How to Clean Vans Shoes: Easy Ways to Clean Your Vans

How to Clean Vans Shoes: Easy Ways to Clean Your Vans

One of the most loved sneakers of all time, Vans has become synonymous with skating culture, effortlessly cool style, and durability.

Whether you rock the traditional white shoes or prefer the charm of leather or suede Vans, keeping them clean might seem like a daunting task. But fear not fellow sneakerheads!

We've got the lowdown on all the top ways to clean white Vans sneakers, ensuring they maintain their brand-new gleam. After all, keeping your Vans looking great is an art in itself.

Can You Put Vans in the Washing Machine?

Can You Put Vans in the Washing Machine?

According to Vans itself, they do not recommend tossing your beloved Vans shoes in the washing machine. The vigorous machine wash could potentially cause the shoes to get damaged. For a quick clean, wiping down with a damp cloth is ideal. However, for a deep clean, hand washing is the safest and most effective method.

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Cleaning Suede Shoes

Unlike conventional shoe materials, leather and suede requires specific care. Suede Vans, in particular, require a gentle touch when it comes to cleaning.

Things You Need to Get Started

  • A Suede Brush: A suede brush has softer bristles which are perfect for cleaning delicate suede without causing damage.
  • Suede Eraser: This can help to remove stubborn stains and marks on your Vans.
  • White Vinegar or Suede Cleaner: These are good for deep cleaning. White vinegar is a great household alternative if you don't have a suede cleaner.
  • A Clean Cloth or Towel: You'll need this to dry your Vans after cleaning.
  • A Container with Lukewarm Water: For mixing your cleaning solution and for dampening your cloth.
  • A Dry Sponge or Rubber: This is for restoring the nap of the suede after cleaning.

Here's a step-by-step guide to cleaning your suede Vans:

Step 1: Remove Dirt and Debris

Start by removing any loose dirt or debris from your suede Vans using your hands or a soft, dry cloth. This is best done over a trash bin to prevent mess. Hold the shoes upside down and give them a good shake to dislodge any larger pieces of dirt. This step is crucial in preparing your shoes for further cleaning.

Step 2: Use a Suede Brush

The best way to clean suede and nubuck Vans is by using a suede brush. These brushes are specifically designed for such materials and are gentle enough to not damage the fabric. Instead of a regular shoe brush, use the suede brush to gently brush the surface of the shoes. Always brush in the direction of the grain to avoid damaging the material. The aim here is to brush away any remaining dust and dirt embedded in the fabric.

Step 3: Use Suede Eraser

After you've thoroughly brushed your Vans, you might notice some stubborn stains still lingering. The suede eraser comes in handy for these. These are like magic erasers for your shoes. Simply rub the eraser over the stain until it lifts. For tougher stains, you can also use a small amount of white vinegar or a special suede cleaner. Apply the cleaner with a clean cloth, and then gently scrub the stain.

Step 4: Air Dry

Once you've removed all the dirt and stains from your shoes, the final step is drying them. The best way to dry the shoes is simply to let them air dry. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or next to a heat source as this can cause the suede to shrink or become hard.

Bonus Step: Cleaning the Insoles

If your shoes have removable insoles, it's a good idea to clean these separately. Remove the insoles and use warm water mixed with a gentle detergent to clean them. Use a soft cloth to scrub them, then rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. This will help to remove any unpleasant odors and keep your Vans smelling fresh.

By following these steps, you'll have clean, fresh suede Vans ready to complete your stylish look.

Cleaning Leather Shoes

 vans leather shoes

Another popular material that Vans uses is leather. While it might seem daunting to clean, leather Vans is actually quite durable and easy to maintain.

Things You Need to Get Started

  • A Soft Cloth or Rag: To clean the surface and apply the conditioner.
  • Mild Soap: This is for creating a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Warm Water: To mix with the soap and dampen your cloth.
  • Leather Cleaner: Specially designed to clean leather without causing damage.
  • Leather Conditioner: This is essential to keep your leather Vans soft, prevent them from drying out and cracking.
  • A Dry Towel: To wipe off the excess conditioner and polish the shoes.
  • A Soft Brush: For brushing off any loose dirt before starting the cleaning process.

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Here's a simple guide to cleaning leather Vans:

Step 1: Remove the Laces and Loose Dirt

First things first - remove the laces from your leather Vans. This allows you to clean the entire surface of the shoes without the laces getting in the way. If your shoes are muddy, use a soft brush to brush off any loose dirt from the surfaces. It's best to do this outside or over a trash bin.

Step 2: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

Next, mix a small amount of mild dish soap with warm water. This creates a gentle cleaning solution that is safe for your shoes.

Step 3: Start the Cleaning Process

Dip an old toothbrush into your soap solution. Remember, you don't need a lot of water or soap on the brush. Too much can damage the leather. Begin to gently scrub the surface of your shoes using the toothbrush and cleaning solution. Pay special attention to any stubborn stains or dirty areas.

