How to Clean Vans Without Damaging Their Sensitive Material

When we’re talking about sneakers, there are going to be a lot of big brands in your mind that pop out: Nike, Adidas, Converse, and yes, Vans. People love Vans shoes for a lot of reasons, and the demand for their shoes won’t fade away anytime soon. Moreover, vintage and unique Vans have seemed to go up in value!

Vans sneakers have become collectable items. That’s the reason why you should consider taking care of them and cleaning them to avoid any deformity. Like any other collectable item, Vans shoes need some extra attention when it comes to cleaning them. Let’s take a closer look at the ways of cleaning Vans shoes.


Vans are so famous due to their unique and simple design. Despite their simplicity, Vans shoes are really stylish and can be used for various occasions. Most Vans sneakers are inspired by old-school designs, but they stood the test of time and still look awesome and cool to wear. 

Vans can be proud of themselves for producing shoes that look good and also feel very comfortable to wear. Most Vans have plush insoles and flexible rubber outsoles that help people who stand and walk for most of the day. Lastly, they are also made with high quality materials that won’t break or damage any time soon. Yes, they can be a little bit more expensive, but you know that you’re getting the best out of each pair of Vans shoes. 


how to wear vans

Well, the question should be: why not? Vans shoes are really versatile! You can use them for a lot of things and events. You can look just as cool while strolling through the park or going to an office to work. The secret of this versatility lies in their simplistic approach. 

Aside from its versatility, a Vans shoe is likely to be more affordable compared to other big-name competitors. If you like to use them regularly, investing in something good that isn’t too expensive will be a great idea, right? After all, they also look as cool as other sneakers in the market!


Before we go ahead and discuss our tips and tricks to clean your Vans shoes, let’s listen to the ones who made them first! According to their website, you can clean your shoes in different ways, according to the material of the shoes themselves. But generally, you’re going to need different kinds of brushes to aid your cause. The presence of Magic Eraser is also welcomed. 

First things first, you can start by brushing off dirt and stains with a suede brush. Make sure to brush gently in order to prevent any damages. Then, you can proceed to wipe the surface of the shoes using a cotton or cloth that has been soaked with a mixture of water and white vinegar before proceeding to clean the rubber strip with a Magic Eraser. 

When you’re dealing with leather shoes, you won’t have to use a suede brush. Instead, you can opt by using a shoe Brush or Premium Brush. Then, you can work on cleaning the surface grime and enhancing the waterproof function by using Nikwax. 

Just like the other two types of shoes, you can start by brushing off some loose dirt and stains with a shoe brush. After that, you may continue to remove any stains with a mixture of warm, soapy water on a toothbrush. Then, you can wipe all the remaining soap suds with a clean, damp cloth. 

No matter what shoes you have, you need to make sure that they’re dried properly after the cleaning process. Never let them get into direct contact with the sunlight!


It turns out that experts agree with Vans own instructions to clean their products, albeit with a little bit modification. You need to start by wiping clean mud and dirt that sticks on your Vans.

After all the loose dirt and stains are gone, you can start cleaning your shoes thoroughly (and carefully) by using a mixture of warm water and mild dish detergent. Use a toothpaste or a soft brush to clean it. After all parts of the shoe have been covered, rinse it with water and let them dry!


How to Clean Vans - Learn How to Clean your Vans Shoes | Cleanipedia UK

We can’t really set a precise period of time in which you should wash your Vans. The most important thing is to take a look at the condition of your shoes. Never let them get too dirty, as it will surely collect hardened dirt and stains that will prove to be challenging to wipe away. 

If you’re using them regularly, we’d recommend you to clean them around once every two weeks. Avoid washing them every day as well, as it can damage your shoes too. And even if you rarely use them, you can still try to clean them at least once a month.


