Ultimate Restoration/Cleaning Guide

20th March 2006 01:44
#1 Restoration/Cleaning FAQ
#2 Suede/Nubuck/Elephant Print Cleaning
#3 Sole Cleaning
#4 Creases
#5 Air Jordan III Midsole Restoration
#6 Tips on Odor
#7 dalyte1's Cleaning Compilation
#8 Air Jordan DMP Maintenance
#9 Stop your sneakers from creasing the official Do It Yourself Guide
#10 AJ XI: Separation Anxiety (Sea Glow)
#11 Sea Glow Ultimate Guide
#12 Whitening Mesh
#13 Midsole Transplant Guide
20th March 2006 01:45

Q: Can I fix my yellowed soles on my Jordan XIs?
A: At the moment you cannot, but methods of fine grit sandpaper have been mentioned

Q: What can fix my yellowed III midsole?
A: I would suggest painting it with Angelus paint (www.turtlefeathers.com) This is the best paint at the moment with the best hold up as far as "The Customizers" know.

Q: Can I just sandpaper the sides of my IIIs?
A: NO, NO, NO. The sides of your IIIs is made out of FOAM. Sandpapering them will ruin the foam and it will rot away and yellow quicker if you do.

Q: Then where can I sandpaper?
A: The RUBBER areas with SMOOTH surfaces you can sandpaper. (VII RUBBER toe, IX soles)

Q: Can you give me tips on using bleach pens?
A: Make sure you get OUT ALL OF THE BLEACH before drying. The material will yellow FASTER if there is excess left over bleach stuck in it.

Q: Can I prevent creases in my shoes?
A: I've heard of placing a gel cup upside down in the toe would work, but never have tried it. Other than that, I would not wear them if you are afraid of creases.

Q: Can you teach me how to restore?
A: No

Q: How do I un-fog the holograms in the XIIIs?
A: I've heard a blow dryer works but I personally never tried it.


Suede and nubuck are similar but are different as well. Suede, when wet and dried the coloring is deeply faded and texture is dry and stiff. It is also more 'furry' than nubuck. Nubuck is more stiff than suede and is less sensitive than suede. What the suede lacks is moisture which is dried out when it's faded (as well as nubuck)

Version 1 of cleaning (common cleaning)
If your suede or nubuck has a little dirt on it, take a suede brush which can be bought at Footlocker, etc (with an eraser) and brush away the dirt swiftly and quick. It should remove the dirt somewhat. It will also take some fade out of the nubuck and some suedes. Elephant print seems to be very similar to suede.

Version 2 of cleaning (a little more cleaning)
Buy nubuck/suede SPRAY for footlocker, champs, etc. Once you clean the surface of the nubuck/suede you can use this to bring back moisture to the suede. Pretty simple aim and spray.

Version 3 of cleaning (Deep cleaning)

Removed it for now, since people have been having issues with this method


Method 1

There are several tools that are great for cleaning the bottoms of the sole.

-Mr Clean Magic eraser: Works wonders. Uses no chemicals, it's just a songe that has special material used to pick up dirt on surfaces.

-Brillo Pads: Rough material that gets deep into the small areas.

-Joy dishwashing liquid: Concentrated liquid that cleans great.

-Sponge: A sponge.

-Paper towels



First to get the basic stuff off wet the Magic eraser and scrubt he surface it should clean it in almost and instant. Then wet the sponge and wip ethe surface so it's wet. Now put a little bit of Joy ont he soles and take the brillo pad and scrub the dirty areas. Take a wet paer towel and wipe off the soapy areas. Now for the little inner crevices (if it's not already clean already) use a toothbursh with soap and make sure when you scrub the dirty stuff flicks in your face or something. After everything dry it off with a paper towel.

Method 2

-Greased Lightning (can be found in any hardware store, get the multi-purpose cleaner, not the kitchen cleaner)
-old rag

First off, this stuff is not for leather. It for rubber and rubber only. Some foam midsoles seem to absorb the dirty mixture afterwards so I'd be careful. With that said, don't just spray some directly to the sole, that would lead to drips and runs toward the leather. Just spray some on the old rag and start applying it to the bottom of the sole. While wiping with the rag, you may notice some dirt coming off but not all. That's where the handy dandy toothbrush comes in.
With a good amount of greased lightning on the shoe, scrub away with the toothbrush. It's alot stronger at getting the caked on stuff and can reach into the hard to reach areas.
After you feel you have loosened the dirt, rinse gently with cold water. Dry the shoe with another rag. Water left on soles and midsoles is never a good thing.
Repeat the process if you wish.


There is no real way to prevent creases. Creases are a result of walking. That's like trying to prevent wrinkles on your skin. You don't frown or have any emotions your entire life. Keep your face DS. Like your kicks.

However, there is a way to reduce the image of creasing.

a) The best way/simplest way is to stuff the shoe with paper towels. Socks are good because they don't tear liek paper towels, and aren't as wasteful. After every wear you might want to shove a tube sock in the toe area.

b) When wearing, you can use a SMALL grocery bag at the roof of your foot. And shove it in there before putting your feet in. The bag takes up all the empty space without cramping your foot too much.

c) Some say putting a gel cup on the roof of your foot works too. I don't know. never tried.

d) In the creases there's usually dirt which makes the shoe look more creased. Try to get that out.

e) Some people iron the toe of their shoes when it's stuffed. They put a moist towel over the toe and place and iron on it for a couple of seconds repeateatly. I tried it once, it didn't do much. Som esay it works. Personally I think it's unhealthy for the leather, and it'll stretch it out. So do it at your own risk.

f) Keep them puppies DS.

