How To Clean White Vans: 8 DIY Methods

how to clean white Vans shoes

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We’ve all been there. You buy a new pair of white Vans and are so excited to wear them… but the next time you go to put them on, you realize they’re covered in dirt. And not just any dirt – black dirt!

It turns out that cleaning white Vans can be a bit tricky. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! In this article, we will share some tips and tricks for how to clean white Vans shoes quickly and easily.

How To Clean White Vans

If your white Van shoes get dirty, start by removing the dirt with a soft-bristled brush. An old toothbrush or even a baby’s hair brush will work perfectly. Then, gently scrub the dirt off the surface of the shoes until they are clean. Once you get any loose dirt off your vans shoes, try one or a few of these do-it-yourself cleaning techniques:

1. Try Using Dish Soap to Clean White Vans

If your white Vans shoes are really dirty, you may need to use dish soap to get them clean. I like this Dawn dish soap which is free of any dyes.

  • Simply wet a cloth with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap to it.
  • Rub the cloth over the surface of the shoes until they are clean.
  • Dish soap is something you may want to try first but there are several other shoe cleaning methods below that will likely work better.
cleaning products for white vans shoes

2. Try Vinegar

Vinegar is another excellent product that can be used to clean white Vans.

  • Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl.
  • Soak a cloth in the solution and then rub it over the surface of the shoes.

3. How to Clean White Vans With Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective cleaning product that can be used on white Vans shoes.

  • Simply make a paste of baking soda and water.
  • Apply the paste to the shoes with a cloth, and then scrub them gently.
  • This method works particularly well when combined with Hydrogen peroxide. You’ll mix two parts baking soda with one part hydrogen peroxide.

4. How to Clean White Vans With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is traditionally used to treat cuts and wounds but did you know that you can use it to clean shoes too? In fact, one of the best ways to clean white Vans.

Hydrogen peroxide will make your white Vans brighter. As an added bonus, it will also disinfect your shoes. Here’s how to clean your shoes with Hydrogen peroxide:

  • Create a mixture of half water and half Hydrogen peroxide. About a tablespoon of each should work.
  • Soak a soft cloth in the hydrogen peroxide mixture and then wipe down the shoes.
  • Make sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies.
  • Works well when combined with baking soda.

5. How to Clean White Vans With Toothpaste

  • Put white toothpaste on the toothbrush.
  • Gentle scrub your white Vans with the toothpaste. This amount of pressure depends on the fabric. Start scrubbing softly and increase the pressure if needed. Use your common sense on this.
  • Let the toothpaste sit until dry (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  • Wipe your shoes off with a damp towel making sure to remove as much toothpaste as possible. You can also add a small amount of dish soap to a water mixture and then wipe it off.

You can repeat the process if needed and I would save the brush after cleaning. You can keep it as your designated shoe cleaner.

Important: Don’t use gel toothpaste because it’s not as effective. Also, test toothpaste on a small area of your shoes first. Toothpaste is fine for most shoes but it’s better to be safe and test a small dirty area first.

6. Use a Magic Eraser

Magic Erasers are great for cleaning just about anything, including shoes. They work particularly well on shoe rubber outsoles.

7. Get a Good White Shoe Cleaning Spray

If you are looking for a white Vans shoe cleaning “miracle” fix, try the Pink Miracle white shoe cleaner kit. This is my favorite shoe cleaning spray and it works on leather, vinyl, nubuck, suede, canvas, and cloth. If your shoes are not washable (meaning they can’t get wet) don’t use this spray.

8. Get a Shoe Whitening Polish

My best pick for a Vans shoe whitening polish would be this Kiwi shoe whitener. You’ll want to clean your white shoes first because this doesn’t clean them. If you use this before cleaning, it will basically mask the dirt by covering it. It’s kind of like paint for your shoes.

Test this method on a small area first. Most of the reviews of this whitening polish are overwhelmingly positive but a few users reported some minor yellowing. Because there are so many different shades of white, it’s hard to 100% match the originally brand-new white Vans color.

Once you have applied the desired cleaning solution as per the instructions, rinse the shoes with clean, warm water and allow them to air dry. Voilà! Your white Van shoes are now clean and hopefully almost as good as new!

Next, I’ll cover some specific cleaning methods depending on the type of Van shoes you own (based on fabric types).

How To Clean Different Types Of White Vans

cleaning different types of white vans

White Vans shoes can be worn with many different outfits, and they look great with everything. However, keeping them clean can be a challenge.

There are different types of white Vans shoes, and each requires a different cleaning method.

1. Cleaning White Canvas Vans

Canvas Vans are probably the most popular type of white Van shoe. They are made from a lightweight material that is very breathable. Canvas Vans are very comfortable and easy to wear. They also look great with jeans or shorts.

When it comes to cleaning canvas Vans, I’d first start with a mild detergent and a soft brush. Scrub the shoes gently with the brush and then rinse them off with clean water. Let your canvas shoes air dry, or use a soft cloth to dry them off.

