How To Clean Air Jordan 1

Two Air Jordan 1 pairs, one in red and black, the other in blue and black, both sat on a wooden table.
Credit: Abhay siby Mathew

Two Air Jordan 1 pairs, one in red and black, the other in blue and black, both sat on a wooden table.
Credit: Abhay siby Mathew

Trying to figure out how to clean Air Jordan 1s can be tricky when you don't know where to start. In fact, we understand that keeping your sneakers in deadstock condition isn't always as straightforward as it may seem.

Fortunately, we've put together a step-by-step guide to lead you through some of the dos and don'ts when it comes to keeping your Jordan 1 Highs, Lows, or Mids clean all year round.

Whether you're trying to remove the dirt to sell or you're simply preparing your best sneakers to wear out, here are our top tips to help keep your Jordan 1s in excellent condition all year round.

How to clean Air Jordan 1

The following technique is what we believe to be the best way of cleaning leather Jordan sneakers based on Nike's recommendations.

We've chosen to base our guide on leather Jordans as it is the most commonly used material used to construct some of the best Jordan 1 colourways around, although, fear not, as we cover the likes of suede and canvas a little later on. Before that though, here's what you need to clean leather Jordans...

What you'll need:

Step 1: Remove the shoelaces from your Jordans and place them in warm water with a mild cleaning detergent Leave them here whilst you continue with the rest of the sneakers.

Step 2: Grab a soft-bristled brush and begin to work away any excess dirt and debris from top to bottom. The idea here is to remove the larger chunks of dirt and mud to avoid spreading them across the sneakers later on in the cleaning process.

Step 3: Once most of the major dirt has been removed, we'd recommend using wet wipes to remove most of the remaining mud.

Top Tip: Baby wipes work well as they're formulated to be gentle for the skin, so shouldn't damage your Jordans.

Step 4: Add a small amount of mild soap to warm water and dip your soft-bristled brush in before gently scrubbing your Jordans in a circular motion. Alternatively, use a dedicated cleaning agent, like this Angelus Easy Cleaner featured in our list of the best leather cleaners, to get your shoes spotless.

Angelus Easy Cleaner product image of a clear bottle containing light green shoe cleaner.
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Credit: Angelus

Top Tip: Use an old toothbrush to remove the dirt in some of the harder-to-reach areas.

Step 5: After cleaning, thoroughly rinse to remove any lingering soap residue. Then, use a microfibre cloth to gently dry the surface. Any persistent scuffs here can be effectively addressed by delicately rubbing them with the cloth.

Step 6: Now that's covered, remove the laces from the water and allow them to dry. Once dry, proceed to re-lace your sneakers. If you're uncertain about the process, feel free to refer to our comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to lace Jordan 1s.

Top Tip: Let your shoes air dry naturally, avoiding direct exposure to heat or sunlight. Once you've finished cleaning your Jordans using this method, they'll be ready to wear.

What about other materials?

Jordan 1s are typically made of leather, but Nike often employs other materials to create more individualistic and distinctive designs. With so many different colourways out there, here are our top tips for when you encounter an alternative material.


Although not often found on a pair of Jordans, suede does occasionally make its way into a design, like with these "Olive" Travis Scott Jordans. Some of the best Air Jordans ever made have included suede in their designs, so it's worth knowing how to clean the material just in case.

Travis Scott x Air Jordan 1 Low "Olive" product image of a sail, black, and olive pair of low-tops featuring red accents.
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Credit: Nike

Unfortunately, suede is notoriously difficult to clean, but it's not impossible. Nike recommends using a suede brush or towel to clean away surface debris, working with the material rather than going against the grain.

You could always try a suede eraser to rub away any stubborn marks on the surface of your shoes as well. To find out more, check out our guide to cleaning suede shoes right here.


Although rare, cotton canvas materials can sometimes be used to build out the uppers for certain Jordan 1s. Take, for example, these "Canvas Grey" Mids that include red and black cotton layers throughout.

Air Jordan 1 Mid "Canvas Grey" product image of a black, white, and grey pair of canvas mid-tops.
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Credit: Nike

Thankfully, canvas is a bit easier to clean than suede as you can pretty much just use the same technique as leather. As opposed to just wiping off with a cloth though, canvas material will need some time to dry by itself.

This is something we've also touched on in our guide to cleaning Air Force 1s and canvas shoes right here.

Things to avoid when cleaning Air Jordan 1s

Proper care for your Jordan 1s is crucial to avoid irreversible damage. Avoid using a washing machine or tumble dryer during cleaning, as the intense spin, water, and heat can harm delicate materials, leading to cracking or deformation. Similarly, steer clear of direct heat for drying, which can cause the leather to crack or deform.

Opt for gentle cleaning tools to prevent permanent scratches as well, especially on leather sneakers. For example, avoid wired brushes or rough sponges that may mar the shoe's surface. And, of course, stay away from cleaning products containing bleach, as it can dry out the material, leading to staining and leather cracking.

Remember: tread carefully during cleaning to maintain your Jordan 1s' pristine condition.

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