white air force 1 on grass

How to clean white Nike Air Force 1s

With summer fast approaching and the prospects of lockdown coming to an end, there are a few staple footwear that you need to have at hand. But to keep this blog short and sweet, we’ll be focusing on the holy grail of summer footwear – White Air Force 1s, also known as the Colgate Whites. However, there has been a trend where summer vibers invest in a pair or two every season, which can be a costly habit to maintain. But with our cleaning tips, we hope to keep more money in your pocket in the long term, where you might need to buy a pair every three years.

Step 1: Remove shoelaces

Remove the laces from the footwear and place them in an empty pillowcase and tie the top. Set your washing machine on a cold wash with a small amount of laundry detergent and once washed, place in a ventilated area to dry naturally.

Step 2: Remove any visible dry dirt

For step one, you will need to remove any visible dry dirt. Firstly, you will need to gently knock the pair together by the bottom of the sole to encourage any loose dirt to fall off. Then use a dry cloth to wipe away any hard to move dirt spots that require a bit more force.

Step 3: Create the cleaning solution

To create the cleaning solution all you will need is warm water and non-bio detergent, but we do recommend buying a natural laundry detergent. In a bowl, add one teaspoon of detergent and one full cup of lukewarm water. If your solution is heavily foamy, you have added too much detergent and we recommend starting again if it’s non-bio detergent. Natural laundry detergent would be okay to continue. But we have to make it clear that this cleaning solution cannot be used on suede material footwear.

Step 4: Unyellow your white midsoles

A common occurrence with white trainers is the discolouration of the midsole, or commonly known as “yellowing”. But our next cleaning tips should help reverse this effect.

  1. In a mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a full cup of lukewarm water. Make sure the mixture has a somewhat thick consistency
  2. Dip the shoe brush in the solution and scrub thoroughly around the midsole. Once you’ve finished scrubbing do not wipe away the residue as this will help with the next step
  3. Place the pair outside, preferable within the sunlight. Position the sneakers upside down (bottom sole facing upwards) and leave them outside for 30-60 minutes.

This process will need to be repeated 3-4 times until you get the dazzling white result you are looking for.


Now that your White Air Force 1s are back to their former summertime glory, now you need to consider how to keep them that way. A little bit of effort will go a long way and hopefully keep more money in your pocket in the long term. To help you maintain your Air Force’s we’ve listed three items that will help do the job.

Crease stoppers

The number one killer for all good Air Force 1s, creases. For some wearers as soon as there’s an irreversible crease, the pair are pretty much as good as retired. In this circumstance, prevention is always better than a cure. So we recommend investing in crease-stoppers. Crease-stoppers will help prevent common everyday creases that form from walking.

red-black crease protectors

Water repellent solution

The number three killer of the white Air Force’s is unremovable stains. Imagine, you’re at a summer BBQ and someone accidentally spills some juice. That split second before the juice makes contact, the thought of “my trainers are ruined”, will definitely enter your mind. The best way to eradicate stressful scenarios like the one described invest in a water repellent solution, that will provide a level of surface protection against any form of liquid. All you have to do is use water to rinse off the unwanted liquid.

crep protect spray

Black stackable shoe storage boxes

People always forget how important storage is when maintaining the condition of your trainers. Dust, microorganism, and even sunlight can discolour and deteriorate your trainers over time. So if you’re not storing the white Air Force’s correctly, this will increase the chance that you’ll have to dig in your pocket to buy another pair the following summer. So we recommend investing in a black shoe box. The shoe box is a sealable design to prevent dust and unwanted organism from reaching the trainers, as well as protect the trainer from direct UV (ultraviolet) light exposure eliminating the chance of discolouration.

black shoe box side profile

If you want to know how to restore your trainers and shoes made from different material, read our article on how to clean and restore your shoes. Let us know through Instagram how well you managed to clean your white Air Force 1s. Just use the hashtag #FootwearBeast or @ us using @FootwearBeastUK

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