Nike is one of the most popular athletic brands in the world. Its name has become a common household topic, and almost anyone would recognize the famous Nike “swoosh” from a mile away.
Because of their popularity and quality products, Nike has become a bit of an investment for some. When you ask for recommendations for the best athletics shoes, there’s a strong chance that someone will shout out the Nike name.
That being said, it’s probable that most of us owners of Nike shoes want to keep them looking beautiful and in good condition for as long as possible. Of course, keeping your shoes in good condition highly depends on your level of activity while wearing them, but we can all put in a little bit of effort when it comes to keeping them clean.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the best ways to clean Nike shoes so you can rock your kicks proudly for as long as you can.
Nike’s Advice on How to Clean Nike Shoes
The first thing we did in our research was to go right to the source. Luckily for us, Nike’s website has a page dedicated to showing us how to clean Nike shoes. While there are tons of other shoe-cleaning methods out there, we figured we’d start with the version that comes straight from the company.
You can go and check it out on their site, or continue reading for a quick overview of what the company experts have to say.
Nike experts recommend performing regular and proper care and maintenance to ensure peak performance. This is true not only of Nike shoes but all types of shoes. They will only last as long as you keep caring for them.
With six simple steps, you can keep your Nike’s looking brand-new and clean.
The first thing you should do to clean your Nike shoes is to dry brush them. The best way to accomplish dry brushing is to buy yourself a quality shoe brush. You can use this product to remove dirt, dust, and fuzz from the outsole, the midsole, and the uppers of your shoe.
If you don’t own a shoe brush, you don’t necessarily need to invest in one. Nike recommends using an old toothbrush in place of a shoe brush. It will work just the same.
Once you have brushed all the loose materials from your shoe, you can actually clean it with a mild cleaning solution. Nike suggests mixing some warm water with just a little bit of laundry detergent. You can use this solution to clean the individual components of your shoes.
Start by removing the laces and washing them with the solution, rinsing, and drying them with a rag or washcloth. You can then clean the soles by applying the solution with a soft-bristled brush. Again, if you don’t have a brush specific to cleaning shoes, a toothbrush will work perfectly.
Dip the brush in the solution and scrub the soles of your shoes, drying them with a towel or washcloth.
Finally, you can use this same solution along with your brush or a soft cloth to clean the uppers. Be careful not you soak your shoes too much with the solution. Use a dry towel to blot and dry as much as possible before setting them out to air dry at room temperature.
Other Methods to Clean Nike Shoes
While Nike’s cleaning tactics are undoubtedly ideal, there are tons of different ways that you can clean your shoes and keep them looking fresh and nice.
Have you ever used a magic eraser? These cleaning sponges, formally called melamine sponges, are marketed as magic erasers in the cleaning world because of their strong ability to remove stains, dirt, and scuffs without the help of additional cleaning products.
In the shoe world, these products can be just as helpful.
Rather than buying a fancy shoe cleaner or formulating your own solution from an internet article, you can get yourself a pack of these sponges for a very reasonable price. When you want to clean your shoes, dip the sponge in a little bit of water and gently run it over scuffs, dirt, and markings on your shoe.
Because magic erasers can be a bit abrasive, it’s vital that you work gently and lightly so as not to do any harm to your shoe. There’s no need to scrub hard with these products. Take it easy and let the sponge do the work for you.
Magic erasers tend to work best on plastic, rubber, and leather materials rather than absorbent fabrics and suede, so keep that in mind when you go to clean your Nike’s.
Like magic erasers, wet wipes can be a sure-fire trick to always keeping your favorite kicks clean. Wet wipes are fantastic because you can buy yourself a travel-sized pack to keep with you at all times. Whether you’re going to shoot some hoops, hitting the road for class, or on your way to the movies, you can carry a pack of wet wipes with you to save your shoes from unexpected messes.
If you find yourself in a sticky situation where you Nike’s have taken on some mud or a spilled drink, you can immediately grab a wet wipe to solve the case at the source. No need to wait until you get home or can get your hands on a more sophisticated product; wet wipes will address the mess before it dries and solidifies to your shoe.
Common Questions About Nike Shoe Maintenance
Since Nike shoes are so popular around the world today, it’s no surprise that many wearers and fans of the products have similar questions in common about maintaining and cleaning them. We’ll address a few of these questions here for you today.
Are Nike Shoes Waterproof?
Nike has several styles of shoes that are waterproof or water-resistant, from activewear to leisure shoes, to boots. You can visit the Nike site to see specific styles and models of water-resistant footwear.
Remember that most water-resistant shoes work to repel water, but the insides still shouldn’t get wet. This is crucial for cleaning your shoes, as you should do your best not to saturate the insides when working on them.
Can I Wash My Shoes in the Washing Machine?
Nike specifically does not recommend putting their shoes in the washing machine, nor do they condone drying them in the dryer as well as using harsh cleaning products like bleach. They also recommend cleaning your shoes as soon as they get dirty, if possible.
With that as a caveat, many people do, in fact, wash their Nike’s in the washing machine, following care instructions to get the best possible results.
The first step in washing your shoes in the washing machine is to determine whether or not the materials your shoes are made of will take on damage or not. For example, it is commonly known that suede shoes should not get wet, so they shouldn’t go in the washing machine.
You should also steer clear of putting any leather shoes in the washing machine as well. Basically, any animal-based fabrics are a no-go in the washing machine. You should also avoid putting any delicate materials, like satin or silk, in the machine as well.
However, trainers, sneakers, and other shoes made from cotton, nylon, and polyester will do just fine. You can always double-check to see if your shoes have a care label; many will tell you if you should hand wash only.
