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How to Make Your Vans Shoes Look New

Updated February 21, 2017

Vans are skate-inspired slip-on or laced sneakers, typically made out of cotton canvas or suede and a thick white or black rubber sole. The low sneaker style and sturdy soles benefit skateboarders by allowing the ankle to move freely while providing balance and traction. Vans designs include solid colours, two-tones and checkerboard styles, all of which show off the Vans trademark emblem on the interior and exterior sides of the shoes. Cleaning Vans requires using the correct cleaners, based on the material of the sneakers, to preserve the look and feel.

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  1. Brush dirt and dust from your Vans with a soft bristle toothbrush. Make sure to get into the cracks and crevices of the rubber soles. Pour 1 tbsp of washing powder or dish soap into a sink and fill the sink about 3 cups of water. Dip the toothbrush into the sudsy mixture and scrub the rubber sides and bottoms of your Vans' soles. Drain the water from the sink or bucket.

  2. Fill the sink or bucket with cold water. Add 2 to 3 tbsp of washing powder to the water. Submerge your canvas Vans in the water and allow them to soak for 15 minutes. Scrub dirt spots or stains with the soft bristle toothbrush. Drain the old water and refill the sink with cold water. Soak your Vans again to remove soap.

  3. Remove your Vans shoelaces and place them into the bucket or sink. Fill the bucket or sink with about 3 cups of cold water. Pour 1 tbsp of a mild washing powder into the sink or bucket. Add 1 tbsp of bleach to clean white shoelaces only. Do not add bleach to clean coloured shoelaces, as bleach will lighten and change the colour of the laces.

  4. Stuff newspaper into the interior of each sneaker to retain the shape of the sneaker while drying. Dry your Vans for 24 hours away from direct sunlight, which can fade the colour.

  5. Remove the shoelaces from the sink or bucket and rinse them under cold water to eliminate detergent and bleach. Ring the shoelaces to drain water from them. Place the laces on a towel to dry.

  6. Put suede cleaner on a soft sponge. Rub the suede cleaner into you suede Vans in a delicate downward motion to preserve the appearance and texture of the suede.

  7. Pour baking soda into the interior of your Vans to deodorise them. Allow the baking soda to rest in the shoes for 24 hours. Dump the baking soda out of shoes after 24 hours. Brush baking soda particles out with a dry toothbrush.

  8. Warning

    Vans does not recommend drying sneakers in a washing machine; it may ruin the shoes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Sink or bucket
  • Water
  • Washing powder
  • Bleach (optional)
  • Suede cleaner
  • Sponge
  • Newspaper
  • Towel
  • Baking soda

About the Author

Taylor DiVico

Taylor DiVico is a professional songwriter, content writer, fiction novelist and poet with more than 15 years of experience. DiVico holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rhode Island and an M.S. from Syracuse University.

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