Solecollector forum and b!ohazRD are not responsible for what you do to your shoes. Any action you do, is your decision.

**infro from b ! o h a z R D **
20th March 2006 01:47
#5 Restoring Air Jordan III Midsoles

The polyurethane foam composite yellows quickly, and the reason for yellowing in III midsoles is the white paint layer is either a) scuffed off b)age has broken down the paint so it yellowed.


1) ANGELUS WHITE PAINT (Createx opaque/transparent works well)
2) MASKING TAPE (optional)
4) FLAT SHADER BRUSH (about 2 or 3 cm wide)
5) LESS WIDE BRUSH (for harder spots)
6) DULLER (for more natural look)

For the people who still don't know where to buy this stuff, check' www.turtlefeathers.net' for the PAINT (or for createx check your art store), everythign else is pretty easy to get at a hardware store. (YES, HARDWARE STORE AS IN HOME DEPOT, or LOWES)


For cements and blk/grey/reds - WATCH OUT FOR THE BLACK PAINT AREA
For Mochas - Don't worry

Take your rubbing alcohol on a small cotton ball (squeeze most of the alcohol out before rubbing the cotton ball on the to be painted part) Lightly scrub the surface of the area that is to be painted. Be careful of where the black paint or blue paint is (use q-tips for sensitive areas)

Feel the surface to see if it is free from dirt, and other stuff. It should feel like paint should hold on it. (not slippery)


Take your paint, and depending the age of your IIIs, mix the color accordingly. If you have OG FireReds, I'd suggest adding a little yellow tint to it so it's not gleaming white. If you have 1994 retros, I'd also add a small amount of yellow. It's all up to you. If you want a flat color, add some duller into the paint. The more dull you want it the more you add, it does not affect the paints viscosity.

Take your brush a slowly apply in THIN coats. THE FIRST COAT WILL NOT BE ENOUGH. Be careful around the edges. Your restoration will look like a piece of crap if the edges are whack. (Use the MASKING TAPE to your advantage) It should take ABOUT FIVE (5) COATS to cover the white midsole completely. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.


Let the midsole dry for 24 HOURS! This will ensure your paint won't chip off accidently if someone rubs up against your wet paint. When I say 24 hours, I mean 24 hours. You might not think so and be like "Oh I touched it, and it feels dry" It really isn't the chemicals haven't settled yet and the bonds in the acrylic paint haven't completely locked in yet.

If you want, you can blow dry the midsole, but I think it's a waste of electricity if you can just let it naturally dry. Plus it doesn't really work, it'll still be wet the paint.

Take your waterproofer which can be bought at FOOTLOCKER, CHAMPS, ETC! And spray recklessly aorund the midsole. Don't OD though. Just apply little coats so water won't hurt the paint.



Note that the paint will not stay half as long as the paint on the midsole. But if you must, use Angelus or Createx on the toe. You can use ACETONE to prepare the rubber on the toe. (or rubbing alcohol)

Paint the midsole nicely and don't make it look like crap. Again,use the masking tape to your advantage.

**info from b ! o h a z R D**

#6 Odor Problems

Now there are several different things that can make a shoe stink: either you're a heavy sweater, have shoes in a smoker's home, or just got them wet and now the bacteria's having a field day.

First off, there are several products out there to help. There's foot deodorant and foot powder to keep foot sweat to a minimum, odor balls can be found at any local footaction/footlocker, and even febreeze can help for textile liners (mesh, cotton, etc.).

Before beginning any odor solution, sometimes a nice airing outside will do the trick. Yes, you'd want to avoid damp areas as well as places where the sun is beaming down. What you're basically looking for is a place with a nice airflow. So if you want to keep it indoors next to an open window, that's fine.
This is really ideal for bacteria problems after the shoe has been holding a significant amount of water. Water + sun = bad. The airflow will aid in drying the shoe and hopefully the smell. Once you're sure the shoe is completely dry or you can still sense the stench, then you can try the following methods.

-For bacteria, place the shoe in a plastic bag, and place in the freezer. The cold should kill them off. Making sure they're dry is the key. If the water should freeze inside the shoe, expect a lot of damage to be done esp. in the sole region.

-For sweaters, aside from the foot powder, maybe the problem lies in your socks. From what I've seen, cheap socks = hot feet. Athletic socks are a plus.

-For the shoes that just can't seem to shed their stink, they may need time to just settle. Put them back inside their shoebox. Spinkle baking soda inside the box and around the shoe. I wouldn't spinkle it inside the shoe. Close the box and just let it settle for awhile and then check on them.
20th March 2006 08:12
#7 Cleaning Tips Compilation
Update ( 4/27/08 ) / Original Version (10/25/02)
This is another update to my Cleaning Tips Compilation. I've noticed a couple of flaws causing some slight confusion. So I've tried my best to simplify the phrasing of some methods mentioned. I've also noticed that a lot of people are not reading the guide or thoroughly reading the guide before asking questions in the Cleaning/Restoring FAQ. Please read the guides in this forum. The basis of what you need to know lies within the Guides alone. Everything else is just commonsense.