After you have checked out the care label on your shoes, you can prepare them for the washing machine. Do so by removing the laces and brushing off any loose dirt. Focus on cracks and crevices, as well as the eyelets. Remove any excess dirt, dust, and fuzz that you can to ensure a more effective clean.
Because shoes are more substantial than the clothing you usually throw in the washing machine, you should protect both them and your machinery from damage by putting them in a mesh laundry bag. Doing so will stop them from getting snagged on the inside of the drum.
You can always substitute a laundry bag with a pillowcase if you don’t have one. Putting your shoes in a bad will also reduce the noise and damage caused by the shoes banging against the drum. You can also throw in some old towels to serve as a buffer.
Wash your shoes at cooler water temperature to help prevent the colors of your shoes from running or fading. When washing colorful shoes, you should also use a color-specific detergent rather than a standard one.
When your shoes have finished washing, rather than tossing them in the dryer as you would for clothes, leave them out to air dry. The high heats of a dryer can cause significant damage to your Nike’s, melting plastics and glue and even causing some shrinking in size.
Put your shoes in a warm, dry place and let them sit for several hours to dry completely. You can even try hanging them on a clothesline. Be careful of too much sun exposure, though, as this can also cause the colors to fade.
How Can I Clean My Insoles?
Most Nike shoes have removable insoles, which makes it super easy to clean and maintain them. Because your insoles come in direct contact with your socks and your feet, they’re likely to get dirty pretty quick.
Sweat and odors from your feet can cause your insoles to be the first part of your shoe to need replacing, so regular cleaning can definitely help them last longer. It’s super important to remember that while we all want the outside of our shoes to look great, the maintenance needs to reach the inside as well.
When you’re dealing with a removable insole, the first thing you need to do when cleaning them is to take them out of the shoe. Remember that most insoles are made of foam and other synthetic materials, so it’s important not to get them too wet during the cleaning process.
Doing so can ruin the insoles completely.
The best way to clean your insoles is by using regular, old-fashioned soap and water. Unless you’ve done some severe damage to your shoes, soap and water should be more than enough to get them shining.
Start by cleaning your insole the same way to would the outside of your shoe. Take a shoe brush or an old toothbrush and remove any debris, including dirt, dust, lint, twigs, pebbles, etc.
Prepare your solution by filling a container or your sink with hot water. Add a few drops of mild soap, like dish detergent, and mix it in well with the hot water.
Take your brush and dip the bristles in the solution. Using a circular motion, carefully and gently scrub your insoles. You will likely find that the most stained portions of the insoles are at the toes and the heels. It’s especially important that you focus on these areas, as this is where bacteria are most likely to build up.
Scrub both the top and the bottom of your insoles, dipping your brush in the hot water solution as needed to rinse and start fresh. Once you have finished cleaning both sides of the insoles, use a clean, dry cloth or sponge to remove any excess cleaning solution and residue.
Leave your insoles out to dry completely. You can hang them outside to dry or leave them in the dish rack, but it’s best to leave them in a place where they will get excellent air circulation. Make sure that your insoles are thoroughly dry before you put them back in your shoes to avoid mildew and smell build-up.
If your shoes do not have removable insoles, you can use this same method but with a toothbrush to let you reach all the way to the toes. It will be more difficult to clean your insoles this way, but not impossible.
You can also try steaming the inside of your shoes to kill bacteria with a handheld steaming. Experts recommend not using a steamer on suede shoes, as it can damage the material.
Read Also: How to Clean Climbing Shoes
What’s the Best Way to Reduce Shoe Odor?
There are tons of home remedies designed for getting rid of shoe odor once and for all. There are also several products on the market made specifically for shoe odors, but we’ll stick to the ones you can try at home for little to no cost.
Whether you use your Nike’s for athletics or leisure, there’s a good chance they’ll pick up some bacteria and odors along the way. It’s various kinds of bacteria along with moisture that cause your shoes to smell. Not to mention, you have your sweaty feet in them all day.
One trick you can try is to put dryer sheets in your shoes. Dryer sheets leave pleasant, clean-smelling fragrances behind and are great for eliminating odors. Using them couldn’t be simpler, either: place one dryer sheet in each shoe and leave them overnight. By morning, you’ll have fresh-smelling kicks.
You can also try using charcoal. Charcoal has been recognized as useful across several situations of all types, but one thing it’s good for is absorbing odors. Take some activated charcoal and put it inside an old sock. Place one sock in each shoe and leave them overnight.
Many people also use baking soda to kill odors. Baking soda is a wonderful option because there’s a good chance you already have it in your kitchen pantry. You can sprinkle some baking soda directly inside your shoes and leave them overnight. Shake them out the next morning and leave them to air out for an hour or two, and you’ll be good to go.
If you’re a cat owner, you’re also the proud owner of a superb shoe-odor eliminator. After all, cat litter they literally make cat litter for absorbing odors. Take some cat litter and put it inside of a thin sock or a cloth pouch. Leave one in each of your Nike’s overnight to let it absorb the bad smells from your shoes.
We buy the products that we do because we intend to use them for a long time. Because a nice new pair of Nike shoes may be a bit of an expense to some, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance to not only keep them looking nice but functioning properly.
Stains and dirt are things that you can’t always avoid. Nike makes tons of style, ranging from athleticwear to leisurewear, so there’s no telling what your shoes are going to get into.
Whether you spend your time in your kicks hanging out at the coffee shop with your friends or hitting the trails for a daily cross-country style run, you’re probably going to get a lot of use out of your Nike’s. Take the time to properly care for them so that you can enjoy them to their full potential.