how to Clean White Vans Shoes

Are you looking for the best way of how to clean white vans?

These stylish shoes can get dirty faster than almost any other shoe out there; and it’s important to keep them nice and clean so that you look good.

The good news is that you should be able to use some supplies around the house to clean up those shoes and make them look as good as brand new.

While it isn’t a terribly difficult process, you should definitely take care to follow instructions carefully so that you don’t damage your shoes in any way.

Cleaning By Hand

To truly learn how to clean white canvas vans, you need to understand that there are a few different methods to use.

The first method I am talking about today is cleaning your vans shoes by hand. The first step will be to create a solution.

First, you need to get a large bowl. Ideally, you will be doing this whole process outside or somewhere where you can get some water or dirt and not have to worry about it too much.

The solution in the bowl is rather simple – it is a mixture of laundry detergent and warm water. The water should be about 8x the amount of the detergent in your solution.

For example, if you use 4 cups of warm water, you would want to use ½ cup of laundry detergent. You’ll need to adjust for your situation including the size of your bowl and how badly your shoes need washed.

If it seems like the solution is getting contaminated from the dirt and grime of your shoes, you may want to dump your solution out and start over with a new batch for the second shoe.

If you don’t happen to have any laundry detergent on hand; you could use a few substitutes in the same amount.

This may not work quite as well, and I would recommend laundry detergent but these other solutions are certainly better than nothing and should do the trick in a pinch.

You could use:

  • Dish soap
  • Window cleaner
  • Shampoo

It turns out that most of the cleaning material in these products are all similar; but for your best bet I would recommend simply going with laundry detergent as it is the most natural fit when trying to clean materials.

One other solution that you may be able to look into is buying “official” cleaning solution for vans.

For me, that’s not really a route that I feel like anyone has to go, but if you are doing something related to selling shoes or you’re going to be doing this a lot more than the average person, it may be a route that you want to go.

Once you have your solution made, you’ll need to get another bowl that’s filled with regular water. This is the bowl that you’ll rinse out your cloth from as you’re cleaning.

You’re going to scrub the shoes with a cloth that you have dipped into the solution you’ve made.

To get the best results, you need to use a circular method when you are scrubbing. Smaller circles will be more effective than any other method.

This is a great method because it’s effective for the inside of the shoe as well.

If you have any small areas where there is rubber that needs cleaned you may need a very small cloth, you can also use an old toothbrush to scrub the finer parts of your shoe.

Once you’ve finished scrubbing with the solution, you should use a cloth that has water on it to get any extra dirt off as well as the soapy mixture.

It’s best to let your shoes dry – leaving them in the sun is a great idea, although you will want to be sure to stuff them with magazine or newspaper so they hold their shape well.

Once your shoes have dried, they should be looking white and brand new if you cleaned effectively.

Clean White Vans Shoes

Using a Washing Machine

If you’re looking for another method of how to clean white vans shoes, using a washing machine should be considered.

There are a few things you need to note before using your washing machine to clean your vans:

  • Don’t use for leather shoes
  • Don’t use for suede shoes
  • Take out any laces
  • Take out any inserts

After you are confident your shoes can stand up to the washing machine without damage, you want to put your shoes into a delicates bag.

If you don’t have a delicates bag, you could use a pillowcase as long as it is tied tightly and your shoes are secure in the bag.

You should not use hot water, warm water will be good enough to make sure the shoes get cleaned. You should also use a gentle cycle so that you are not damaging the shoes.

You really shouldn’t wash your shoes with other items, more so for your other items than for the safety of your shoes – but either could be compromised.

Use natural sunlight to dry your shoes – do not be tempted to put them in the dryer as the heat can easily damage your shoes and ruin your purchase.

It’d be a good idea to stuff shoes as they dry so that they maintain their shape well.

Other Stains or Marks

Many people have heard about how to clean white vans with baking soda. This method is a good one for getting scuff or other marks off of your shoes.

However, before getting into baking soda it would probably be best to use some kind of stain remover. The best example of this is called a “magic eraser”.

This magic (but not really) eraser is able to remove a ton of stains from white vans. If you are using their product, you should follow the instructions listed on the packaging for best use of a similar product.

Rubbing alcohol can also be used to clean up a lot of scuffs on your white vans. If you’ve got an ink stain, this will be particularly helpful.

The best way to use rubbing alcohol is with a cotton ball. The cotton ball is used to dip into the rubbing alcohol and you should make a wiping motion to remove the stain / scuff.

Finally, we come to baking soda. This famous mixture is one that can clean shoes quite well.

Mixing baking soda, water, and hydrogen peroxide together is the traditional mixture.

Here’s how to clean white vans with that mixture:

  • Mix 2 parts baking soda with 1 part each of hydrogen peroxide and water that is warm (not hot)
  • Use an old toothbrush and dip it into your solution & brush at the stains
  • Let the shoe dry (up to half an hour)
  • Rinse with regular water
  • Repeat as needed

As mentioned, this is a famous remedy and one that can actually work quite well on your shoes.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can baking powder be substituted for baking soda?

No, these are different materials and you should really use pure baking soda when trying to clean your vans shoes.

Is it a good idea to mix a bunch of these methods together?

No, generally you need to take these methods one at a time. Trying to mix and match methods may lead to results that are less than optimal.

Will my shoes get damaged in the washing machine?

They shouldn’t as long as you wash them by themselves. You’ll want to put them in a delicates bag to be sure that they will stay safe through the washing cycle.

Is there anything I should know about the drying process?

Your shoes will stay relatively safe while they’re drying. You definitely should not but them in a dryer because the heat will damage the glue in your shoes. 

No one wants to try to wear a melted shoe. However, if you are following best practices and letting your shoes dry in the sun, you really shouldn’t have too much of a concern.

Obviously, using the sun’s power works best on warm and clear days. You should also be sure to stuff your shoes with some sort of paper so that they maintain the same shape they had when you started.


There are a lot of different methods available when cleaning white vans. The easiest way to clean them is probably doing it by hand and using a laundry detergent mix. 

This is a tried-and-true method that will allow you to control the whole process. It’s also one that is great for individuals who may be nervous to use a washing machine with their shoes.

However, other methods of cleaning like baking soda, rubbing alcohol, and washing machines are safe for your shoes as long as you take proper precautions and put some time and effort into your preparation and work.

With these methods, you should be able to keep your shoes looking like you just bought them

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twelve + 20 =

Scroll to Top