There is a strong argument that a pair of white Air Force Ones is one of the most iconic shoes of all time. They are sophisticated, low-key, and can be styled to look great with almost any ensemble. Unfortunately, they have a high propensity to get soiled, and in contrast to the stark white backdrop, any stains or scuff marks will stand out more than usual. When you clean your shoes, make sure you wash the shoelaces in a separate container at all times. Scuff marks and residue may be removed from your shoes as soon as you detect them, which will help you maintain the immaculate condition of your footwear and prevent the accumulation of dirt over time.
Scrubbing Your Sneakers by Hand
Take your shoelaces off of your shoes and place shoe trees or newspaper inside of your sneakers. Remove the shoelaces from your footwear and lay them away so they may be cleaned in a separate location. Insert a shoe tree into each of your sneakers so that they will retain their original form. If you don’t have shoe trees, you may use newspaper to line the inside of your shoes instead.
A shoe tree is a block made of wood or plastic that has a handle attached to it. When you clean your shoes or put them away for an extended period of time, they prevent the fabric, plastic, and rubber from becoming wrinkled or shrunken.
Put two to three cups (470–710 mL) of shoe cleaning or soapy water in a basin and stir to combine. You may get a sneaker cleaning solution that works for a variety of purposes either online or at a shoe shop. Put some of the cleaning solution into one of the smaller bowls. If you don’t have any cleaning solution on hand, you may create your own by combining 2 cups (470 mL) of water with 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of dish soap or laundry detergent in a separate container and stirring the mixture well.
Rubber, leather, and cloth are the three primary materials used in the construction of an Air Force One. Shoe cleaners that are designed for several uses should work here. However, it’s possible that cleaners specifically formulated for suede shoes won’t be as effective.
While you’re working, soak your shoelaces in the cleaning solution that’s been provided. There are a few different approaches to cleaning shoelaces, but the one that is most straightforward is to let the shoelaces soak in the cleaning solution while you work on the other shoes in the pair. Just toss the shoelaces into the basin, turn on the water, and wait for them to absorb the liquid while you complete the remainder of the processes.
Scrub your shoes using a brush with soft bristles that has been dipped in the cleaning solution. Move the brush back and forth over the surface of the leather on the outside of the shoe. Move the bristles all the way around the leather sole, and then clean the inside of the heel, which is where a lot of perspiration accumulates in the lining. It is not necessary to scrub the leather in an especially vigorous manner in order to work the cleaning solution into the leather. In order to guarantee that you remove all of the dirt from your sneakers, go over each section of your shoes two to three times.
You don’t need to worry about the cleaning solution being dangerous or anything like that; nevertheless, if you want to keep your hands clean while you work, you should put on some gloves.
You should make sure that the cloth on the inside of the heel is thoroughly scrubbed, but there is no need to push the brush all the way into the insole or do anything else like that.
To clean the tongue, use your nondominant hand to raise it up, and then make fast flicking strokes to scrape the leather without wearing it down. This should be done repeatedly.
If there is still filth on the shoes, you should switch to a brush with stiffer bristles. Grab a brush with stiff bristles if your shoes still seem to have a lot of dirt on them. Scrub your shoes with it after dipping it in your cleaning solution for a second time. To ensure that the cleaner penetrates the leather, rubber, and textile lining of the shoe, move the bristles over each and every part of the shoe. Carry on scrubbing until you’ve reached every part of the shoes and cleaned them thoroughly.
If you would rather not use a brush with stiff bristles, you may use a Magic Eraser for the brush.
Use a cloth made of microfibre to remove any more stubborn scuff marks. Your index finger should be wrapped in the towel, and you should dip it in the cleaning solution. Use the towel to rub any noticeable stains or scuff marks, especially those with vivid colors. Rub the spot in a number of different directions until the stain is removed. Scrubbing a stain out of a shoe may sometimes take as long as three to four minutes, depending on the severity of the stain.
This will only be successful if the mark in question is genuinely a stain or scuff. You will not be able to erase the mark if the shoe has been ripped and the inside layer of leather has been exposed.
After using a damp towel to remove the soap residue, you should next allow your shoes to dry naturally. To remove the soap from your shoes, first submerge a cloth made of microfibre in warm water, and then massage your shoes with the towel. Foot soles, tongues, and heels should all be rubbed with the towel. Use the towel you have available to dab the region where the soap is located on the inside lining in order to remove the soap. In order to dry out the sneakers, you should let them 24 hours to air dry in an area that has enough ventilation and is shaded.
Put your shoes somewhere near a fan or an open window so they may get some fresh air. You are free to leave them outdoors, but ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight.
Keep the shoe trees in your shoes as they air dry so that they don’t get ruined.
Machine-Washing Your Sneakers
Place both your shoes and their shoelaces inside of a wash bag. Take off the shoelaces and replace them with shoe trees in both of your shoes. Put your shoes inside a laundry bag that was made specifically for the storage of sensitive items. Take your shoelaces and store them in a separate compartment inside the bag.
Because of the shoe trees, the shoes will not get misshapen or wrinkled while they are being stored in the water. The possibility exists that this may cause the shoe tree to rust, but considering the benefits of having perfectly clean shoes, this is a minor price to pay.
