How to Clean Air Force Ones with Baking Soda?

You might have a large collection of sneakers you truly adore. But there is one pair of white sneakers you really love. The white sneakers give an edgy finish to your look, until they look murky. The dirt and stains all over your precious piece can be really embarrassing.

But there are ways to restore your shoes and make them look brand new, like they have never faced a rough day. Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, a few household necessities, we say it, you have it.

In this article, we explain you how to clean your Air Forces Ones with baking soda (and a few other options) and make them look pristine, naturally adding to your confidence!

Clean Air Force Ones with Baking Soda

How do You Clean Air Force Ones with Baking Soda?

The Air Force Ones can be cleaned by only baking soda alone or mixing it well with vinegar. It’s important that the laces and the insoles of the sneakers are kept away before the pair is cleaned. It’s better not to put them in dryer or a washer because it might damage the shoe. The process is explained below:

Baking Soda

Take a non-metal bowl or a measuring cup and add the mentioned ingredients below:

  • One tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Half a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. If you do not have it, avoid this step.
  • Half a tablespoon of warm water. Make the amount to one tablespoon if hydrogen peroxide is not added.

Mix them into a proper paste.

Now these steps follow while using the paste:

  • Using a scrubber or an old toothbrush, dip it into the paste from baking soda, and place it on the stains.
  • Brush the stain making circular motions, allowing the paste to work on the shoe.
  • Allow the baking soda paste to stay and parch on the shoe for thirty minutes.
  • Remove the excess of the paste after drying and use clean water to wash it away. A wet cloth or a clean sponge will do the work.
  • Perform the process again until the stains are removed.

The tougher stains like paint, coffee or blood may need more than a single wash. In this case, using peroxide might pose a better result on the shoes. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

If the previous option of baking soda with hydrogen peroxide is far-fetched for you, you can use a household necessity, white vinegar to perform the action of cleaning your Air Force Ones.

The ingredients mentioned below are needed for this:

  • One tablespoon of baking soda
  • One tablespoon of white vinegar
  • One tablespoon of hot water

Mix them all into a proper paste in a small bowl.

The steps following the usage of the paste:

  • Use an old toothbrush to put the paste in the shoe stains, and scrub them with circular motions. Cover the total shoe and put the laces in the rest of the solution. 
  • Place the shoes outside in the bright sunlight after both the shoes are fully covered, as the sun helps in the whitening process.
  • Clap the shoes together to remove them from the parched paste over a dustbin.
  • Use a parched toothbrush to remove the rest of the paste.

This solution is also suitable for leather, canvas shoes and suede. Shoe soles and white vinyl toes are also cleanable using this.

Read Also: Causes of Yellow Stains on Vinyl Floors

Alternative Methods

Using Toothpaste

If baking soda doesn’t do the trick, using toothpaste is an amazing way to clean Air Force Ones, especially if they are white, and if you are in a rush. You can rub the toothpaste over the stain and spread it properly. If your time is not too demanding, giving proper cleaning can help remove the marks from your sneakers.

You need to use a non-gel white toothpaste, especially one with a whitening property. After grabbing it, follow these steps:

  • Squeeze out the toothpaste on an old toothbrush and make circular motions on the stains.
  • Allow the paste to be on the sneakers for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Use a damp towel to swipe the paste from the shoe.
  • Repeat it until the stains are gone. 

Toothpaste also does its magic to clean the ivory strips on the show edges, or in certain shoes, it’s reinforced toe.

Using Soap Powder

nike air force one Using Soap Powder

Using soap powder or to be precise, detergent to clean the stains is possible. It’s easy, and you won’t have to tread too far to find detergent in home. The process to clean using soap powder is given below:

  • Remove the shoelaces before adding shoe trees into the sneakers. The shoe trees help in maintaining the shape while you clean the pair.
  • Make a soapy solution with two to three cups of water and one teaspoon of soap powder or detergent. Use some of the solution to dip the shoelaces while using the rest for the cleaning the shoes.
  • Use a brush with a soft bristle dipped into the solution and start cleaning. You can start brushing where the sweat tends to build up in the lining. Firmly scrub every area but not forcefully. You should brush every area two to three times to make sure you remove the dirt fully.
  • Use a magic eraser or a hard bristled brush if dirt is still present on the shoe.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to remove the adamant stains.
  • Use a wet towel to clean the soap and let it air dry. Leave in the shoe trees until they dry.

How to Clean Air Force Ones in the Comfort of your Own Home?

  • Untie the shoelaces from the Air Force Ones.
  • Insert two table towels in both of your shoes, since a lot of water will exit the shoe when it’s left to dry.
  • Take a bristle brush and take a good amount of hand soap and dip a bit into warm water to make it good to go for cleaning the shoes.
  • Use circular motions over and over until it cleans, taking hand soap along the way.
  • Use a kitchen cloth to wipe the excess and redo the process.
  • Put a good amount of fabric cleaner on the brush and in the inside of the shoes before cleaning the insides. Mix hand soap with it if necessary.
  • Use a sponge brush after this process to clean the hard parts of the sneakers.
  • Mix hand soap and fabric cleaner in a small bowl to dip the shoelaces in.

Leave the shoes in the sunlight to air dry.

Tips & Tricks

A problem with your Air Force Ones could be the bad odor. The nature of the smell is a one-way trip to embarrassing odor. But do not fret, as baking soda can absorb the odor other than just cleaning the pair.

  • Take one to two tablespoons of baking soda for each shoe to cover the total insole.
  • Pour the mixture into each of the heels of the shoes. Pour the baking soda into the heel of each shoe.
  • Tilt the shoes back and forth to spread the baking soda solution. Take a good amount for good coverage.
  • Wait overnight to allow the baking soda to kill the odor creation bacteria. Extra bad odor will take a day to kill them.
  • Tap the shoes to remove the rest of baking soda over a dustbin or the sink. Residuals are harmless to your shoes and feet too.


Does bleach make Air Force Ones yellow?

The bleach makes them yellow if it’s not properly diluted. The bleach must be one part and water must be five parts to use them on shows. If yellow spots are in your shoes because of this, use hydrogen peroxide to remove them.

Can air force ones go in the washer?

Air Forces are damaged in the washer as it is made of leather and other materials. Use a mild detergent and water to avoid damaging them and let them air dry.

Why do Air Force Ones turn yellow?

Nike Air Force ones shoes, to be more specific, soles, become yellow over time because of oxidation. It’s the effect of a chemical reaction where the rubber and oxygen react and oxidizes. It makes the shoe turn yellow. Dirt and sweat also causes oxidization.

How do you dry air force ones fast?

You can leave them in a well-ventilated area and put newspaper inside the shoes to soak excess moisture. You can also use hair dryer in the lowest setting and dry them if you are in a hurry.

Wrap Up

Air Force Ones, especially that of white canvas can be a handful. It’s a matter of annoyance if dirt gets to your favorite pair. The process of using baking soda, mixing hydrogen peroxide or vinegar with it are primary ways to clean your sneakers.

A gel toothpaste or soap powder solution can be a good fix, when those don’t follow. Even hand soap or detergent works well too. Following the steps, and with a bonus tip of removing bad odor, you’re good to go.

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Manuel Elmad

Manuel Elmad has always been interested in technical things. When he was just a kid, he worked in a mechanical shop and learned all about the inner workings of electronics and machines. This sparked his thirst for knowledge and led him to pursue a career in this field. For the past 8 years, He has been working as a technician and loves to learn new things and also helps others to learn. In his spare time, Elmand likes to strike on the keyboard for spreading his knowledge and go hiking with his friends.

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