How to Clean White Vans® Shoes

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Have you yet tried the Vans® challenge? Yes? Were yours fake or real?

No? Are they so dirty that you felt you would get mocked for wearing your ‘brown’ Vans®?

Eh. Don’t worry. In this article, I have covered various methods which take only up to twenty minutes to clean white Vans® shoes at home. Most of the ingredients used in these methods can be easily found at your home. Choose the cleaning method you like the most—all of them give the same results!

So let’s begin with the ways to clean your Vans®? Remember these aren’t your clothes so you cannot just ditch them in your top/front load and add some fabric softener. Because then you might just get pieces of your shoes and that time even fabric glue would not help.

But somehow, magically, there is a way for all you busy/ lazy people out there to ditch them in your washer, which leads to our first method of using a washer. Just follow a few steps and your shoes will be as good as new. Don’t use this method for shoes made of suede or leather.

Method 1: Using the Washer for Cleaning


  • A Delicates bag
  • Washing detergent


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1. Separate the laces and insoles from the shoes and put them all in the Delicates bag. This prevents the laces from getting stuck inside the drum and shoes from getting degraded.

2. Put half a spoon of detergent in the detergent compartment. Set it to a gentle cycle.

3. Wash the shoes in warm water or even cold. Avoid hot water. Hot water tends to melt the glue holding the shoes. The glue can spread making it dirtier and tougher to clean. Also most importantly, do not add any clothes during this cycle.

4. After the cycle, remove the shoes and let them naturally dry before wearing them.

Try to avoid using bleach as it can discolor the shoes or even tear them if not used correctly.

Now the question that arises is what if you don’t have or don’t want to use a front or top load washer? Do you keep your Vans® dirty? No. You just find simple techniques to clean them without using a washer.

Here are the techniques involving ingredients you can find at home.

Related: Best Homemade Detergent

Method 2: For a Regular Clean


  • A bucket of clean water
  • Washing detergent
  • An old toothbrush

How to do:

1. Remove the laces of your shoes so that even the smallest areas like the shoelace holes get cleaned up.

2. Take half a bucket of warm water and put one spoon of detergent. Mix well.

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3. Submerge your Vans® for a while till it soaks up most of the water.

4. Then with a toothbrush gently scrub your shoes, especially on the dirty spots.

5. Wash it gently with cold water and leave them to dry naturally.

Many times just a regular wash with detergent won’t remove the greasy and sticky stains, that’s why the next method is for the most stubborn ones.

Method 3: To Scrub off Grease, Mud, Dirt, or Anything Sticky


  • Nail polish remover/ Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swabs/balls


1. Take the nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol and rub it on the stain or residue with cotton swabs/balls.

2. After rubbing, wash your shoes with cold water and leave them to dry naturally.

When you have white shoes you need white cleaning products to clean them so that the color of your cleaning product does not stick on your shoes. That is why the next method using baking soda comes in handy here.

Related: Brilliant Rubbing Alcohol Home Uses You’ve never thought of

Method 4: A More Natural Cleaning Solution


  • Baking soda
  • A toothbrush
  • Warm water


1. Take two spoons of baking soda and mix them with water until you have a thick paste. You can vary the measurement according to the quality of the baking soda.

2. Take a toothbrush along with the thick paste and rub it on your shoes. Remember not to rub it too harshly. You may end up degrading the quality of the shoes.

3. After getting your residues and dirt removed, gently rinse it with clean water.

4. Let your shoes dry naturally.

For extra cleaning power mix Hydrogen Peroxide with baking soda. You can also follow the above recipe by using lemon juice and a sponge.

Related: Awesome Baking Soda Cleaning Hacks to ease your life

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What do you do when you have hardly any time left and need to wear your Vans®? Maybe try the fastest solution…

Method 5: The Fastest Solution


  • A completely white toothpaste (not a gel toothpaste)
  • Toothbrush


1. Apply any regular white toothpaste (I use Colgate) on the stains on your shoes. Scrub it with toothpaste. This will only make the stains lighten up and not completely clean them.

2. After scrubbing, wash it gently with cold water and leave it to dry naturally.

3. This is just a temporary solution for an emergency clean. For complete disappearance of the stains use the other methods given.

The next way is a bonus when you want to use your dishwasher but hardly have dishes to do. Why not clean your Vans® in it!

Method 6: For the Ones Who Own a Dishwasher

Your Vans® can also be washed in a dishwasher. You are welcome.


  • Dish soap and a dishwasher (obviously)


1. Put some dry sheets in your Vans® to keep them in shape while washing.

2. Put your regular dish soap.

3. With your shoes faced downwards, put them on the top rack.

4. Start a usual cycle. Remember the water should be either warm or cold. Don’t put it on a hot water setting.

5. Once the cycle is complete let your shoes dry naturally.

Don’t all baby products feel fascinating even when you’re an adult? So treat even your expensive Vans® like a baby and clean them with baby powder.

Method 7: Baby those Shoes!


  • Baby powder
  • Shoe brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Warm water


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1. Use a shoe brush to scrub off all the debris and dirt from your dry shoes.

2. Take a toothbrush and dip it into the paste and scrub it on your shoes to clean the dirt off of them.

3. Take some baby powder and mix it with warm water to form a thick paste. Then apply it all over the shoes.

4. Wipe the shoes with tissues and leave them to dry.

If you do not feel like cleaning your shoes regularly then you can even bleach them. Bleaching is very effective when done properly, and it should be used only sometimes. Well, how to do it properly? Follow up on the next method.

Method 8: Bleach ’em


  1. Bleach
  2. Warm water
  3. Shoe brush
  4. Toothbrush


1. Take a shoe brush and scrub it on your dry shoes to remove the debris and dirt.

2. Then, take some bleach and mix it with warm water to form a thick paste. Do not use too much bleach.

3. Now take a toothbrush and apply the paste on the dirt and scrub it off.

4. Wash your shoes with warm water and let them dry.

Bleach is a very powerful ingredient so do not use it in excess and use it less frequently as it can damage your shoes.

Well, apart from using the ingredients available at home, you can even use ready-made products to clean your shoes.

Method 9: Using the Magic Eraser Liquid

You can easily find this product in nearby stores. 


  • Magic eraser liquid
  • Toothbrush
  • Shoe brush
  • Paper towels/ clean cloth towel

How to do:

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1. With a shoe brush first dust off all the debris and the dirt.

2. Then, pour some magic eraser liquid on the shoe and scrub it with a toothbrush.

3. Wipe the excess either with a paper towel or a cloth towel.

What if your Vans® get dirty while you are going out? Here’s an on-the-way method and is very easy to do.

Method 10: One-Step method


  • Baby wipes/ Wet wipes


1. Take a wipe and in one direction clean all the greases on your shoes.

2. Make sure to take a new wipe every time you clean.

3. This method can only be used for shoes with grease stains.

These are the easiest methods to make your Vans® crystal white. Try them today to see the change.

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