14 DIY Shoe Cleaner Ideas That Will Leave Shoes Spotless

If you have been paying close attention to our discussion, you’ll notice that we have mentioned some household ingredients that can help in your quest to make your Vans stay fresh. But in case you’ve missed it, we’re going to make a recap of the household ingredients that you can use (plus some more!):

  • Toothbrush and small brush
  • Cotton
  • Cloth or rag

Here are the homemade ingredients that you can use to clean your precious Vans:

  • Mild dish detergent
how to clean vans
  1. When you’re using a mild dish detergent to clean your Vans, make sure to prepare a bowl of warm water as well.
  2. Put a small amount of dish detergent inside the bowl.
  3. Use a rag or cloth and dip it inside the mixture. 
  4. Wipe your Vans using the cloth in a circular motion. It can also be used to clean the bottom part of your Vans. 

Please take a note that a mild dish detergent might damage suede or leather. You better use other alternatives if your Vans is made using either material.   

  • Bleach
  1. Prepare a small amount of bleach and drop them inside a bowl of water.
  2. Use your brush or toothbrush and dip it inside the mixture. 
  3. Scrub the mixture across the Vans and especially the stains. Make sure that you avoid any non-white part of the Vans. Then, wait for some time.
  4. After waiting for around a minute or two, rinse the Vans with water. 
  5. If the result is still unsatisfactory, you might want to repeat the process once more. 

Bleach is effective when it comes to cleaning your white shoes that are really dirty. However, it is not advisable to use it when you’re cleaning non-white Vans. It’s recommendable to use dye-free bleach, as it will prevent any yellowing to happen on your Vans. 

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar:
How to Clean White Vans - Easy Ways to Clean White Vans Sneakers
  1. Prepare baking soda and vinegar
  2. Mix them together
  3. Use the mixture and rub them across your Vans. 
  4. Wait for some time in order to let the mixture eliminate dirt and stain. 
  5. You’ll notice that it will make your Vans white again. However, you shouldn’t use this method to clean non-white Vans. 


  • ShoeCleaner: A special shoe detergent needed to clean your favorite and precious Vans shoes. 
  • Apron: Not an obligatory item, but it will come in handy when we’re talking about keeping your shirt clean while washing your Vans. 
  • Premium Brush: Used to clean the upper part of your shoes that is usually made up of canvas, suede, leather, synthetic leather, mesh, knit, nubuck, and many more. 
  • Medium Brush: Used to clean your sneaker’s midsole section. 
  • Standard Brush: Used to clean your Vans outsole section.
  • Small Brush or Toothbrush: This type of brush will come in handy when it comes to cleaning the inner part of your sneakers that is usually hard to reach. 
  • Microfiber Cloth: Used to wipe sneakers clean from dirt and stains. 
  • Shoe Tree: Essential item to keep your sneaker’s basic structure intact. 
  • Container/Pan: used to store water that will be mixed with Shoe Perfume in order to generate a certain odor for your Vans. 
  • Shoe Perfume: used to generate fragrant to your Vans


  • The Upper Part of the Vans: As the name states, it’s the upper part of your Vans. This time, the Premium Brush will be used in order to prevent damage to the upper part of your sneakers. 
  • Midsole: The side sole section of a sneaker. To clean the midsole, we suggest you use Medium Brush, as midsoles can often get damaged and dirty due to usage.
  • Outsole, or the lower part of a sneaker: To clean a sneaker’s outsole, you can use a standard brush that is strong and sturdy. This way, dirt and stains from your outsole might be cleaned easily. 
  • Insole: The inner part of your shoes that also acts as a cushion to make your foot more comfortable. It’s better to remove the insoles from your sneakers before cleaning them. However, don’t force it if it’s not possible. To clean the insole, you can use a premium brush as well as a toothbrush, as they can reach parts that are harder to clean. 


  • Prepare a pair of Vans that you want to clean:

A pair of dirty Vans that needs to be cleaned. 

  • Prepare the necessary tools and cleaning kits:

Prepare the Shoecleaner, apron, Premium Brush, Medium Brush, Standard Brush, Small Brush, Microfiber Cloth, 2 pieces of Shoe Tree, and a container to store water and ShoePerfume. 