Not many people can afford to beat up a pair and have a couple pairs of shoes to stash in their closet for future use. That is the major reason why this guide was compiled in the first place. Also this guide uses relatively cheap and effective items to keep your shoes clean and keep your wallet ready to purchase more shoes.
Someone asked whether I was keeping some cleaning/restoring secrets to myself, well the answer is yes, however it’s pretty much common sense that most people can figure it out for themselves. I’ll gradually reveal a few here and there in future updates.

First off, try to prevent your shoes from getting dirty, scuffed, or even bled on by denim jeans in the first place. Do not intentionally beat up your kicks and expect to clean them and make them look like they just came out of the box. Something of that nature rarely happens, especially with the quality of most shoes today.
Usually when I acquire a new pair of kicks I spray at least 2 coats of waterproofer, top, bottom, and all over. (I'm crazy like that) but it slightly makes it easier to clean.
Be aware of your surroundings, if you see gum, mud, or anything unsafe for your shoes; walk around or over it. Also check the weather updates. If it looks like it's going to rain, don't wear the shoes you don't want to get messed up. Do what I did back in my high school days, and carry an extra pair or even a pair of beaters in your backpack or in the trunk of your car.

Here are some basic items that might come in handy.

Toothbrush, Medium-Large sized brush (larger brushes make it easier to clean soles)
Magic Eraser (Mr. Clean or 3M brand works fine, make sure you get the one with the grip since they hold up better)
-(tip) cut the sponges in half so that you use it more efficiently-
Dishwashing Soap (examples are Joy, Ivory, and Ajax: go for the clearer translucent types)
Waterproofer (You can get them at shoe stores, also 3M Scotch Guard is said to work well as well)
Nubuck/Suede Brush Eraser Cleaning Kit
-(tip) pick up extra waterproofer and a Nubuck/Suede Brush Eraser Cleaning Kit whenever they have Friends & Family sales at shoe stores, that way you save some cash. Right now they retail for $5.99 at Footlocker.
Toothpicks or Eyeglass Screwdrivers
-(tip) these come in handy for removing rocks and pebbles in between the traction grooves on soles. Preferably Eyeglass Screwdrivers is the better purchase since they'll last longer than toothpicks.

On to my revised cleaning tips.
Let's start inside out.
Remove laces if needed.
Remember to use good judgment and common sense when cleaning your shoes.

Sock Pillings/Fuzz-
This maybe the most annoying of all to clean, but it’s not all that bad. You can either buy a clothing fuzz/pilling remover or go the cheap and hard way. You can either pull them out with your fingers or use tweezers to pull them out. After doing that I usually use a dry toothbrush, tip the shoes sideways and brush out the pillings into a trash can or use a lint roller/ rip the sticky paper to pick up some of the fuzz/pillings.

Insoles (if your insoles are dirty)-
Either you use the original or replace with another to keep original DS, you choose.
If you just want to get the fuzz off either use a lint roller or use a brush to brush it off.
Depending on the type of insole most likely you can clean it with this method. In the past I bought a used pair of XI lows and the insole was dirty so what I did was take it out. Put it in the bath tub and soaked both of them using running water. Then I used dish washing liquid and scrubbed with a brush. During the cleaning process you should be able to see the dirt coming out through the water. Once done rinse as much as you can and then pat out the water using a dry towel. It's best that you air dry the insoles using an electric fan.

Basic Cleaning-
This is probably the most essential and versatile way to clean your shoes.
Some people have mentioned using a washing machine to clean their shoes but I am staying away from that. What I've heard is that you need to put the shoes in a pillow case then put them in the washer.

-Use a toothbrush/hand brush, Water and a Dry Towel
Basically start off with running cold water from the faucet and clean using a brush (dishwashing soap can be added if needed), then use a cloth/towel to wipe dry. If the dirt/stain is persistent, you might have to repeat the cleaning process.
You can also use a damp towel to clean shoes as well, that's if you want to deal with really dirty towels to be tossed in the washer. The damp towel method can be used on white leather uppers as well as midsoles for quick cleaning.

This will also work for the edges near the soles as well
Usually I prefer to pick out the little stones and pebbles first with an eyeglass screwdriver.

If you can, upgrade your old toothbrush for a medium to large sized brush. You will get better results.

Start off by cleaning the soles with water, dishwashing soap and a brush (toothbrushes usually aren't as effective as bigger brushes). Then wash off the soap residue and wipe the soles with a towel and let dry. Only use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser if you have to.
It’s best to clean the soles as much as you can before you use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This way you can actually tell what Magic Eraser can do.

For white based soles (Air Jordan XII playoff, AJ II white/red/black mid)
Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or the 3M brand version. If it's your first time using it, don't be worried if the sponge starts to crumble, it does that. Always start with light scrubbing then gradually increase. You don't want to over do it the first time that's why I suggest that method.
You can also use it for non-white based soles as well. But keep in mind to try it on a small area before proceeding with the rest of the shoe. It might remove coloring.
I had a dark stain that was on the heel part of my XI (black/red) that wouldn't go away. It was probably there for a little over 2 years. I tried toothpaste, scrubbing, etc. It was persistent. When I tried Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, it was gone in 30 seconds.

