleaning before wearing them.
Common Mistakes People Make When Cleaning Nike Shoes
Cleaning shoes should be a breeze, but certain missteps can actually make things worse. To ensure your shoes always look top-notch, it's crucial to steer clear of these cleaning “Don'ts.”
Let’s discuss what mistakes to avoid when cleaning Nike shoes:
Using Harsh Cleaning Agents
Mistake: Using strong chemicals or bleach can damage the materials and colors of your Nike shoes.
Solution: Stick to mild detergents or specific shoe-cleaning solutions recommended by Nike. Always test any new cleaning agent on a small area before applying it to the entire shoe.
Skipping Spot Tests
Mistake: Not testing a cleaning agent or method on a hidden shoe part can lead to unexpected damage.
Solution: Always perform a spot test on a small area to ensure the cleaning method won't harm the shoe's material.
Mistake: Scrubbing too vigorously can wear down materials, especially delicate ones like suede or mesh.
Solution: Always use a soft-bristle brush or a cloth and apply gentle pressure. Let the cleaning agent do the work rather than aggressive scrubbing.
Using Hot Water
Mistake: Hot water can weaken the glue holding the shoes together and damage certain materials.
Solution: Stick to cold or lukewarm water when cleaning your Nike shoes to prevent any structural damage.
Machine Washing Without Precautions
Mistake: Putting shoes in the washing machine without proper preparation can lead to deformation or damage.
Solution: If machine washing is appropriate for your shoes, we still suggest using a mesh bag or pillowcase to protect them during the wash. Use a gentle cycle and cold water.
Not Drying Properly
Mistake: Allowing shoes to air dry in direct sunlight or using high heat sources like radiators can warp or shrink the shoes.
Solution: After cleaning, stuff your shoes with paper towels or shoe trees to maintain their shape and let them air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat sources.
Keeping your Nike shoes in great shape is a must for their durability and style. Here, we suggested: the Spot cleaning method, bleach solution, and cleaning with a brush.
These methods will help you clean your shoes effectively without harming the mesh fabric.
But, if you're looking for an even easier solution to tackle gum mishaps, tough dirt, and other messes, consider using a shoe cleaner kit. This method will not damage your shoes. Happy cleaning!