How to Clean Nike Shoes and Keep Nike Sneaker for a Long Life!

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: James Leigh

How to Clean Nike Shoes

Nike shoes, renowned for their style and comfort, often find a special place in our footwear collection. Whether it's a pair of mesh sneakers or leather shoes, keeping them clean can extend their life and maintain their appearance. This article will guide you through various methods to clean Nike shoes, ensuring they stay in prime condition.

Project Overview: Cleaning Nike Shoes


To meticulously clean Nike shoes, focusing on mesh shoes and Nike Flyknit shoes, ensuring they look pristine and are free from stains and dirt, using the most effective way to clean.


  • Machine Washing: Approximately 1-2 hours (including drying time)
  • Hand Washing: Approximately 2-3 hours (including drying time)

Materials Needed:

  • Soft brush or toothbrush for brushing the shoes
  • Dish soap or a small amount of laundry detergent
  • Baking soda (one tablespoon of baking soda may be needed for stubborn stains)
  • White toothpaste (optional for white shoes)
  • Mesh laundry bag (if using shoes in the washing machine)
  • Clean cloth or damp cloth
  • Bowl or basin filled with warm water
  • Fabric sheet (optional for dryer use)

Skills Required:

  • Basic knowledge of different parts of your shoes like mesh, flyknit fabric, and outsole.
  • Familiarity with washing machine settings and understanding that Nike doesn't recommend damage to your washing machine due to improper settings.

Estimated Cost:

  • Minimal, as most materials like soap with a clean cloth are commonly found at home.

Key Steps:

  1. Preparation: Remove laces and insoles, and use a shoe brush or toothbrush to remove loose dirt from the surface of your shoes.
  2. Choose a Cleaning Method: Decide whether to wash your shoes by hand or use shoes in the washing machine.
  3. Follow the Step-by-Step Guide: For the chosen method, ensuring to clean the outsole and other parts of your shoes meticulously.
  4. Drying: Let the pair of Nike air dry, avoiding the use of a dryer to prevent damage.
  5. Address Stubborn Stains: If needed, use a damp cloth with baking soda or white toothpaste to remove stains that persist.
  6. Store Properly: Store the cleaned pair of sneakers in a cool, dry place.

Expected Outcome:

A new pair of Nike looking as good as new, with a pristine appearance, free from any stains or dirt, ready to get back into action, whether they are running shoes or just a casual pair of Nike sneakers.


Regularly cleaning your shoes is recommended, but it is crucial to clean your shoes without damaging them, so always follow the recommended washing instructions and avoid excessive force or harsh chemicals.

Understanding Your Nike Shoes

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to identify the material of your Nike shoes, whether it's mesh, leather, or suede, as each material requires a different cleaning approach. Recognizing the type of stain is also essential, as some stains may need specialized treatment.

Preparation Steps

Start by removing the laces from your Nike shoes, allowing you to access the entire surface of the shoe for a thorough clean. Use a soft brush to gently remove any loose dirt and debris from the surface, focusing on areas where dirt accumulates, like the soles and crevices.

Cleaning Mesh Nike Shoes

Mesh Nike shoes can be cleaned by hand washing or using a washing machine. When using a washing machine, place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag to prevent damage. Use a small amount of laundry detergent and cold water, avoiding bleach as it could damage the mesh material. After washing, let them air dry, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources.

For hand washing, prepare a cleaning solution of water and dish soap. Using a soft brush or toothbrush, gently scrub the mesh areas to remove dirt or stains. Rinse the shoes with clean water and allow them to air dry.

Maintaining Leather and Suede Nike Shoes

Leather and suede Nike shoes require special care. Use suitable cleaners and conditioners to maintain the material's integrity and appearance. For leather shoes, a gentle leather cleaner and conditioner will keep your shoes looking like new. Suede shoes benefit from a quality suede cleaner, addressing scuffs and stains without damaging the delicate material.

After cleaning, polishing leather shoes can add an extra shine, while suede shoes should be brushed with a soft-bristled brush to maintain their texture. Regularly cleaning and conditioning your Nike shoes will extend their lifespan and keep them looking good as new.

Addressing Stubborn Stains

For stubborn stains on your Nike shoes, a homemade cleaning solution of baking soda and water can be effective. Apply the cleaning paste to the stain using a clean toothbrush and gently scrub. Rinse with clean water and let the shoes air dry.

White vinegar can also be used to remove tough stains, especially on white Nike shoes. Apply a small amount of white vinegar to the stain using a clean cloth and gently rub. Rinse and let the shoes air dry.

Preservation Tips

To keep your Nike shoes in the best condition, establish a regular cleaning routine, addressing dirt and stains as soon as possible after your shoes get dirty. Proper storage is also crucial; store your shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration and material degradation.

List of Best Nike Shoes

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I machine wash my Nike shoes?

Yes, but use a mesh laundry bag, mild detergent, and cold water. Nike does not recommend washing leather or suede shoes in the machine.

2. How can I remove tough stains from white Nike shoes?

White vinegar or a baking soda mixture can be effective for removing tough stains from white Nike shoes.

3. Can I use bleach on my white Nike shoes?

No, bleach can damage the material and affect the color of your shoes.

4. How often should I clean my Nike shoes?

Clean your Nike shoes as soon as they get dirty to maintain their appearance and prevent permanent stains.

5. Can I air dry my Nike shoes after washing?

Yes, let your shoes air dry after washing, but avoid direct sunlight or heat sources.

Author Box
James Leigh

James Leigh

James Leigh is a certified health professional, physiotherapist, and a seasoned runner who wins Boston Marathon, with a wealth of experience under his belt. Passionate about sharing his expertise with fellow runners. James is your go-to expert for your health, wellness and running tips.