You should wash your shoes with some old white clothes while the machine is set to the delicate cycle. In addition to putting your shoes in the washing machine, you should also put in a load of some old white towels or rags. After you have added the detergent for the laundry, make sure the cover of the washing machine is secure. Set the dial to the “gentle” or “low power” position, and then let the washing machine to run its course.
If you wash your shoes with the rest of your clothes, they will be safer and won’t be knocked about as much in the machine. It is best to use old, worn-out towels or rags since newer clothing has a greater potential to absorb some of the dirt that is on your shoes, especially if they are quite unclean.
When washing your shoes, use the detergent you normally do your clothes with. You won’t need more than a third of a capful of detergent, but if you’re doing a lot of laundry, go ahead and use the whole amount.
Put your shoes in a place that has plenty of ventilation and let them sit there for a whole day so they can dry. At the conclusion of the wash cycle, your Air Force Ones will be somewhat moist. Put your sneakers on a clean towel and place the shoe trees below them. Place them next to an open window or a fan. If you would rather not bring them inside, you are free to leave them anywhere you choose as long as there is some shade for them. Wait at least twenty-four hours to allow the shoes some opportunity to get some fresh air in them.
If you keep your shoes in a damp location, there is a chance that mold may grow on them while they dry.
Under no circumstances can shoes be dried in a dryer. The heat will deteriorate the leather, which will result in your shoes becoming smaller.
Your shoes will get too hot in the sun, which will cause the leather to contract as it dries. If you must leave them outdoors, be sure to protect them from the heat of the sun by placing them in the shade under a canopy or an overhang.
Dealing with Stains and Odors
Using water and a white, non-gel-based toothpaste, stubborn stains may be removed. Apply a little amount of toothpaste directly on top of the discoloration. Utilizing the pad of your index finger, work the toothpaste into the material of your shoes until it is completely absorbed. The next step is to take a toothbrush that has been well cleaned and dampen it by holding it under running water. Use your toothbrush to thoroughly scrub the spot until it no longer bears any resemblance to the original stain. Remove the toothpaste from the leather by rinsing it with a moist cloth or towel, and then wipe it clean with a paper towel.
This method is also effective for canvas shoes and soles made of foam rubber.
This may be accomplished with any standard white toothpaste that contains baking soda. It’s possible that a film of residue may be left on your shoes if you use gel toothpaste.
Your insoles may be deodorized by exposing them to baking soda and letting them air out. Find a container or box that doesn’t let air in and is large enough to hold all of your shoes. Place them inside the box with the tongue raised as high as it can go, and do so before closing the lid. Put one to one and a half cups (230 to 340 grams) of baking soda in a glass or dish and place it in the space between your shoes. After closing the container or the bin, wait for a full day. Baking soda has the ability to eliminate smells, which is why you should put some in your shoes.
If the smell is really offensive, sprinkle some baking soda inside the interior of your shoes as well. After a day, put your shoes through a cycle in the washing machine according to the instructions given above to totally revive them.
Make quick work of removing scuff marks by combining a Magic Eraser with some water. A sponge composed of melamine foam is what makes up a Magic Eraser. To swiftly erase scuff marks or grime, just dampen your Magic Eraser, then wipe it over the affected area in circular motions. If the shoe has a stain on it, mix a little dish soap into the water and massage the mark, stain, or dirt again to get rid of it. If the shoe still has a stain on it, repeat the process.
You may get a Magic Eraser at any retailer that specializes in cleaning supplies or large box stores. They are often promoted as a technique to erase markings from drywall, which is one of its primary uses.
To restore their white color, soak your laces in a mixture of soap and bleach. After cleaning your shoelaces, if you find that they are still quite unclean, acquire a dish made of plastic or glass and fill it up to the halfway point with chlorine bleach. The remaining space in the bowl should be afterwards filled with liquid washing detergent. Put your shoelaces in the solution, stir it up with a mixing stick or a spoon, and then remove them. They should be allowed to soak for at least an hour before being removed, washed, and then let to dry in the open air.
If you want to store the spoon you used to combine the bleach and laundry detergent in the same drawer, you should give it a good scrub two or three times before putting it away.
Your laces will take on their natural color after being dyed with this. However, unless your laces are exceedingly dirty, you shouldn’t have to worry about the need to do this.
If the rubber sole has paint or gum on it, lighter fluid may be used to remove it. Make use of a toothpick to remove any big blobs of paint or gum off the surface. After that, get a fresh towel and a pair of gloves made of rubber and put them on. Pour one teaspoon (4.9 mL) of lighter fluid onto the towel, and then use the lighter fluid to scrape the towel to remove any leftover paint or gum. After the gum or paint has been removed, give the rubber a quick washing in a spray of cold water, and then hang your shoes to dry in the fresh air.
Can I put Air Force Ones in the dryer?
I wouldn’t do it. Simply place them in an area with enough ventilation and wait for them to dry naturally. That is going to be the most secure method for drying them off.
What can I do if the shoes are really dirty?
Handpick out and remove any very big clumps of soil or muck. After that, clean the shoes and shoelaces using a solution consisting of a little bit of gentle laundry detergent and some water. They should be washed in warm water to get rid of the soapy grime, and then dried with a gentle cloth.