If that doesn’t work, try some of the other shoe cleaning techniques I listed above, or try this miracle shoe cleaning kit for white shoes.

2. Cleaning White Suede Vans

Suede Vans are made from a soft, velvety material. They are very comfortable and look great with jeans or a dress.

When it comes to cleaning suede Vans, you will need to use a soft brush and a good suede cleaner. Apply the cleaner to the shoes and then gently scrub them with the brush. Next, rinse the suede shoes off with warm water and let them air dry.

3. Cleaning Leather Vans

You can buy Leather Vans although they are not as widely sold as their canvas and suede shoes. They are made from a very durable and sturdy material. Leather Vans are perfect for people who are looking for a shoe that will last long.

When it comes to cleaning leather Vans, you can try some of the steps in this guide, including getting a shoe cleaning solution or check out my article on how to clean leather shoes using 14 DIY tips.

4. Cleaning Nubuck Vans:

Nubuck Vans are made from top-quality leather that is very soft and durable. They are perfect for people who want a shoe that looks great and lasts long.

When it comes to cleaning nubuck Vans, you can start with a mild soap and water solution as outlined above. This is usually a first attempt step that’s free (you likely already have some soap in the house). Having said that, I’d get this shoe cleaner that works great on white Nubuck Vans.

Now that you know the different types of white Vans shoes and how to clean them, you can keep your shoes looking great for a long time.

removing dirt from vans sneakers

Can I Clean My Vans In The Washing Machine?

If your white Van shoes are made of canvas, you can clean them in the washing machine. However, you should only do this if the material is a canvas.

If you try cleaning shoes made of different materials in the washing machine, you could damage them. Having said that, if it’s an older pair of Vans and you don’t mind the risk, a lot of people do wash their shoes in the washer.

Washing your Vans shoes in the washer will help clean them, but it can also break down the glue and cause your shoes to fall apart a little faster.

I had an old pair of yard shoes that I washed a few times and the outsole of the shoe literally started separating from the toe cap fabric. If that has happened to you, check out my article on the best glue for shoes.

How to clean your white canvas Vans in the washing machine:

  • Put them in a mesh laundry bag and wash them on the gentle cycle.
  • Be sure to use warm water and avoid using any harsh laundry detergent or bleach.
  • You can also add a tablespoon of vinegar to the wash cycle to help disinfect the shoes.
  • After the cycle is finished, let the shoe air dry.

I like to air dry my shoes and do not recommend putting Vans in the dryer but it’s up to you!

How To Clean White Vans – FAQs

spot clean vans
Source – Rawpixel

1. How often should I clean my white Vans?

It really depends on how often you wear them and in what conditions. If you live in a dusty area or if you typically wear your shoes in places with a lot of dirt, then you’ll want to clean them more often. A good rule of thumb is to clean them every few weeks or so. Once you clean your Vans shoes, it makes sense to invest in one of the best shoe protection sprays.

2. Can I use bleach on my white Vans shoes?

No, you should never use bleach on your Vans shoes. Bleach will damage the material, and it will also make the shoes look yellow over time. If you want to disinfect your shoes, you can use a diluted vinegar solution or rubbing alcohol.

Again, I urge you not to try using bleach on your Vans unless you want yellow shoes. You’ll regret it. Follow some of the white Vans cleaning suggestions in this guide. You can also find some additional tips on how to clean white shoes here.

3. What can I do if my white Vans turned yellow?

If your white Vans shoes are looking yellow, it could be due to weather or environmental elements. Or you might have tried cleaning them with bleach which can cause them to yellow. The best solution I found is to use this KIWI Shoe Whitener. It uses a sponge applicator and it works on leather, vinyl, canvas, and nylon shoes.

You can also try using a Magic Eraser to help get rid of any stubborn dirt or stains.

Finally, if your shoes are still looking dull after you’ve cleaned them, you can try using shoe polish to help restore the shine.

5. How can I clean the side strip of my Vans?

The best way to clean the side strip of your Vans is to use a Magic Eraser. If the side strip is made of suede, you can also use a soft brush and a suede cleaner.

6. Should I keep the shoelaces on or remove them when cleaning?

It really depends on the type of laces that you have. If they are made of a delicate material, then you might want to remove them before cleaning. However, most shoelaces can be washed along with the rest of the shoe.

Ways To Keep Your White Vans Clean Longer

clean white shoes from vans

If you want to keep your white Vans sneakers looking pristine, there are a few things you can do.

  • First, avoid wearing them in mud or dirt.
  • Second, wipe them down after each wear with a damp cloth.
  • Try spraying them with a waterproofing spray before wearing them; this will help repel dirt and water.
  • And finally, store them in a cool, dry place when you’re not wearing them.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your white Vans shoes looking clean and new for longer!

Hey. Want to be awesome!? Send me a before and after picture of your white Vans using one of these techniques (or your own method). I’ll even send you a $10 digital amazon gift card for your time. I’d love to feature your pictures here in this guide and it will be helpful for other readers as well!

If you found this article helpful, please share it and leave a comment.

All the best!

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