  • Remove the laces from your Vans shoes:

It’s recommendable to remove the lace from your shoe. After you manage to separate them, you can soak the laces inside a water that has been mixed with Shoe Cleaner.

You don’t want to miss this step when cleaning your Vans. A shoe tree will play a part in maintaining the shape of your shoes when they’re washed or cleaned. Therefore, you really need to insert it inside your shoe. Whenever possible, make sure to remove the insole first. 

  • Dry-clean your Vans:

Before washing the sneakers with water, we need to brush the upper part and midsole with a premium brush to wipe off debris and dirt that is often found on the shoes. 

  • Wash both the outsole and midsole of your Vans:

Two different brushes will be needed for this task: the Standard Brush to clean your outsole and the medium brush to clean the midsole section. 

To clean the midsole section, you really need to be extra careful and patient. Most dirt and stains on the midsole section might prove to be hard to be brushed off, so don’t lose your temper if it might take a while! After you’ve brushed off the whole section, you can wipe your shoes with a microfiber cloth. If the result is unsatisfactory, please repeat the steps again.

To clean the outsole section of your Vans, make sure to use all your strength when cleaning the outsole, as it’s naturally the dirtiest part of a shoe.

  • Wash the upper part of your Vans

Use the Premium Brush to wash the upper part of your Vans in order to prevent any damage to your shoe. It’s essential to use the Premium Brush, as it won’t damage Vans that are made from suede material which are known to be sensitive. Avoid using the services of a standard brush as it may damage your Vans. 

  • Wash the inner part of your Vans

Use a small brush to clean the inner part of your shoes, as it is definitely hard to reach. Then, wipe it with microfiber cloth. You can also use a Premium Brush, but bear in mind that it might be a little bit difficult to clean the narrow space inside. 

  • Detailing

Use a wet microfiber cloth to clean details on your Vans that are dirty, which are normally found on your midsole or outsole. As an alternative, you can also use wet tissue. However, you’ll notice that using a microfiber cloth will result in a more satisfying result. 

  • Drying Process

Leave your Vans in front of a fan for around 1-2 hours.

  • Finishing  

As soon as the Vans are dry, you can proceed to remove the shoe tree and put the laces (and also insole for some cases) back on. Now, you can wear them again!



Search your feelings (like a Jedi does) when cleaning the sensitive parts of your Vans. You don’t want your upper part of the Vans to have scratches, right?

Wash and clean your Vans for at least once a month, especially if you’re using them regularly. Leaving them will just make the dirt stack and make it harder to clean. 


Don’t brush your shoes intensely. Vans are made from suede, which is very sensitive to scratches.

Never leave your shoes under direct contact with the sunlight, as it can destroy and make the color fade away. 


  • Never store them in a moist area
  • Don’t store them if they’re wet and not dried up yet
  • Don’t stack them with other shoes
  • Never store your Vans inside a shoe wrapping box or in a dirty state
  • Use a shoe box if you’re going to stack them in order to make it look presentable and neat 


How do you clean your Vans without them fading?

If you want to clean your Vans without making the color fade, then make sure to use a good shoe cleaner. If you don’t have one, use a mild detergent that’s soft enough to avoid any damage to the shoe. Use the appropriate brush as well! We have listed the necessary kits before, so make sure to read it one more time. 

Does washing your vans ruin them?

There’s a chance that washing your Vans won’t ruin it. However, some shoe fanatics prefer to let the Vans look dirty, as it will look good on the shoes. Again, this is a matter of preference, so do as you will!

How to Clean vans with baking soda?

The method of cleaning Vans with baking soda is only viable for shoes with a white surface, like the midsole (or if the upper section is white as well). Using a baking soda for non-white material will increase the chance of damaging the color of your shoes

To clean it, you just need to mix the baking soda with vinegar. Then, wipe them across the shoes to eliminate dirt and stains. 


Vans are highly collectable and sought-after shoes. However, they are made with sensitive materials. Therefore, you should learn to take care and clean them carefully. After all, you wouldn’t want your valuable items to get damaged right? All you need is patience and attention to detail, along with the knowledge that we’ve passed on before!