Cleaning Clear Soles (not restoring)-
(AJ 5, 6, 11, 16 and other shoes with clear soles)
*Use the same method above for SOLES*

First off the best way to keep them clear is by taking care of them from Day 1. Always clean the soles every time after you wear your shoes. Keep in mind the clear soles will stay clear for a while, but will gradually dim and darken as you wear the shoes more and more. After cleaning, make sure they are dried, and put it back in the box or whatever you are using along with Silica packs to prolong the clearness of the soles. Never put Silica packs directly on the shoes.
-(UNCONFIRMED) Oven Cleaner and Crest White Strips.- This was mentioned in the past but apparently was never confirmed.

Treating Yellowed Soles-
Sea Glow
You can get it at

Take your time and use a freehand method to apply. Taping can rip the paint off of midsoles.
Sea Glow is not the sole cause of midsole separation. Keep in mind the heat factor plays a big part as well.
The heat absorbed by the carbon fiber plate causes the glue to melt and the end result is sole separation.

Visible Air Soles-
(AJ 3, 4, 5, 6, 16, and other shoes like air max 90)
I use a Q-tip to clean that part. First I dampen one side with water to clean away the debris/dirt and use the other side to dry. Usually there are persistent dirt marks that are left on the area near and around the visible air. Lightly dabbing the Q-tip with either rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover should remove it; however use this as a last resort. It might remove the coloring of the surface.

Cleaning Suede/Nubuck/Durabuck-
(Air Jordan 6, 7, 18 and other shoes)
Use the Nubuck/Suede Eraser-Brush Cleaning kit

Suede has a nappier texture compared to Nubuck/Durabuck.
Nubuck/Durabuck has a smooth texture.

Use a dry flat head toothbrush or hand brush (if you don’t have the brush kit) to clean off any debris, dust, and lint off of the Suede part of the shoes. If it still looks a little dusty use a couple drops of water on the area and brush it. If that doesn't work, use another used toothbrush.
Waterproofer will also bring back that darkish look to black shoes.
Also be careful with the Suede brush that comes with the kit. It can fray the stitching on the shoes.

-Quick Tip-
After you are done cleaning and you don't plan to wear the shoes anytime soon. You might want to saran wrap your shoes to keep dust and lint away so that they'll be ready in a heartbeat when you decide to wear them.

Denim Jean Stains
If it's on white leather or nubuck/suede. Use a Nubuck/Suede Eraser on it. If it doesn't come out, try again the next day. Attempting to clean it the same day using an eraser will just frustrate you.
You can also use a warm damp towel on white (or some colored) leather (not suede/nubuck).
Magic Erasers and Nail Polish remover works as well, but use with caution if you do. Over scrubbing can remove the paint or damage the particular surface of the shoe you are cleaning.

Shoe Laces-
My advice is to have extras just in case so you can alternate. I usually buy a bunch whenever there is a Friends and Family sale. Also I never use the white laces that come with the shoes; I always store the original laces in a Ziplocs and use look-alike laces instead. That way it saves me the trouble of having to clean the OG laces if they get dirty, and replacement laces cost around $1 anyway.

-(Cleaning white colored laces)-
Washing machine method works to some extent. It’s best if you use a side loading washing machine so that there’s less chances of fraying and destroying the laces. Just toss them in with your whites. Or get some laundry detergent put it in a big bowl mix it with some hot water then put your white laces in there. If you want to put some bleach go ahead.
Scrub the laces together, rinse and repeat. Then you can use a hair dryer or just hang them up to dry. Just make sure you squeeze out the water before you hang them, it might cause them to stretch.
You can also put your shoe laces in an empty water bottle, (Brian™'s Method). Add some laundry detergent and hot water. Shake the water bottle every now and then. You may have to drain the water out and repeat the steps over again for better results.
(Still being tested)
You can substitute laundry detergent for Bar Keeper’s Friend. It seems to remove more of the dirt stains than laundry detergent.

White shoes or white parts of shoes-
The simplest way to clean is to use a clean damp towel.
It seems like if you brush too much on white shoes that they start to fade, chip, or peel away. Hot water gets deep stains out but after a while the white will fade out, so I stay with cold water.
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser comes in handy for this. But be careful not to over do it. Magic Clean Eraser can be abrasive enough to take off the layer of paint on shoes. You can also use the eraser from the Suede/Nubuck kit for quick touch ups while you are on the go.

White Leather-
You can use a damp towel or basic cleaning to clean white leather. If there are persistent smudge marks and dirt, you can clean it off with a wet Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Do not squeeze out the water. Just lightly go over the area with the wet Magic Eraser, that way you don’t end up stripping the paint.

White Stitching-
Use a toothbrush and some dish soap, dampen the stitching you want to clean and scrub. You may have to repeat this process a couple of times to see results. Then just rinse the area with water and dry with a towel.
If it’s really bad what you might want to do is use some shoe whitener and a paintbrush and carefully paint it on the stitching. Then get a damp towel and wipe it off. It might take several attempts before the stitching is whitened without becoming stiff. What you want it to do is to absorb the whitener, cleaning it off with a damp towel will make the stitching not as stiff. The only downside to this is that the white colors won’t really match. Either the leather white or the stitching white is lighter than the other.

Scuffs on white shoes can be taken cared of by using the customizer's method. Clean area off with acetone or the one that Turtlefeathers.com sells, then paint over with Angelus paint. Refer to the Custom’s Sticky for how to properly prep and paint your shoes.

