Can you wash Air Forces in the washer?


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Yes, you can wash your Air Force sneakers in the washer, but you need to take proper precautions to prevent any damage.

Dos and don’ts of washing Nike Air Force 1s


  • Remove the laces and insoles before washing. This allows for a more thorough cleaning and prevents potential damage to these components.
  • Place your Air Forces in a mesh laundry bag or pillowcase. This provides extra protection and minimizes the risk of scuffing or banging on the washer drum.
  • Use a gentle cycle with cold water. This helps reduce stress on the shoes and prevents colors from fading.
  • Add a mild detergent without bleach or harsh chemicals. This is essential as strong cleaning agents can damage the material and affect the shoe’s color.


  • Don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals. These can break down the material and cause the shoes to lose their shape or color.
  • Don’t wash your Air Forces with other garments. The shoes can potentially damage delicate fabrics during the wash cycle.
  • Don’t dry your shoes in direct sunlight or heat. This can cause them to warp and fade. Allow them to air-dry naturally in a well-ventilated area instead.
  • Don’t wash your Air Forces too frequently. Excessive washing can contribute to faster wear and tear. Spot clean them with a mild detergent and a soft brush when needed.

5-step guide to washing Air Forces

Step 1

Prepare your sneakers: Remove the shoelaces and insoles to wash them separately. This also allows better access to the inside of your sneakers for a more thorough cleaning.

Step 2

Use a pillowcase: Place your sneakers, shoelaces, and insoles inside a pillowcase. This will protect the delicate material from direct contact with the washer’s agitator or drum.

Step 3

Adjust your washer settings: Choose a delicate cycle with cold water to prevent damage to your sneakers. Use a gentle detergent, and avoid bleach or fabric softeners. Remember to turn off the spin and heat settings.

Step 4

Add extra items: To reduce the noise and prevent balance issues, put a few towels or other laundry items in the washer along with the pillowcase. Make sure these items are colorfast to avoid any staining.

Step 5

Hang to dry: Once the cycle is complete, remove your sneakers, insoles, and shoelaces from the pillowcase. Air dry your sneakers by placing them in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Re-insert the insoles and re-lace your sneakers once they are completely dry.

FAQs washing Nike Air Force 1s

Will washing Air Forces in the washer damage them?

There is a chance that washing Air Forces in a washer may cause damage to the shape or materials, especially if washed with other items or at high temperatures. To prevent this, it’s advisable to hand wash your shoes instead.

How should I dry my Air Force shoes after washing them?

After hand washing, gently squeeze out excess water and stuff the shoes with paper towels or white cloth to absorb moisture and maintain the shape. Let them air dry in a well-ventilated place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

What can I use to clean the soles of my Air Force shoes?

Soles can typically handle more rigorous cleaning than uppers. Use a medium-stiff brush and mild soap to gently scrub the soles. Wipe off any residue with a damp cloth, and let the shoes air dry completely before wearing them.

Final thoughts 💭

Remember that when you wash sneakers in the washer, you expose the materials to water, agitation, and heat. These factors can damage the glue holding the shoe together or cause the leather to crack and the soles to deteriorate.

Try cleaning your Air Force 1s by hand using mild soap, water, a soft brush, and a microfiber cloth. This method provides a gentle and effective cleaning without causing damage to your sneakers. Save the washer for the deep clean when they are looking really worse for wear.

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