Can You Wash Airforces in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Airforces in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash Air Force Ones in the washing machine.

Air Force Ones, with their iconic design and enduring popularity, are a staple in many sneaker collections. However, keeping these sneakers clean can be a challenge, especially after some heavy wear. The good news is that you can indeed wash your Air Force Ones in the washing machine, but it’s crucial to do it correctly to avoid damaging these beloved kicks.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide, dos and don’ts, alternative cleaning methods, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Airforces in the Washing Machine


  • Remove the Laces: Before tossing your Air Force Ones into the washing machine, take a moment to remove the laces. Place them in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag to wash separately, or you can choose to wash them by hand.
  • Use a Delicate Cycle: Select the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine. This setting reduces the risk of harsh agitation, which can potentially damage your sneakers.
  • Gentle Detergent: Use a mild and gentle detergent. Harsh chemicals can harm the shoe’s material and color.
  • Cold Water Only: Stick with cold water for washing. Hot water can cause the glue holding your Air Force Ones together to weaken.
  • Add Old White Fabrics: To protect your sneakers from scuffs and damage during the wash, consider adding old white fabrics, like towels or clothing, to act as a buffer.
  • Air-Dry Only: After the wash, resist the temptation to use a dryer. Instead, air-dry your sneakers in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours. A shady outdoor spot or near a fan works well. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause the leather to fade and crack.


  • Avoid Hot Water: Never use hot water when washing your Air Force Ones. As mentioned earlier, hot water can weaken the glue and potentially damage the shoes.
  • Skip the Dryer: It cannot be emphasized enough—do not put your Air Force Ones in a dryer. The heat from the dryer can shrink the leather and distort the shape of the shoes.
  • Say No to Bleach: Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals at all costs. These substances can discolor and damage your sneakers.
  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading your washing machine. Too many items in the machine can lead to uneven washing and damage to your sneakers.
  • No Direct Sunlight: When drying your Air Force Ones, steer clear of direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the leather to become brittle and fade.

Steps To Wash Air Force Ones In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Prepare Your Sneakers: Begin by removing the laces from your Air Force Ones. Place them in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag.

Step 2

Add Old White Fabrics: To protect your sneakers during the wash, add old white fabrics, such as towels or clothing, to the washing machine. These will act as a cushion and prevent scuffs.

Step 3

Use a Gentle Detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine. Remember, less is more when it comes to detergent.

Step 4

Select Delicate Cycle: Choose the delicate or gentle cycle on your washing machine and ensure the water temperature is set to cold.

Step 5

Start the Wash: Begin the washing cycle and let it complete its course. The gentle cycle will clean your Air Force Ones without causing damage.

Step 6

Air-Dry Thoroughly: After the wash, take your sneakers out of the machine and air-dry them. Do not use any heat sources, such as a dryer or direct sunlight. Allow your sneakers to dry for at least 24 hours in a well-ventilated area.

Step 7

Reassemble: Once your Air Force Ones are completely dry, rethread the laces and get ready to enjoy your refreshed sneakers.

Alternative Washing Methods For Air Force:

If you prefer not to use a washing machine or have specific material concerns, consider these alternative methods for cleaning your Air Force Ones:

  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or dirt, use a damp cloth or sponge with mild soap to spot clean your sneakers. Gently scrub the affected areas and wipe clean.
  • Hand Washing: If your sneakers are more delicate or made of special materials, hand washing is a safer option. Fill a basin with cold water and mild detergent, then gently clean your sneakers with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry.
  • Sneaker Cleaning Kits: Invest in a quality sneaker cleaning kit, which typically includes brushes, cleaning solutions, and instructions tailored to different materials.
  • Regular Maintenance: Brush off loose dirt and dust regularly, and store your Air Force Ones in a cool, dry place to prevent excessive dirt buildup and odor.


Can I wash my Air Force Ones in a top-loading washing machine?

Answer: Yes, you can wash Air Force Ones in both front-loading and top-loading washing machines. Just be sure to follow the dos and don’ts mentioned above.

Is it safe to use regular laundry detergent for washing my Air Force Ones?

Answer: We recommend using a mild, gentle detergent to avoid any potential damage to your sneakers. Strong detergents may harm the materials or colors.

Can I use a dryer or direct sunlight to speed up the drying process?

Answer: No, it’s essential to avoid using a dryer or direct sunlight. Instead, air-dry your Air Force Ones in a well-ventilated area for at least 24 hours to preserve their quality.

How often should I clean my Air Force Ones?

Answer: The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you wear your sneakers and the conditions they face. Regular maintenance and spot cleaning can help extend their lifespan.

Will washing my Air Force Ones affect their warranty or return policy?

Answer: Washing your Air Force Ones according to these instructions should not affect their warranty or return policy. However, it’s always best to check with the manufacturer or retailer for specific terms and conditions.

Final Words:

Washing your Air Force Ones in the washing machine is a practical way to keep them clean and looking fresh, but it’s essential to follow the right steps to ensure they maintain their quality and style. Remember to remove laces, use cold water, and never use a dryer or bleach. With proper care, your Air Force Ones can continue to be a timeless addition to your sneaker collection, ready for many more adventures.

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