Inner Liner-
(White AF1’s and others)
Probably one of the most annoying areas of a shoe is the white inner liner.
Lightly spray the liner with waterproofer or stain guard while the liner is still clean.
Always clean the liner after every wear or when you notice light dirt marks. You can clean it using a damp towel or using a damp toothbrush (and pat dry with a towel). A quick note, you might want to clean this area after every wear or if you notice light marks. This way it doesn’t build up and become harder to remove later down the road.
If it's already there, proceed to using a damp towel to clean any stains. Keep in mind stains usually don't go away after one cleaning session, it usually takes several. Basic Cleaning can be incorporated, dishsoap + warm water + brush. Remember to stick a dry towel inside of the shoe to soak up any water that would get into the shoe otherwise.

Black Leather-
(AJ XVII and others)
If you want to make it shiny or add luster, you can either get the creams intended for leather or use baby oil or hand lotion. Just apply then wipe the excess with a towel. The downside is it will attract dust and lint to the shoe. But if you just want to clean it, just wipe the leather down with a damp towel and dry.
-(Tire Shine/Polish attracts dirt and grime, baby oil attracts lint and dust)-

Patent Leather-
(AJ 11, 16 and other shoes)
Clean with a damp or moist towel, then wipe dry. If you want to make the patent shine and gloss, apply hand lotion and wipe off with a towel.
For quick touch ups carry a hand towel with a corner that is moisten with lotion.
For light scratch marks or white scratch marks, you can use a little bit of rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on one end of a Q-tip and lightly go over the area with the scratch. Use this at your own discretion. If you are not sure, post a picture of your scratch in the corresponding sticky.
-(Windex is said to eventually crack the patent leather. Baby Oil is a bit too messy on patent leather. Car wax, I haven't tried it)-

(AJ XI and others)
First off, take out the insole if you wish and put a dry towel inside the shoe. Have another dry towel on hand just in case. After that, you want to dampen the area that is dirty. Then put a dab of dishwashing soap and dampen your toothbrush/brush before you start brushing the area. Brush lightly at first. Depending on your brush, you might fray the mesh, so use caution. As you brush, wash off the soap from the brush from time to time and continue brushing. I usually wipe the soap off of the shoe with a damp towel and press the dry part of the towel onto the mesh to absorb any water. Keep doing that until there is no more soap present. Then air dry with an electric fan to dry it more quickly. Do not put the shoes out in the sun or use a hair dryer, it’s possible that you might end up warping the shape or cause potential damage to the leather and materials.

Bar Keeper’s Friend (BFK)-
I’ve never personally used it, but the directions are:
Get a container such as a cup. Put some BFK and mix it with warm/hot water until it gets pasty, then brush it on to the mesh and lightly scrub. Don’t let it sit too long. Finally wash it off.
From what I’ve noticed in pictures, BFK seems to dull the shininess of the nylon mesh in XI’s.
Also, there has been cases where black/blue spots appearing on the mesh. I’m not quite sure what causes it, but it might be from the black liner from inside the shoe bleeding through the mesh. That’s the main reason why I haven’t personally tried it.

Variated Version of Mesh/Canvas Cleaning-
You can substitute using a toothbrush/brush with a clean white towel. In most cases it might be safer to use a towel instead of a toothbrush since it can cause fraying depending on how you scrub or the type of toothbrush you use. This can be used in inner liners similar the Air Jordan XII (French Blue).

The purpose of these CASE STUDIES is to provide examples of cases where people would usually just give up on a shoe.

-CASE STUDY 1 (Air Jordan XI Cool Grey)-

After careful inspection of my own pair, it seems to weaken the material after so many cleanings. I've only cleaned mine 3 times.

-CASE STUDY 2 (All Fogged Up)-

Can cause the air units to weaken and pop/crack when worn /(unworn depending on age).
People who I had try the method, reported those instances occurring to their shoes ranging from OG's to 1999-2000 IV's and V's.


AJ VII (French Blue) & (Olympic) Yellowed Toe. Same as Playoff XII, AJ IX.
A quick fix is to use sandpaper (200 or more grit) and lightly sand off the yellowing. However doing so will cause the exposed layer to eventually yellow as well. So use at your own risk.
In certain cases Mr. Clean Magic Eraser may or may not remove the yellowing.

Sea Crystals (Nike Dunk High) and Stussy (Nike Dunk Low – the pink area).
Apparently the suede part gets dirty really easily. I do not have a definite answer. The only thing I can suggest is to use a Nubuck/Suede Eraser. The main factor is the severity of dirt/stains on the suede.

AJ XIII Midsole Separation (other shoes can be done in a similar fashion).
Use Shoe Goo or Goop. You can apply it using a toothpick for tricky areas. Make sure you clean off any excess glue. You need to clamp down the shoe for 24 hours so that the glue can properly cure.

AJ XI Scratched/Scuffed/Creased Patent.
First off there’s nothing much you can do about creasing, just move on.
Most scratches/scuffs can be removed by using a small amount of nail polish remover on a Q-tip end. Just make sure to squeeze out excess nail polish remover. When cleaning the area make sure to lightly scrub a certain part first. Never over scrub because you can ruin the finish and the patent leather.

There are many options. Deodorizing Balls that they sell at most shoe stores. Disinfectant spray such as Lysol and Febreeze. In other cases you might have to clean the insole.
To prevent it:
Wear clean socks. If your feet sweat easily replace your socks throughout the day or use moisture-wicking socks.
After each wear, air dry the inside of the shoe and/or take out the insole and fan out with an electric fan for faster results.
For nasty cigarette odors, I used fabric softener sheets like Snuggle and left one inside per shoe for about a week or 2. Make sure it’s inside the shoe and not touching laces or anything. I haven’t fully tested it, so I don’t know what the consequences of the method will do if the sheet is left in contact with leather or any other type of material. It did slightly over-masked the cigarette odor but not completely. Perhaps leaving it in the shoe longer might come out with better results.

