How to Wash Vans Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Your new pair of Vans looks great out of the box, but they won't always look that way. Sure, it's easy to forget about cleaning your shoes, but with time and frequent wear, even the best pair of Vans will begin to look dingy. Your Vans may be made from either canvas or suede. Both of these materials require different cleaning methods.

Dip a toothbrush in a mild washing powder. Use the toothbrush to scrub away small areas of dirt or staining. Jeff Bredenburg, author of "Clean it Fast, Clean it Right," also recommends sponging the shoes with an upholstery cleaner. Rinse the shoes with cold water.

Try machine washing your shoes. Vans recommends machine washing their canvas shoes on the gentle cycle using a mild detergent. Note that machine washing your shoes may not completely clean them if they are heavily soiled.

Shove wadded-up newspapers into your shoes. Allow them to completely air dry. Do not attempt to machine dry your shoes.

Try a speciality suede cleaner to get rid of heavy soiling. As all suede cleaners are different, refer to the product's packaging for instructions. Note that leather cleaners, detergents and water are not safe for suede.

Use a suede eraser to remove stains. If you do not have a suede eraser, an art gum eraser is a good substitute. If the stains are oily, try dusting a small quantity of baby powder over the area. Allow it to sit overnight, then dust it off.

Brush your shoes regularly with a suede brush to remove dirt.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold water (canvas)
  • Washing powder/Upholstery cleaner (canvas)
  • Toothbrush and sponge (canvas)
  • Washing machine (canvas)
  • Suede cleaner
  • Suede/art gum eraser
  • Suede brush
  • Talcum powder
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About the Author

Sophie Levant is a freelance writer based in Michigan. Having attended Michigan State University, her interests include history classical music, travel, and the German language. Her work has been published at eHow and Travels.