Your shoes make the man, (or woman). And if they’re dirty then that’s not going to look good is it? So check out my how to clean Nike sneakers guide where I will show you two ways that you can get them looking brand new again.

Clean Nike Sneakers

Why Should You Clean Your Nikes?

Before I do show you two easy ways that you should follow for cleaning Nike shoes I first wanted to discuss why on earth you should be cleaning them in the first place.

Now, obviously if you are like me you want to give a good impression of yourself. If you are walking/running around with dirty sneaks then that’s not going to look good is it?

But not only is it your appearance that you should be thinking about but also making your shoes last longer.

Any dirt or stain is going to cause damage to your shoes. A good idea is to carry with you some baby wipes so that you can clean off any dirt/stain that gets on them.

Obviously if you’re a lady then this is fine. You can just put them in your handbag. But for us guys you may just want to put them in your car. Or somewhere easy to get to at home.

And finally, taking great care of your shoes will mean that you do not need to head to the shops and get a new pair of shoes. Simple!

2 Easy ways to clean your Nike shoes:

These two methods can also be used for to clean Nike running shoes as well. So whichever method best suits you then go for it!

Wait, hold up!

If you do have a pair of Nike FlyKnit Racers then please check out the following video from WooHooligan. The video tutorial will be best for this type of sneaker.


Hand Scrub Your Shoes

To be able to clean your shoes properly you need to be hands on. By that I mean you need to get dirty with them and take your time to do a thorough job.

I have decided to show you the following YouTube video by Sneakerhead Pat. In the video he will not only show you how to clean your shoe but your laces as well.

Credit: SneakerheadPat

This way may take a while for you but trust me it will definitely be worth it as your shoes will look brand new.

If you are concerned with cleaning the insoles as well then head on over to Wikihow. There you will find some great steps and videos on how to clean them.

What You Need:

  • Your Dirty Nikes
  • Bucket or Sink
  • Cup or Container for your shoe laces
  • Warm/Hot Water
  • Hand Soap/Bar of Soap/Detergent
  • Small Hand Brush
  • Hand Towel

Step 1 – Removing the shoe laces

To give your Nikes a good thorough cleaning you will need to remove the shoe laces first. This will ensure that underneath that part of the shoe can be cleaned.

And as I said just above this method will shoe you how to clean your laces so it’s important to carry out this step.

Depending on how dirty your shoes are you may want to knock them together so that some of the dirt will fall off.

Step 2 – Cleaning the shoe laces

The above video does suggest for you to use hot water to clean your shoes. You don’t want to have it too hot though as this can cause damage to your shoes. So you might want to use warm water instead.

Also, another word of warning. If you do decide to use bleach then please be cautious and use gloves. And please do remove all traces of bleach from your shoes when you’re done. Any bleach that is left on your shoe will cause damage.

Either get a cup or a container and put in water and whatever cleaning agent you want, hand soap or detergent. Then put your laces in and give it a good mix.

Then take them out and give them a good scrub. Place them back into the mixture if you think it is necessary.

Check out my How To Clean Shoe Laces post to get more information about this step.

Step 3 – Time to scrub them shoes

Next you will need to fill up either your sink or a bucket. It depends on what you feel more comfortable using and what is easier for you.

You will then need to fill whatever you’re using with warm/hot water and whatever cleaning agent that you are using.

Then take your scrubbing brush, dip it into the water and scrub your Nikes. This is the part that takes the longest and where you will need to take great care.

You want to be careful of those stitches. Just take your time around that area of your shoe as if you rip the stitch then this can cause them to come undone.

Step 4 – Get rid of that soap

Then when you think that they are clean enough you will then need to rinse off the soap. Your sink will be best for this step as you will need to place your shoe under running water.

This is probably the easiest step. All you need to do is put your shoe under the water and let the soap run off.

Step 5 – Drying your shoes

After you have removed the soap from the shoes and that they are looking clean you will want them to be dry, right?

Just take your hand towel and pat them dry. Get inside the shoes as well as water will have definitely have gotten inside during the cleaning.

A good idea is to leave them to dry overnight. You of course want your shoes dry before you put them on, yeah?

You may consider using either a hair dryer or a tumble dryer. I would advise you to not use either of these as the heat from these can cause damage to your shoe.

Step 6 – Don’t forget those shoe laces

While you are waiting for your shoes to dry it is time to turn our attention back to your shoe laces.

For this step you will work with one lace at a time. If you do not do this then your laces could become tangled together and then you will waste time untying them. That’s definitely not what you want!

