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Finally ready to give your Nike VaporMax a well-deserved clean?

While the Nike VaporMax is primarily a running shoe, have you ever worn yours off the track? Chances are, they got dirty after a while. If you wear your VaporMax to run, trek, and even to the gym, now’s a good time to start cleaning. In this article, we’ll be guiding you step by step on how to clean your VaporMax, so sit back and relax; here we go!

A quick word on Nike VaporMax

The Nike VaporMax debuted in 2016. By now, it is arguably one of the most popular sneakers in the market. Compared to its predecessors, such as the Nike Air Max 1 or the Nike Air Max 90, calling the VaporMax an upgrade would be an understatement. 

Rather than making a sole that only partially showed the transparent Air technology, Nike decided to try something different. Making the Nike VaporMax exceeded all expectations and boldly constructed a sole – purely made up of air.

With its entire sole made up of purely Air technology, Nike managed to provide its consumers with a realistic sensation of walking on air. In addition, the VaporMax also features FlyKnit for its upper body, which gives a comfortable fit.

Although many people worldwide own a pair of VaporMax, not everyone knows how to clean them properly. As with any other sneakers, thorough and consistent maintenance is required for it to look its best and remain comfortable. So, here’s how you can clean your Nike VaporMax, the right way.

How to clean Nike VaporMax

Before discussing how you can clean your VaporMax, here is a list of supplies and tools you need to prepare beforehand:

  • Soft bristle brush
  • Hard bristle brush
  • Shoe Tree
  • Container (bowl, bucket, tupperware, etc.)
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Dye-free cleaner
  • Dye-free detergent
  • Water (warm and room temperature)
  • Cloth (microfiber, preferably)

Step 1. Remove the shoelaces

Take your VaporMax and remove the laces. However, do not start cleaning the laces straightaway or start your cleaning process with the laces. 

Step 2. Inserting shoe tree

Place a hardened object, such as a shoe tree, inside your VaporMax. This gives your shoes a proper form, making them easier to clean.

Without a solid surface, brushing your shoe would prove difficult, especially around the upper sole. You should have a shoe tree ready as it makes the cleaning more effective. (If you don’t, you can always resort to creating DIY shoe trees)

Step 3. Create a cleaning solution

Now that you’ve inserted a shoe tree (or other variations) within your VaporMax, it’s time to get cleaning.

If you don’t have a cleaning solution, you can always make it yourself. To do so, you’ll need a dye-free cleaner, warm water, and a container.

Squeeze some dye-free cleaner inside a container and mix it with some warm water. Then, stir the liquid continuously until it appears to be fully mixed, and voila, you have a perfect cleaning solution!

Step 4. Upper sole cleaning

To apply the cleaning solution to your shoe, use the soft bristle brush. Gently cover the entire upper sole of your VaporMax with the solution, but try not to use too much. 

Then, start cleaning the shoe by brushing it in a circular, repetitive motion.

If you do not notice any changes to the stains on your shoe, try switching the soft bristle brush for the hard bristle brush. A harder brush would be more efficient in terms of removing persistent stains.

Step 5. Wiping upper sole

If there are still visible stains after brushing the shoes, fret not. Simply take a cloth and dip a corner of it inside the cleaning solution. 

Using the wet corner, start wiping at the stains on your VaporMax. After a few wipes, you should have a relatively clean upper sole.

Step 6. Sole cleaning

After cleaning the upper sole, the next thing in line would naturally be the sole. To properly clean the sole of VaporMax, you will need the hard bristle brush together with the cleaning solution. 

Dip the brush into the solution and begin brushing the sole. Once you’re sure that all the stains around the sole have been removed and cleaned, move on to the next step.

Step 7. Cleaning your laces

To clean your laces, grab both the laces and place them in the cleaning solution. Then, proceed to wash them by rubbing them together with your hands. 

After repeating this for a few minutes, wring out the excess water and dry them.

Extra tips for washing your VaporMax (applicable to VaporMax with FlyKnit)

To further ensure that your VaporMax is clean, place it inside a mesh laundry bag and drop it off inside your laundry machine. Then, fill it up with the dye-free detergent and make sure the settings are set to a quick cycle with cold water.

Once your washer completes the cleaning, remove your VaporMax from it and place it in an outdoor area or ventilated place so that it can be dried. Take note not to place your VaporMax in a dryer as it would severely damage your shoes!

Frequently asked questions about cleaning Nike VaporMax shoes

Can Nike Air VaporMax shoes go in the washing machine?

Yes, Nike VaporMax shoes typically hold up when run through a washing machine under the proper settings. Take note that there is always a risk of putting any shoe into a washing machine. To reduce the risk of destroying the shoe or the washing machine, make sure you remove the laces from the shoe and add some additional clothing into the machine, such as a few towels to help reduce the banging spinning shoes typically cause.

Can Nike Air VaporMax shoes go in the dryer?

No. You will ruin your shoes. In order to dry your Nike VaporMax shoes, place them in an open-air area, preferably sunlit, and allow them to dry for 24 hours.

How can I wash my Nike VaporMax shoelaces?

A quick and thorough way to wash your Nike VaporMax shoelaces is to remove them from the shoe and place them inside of a laundry bag alongside your normal wash and pull them out when done and allow them to air dry to prevent them from shrinking and destroying the tips.

How do I stop my Nike VaporMax shoes from creasing?

Nike VaporMax shoes are an investment in themselves, and it’s important to protect that investment by using foam crease protectors that adapt and mold themselves to your shoe. Crease protectors will help hold up a shoe’s shape while protecting them from creases, which also helps not only the shoe’s appearance but its comfort as well.

How can I clean white Nike VaporMax shoes?

Follow our cleaning guide above to get your white VaporMax shoes clean and cleaned safely.

How can I clean black Nike VaporMax shoes?

Our guide for cleaning VaporMax shoes works great for black VaporMax, too! Be sure that you choose color-safe and dye free detergents when making up your cleaning solution to protect the color of your shoes.

What’s next for your Nike VaporMax?

This guide is created to help everyone keep their Nike VaporMax in mint condition and sustainable for long-term usage. In addition, a clean and pair of sneakers also help to maintain a certain degree of hygiene. 

Regularly cleaning your sneakers according to the steps above may seem like a chore, but it is worthwhile in the long run. Furthermore, there are also preventive measures that you can take to prevent your VaporMax from getting too dirty, such as the shoe protector spray or water-repellent solution. 

After going through this cleaning process, maybe you’ll think twice before dirtying your precious pair of Nike VaporMax shoes in the future!