Ryan Stewart

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How To Clean Your Air Jordan Sneakers

Nike Air Jordan 9 on Feet
Nike Air Jordan 9 on Feet

If you find yourself over obsessed with keeping your sneakers clean, even to the point of never wearing them, have no fear, we have a cleaning tip for every pair of kicks you own.

Most people simply throw their kicks into a pillow case and straight in the washing machine, but if your sneakers are your pride and joy, you may want to give them a little more attention to detail.

Keeping White Sneakers White

Mr Eugene Tong is the self confessed sneaker head and style director of Details Magazine. We’ve outlined his 5 Golden rules of sneaker maintenance for general sneaker cleaning and then continue with a more in depth look at some of the more specific tips and hacks for cleaning your Jordans. White Sneakers are back with a vengeance but are notorious for attracting dirt and stains.

Spot Cleaning

Knock your soles together to dislodge any dirt and brush to remove any surface dust. Use a damp cloth or towel to wipe away any superficial stains on the upper or mid sole.

Jason Mark quick wipes are perfect for spot cleaning on the go. One side is abrasive to remove tougher marks and stains – Eugene takes them with him everywhere he goes.

For the mid sole, Eugene recommends Mr Clean Magic Erasers, soaking these sponges in warm water and wiping until the dirt is removed. These sponges tend to fall apart if you rub too hard so keep the pressure light and consistent.

Deep Clean

Grab a cleaning brush and wet the bristles in a bowl of clean warm water. Apply a dab of shoe cleaner and get scrubbing.

Work up a lather and work it into the material all over. Rinse of the brush and reapply cleaner whenever necessary.

Sneaker Hack 1: The bristles of a toothbrush are a the perfect size for those hard to reach areas in your sneakers.

Sneaker Hack 2: Most people do not realize the cleaning power of peanut butter. The oils give plastic a natural shine and will remove 99% of chemical oxidation in plastics. Use on the trims + midsoles and make sure you stick with the smooth kind of peanut butter!

To finish up, simply towel down your sneakers in a dab and twist motion to help lift stains and dry the remaining material on the rest of the sneaker.

Relace your Sneakers

Okay, so we’re done bringing your kicks back to their “fresh out the packet” status, but what about those laces? They are the focal piece and magically accumulate the most dirt.

Remove your laces, wash them in detergent and let them soak for up to an hour or you can place them in a laundry bag and chuck them in with your next wash. Obviously the best option would be to buy fresh laces for your sneakers.

“Fresh Laces instantly lift the appearance of sneakers” – Eugene Tong.

You can find standard shoelaces at just about any shoe store, but if your kicks command Premium Laces, check out our wide range of shoelace colorways, patterns and sizes guaranteed to give your shoe new life here.

Protect your Sneakers

Once your sneakers have air dried fully, lay down a towel and spray them (in a well ventilated area) with a stain and water repellent.

Canvas shoes, leather and suede will require slightly different types of protection, so buy according to your sneaker’s material and cleaning instructions.

Apply stain repellent to new kicks to help them stay cleaner for longer.

Store your Sneakers

If you wear sneakers without socks, they’re better of being stored with dryer sheets to absorb natural odours and moisture. Sprinkle some baking soda in your sneakers at night, and shake it out the next day to keep them smelling sweet.

If you’ve got a huge sneaker collection, take a Polaroid picture of them, wrap them up, box them and stick the photo on the front for easy location next time you need find them.

Keep your sneakers in steady rotation as this will give them the time they need to air out and stop them from getting worn out, not to mention that wearing the same pair of sneakers can actually do more harm then good.

Different types of shoes put pressure on different parts of your foot so switching things up now and again will have your feet and sneakers thanking you later.

How To Clean Your Air Jordan Sneakers

Jordan sneakers can be considered, by most, an investment. As an investment, you ideally want to maintain it and keep it in use for as long as possible.

The key to Jordan maintenance is to clean without inflicting damage and store it properly when not in use.

Here are some specific Jordan tips on how to clean Jordans without damaging these special purchases.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 1:

Don’t wash your Air Jordans under running water: You’ll risk saturating your sneakers and, in extreme cases, the sole may detach from the shoe completely.