I compiled this due to the mass amount of similar questions being asked.

Air Jordan I
85-94 editions with white nylon tongues
-use the mesh cleaning method. If it’s yellowed, there’s not much you can do about it as of right now.
2003 Patent edition
-refer to the patent leather cleaning section
Midsoles and soles can be cleaned with basic cleaning.

Air Jordan II
2004 Retro
-refrain from using Magic Eraser on the plastic parts because it can scratch the surface. Also refrain from using it on the colored midsole part.

Air Jordan III
2001-2003 Retro
-if the white midsole looks faded or has stubborn dirt stains that won’t come off, it’s possible that the factory paint has faded. That means your only option is to just strip it all off with rubbing alcohol and repaint or just simply leave it alone.
-Nubuck Elephant Print gets dirty. Just clean it with a nubuck/suede eraser.
-once the heel tab goes yellow it’s permanent unless you want to paint it.
-the grey sole starts to get dark. No solution as of right now.

Air Jordan IV
-midsole issue similar to III’s.
-grey sole problem similar to III’s.
2004 White/Green
-netting yellows. Only option is to carefully paint over it.

Air Jordan V
-Clear soles/plastic netting: only answer is Sea Glow at the moment.
-3M Scotch Lite material is dirty. First off determine whether it's "scuffed" or "dirty." I've noticed many people asking this question since the Retro 5's were released again. The safest way to go is to clean it with a nubuck/suede eraser or a damp clean white towel. This should wipe off any residue that might be on the material, however it might not clean off any bad stains.

Air Jordan VI
-Clear soles: only answer is Sea Glow at the moment.

Air Jordan VII
-black/red (or citrus) toe is faded or grayish. That’s because the nubuck material is supposed to give off a “charcoal” effect. It’s not supposed to entirely be black.
Avoid contact with water and foam nubuck/suede cleaners to begin with. It seems that this particular material on AJ VII's seem to be sensitive to cleaners. So avoid getting that part of the shoe dirty. If you have to clean it, use a dry brush.

Air Jordan VIII
-plastic panels yellow. Can’t do anything about it.
-soles yellow. Sandpaper if you want, but it will yellow again.
-straps frayed. You can trim off any loose frays.

Air Jordan IX
-midsole paint cracks. Can’t really do anything about it other than to prep and repaint it. Chances are the paint won’t hold up very long after so many wears.
-soles yellow.

Air Jordan X
-Squeeking. So far baby powder under the insole works. Puncturing the Air Sole is quite an unintelligent thing to do to an “Air” Jordan. Doing so kills the purpose of the shoe being called "Air" Jordan.

Air Jordan XI
Let me differentiate. Many people jump to using Bar Keeper’s Friend to solve a simple dirt stain. Keep in mind BFK ruins the luster of the nylon mesh and gives it a pasty flat dull look.
-nylon mesh is dirty. Clean it with the mesh cleaning method.
-nylon mesh is yellowed. You have the option of using Bar Keeper’s Friend, but use it at your own discretion. That stuff is toxic.
-yellowed lace loops. This you can pretty much fix with Bar Keeper’s Friend without much worry. Just make sure to cover up any exposed areas with a dry white towel to prevent any accidental BFK overflow.
-yellowed clear soles: only answer is Sea Glow at the moment.

Air Jordan XII
-yellowed white soles. You can use sandpaper or leave it alone. Sandpaper exposes rubber from underneath the yellowing, which will yellow after a while anyway.

Air Jordan XIII
-dirty pods: You can use basic cleaning or a magic eraser.
-yellowed pods: Can’t really do anything. You can lightly paint over it but the paint probably won’t hold up that long.
-clouded hologram: Hair Dryer. However be aware that prolonged exposure to heat can cause the foil to dent up. Also the hologram will cloud up again in a couple of weeks.

Air Jordan XIV
-“teeth” parts creased. Honestly you can’t really do anything about that.
-faded suede toe

Air Jordan XV

Air Jordan XVI
-creased patent leather. Another thing you can’t do anything about.

Air Jordan XVII
-the clear part of the midsoles get scuffed up. You can use Rubbing Alcohol or Nail Polish Remover and lightly go over the scuffs.

Air Jordan XVIII
-leather is creased. Well what can I say is the leather is much softer than most so it’ll probably end up looking worn a hundred times after just wearing it a few times.
-when I wear them they squeak. That's usually due to the insole or sockliner being loose. However, what I did was fold a paper towel in half lengthwise and stuck it under the insole. The squeaking was drastically reduced to almost no sound.

Air Jordan XIX
-to prevent the spandex material in the back from fraying, just simply use you fingers to stretch out the material, cover it with your fingers while you safely guide the strap in to minimize fraying.

Air Jordan XX
-my Velcro strap doesn't stick well anymore. Clean the Velcro with a dry brush. Otherwise you can purchase Velcro that can be cut to any size and stick them on top of the existing one to keep the straps in place when worn.

Air Jordan XXI
-possible yellowing on white soles.

Air Jordan XXII
-clear sole.

