Whether you’re battling pizza grease, festival dirt, pub grime, or city streets, keeping white shoes clean can be a real challenge. They’re precious when purchased but hardly shiny after a couple of wears. If you learn how to clean white Vans, you’ll always be able to keep your white shoes white and looking like they just came out of the box.
It’s surprisingly easy to clean white Vans at home, and there are plenty of methods to try with cupboard staples. So grab your scrub brush and keep reading to learn how to clean white Vans inn seven different ways.
How to Clean White Vans
Table of Contents
This guide includes step-by-step instructions about how to wash white Vans shoes using different methods at home. Keep reading to discover your new cleaning solution.
Using baking soda is one of the most common ways to clean white Vans, as this kitchen staple scrubs away grime unlike any other. Follow these steps to restore your Vans to their sparkly white condition to match any skate clothes you throw on:
Step 1: Remove the insoles and laces (you can wash these in soapy water).
Step 2: Combine two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide in a mixing bowl.
Step 3: Apply the mixture to your white Vans with a toothbrush, scrubbing in a circular motion to lift dirt from the surface. The baking soda will work to remove dirt, while the hydrogen peroxide will whiten any stains on the shoes.
Step 4: Clean the soles with a damp, soapy sponge or a Magic Eraser.
Tip: If your white Vans need some extra TLC after the first pass, coat them in a thick layer of the baking soda mixture and leave them outside to dry in the sun.
Once the mixture has hardened onto the shoes, clap them together to knock off any excess and then gently brush away the rest. Wipe your Vans down with a damp cloth and then set them to dry in a well-ventilated area but out of direct sunlight.
You can also clean white Vans with certain kinds of toothpaste. If you wish to pursue this method, look for a white, non-gel toothpaste with baking soda in it, as this is the primary scrubbing agent.
Step 1: Squeeze some toothpaste onto an old toothbrush and apply it to the Vans in a circular scrubbing motion.
Step 2: Scrub the Vans until they’re completely coated in a thin layer of toothpaste.
Step 3: Let the toothpaste sit on the Vans for 10-15 minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.
Step 4: Clean the soles with an old sponge or Magic Eraser, and wash the laces in warm, soapy water.
Note: The toothpaste method works, but not as well as using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. This method is excellent for lightly soiled Vans or for targeting minor stains.
Small but mighty, the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean works wonders on white Vans. It can be used to effectively remove mud, grass, and other finicky stains without damaging the shoes or exerting too much elbow grease.
Step 1: Wet the Magic Eraser.
Step 2: Scrub the shoes with the Magic Eraser. This tool works super well to remove stains from the canvas surface plus scuff marks and dirt from the soles of the shoes.
Step 3: Leave the shoes to dry in a wel-ventilated space away from direct sunlight.
When it comes to the best ways to clean white Vans, this is one of the easiest. It requires minimal materials and a short cleaning session.
There are few solutions quite as powerful as bleach, so if you’re on a mission to make your white Vans brand new, this is one of the best ways to do it.
Step 1: Create a solution of one part bleach and five parts water. It’s essential to choose a bleach that’s ammonia free to keep from damaging your shoes.
Step 2: Dip an old toothbrush in the solution and scrub it liberally all over your white Vans.
Step 3: Repeat as necessary until the Vans become white again.
Step 4: Wipe your Vans with a soft, damp cloth to remove any excess bleach and leave them to dry.
Tip: Avoid adding too much bleach to the surface of your Vans, as this has the potential to turn the canvas yellow.
Also, be sure to protect your clothing and hands from the bleach solution since a single drop of bleach can permanently stain clothing.
There are a couple of different ways to clean white Vans with vinegar. This natural cleaning agent works wonders on white fabric and is especially noteworthy when it comes to cleaning suede or Old Skool Vans.
Step 1: Wet a soft cloth or toothbrush with white vinegar and gently scrub the surface of your white Vans.
Step 2: Let the vinegar sit on the shoes for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Using a cloth dipped in warm, soapy water, wipe the surface of the Vans again to remove any lingering vinegar.
Step 4: Let the Vans dry in a well-ventilated area.
Alternatively, you can mix white vinegar with baking soda and apply it liberally to your white Vans before wiping them clean and leaving them to dry.
Tip: Put some white vinegar into a spray bottle and use this to wet your Vans with ease.
If all else fails, or you hope to clean your white Vans with what you already have on hand, soapy water will do the trick for less serious stains.
Step 1: Fill a bowl with warm water and neutral dish soap.