Opt for a damp, non-abrasive cloth to wipe down stubborn dirt and grime. You can also use a little drop of dish soap liquid to clean the entire sneaker including the tongue.

Just make sure that you fully squeeze out the cloth to avoid additional moisture.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 2:

Stubborn Dirt and Oxygen Bleach: For super stubborn dirt, you can use a mixture of oxygen paste and water (non-gel whitening toothpaste or cornmeal also works).  These are known to clean and whiten almost anything, including the soles of your Air Jordan sneakers.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 3:

Whiten Rubber Soles With Extreme Care: Seaglow is known to be extremely effective in cleaning rubber soles. However, with great whitening ability comes get responsibility!

If Seaglow is allowed to run on to the rest of the sneakers it will cause staining.

We suggest applying Seaglow to the clear part of your soles with a paintbrush and left out to dry in the sun for no more than 3 hours max! (Your soles are at risk from separating again if left out in the sun too long).

Once those tainted soles are white again, you can wipe away the Seaglow with a damp cloth. Don’t let the Seaglow cloth water touch any other part of your sneakers.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 4:

Storage and Deodorizing: Avoid odours and additional moisture by placing a silica pack inside the storage plastic along with your Jordans. You can also leave a smaller box with baking soda inside the sneaker to act as a deodoriser. Having excess moisture leads to your Jordans squeaking, which we’ll cover how to avoid in another guide.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 5:

Avoid Driving In Your Jordans: If you’re planning on driving it’s probably a good idea to keep your Jordans tucked away for later. Driving in Jordans keeps your foot at an angle at all times with your toes pointing upwards. This creates cracks and wrinkles which can mean the end of your Jordans.

This position also keeps pressure on the seams of the sneakers and will cause the shoe to break down over time.

Air Jordan Cleaning Tip 6:

Use The Right Cleaning Agent: Some of the typical cleaning substances people use end up messing up your Jordans, so it’s important to choose a soft material to clean your shoe. This also helps to avoid scratches and lines on the sneaker.

We tend to stick with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaner Cleaning Pads, they’re great for cleaning any dirt your sneakers collect and the pads are soft and haven’t damaged any of our Jordans.

How To Clean Air Jordan Suede

Cleaning Suede Sneakers is a daunting task, but with the correct type of cleaner and proper techniques you can revitalise your kicks in no time.

Dyed suede can become problematic and bleed when it’s wet so proceed with extreme caution. Test out your kicks with a light colour cloth and gently brush the material to check for color smudging or bleeding.

Grab yourself a decent suede cleaning brush, one with softer bristles than your typical boot polishing brush and begin to gently rub down the material for surface level dirt.

Dampen your brush and apply your suede cleaner, re-dampen and shake out any excess water, dab the brush on a cloth to remove even more.

Use the brush to evenly scrub over the entire suede surface and repeat as much as you need to, then we can move on to the drying process.

Using a microfiber towel, move swiftly from cleaning to drying in a dab twist motion and keep things moving quickly. This particular motion will revitalise the material and dry at the same time – repeat as much as necessary then leave to air dry for an hour or two.

Grab another premium brush to work up the suede texture “Nap” back and forth. Give this technique quite a bit of attention and don’t skimp on your time here. Repeat this several times over the drying period to achieve the maximum suede cleaning effect.

How To Stop Air Jordan Creases

Creasing up your Jordans is inevitable and as quoted by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and toe creasing.”

Mr Franklin possibly didn’t say that word for word but you get the idea. Don’t worry because there’s a few things you can do to prevent Sneaker creasing.

Aside from not wearing your sneakers at all we’ve found a video tutorial to give you an overview of the technique of literally “Ironing out the creases”.

Of course with all types of hacks you use at your own risk and we can’t guarantee the safety of your sneakers, but with a little common sense you’ll go far.

Image Credits: Stills courtesy of Jason Markk videos cleaning suede with jason markk + How to keep your sneakers clean with eugene tong | mr porter + Stock images


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