Air Jordan XXIII

** info from dalyte1**
20th March 2006 08:26
#8 Defining Moments Pack (VI/XI) Maintainance
Update (3/19/06) / Original Version (1/7/06)

I'm creating this ahead of time, before the massive amounts of posts related to maintaining and keeping the Defining Moments Pack clean pile up in this forum. Be aware, most people can't afford more than 1 set, so don't blatantly tell people to cop another set or not to wear them.

This guide is compiled from everything I've learned over the years about the VI and XI. Many questions and posts have been asked and answered here and on Niketalk. I'm only posting what I have tried on my Columbia XI mesh tongue (to replicate the mesh on the DMP XI) (Patent Leather/Midsole from my Black/Red XI:since that's what I've worn the most) and my Black/Silver VI low (to replicate the DMP VI).

(Pictures are not mine. I forgot where they originally came from. So credit to the person who took those pics.)

The Air Jordan VI is made up of a durabuck/nubuck upper and clear soles.

Things that happen to VI's:

Durabuck Upper-

The heel part will crack and peel after so many wears. It depends if you exert a lot of force and weight in the heel area.
The gold accent paint can eventually fade, crack, peel with wear as well.

Clear Sole-

Jumpman can actually be scratched/scuffed off.

The Air Jordan XI is made up of a nylon-type mesh upper, clear sole, and patent leather.

Update: Apparently there were small amounts of XI's that were released with lettering on it.

Things that happen to XI's:


Mesh Upper-
Since it's white it can easily get dirty.

Logo tag on the tongue-

Leather Rear upper-
Creases if you lean your leg when sitting down.
The 23 on the back peels/cracks away with wear.


Clear Sole-

Other Mentionables:
Apparently the letters are bound to fall off, so inspect your XI's before you wear them.
Shoe laces get dirty easily.


Things To Know:
>I personally favor the ones that Footlocker sells. I pretty much apply waterproofer on the whole shoe, including the soles.
I was able to keep the soles of my VI lows clear for more than 30 wearings, only then did it start to show a slight tinge away from clearness.
-Silica Packs can stall the process of yellowing. It can't reverse yellowing.
Be aware of your surroundings.
-Don't be walking in the grass/dirt on purpose then posting how to clean your shoes.
-At stores, watch out for the lower part of shelves which are made of metal.
>If you have to, carry an extra pair of beaters/even slippers or something in your car or backpack.
-Clear soles will stay clearer longer if you mainly walk on floored or clean cement walkways/sidewalks.
>Watch out for certain leaves. There are leaves at my school that stick to the bottom of shoes and can actually stain clear soled and white soled shoes.
>At eateries/cafeteria, watch out for that juice on the floor. That can possibly stain clear soles as well.
>Jeans, you should know what to do by now to prevent jean staining.

Items you'll need:
Toothbrush, Lint Roller, Nubuck/Suede Cleaning Kit, Towels,

Durabuck/Nubuck Upper-
Nubuck/Suede Cleaning Kit

any lint you can't get rid of with the brush, use a lint roller.

Sockballs/Sock Pillings/Fuzz-
Lint roller
>It actually helps to do this after every wear to keep it from building up.
New Socks? Black Socks?

Clear Soles-
Preferably, you should clean the soles after every wear to prevent the build up and staining of dirt onto the clear soles.
If you feel like it, you can use whitening toothpaste. Make sure you use the white paste form and make sure you wash all of it off.
Dry off the soles with a towel, then leave the shoes on top of the towel for a bit before storing.

Some have used Bar Keeper's Friend to actually clean yellowed Mesh. I recently bought a can myself but I haven't tried it personally. I found it at Kmart, so check your local Wal-mart or Target stores.

-(This should work for dirt stains[brownish color] if it's yellowed, try the Bar Keeper's Friend)
Cleaning the DMP XI's Mesh is going to be trickier due to the letters. Put some dry towels inside the shoe so that the interior especially the insoles do not get wet. Use the smaller brush that I have pictured or a medium to soft bristle toothbrush. Wet the toothbrush with water and brush the area that is dirty to dampen it up. Next use a small dab on Dishwashing Soap on the toothbrush bristles and start brushing the area. You want to brush the area lightly at first so that you don't accidently fray the mesh. I haven't frayed the mesh on my Columbia XI's so you should be safe.
You can substitute the brush for a clean white towel. Make sure it's the type for glasses or the one I have pictured in my Cleaning Guide.

Sockballs/Sock Pillings/Fuzz-
Lint roller
>It actually helps to do this after every wear to keep it from building up.

Clear Soles-
Preferably, you should clean the soles after every wear to prevent the build up and staining of dirt onto the clear soles.
If you feel like it, you can use whitening toothpaste. Make sure you use the white paste form and make sure you wash all of it off.
Dry off the soles with a towel, then leave the shoes on top of the towel for a bit before storing.

**info from dalyte1**
21st March 2006 17:35
1st January 2007 17:45
Stop your sneakers from creasing the official Do It Yourself Guide
By “chef” of Gourmetkickz

Tired of your kicks creasing after the first couple of wears? Me too!
As a sneaker collector and customizer with 4 + years in the game, I have been trying different methods over the years to find a fool proof way to stop my kicks from creasing.

There is no need to spend money on gel inserts, or items that will immobilize the whole front of your shoe like a clog. The solution is much easier than all of those complicated solutions. First I will show u a picture of the solution, then I will take the time to explain why it works so well. Oh yea, and the best part, ITS FREE!!!!