Get a shoe lace and hold it at the tip. Then with your other hand wring the water out of it as shown in the above video.

A hand towel is a good option as it can absorb most of the water.

Then do the same for the other shoe lace. And then leave your laces to dry overnight.

Bonus Step – Get your kicks on

OK, well this really isn’t a step but I thought that I would include it.

When you think that your shoes and laces are clean then it is time to put those laces back on.

Once you have done that then … WEAR THEM!


Put Them In The Washing Machine

Now, the previous method was hands on and did take some time. If you’re not that sort of person, (and I can understand that), then this method is for you.

Clean Shoes In The Washing Machine

Although I will say that being hands on with your shoes will ensure that they do come out cleaner.

What You Need:

  • Your Dirty Kicks
  • Small Brush
  • Washing Machine
  • Detergent

Step 1 – Remove the shoe laces

Again, to ensure that your laces do get a proper cleaning you will need to remove your laces. This will help that part of your shoe getting a good cleaning.

Step 2 – Scrub some dirt off your shoes

You may or may not do this step, and that’s fine.

All you need to do here is scrub the dirt off your shoes. Yeah, I know what you’re saying. If your shoes are dirty then why scrub them clean? That’s what the washing machine is for, right?

Well, yes but doing this step will help make the washing machine’s job easier.

Step 3 – Using the washing machine

As your shoes will be loose in the washing machine it is a good idea to put some towels into the load as well. A good idea is to wrap a towel around the spindle of the machine, (that is if you have a top-loader like me).

These tricks will help reduce the banging that will occur from your shoes being knocked around in the machine.

A delicate setting using cold water is advised.

Step 4 – Let them dry

The final step is to let your shoes and laces dry. Obviously you will need to take them out of the washing machine for this step, lol.

As I suggested in the previous method it is best not to use either a hand dryer or tumble dryer. As I mentioned the heat from either of these can damage your shoes.

Also, placing in direct sunlight can result in shrinkage or the colors to fade. So it’s best to either leave them indoors or in the shade outside.


Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope that this how to clean Nike sneakers guide was both helpful and useful. If you think that this post will be helpful then please share it with family and friends using the social media buttons below.

If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Categories: How To

Owain Couch

Making and repairing boots and shoes has been an occupation in my family for generations. I want to carry on the family business by helping you find the best footwear, as well as provide useful guides that will help make them last longer.

8 Comments

Jeff · March 7, 2018 at 2:32 pm

Yes, the shoes DO make the man. Keeping your kicks clean sends out a message.

After I hand wash my sneaks, is there any other way to get them dryer faster besides waiting? I know the hair dryer is out of the question.

    Owain Couch · March 7, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Unfortunately not really. You can pat your shoes dry with a towel and put in towels or paper into your shoes.

    I would suggest doing it for a day where you don’t want to wear them.

    Hope this helps.

Roger Bynoe · March 7, 2018 at 11:32 pm

Great article about washing sneakers. How long should you leave the sneakers in a dryer?

    Owain Couch · March 8, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Hi Roger, I wouldn’t advise you putting your sneakers in a dryer. The heat coming from it could cause problems. It’s best to leave them either in the shade or in your house.

Colleen · March 8, 2018 at 12:40 am

What a great How-To post! It makes me want to go clean my filthy white Adidas shoes! When growing up, my Mom taught us to wash our shoes but with a toothbrush. I love your tip about carrying baby wipes around to clean your shoes…genius! I would also like to add that those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work wonders on tennis shoes as well. Thanks for the information and video!

    Owain Couch · March 8, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Yep, you can definitely use a toothbrush instead. Just make sure that the bristles aren’t abrasive and that no one is using it for their teeth 😉

    I agree the Mr Clean Magic Erasers are great for your shoes. I have covered that product before on my How To Clean White Rubber On Shoes post. Not only can you use this sponge for your shoes but all around your home as well.

Kathleen · March 8, 2018 at 6:25 am

I like that you’ve specified taking the shoe laces out. That’s so true. If you don’t that look terrible, especially if your shoes are nice and clean. They stand out even more. Keeping your shoes clean definitely looks better than them looking gross! I usually prefer to put mine in the washing machine, and let them air dry in the sun. Better to do this on a sunny day than rainy, or they’ll take ages to dry.

    Owain Couch · March 8, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Yep, you have to be thorough with your clean to make your shoes look as good as new. If you’re putting them in the machine then it is set to put them on a cold wash with the delicate setting.

    Also, with putting them outside don’t leave them out for too long on very hot days.

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