How to Clean White Vans® Shoes – Ultimate Cleaning Guide

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While white Vans shoes are the epitome of style, keeping them clean can be a challenge. If you wear your Vans almost every day, you know how tough it can be to avoid them being the target of dirt or spilled drinks. Cleaning white Vans may require scrubbing with some special materials and an array of cleaning products, but it isn’t impossible.

In this article, we have covered various methods to clean white Vans® shoes at home. Most of the ingredients used in these methods can be easily found at your home. Keep reading to find out how.

Since Vans come in three different styles – leather, suede, and canvas, we’ve included cleaning methods for each one in grave detail. No more grubby Vans for you!


Can Vans Shoes Be Washed?

Yes, you can wash your Vans. However, since they are made from fabric and suede, only certain types of washing methods will suffice. For instance, putting them directly in the washing machine is not something we would suggest you do.

It is best to use your own gentle hands, and a soap-free detergent to clean them. Detergents with chemicals could dry out the shoe material or affect the color pigmentation permanently.

Pro-Tip: The first thing you should do before cleaning is to remove the shoelaces. You may put them in the wash with your next laundry cycle. Just place them in a mesh bag first, though.

How To Clean White Canvas Vans


When it comes to cleaning white canvas Vans shoes, there are a couple of methods you can try out as listed below.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda are very well-known cleaning ingredients, with the former being a disinfectant and the latter, being abrasive. Here are the steps you can follow:

Step 1: Mix one part of hydrogen peroxide and two parts of baking soda in a bowl.

Step 2: Take an old toothbrush (or any bristled brush) to scrub the dirtiest parts of your canvas vans shoes with this mixture. Concentrate particularly on areas that are difficult to reach, like the bottom soles.

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Step 3: Once you’re done scrubbing the dirt, apply the extra paste on the shoes and leave the shoes to dry in the sun until the paste turns hard. You can even use a hairdryer to speed up the process.

Step 4: To make sure the paste doesn’t stick, you can brush it off with your old toothbrush or clap both the shoes together.

Step 5: Rinse the Vans with a soft, wet towel and let them air dry without exposing them to direct sunlight, and you’re all set!

2. Bleach

This next method is as easy as they come but requires extra care.

Step 1: Mix one part bleach and five parts of water in a bowl.

Step 2: Take an old toothbrush or any bristle brush to scrub the dirtiest parts of your canvas shoes with this mixture. Concentrate on areas that are scuffed with dirt and dust like the soles.

Step 3: Rinse the shoes with a wet cloth once you’re done scrubbing. If you want, you can repeat the process until you’re happy with the look.

Pro-tip: You should always use dye-free bleach as undiluted bleach can take off the color of your shoes if it comes in contact with the material.

3. Dish Soap/Detergent

Dish soap can be found in every house, which is why it is one of the most recommended methods of cleaning white Vans.

Step 1: Add a few tablespoons of dish soap to two and a half cups of warm water. If you’re using detergent, then a quarter of a cup should do.

Step 2: Scrub your Vans with this solution. If you want to be extra sure, you can opt for antibacterial dish soap. Use a bristle brush or even your bare hands to rub the exposed and dirty parts of your shoes.

Step 3: Keep a clean bowl of water to dip the brush in before you dip it in the solution again to prevent it from getting dirty while cleaning.

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Step 4: Rinse the shoes with a wet cloth and stuff them with paper towels when you set them to dry naturally.

4. Magic Eraser

Step 1: Start with soaking your magic eraser.

Step 2: Then scrub it over your shoes, concentrating on soiled and scuffed regions.

Step 3: If the stain doesn’t budge, add a tiny dab of dish soap or laundry detergent to the affected area. Use your magic eraser to scrub it away.

Step 4: To remove excess moisture from the shoes, stuff them with newspaper or paper towels. The shoes will maintain their shape while drying in a warm location out of direct sunlight.

Related: Best Homemade Detergent

How To Clean White Leather Vans

Vans Women's UA Classic Slip On Sneakers, True White, 7 Medium US

One thing about white leather Vans is that you can’t wash them in the machine. Your hands are your weapons when cleaning these, and here’s how you can do it.

1. Baking Soda

Step 1: Add four parts of water and two parts of baking soda to a bowl or pan.

Step 2: Mix the solution well until you get rid of any lumps that form during the process, and then dip a towel or cloth in this solution.

Step 3: Rub the scuffed areas gently using this solution until the stains are gone.

Step 4: To finish up, wipe off extra moisture with a piece of newspaper or paper towel and apply a leather conditioner to protect them from staining in the future.

2. Nikwax

Step 1: Dampen a cloth and scrub your shoes with it, concentrating on any scuffed parts of your shoes.

Step 2: Use the Nikwax footwear cleaning gel with a synthetic brush to clean off the extra dirt and marks.

Step 3: Once done, let the shoe air dry naturally in a warm location out of direct sunlight.

Repeat this step once more for better results.

How To Clean White Suede Vans

There are two ways you can clean your white suede Vans without causing any harm.

1. Suede Cleaner

Step 1: To clean the tops, bottoms, and sides of your shoes, use a suede brush.

Step 2: Using a toothbrush, apply a little suede cleanser to it and lightly brush the shoes. Work your way through the discolored regions with more vigor.

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Step 3: Rinse them with soapy water and let them air dry.

2. White Vinegar

Step 1: Rub white vinegar over stained or discolored parts on a clean soft cloth to remove them.

Step 2: Stuff the shoes with newspaper or fabric, then let them air dry in a warm place away from direct sunshine.

Step 3: When the Vans are completely dry, use a suede brush to massage the shoes’ surface.

How To Clean Inside Of Your White Vans 

The inside of your Vans shoes can be as dirty as the outside, if not more. The perfect way to ensure it’s clean is by using a paste.

Step 1: To make this paste, combine baking soda and a mild detergent in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Apply the paste to the inside of the shoe with an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush. Allow it to sit for 15 minutes.

Step 3: Wipe away the residual paste with a warm cloth and let it air dry.

Can you use bleach on white Vans?

Yes, you can use bleach to clean your Vans. However, using diluted bleach can discolor the shoe’s fabric and change its original color.

Is dish soap a better alternative than detergent to clean Vans?

Using antibacterial dish soap is a good alternative as it doesn’t enable contaminants to enter your shoes and cause harm.

How can you clean suede white Vans?

Using a toothbrush dipped in diluted shampoo or conditioner lets you clean suede Vans properly. You can also use vinegar mixed with purified water.

Why did my Vans turn yellow?

Vans turn yellow because of a mix of sweat and dirt that is absorbed into the shoe’s fabric, causing discoloration.

This is how you can clean your white Vans at home to ensure they look as good as when you first got them. The methods are easy and require simple materials you can find anywhere, not to forget they help immensely in increasing the lifespan of your classic white Vans.

Written by Pulkit D

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