Nike shoes are not only known for their style and performance but also their durability. To maintain the longevity and appearance of your beloved Nike shoes, regular cleaning is essential. Today we will provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide on how to clean Nike shoes properly.

How to Clean Nike Shoes - Complete Steps

Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

Before you start cleaning your Nike shoes, it’s crucial to have the right cleaning supplies on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Mild dish soap or laundry detergent
  2. Water
  3. Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  4. Microfiber cloth or soft, clean cloth
  5. Toothpicks or cotton swabs (for hard-to-reach areas)
  6. A well-ventilated area for drying

Remove Laces and Insoles

To begin the cleaning process, take out the shoelaces and insoles from your Nike shoes. This step will make it easier to clean all the nooks and crannies without missing any spots. You can wash the laces separately either by hand or in the washing machine.

Wipe Off Excess Dirt

Before using any cleaning solution, take a dry cloth and gently wipe off any excess dirt or debris from the surface of your Nike shoes. This will prevent the dirt from spreading around during the cleaning process.

Wipe Off Excess Dirt

Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Mix a small amount of mild dish soap or laundry detergent with water in a bowl. Stir the solution until it creates a soapy mixture.

Spot Cleaning

To clean suede shoes effectively, immerse a soft-bristled brush or toothbrush into the soapy solution and gently scrub the areas with stains or spots. Employ delicate circular motions to safeguard the shoe material from harm. If dealing with stubborn stains, exert slightly more pressure, but exercise caution not to go overboard.

Clean the Midsoles and Outsoles

Pay special attention to the midsoles and outsoles, as they tend to accumulate the most dirt. Use the toothbrush or a cotton swab to get into the hard-to-reach grooves and crevices.

Rinse and Wipe

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the shoes, dampen a microfiber cloth or soft, clean cloth with water and wipe off any remaining soap residue. Make sure to rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading the soap.

Air Dry Properly

After cleaning, allow your Nike shoes to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area. Avoid using direct heat sources like heaters or hairdryers, as they can damage the shoe materials. Let them dry completely before putting the insoles and laces back in.

Re-lace and Re-insert Insoles

Once your Nike shoes are fully dry, re-lace them with the clean laces and re-insert the insoles. Your shoes should now look fresh and ready to take on new adventures!

Store Properly

To keep your Nike shoes in top condition, store them in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Using shoe trees or stuffing them with paper can help maintain their shape.

Preventions During Cleaning Nike Shoes

  1. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: When cleaning your shoes, steer clear of harsh chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or acetone-based solutions. These substances can damage the shoe’s materials, leading to discoloration, fading, or weakening of the fabric.
  2. Use Mild Cleaning Agents: Stick to mild cleaning agents like dish soap or laundry detergent mixed with water. These are gentle on the shoes while effectively removing dirt and stains.
  3. Spot Test: Before applying any cleaning solution to the entire shoe, perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area. This will ensure that the cleaning agent doesn’t cause any adverse reactions or discoloration.
  4. Avoid Soaking: Refrain from soaking your Nike shoes in water or any other cleaning solution for extended periods. Excessive exposure to liquids can compromise the shoe’s structural integrity and cause damage.
  5. Pat Dry Spills Promptly: In case of spills or stains, act quickly to pat-dry the affected area with a clean cloth. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it may push the stain deeper into the material.
  6. Store Away from Chemicals: When not in use, store your Nike shoes in a location away from chemical substances, such as household cleaners or paint. Chemical fumes can adversely affect the shoe’s appearance and material over time.
  7. Ventilate During Cleaning: Ensure proper ventilation while cleaning your Nike shoes. Open windows or clean them outdoors to avoid inhaling fumes from cleaning agents.
  8. Protect from Rain and Moisture: If you expect rain or wet conditions, consider using a water-resistant spray specifically designed for shoes. This protective coating will help repel water and prevent damage.
  9. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade colors and cause materials to deteriorate. Store your Nike shoes in a shaded area to protect them from UV rays.
  10. Regular Maintenance: Perform regular light cleaning and maintenance to prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime. This will reduce the need for deep cleaning, which can expose your shoes to more cleaning agents.

Related Post: How to Clean White Shoes


Regularly cleaning your Nike shoes not only enhances their appearance but also prolongs their life, allowing you to enjoy them for a long time. Remember to gather the right cleaning supplies, spot clean with a soapy solution, and air dry them properly. By following this step-by-step guide, you can keep your Nike shoes looking sharp and ready to hit the streets in style.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean white Nike shoes without discoloration?

To clean white Nike shoes without discoloration, create a mixture of baking soda and water to form a paste. Apply it gently to the shoes, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft brush and rinse thoroughly.

Can I speed up the drying process of my Nike shoes?

While it’s essential to air dry Nike shoes to avoid damage, you can stuff them with dry paper towels or newspaper to absorb excess moisture and accelerate the drying process. Avoid using direct heat sources, as they may harm the materials.

Can I put my Nike shoes in the washing machine?

It’s not recommended to machine wash Nike shoes as it can damage the materials and affect their shape. Hand cleaning with a mild detergent and water is a safer option.

David Alexander
I am David Alexander and I have been reviewing shoes for the past 2 years. Living in California, I have a wide variety of shoes to choose from and review. I enjoy sharing my thoughts on different types of shoes with others who are looking for information before making a purchase.