How to clean Jordans? - The ultimate guide to keeping Jordans clean

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Jordans are one of the most popular shoes for sneakerheads as of right now. Designed by Peter Moore, Jordans have been gaining massive popularity over the last few years but have been worn since 1985 when Michael Jordan wore them for the first time. So, how do you keep your Jordans looking like they just came out of the box for the longest time possible? I have outlined the steps for cleaning and taking care of your Jordans below so make sure to read on.

There are a multitude of ways to clean your Jordans on the internet, but the best way of cleaning (tried and tested) is listed below.

Equipment Needed:

  • Hard bristled brush

  • Soft bristled brush

  • Laundry detergent

  • Baking soda

  • Sneaker Cleaning serum

  • Water

  • Microfiber cloths

First of all, I would recommend taking the insoles of your Jordans out and placing them beside you – this can be done quite easily. All you need to do is lift up at the back of the insole and you should feel it lifting up; once this happens, just pull out the insole and keep it on the side for the time being (we will get back to these later!) Do keep the insoles safe and dry – getting them wet could ruin them as they are usually made of synthetic materials, especially on older releases of the Jordans.

You can do the next few steps in whichever order you would like but I would recommend doing it in the order below.


Start off with cleaning the bottom of your Jordans; this step goes first (at least for me!) because this will require the most force. This is because the bottom of your shoes gather the most dirt because they come into contact with the highest amount of surfaces. Start off by taking a hard bristled brush and rubbing at the bottom of the shoes. This will knock away and dislodge any loose pieces of debris (rocks, mud, and general dirt) that may be stuck on the bottom.

The next step is to take your Jordans and rinse the bottom of the shoe and run the hard bristled brush again to remove the stuck dirt. Then add some washing up liquid (such as Dawn) to the bottom of the shoe and start scrubbing with the hard bristled brush. Once you think that all the dirt has been removed, run the bottom of your shoes under the water once again and the bottom of your shoes should be ready to go!


The next step is to clean the soles of the shoes – this is the bit that connects the bottom of the shoe to the leather or fabric upper. Most Jordans have a white sole, so the following steps are for those pairs – mix one part baking soda and one part laundry detergent.

Now, as you are only cleaning a pair of shoes, you do not need to mix a lot of baking powder with the laundry detergent. Per pair of shoes, mix one tablespoon of baking soda and laundry detergent. If you feel that one teaspoon isn’t enough, just add as much as you need to finish the job. I would be on the lookout for laundry detergents which have bleach in them as this could damage the shoe. Use a soft bristled brush to get the mixture that you have just made to the white soles of your Jordans; make sure to restrict the mixture to the rubber soles as the mixture will not come off as easily from the upper. Use a circular motion with the brush and get the dirt off your soles. The final step to making your soles look brand new is to rinse off the mixture with a sponge or cloth; make sure to get all the mixture off as otherwise the soles could be discolored.

For colored soles, follow the same steps but do not use baking soda or another option is to use wet tissues and scrub the soles (but this won’t get all the dirt out!)


Moving on up, we come to the upper of the shoe. Most Jordans have a leather upper however some do fabric. To clean leather uppers, I would recommend investing in a sneaker cleaning serum – these are widely available on the market from a range of different companies. Find the one that you think works best for you and order it.

The first step would be to use a cloth to dislodge any dirt on the uppers of the shoes and to remove the laces of your Jordans. Use the same soft-bristled brush as earlier (but make sure to clean the mixture out of it from earlier!) and get the mixture of serum and water (half a bowl of cold water and a small amount of cleaning serum) onto the upper of your shoe. Use circular motions to get the serum onto every bit of the upper of your shoe – make sure to apply some force to remove tough stains from your shoe. If stains persist after using the soft-bristled brush, use the hard bristled brush to get those out.

Once you are satisfied with the way your upper is looking, use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the serum from your shoe and voila – your shoe should look brand new. Let your Jordans air dry for the best results.

Fabric Uppers

For shoes with fabric (or knit) uppers, make the same mixture of serum and water again. After making the mixture, use a spare cloth to get the mixture onto the shoe. Make sure not to use a brush as this may catch the fabric or knit upper and snag it away, which could ruin the look of your Jordans. Use the cloth and apply pressure to get all the dirt out. You may have to repeat this step a few times as it is a bit harder to get dirt out of fabric and knit uppers compared to leather uppers. Then rinse the cloth in clean water and go over the shoe to remove the cleaning serum from within the fabric or knit upper – simply pat dry with a microfiber cloth and let your Jordans air dry after this.



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