How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Follow these simple tips to clean mesh or Nike Flyknit shoes.

Last updated: October 19, 2022
4 min read
How to Clean Mesh Shoes
Time Required
30 min


  • Mild laundry detergent, soap or sneaker cleaner
  • Baking soda (optional)


  • Shoe brush or spare, clean toothbrush
  • Soft clothes (like microfiber)
  • Bowl or small bucket
  • Shoe tree or old newspaper

Using high-strength fibers to create a lightweight upper with targeted areas of support, stretch and breathability, Nike Flyknit footwear is designed for performance. Getting the shoes dirty comes with the territory.

Whether you put on Nike Flyknit sneakers for running, soccer, basketball or everyday wear, they’re bound to encounter scuffs. Regularly cleaning your knit or mesh shoes can help keep them in shape — and looking fresh.

Nike does not recommend washing shoes in the washing machine. The most effective way to clean mesh or Nike Flyknit shoes is by hand washing.

(Related: Can You Put Sneakers in the Washer? Here’s the Best Way to Wash Your Nikes)

Follow these simple steps to refresh your kicks.

How to Hand Wash Nike Flyknit and Other Mesh Shoes

1.Prepare the Solution

Mix a small amount of laundry detergent or mild soap in a bowl with cool or lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it could affect the dye of the shoes. It’s also best not to use any harsh chemicals or bleach.

2.Brush Off Any Dirt

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Brush off any dirt from the upper. Then, tap the shoes together to dislodge any clumps of dirt from the sole. Consider doing this outside or over the sink.

3.Remove the Shoelaces

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Remove the shoelaces — these can be washed by hand or in a washing machine. To hand wash the laces, massage the soap mixture into the laces, then rinse them with cold water. To machine wash the laces, place them in a mesh bag and run through a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Allow them to air dry, as the dryer could damage the aglets, the ends of the laces.

(Related: 3 Easy Ways to Clean Shoelaces)

4.Stuff with Newspaper

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Stuff the shoes with crumpled newspapers, washcloths or a shoe tree to help maintain their shape.

5.Brush Shoes with Solution

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Dip a shoe brush or spare, clean toothbrush in the soapy liquid, then gently brush the shoes in the direction of the knit pattern. Note that the direction can change on different parts of the shoe, depending on the density and pattern of the knit. Don’t scrub too harshly and be mindful not to snag the yarn.

6.Scrub the Remaining Part of Shoe

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Scrub both the sides and bottom of the soles with the brush.

7.Grab a Towel

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Wipe off the soap with a clean cloth. Repeat steps 5 and 6 as necessary. If the shoes are especially dirty, you may want to repeat a few times.

8.Let Them Air Dry

How to Clean Mesh Shoes

Pat the shoes dry with a cloth, then allow them to air dry. The heat from the dryer can cause damage to shoes, so avoid putting them in the dryer.

Words by Hannah Singleton