Step 2: Dip a toothbrush or soft cloth into the soapy water and apply it generously across your white Vans, scrubbing in a circular motion to free dirt from the canvas.
Step 3: Wipe the Vans again, this time using only warm water to remove excess soap.
Step 4: Scrub the soles of your Vans using the same soapy water or with a Magic Eraser.
Step 5: Stuff your Vans with paper or newsprint to absorb lingering water, and leave the shoes to dry in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunlight.
Tip: If the soapy water leaves a few stains behind, use baking soda or a Magic Eraser for some extra attention to problem areas.
7. How to Clean White Vans in the Washer
At this point, you may be asking yourself, “well, why wouldn’t I just throw my skate shoes in the washing machine?”
While you can technically wash Vans in a machine, the brand recommends that you stick to handwashing to preserve the state of the shoes.
However, there’s a way to skip the dirt under your fingernails. You can always wash your Vans on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent and leave them to air dry in a well-ventilated space.
Just remember to remove the laces before chucking them in the wash. And if you hope to protect your washing machine a bit, throw in some old towels to act as a buffer between the shoes and the metal.
The Best Shoe Cleaning Kits To Clean White Leather Vans
Leather can be much easier to clean than white canvas Vans, as dirt typically wipes right off the surface. But if you’re dealing with trickier stains or if the grime has infiltrated the cracks in your leather Vans, it’s best to use a dedicated shoe cleaner to prevent further damage to your kicks. Luckily, leather is a top sneaker trend for men, so there are plenty of solutions to aid in cleaning your shoes.
Our favorite kit, easily packaged all together, is the Axel Arigato x Sneaker Lab cleaning kit. Made from non-toxic, biodegradable materials, this kit includes a sneaker cleaner, protector, and odor mask, along with a bristled brush. It’s designed to work on all materials, namely leather and canvas, making it an ideal choice when it comes to learning how to clean white leather Vans.
If you’re looking to specifically whiten and brighten your white leather vans, the Oliver Cabell Refresh Kit is your new best friend for cleaning leather Vans. In addition to the cleaning solution, the kit includes a shoe whitener and a brush that will give an instant boost to your white kicks.
As far as steps go, luckily for you, you won’t have to split your attention between reading your screen and trying to clean your shoes. We recommend following the instructions included in any of the cleaning kits.
Tip: always spot clean first. Try the products on a small, less noticeable part of the shoe to make sure the products don’t ruin the color or material. We hate waiting, but we also hate having to buy a new pair of shoes because we were impatient. Good luck and good cleaning!
1. What should I use to clean my white vans?
You can use a mild soap and warm water solution, some laundry detergent diluted in warm water, or a special leather cleaner depending on the material your shoes are made of. Always test any cleaning solution you plan to use on an inconspicuous spot first.
2. How often should I clean my white vans?
How often you need to clean your white vans will depend on how often you wear them and how dirty they become. Taking extra care of your shoes, such as removing dust and dirt regularly with a soft brush, will help prevent dirt from building up in the creases and cause discoloration. A good rule of thumb is that if the shoes look dirty, then it’s time to do a deep clean with one of the solutions mentioned above.
Q: What materials do I need to clean my white Vans?
A: You will need a few materials including a soft-bristled brush, a bowl of warm water, a mild detergent, a clean cloth, and a toothbrush.
Q: How often should I clean my white Vans?
A: It’s a good idea to clean your white Vans at least once a month, or whenever they become visibly dirty.
Q: Can I put my white Vans in the washing machine?
A: Yes, you can put your white Vans in the washing machine. However, you should use a delicate cycle and a mild detergent to avoid damaging the shoes.
Q: Can I bleach my white Vans to get them whiter?
A: It is not recommended to bleach your white Vans, as it can cause damage to the shoes and discoloration.
Q: How do I remove stubborn stains from my white Vans?
A: For stubborn stains, you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth.
Q: How do I prevent my white Vans from yellowing?
A: To prevent your white Vans from yellowing, store them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and humidity. You can also use a protective spray to keep them clean and bright.
Q: Can I use a magic eraser to clean my white Vans?
A: Yes, a magic eraser can be used to clean white Vans. However, it is important to be gentle and not scrub too hard, as it can damage the shoes.
Q: How long does it take for my white Vans to dry after cleaning?
A: The drying time for your white Vans will depend on the method used to clean them. If you have washed them in the washing machine, it can take up to 24 hours for them to dry completely. If you have spot-cleaned them, they should dry within a few hours.