Step 4: Wipe Down the Shoes

Once you've given your shoes a good scrub, take a damp cloth and wipe down the shoe's surface to remove any soap residue. Make sure the cloth is just damp, not soaking wet.

Step 5: Clean the Laces

Don't forget about the laces! They can collect a lot of dirt and grime, too. To clean them, soak the laces in a small bowl of warm soapy water. After a few minutes, take them out and gently rub them together to remove any stubborn dirt. Rinse the laces under clean water and then let them air dry.

Step 6: Dry Your Shoes

Now it's time to dry your shoes. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a heat source as it can cause the leather to dry out and crack. Instead, let your shoes air dry at room temperature.

Step 7: Apply Leather Cleaner and Conditioner

After your shoes have completely dried, apply a small amount of leather cleaner to a soft cloth and gently rub it into the shoes. This cleaning product will help remove any remaining dirt and grime. After cleaning, apply a leather conditioner to keep your shoes supple and prevent them from drying out.

Step 8: Put the Laces Back In

Once everything is clean and dry, lace up your shoes again. Now, your leather Vans should look as good as new!

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Cleaning Canvas Vans

canvas vans shoes cleaning

Canvas shoes are common among Vans owners, and luckily, they're one of the easiest materials to clean.

Things You Need to Get Started

  • Baking Soda: To help remove any odors.
  • A Soft-Bristled Brush or Toothbrush: For scrubbing away dirt and stains.
  • Warm Water: To mix with the baking soda and create a gentle cleaning solution.
  • Mild Detergent or Soap: For creating a cleaning solution.
  • A Soft Cloth: For wiping down the shoes.

Step 1: Remove Excess Dirt

First, knock together the soles of your shoes to dislodge any excess dirt. If your canvas Vans are really dirty, you might need to use a brush to remove stubborn dirt stuck to the surface. Always, do this over a bin or outside to avoid making a mess.

Step 2: Prepare Your Cleaning Solution

Mix a small amount of mild detergent and warm water in a bowl. This will serve as your cleaning solution.

Step 3: Apply the Cleaning Solution

Next, dip an old toothbrush or a soft-bristled brush in your cleaning solution. You don't need too much water on the brush, just enough to make the bristles damp. With this, you are ready to wash your shoes.

Step 4: Scrub Your Shoes

Start scrubbing the canvas of your shoes with the damp brush. Do it gently in circular motions, focusing on areas where the shoes get particularly dirty. Applying too much pressure can damage the fabric.

Step 5: Use a Stain Remover

If there are still stubborn stains on your canvas Vans, apply a stain remover. Always test this on an inconspicuous part of the shoe before using it on more visible areas. After applying the stain remover, scrub the area gently with your brush.

Step 6: Rinse Your Shoes

Once you're done scrubbing, rinse your shoes with warm water. Be sure to remove all the soap as any residue may leave a mark on the canvas.

Step 7: Pat Dry Your Shoes

After rinsing your shoes, pat them dry using a clean towel to remove excess water. Never wring the shoes as it can distort their shape.

Step 8: Air Dry Your Shoes

Leave your shoes to air dry, preferably in an airy location but out of direct sunlight. This will prevent them from shrinking or fading in color.

Step 9: Dealing with Tough Stains

For especially stubborn stains, you can consider using a small amount of bleach mixed with your detergent and warm water solution. However, bleach should be used sparingly as it can fade the color of your shoes. Always make sure to rinse thoroughly after using bleach.

Step 10: Freshen Up

As a final step, you can sprinkle some baking soda inside your Vans to remove any unpleasant odors. Shake out any excess before wearing them.

Bonus Cleaning Tips: Cleaning White Canvas Vans

Almost every Vans enthusiast has a pair of classic white Vans in their collection. Here's a simple guide to keep them looking fresh and clean:

Step 1: Prep Your Shoes

Start by removing any excess dirt from your white Vans shoes. Remember, instead of using a washer, always hand wash your shoes to preserve their quality and shape.

Step 2: Cleaning the Rubber

To clean the rubber, dip a clean cloth in warm water and scrub the areas gently. This will help sustain the bright white look of the rubber.

Step 3: Create a Cleaning Paste

Next, create a paste of baking soda and warm water. This paste is an excellent cleaner for the canvas of your white Vans.

Step 4: Apply the Cleaning Paste

Apply this paste to your shoes using a toothbrush. Brush gently, paying special attention to stained areas. Don't forget to clean the rubber parts too!

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

Rinse your shoes with warm water. Then, use hand towels or plain white paper towels to absorb excess water. Be gentle to avoid distorting the shoe's shape.

Step 6: Air Dry Your Shoes

Leave your shoes open outside to air dry. Avoid direct sunlight as it can fade the white color over time.

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Closing Thoughts

Vans shoes are a staple in many wardrobes, and it's essential to keep them clean and well-maintained. By following the steps and tips outlined in this guide, you can easily clean your leather or canvas Vans to make them look like new again. Regular cleaning will not only help maintain the appearance of your shoes but also prolong their lifespan.

So don't wait any longer, grab your cleaning supplies and get to work on those dirty Vans!

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