Ok so here is the component that prevents creases:

Simple isn’t it? LOL But it works!
Here is what you will need for construction and installation.

1. Piece of thin semi-rigid plastic this large enough to cut out a shape similar to the toebox of an AF1. (I used an empty canister of protein shake mix)
2. Elmer’s Craft Bond Multi-purpose spray adhesive. OR double sided tape.
3. Scissors.

1. Cut out a shape that is just a little larger than the toebox of your AF1’s
2. Be sure to cut out a notch so the piece can fit on the underside of the toebox and catch the tip of the tongue so it will “lock” into place.
3. Now for the install! Undo your laces enough so you can get your hand inside the shoe.
4. Adhere double sided tape to the part of the cutout that will come into contact with the sockliner directly under the toebox. Or spray the same side of the cutout with a thin quick coat of Elmer’s Craft Bond.
5. Place the cutout inside the shoe and adhere it to the underside of the toebox, being sure to position the notch so it catches just under the flap where the tongue is sewn into the sockliner.
6. Hold the cutout in place with firm pressure so the glue does its job. If you like, instead of applying pressure by hand, just slip the insert that comes with the shoe back in to force the cutout against the sockliner.
7. You are done!

Here are some diagrams to help you out.

If you had x-ray vision and looked down at your kicks after the cutout is installed, this is how it would look!

If you were inside of your sneaker, laying with your back on the insole looking up at the toebox, this is how it would look after the install.

Now for a slight tweak for added toe box rigidity!

If you want to be 100000000% sure that the toebox is not going to crease at all, just perform this slight tweak to the cutout and its a wrap!

The "legs" as pictured above will help provide support and rigidity to the toebox while walking without causing u to have to walk different or flat-footed! YOU CAN WALK 100% NORMAL WITH THESE INSTALLED.

here is a picture of the inside of my sneakers with the cutout installed with the support "legs". (my cutout is made of blue plastic in this shoe)

so as u can see, the legs curve with the frontal portion of the sneakers, and rest in the edge where the insole meets the frontal leather. by the "legs" wedging into this portion, it transfers the force from walking across the top of the cutout without the leather creasing.

Now for the results! something I am SURE you have all been anxious to see!

well here are some, check back for more pics.

also here is a short video i made on my cell phone where u can see how the left foot creases and the right foot does not. (left foot WITHOUT cutout, right foot WITH cutout)



1st January 2007 20:10
03/21/06 - redid restoration sticky. will add few more facts later on. dalyte1, if you wish to add any more info, just pm me

please remember to keep all questions in the appropriate sticky

07/03/06 - updated a tad bit. added tips for odor and sole cleaning, will be back again later

09/15/06 - dalyte1 updates

01/01/06 - GourmetKickz update. crease prevention
21st May 2007 19:45
do not post

dalyte, feel free to edit or add
29th November 2007 06:04
#10 AJ XI: Separation Anxiety (Sea Glow)
Original Version June 1, 2007

My hypothesis:
Sea Glow does not cause all instances of “Sole Separation.”

This is to clear up any brouhaha about Sea Glow eating glue.

I came up with this after my first pair of Space Jams’ soles separated at the Carbon Fiber. I was able to fix it with no added glue and they’re currently fine after 3 wearings.

Which brought up the idea that heat from the sun is the cause of “Sole Separation.”
The Carbon Fiber Plate is heated up and causes the internal glue to melt. That’s why most instances of “Sole Separation” occur at the Carbon Fiber Plate.
The rest of the sole falls off because the integral part of the glue is in the Carbon Fiber region, since it makes up for 3/4ths of the sole.

Before Sea Glow

Sea Glow in the sun.

Notice how I don’t bother with masking off the shoe. As long as you apply Sea Glow slowly there’s no need to mask.

Aftermath: separation

Time Out: shoes taken out of the sun. No added glue whatsoever. Soles re-attached.

Round 2: SJ vs The Sun

After this set, the soles separated again due to heat, but as long as the shoe is still hot, the soles can be clamped back down.

If Sea Glow is the main culprit of “Sole Separation,” then I wouldn’t have been able to clamp down the sole to re-cure the bond between glue and sole. Because the original theory was that Sea Glow eats up glue. In this case it wasn’t.

Compared to my first pair on the right, they’re a couple of shades or 3 off.
I still need about 2-3 days more of Sea Glow.

This right here will prove my point. I did not apply any Sea Glow. This is merely to test my theory of carbon fiber plate + heat = melted glue/separation.

AJ XI Black/Red


In the pictures you can see the glue while I pull back the sole.

So my final say is
The sole can be clamped back down completely if and only if Sea Glow does not seep into the separated area.
Apparently that may have been the issue for many. As you can see in my initial set of pictures, I cover up any exposed part of the shoe to protect it from direct sunlight. I also Sea Glow shoes on their sides rather than soles up. Like I stated many times throughout the forum, you need to take your time when you apply Sea Glow onto the soles.

Brief Version

-Apply a small dab on a toothbrush and evenly spread it out. This should prevent any excess dripping/leaking into the seams. You only need a light layer of Sea Glow, repeat the process if it dries out.

-Leave outside in the sun 1-2 hours a day tops. Make sure to check on the shoes from time to time. Don't over do it. Excessive heat can damage your shoes.

-Follow the directions on the label afterwards.