Can You Put Vans in the Washer (Alternative Included)

by jacky chou
Updated on

We all love rocking our outfits with a pair of vans every once in a while. Vans are surely comfortable to wear, but keeping them clean is a hustle. As you explore various ways to maintain the cleanliness of your vans, this article discusses whether you can put vans in the washer.

Let’s get started!

So, can a washing machine be used to clean vans? The short answer is that you can wash vans in a washer. There are better cleaning techniques for these amazing shoes, though.

Cleaning Your Vans Shoes in the Washer

Before you begin cleaning your pair of vans in the washer, there are a few things that you need to consider:

a) Material

Vans produces a variety of shoes you can rock with cargo pants made of various materials which would be damaged by having them wet like the leather material. It is therefore important to check the material of the vans as it would determine the complete cleaning procedure.

b) Instructions

Look at the shoe’s tag to find out if the shoes are made of canvas or another synthetic material. Use the same cleaning instructions with any leather shoes if you have leather or suede vans.

Checking the vans shoe tag

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Procedure on How to Clean Vans Shoes in a Washer

  1. Ensure you take the laces off the shoes since there is a potential that they may get ruined before adding mild detergent to the laundry cycle.
  2. Pre-treat shoe stains using a gentle pre-treater. Do this by using an enzymatic stain remover or similar commercial product if you’ve trodden in a lot of mud or got oil or grease on your shoes. Apply to the stubborn stains, then leave the shoes alone while you get the washer ready.
  3. We recommended setting the washing machine to a moderate cycle with warm water. However, mind that spinning it in hot water will ruin your shoes.
  4. Place the sneakers into a pillowcase or a laundry wash bag.
  5. Avoid solvent cleaners. It is because solvent cleansers and the glue that holds the shoe’s sole together when they come into contact weaken the adhesive.
  6. Ensure the detergent isn’t too harsh and contains no bleach before pouring it into the washer. It is strongly urged against harsh chemicals as they can destroy the color of your vans. However, cleaning all-white shoes with bleached powder detergent is OK.Package for cleanning white vans shoesImage credits:
  7. If you’re using a top-loading washing machine, wait until the load is halfway full before soaking the shoes to reduce the length of time you soak them. The shoes won’t sit for nearly as long, but they will still get thoroughly cleaned.
  8. Ensure the machine is set to the minimum warm water setting while adding a few towels to the load. Here, it’s important to avoid letting the shoes tumble around in the washing too much. Instead, use the gentle cycle exclusively.
  9. It would be best to air dry your shoes rather than using the dryer once the washing is complete and the vans are clean. Even though using the dryer would undoubtedly be quicker, there is a high probability that the heat will harm the material of your shoes.
  10. Use some packing materials or crumpled newspapers to maintain the form of your vans while they air dry.

What to Do After Washing the Vans shoe

Cleaning your OG shoes in the washing machine is convenient as the procedure is quicker and simpler, however, your shoes are far more likely to sustain damage over time. Hence, if you’re determined to wash your vans in the washing machine, here are some instructions to follow after cleaning:

  1. Avoid placing your vans in the sun, particularly if they are white or patterned. Direct sunlight will ultimately fade the colors if they are dried under the sun.
  2. Avoid washing your vans’ shoes in the machine after each wear. Avoid putting vans in the washing machine as much as possible in order to maintain their form and color. Additionally, if your shoes need some polishing, you must wipe or dust any loose debris off them using a damp cloth.

Alternative Methods to Washing Vans in the Washer

Although you can put the best sneakers for men in the washer, the manufacturer doesn’t advise it. It is mainly because washing your vans in a machine may easily cause damage or even cause the shoes to shrink. If you need to deep clean your vans quickly we recommend you wash them by hand as there are a few additional cleaning options for some delicate materials.

Here are instructions for hand washing your leather or suede vans.

Keeping White Leather Vans Shoes Clean

Cleanning white leather vans

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Vans made of leather should mainly be cleaned by hand. In no case should you wash these sneakers in a washer! Instead, you can employ either of the following strategies.

Baking Soda

  1. Combine two portions of water and one portion of baking soda to make a paste.
  2. Gently scrape away filth with a cloth and your solution. Give soiled or scratched areas greater attention.
  3. Keep going until the shoes turn white once again.
  4. Place the shoes in a warm area away from direct sunshine and stuff them with paper or a towel to air dry.
  5. Apply a leather conditioner to your shoes once they have dried to prevent more stains.


  1. Vans, in particular for their leather shoes, suggests following these recommendations.
  2. Gently scrape any surface-level filth and grime using a soft brush.
  3. Use a soft-bristled scrubbing brush and Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel to clean the shoes.
  4. Spray the shoes with a leather conditioner or water-proofing agent. Wait until the shoes are dry if the product specifies that you follow this step after the shoes have dried.
  5. Insert paper or towels into the shoes. Dry by air in a warm area out of the sun.

Cleaning White Suede Vans Shoes

Cleanning White Sued Vans Shoes

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Following what you have in the cabinet, we also have two suggestions for cleaning suede vans shoes.

Suede Cleaner

  1. Scrub the shoes’ tops, bottoms, and sides using a suede brush to eliminate any surface-level debris.
  2. Use an old toothbrush and a bit of suede cleanser to scrub the shoes gently. Put more effort into the stained spots.
  3. Using an old toothbrush and warm, soapy water, clean the white rubber strip and bottom.
  4. Place the shoes in a warm area out of direct sunshine and stuff them with paper or towels to air dry naturally.

White Vinegar

  1. Use a magic eraser to scrub spots.
  2. Gently massage soiled, or discolored areas with a clean, soft cloth dipped in white vinegar.
  3. Keep going until the shoes are spotless.
  4. Place the shoes in a warm area out of direct sunshine and stuff them with paper or towels to allow them to air dry.
  5. After completely drying the shoes, rub the outsides with a suede brush. It will restore the smooth texture of the suede.

The Best Way to Clean Canvas Vans Shoes

Cleaning vans shoes

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  1. Take off the insoles and shoelaces from your vans’ canvas shoes, and wash each individually in warm, soapy water.
  2. Dust the canvas sneakers using a piece of cloth or a synthetic brush.
  3. Use your chosen stain remover instead of mixing water and vinegar if the shoes have very difficult stains. Before cleaning the shoes, soak them for approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the shoes with a synthetic brush or a cloth to remove any remaining stains.
  5. Thoroughly rinse them under cold water to remove loose dirt and debris.
  6. Newspapers can assist canvas shoes in maintaining their form while drying.

To Sum Up

Can vans’ shoes be washed in a washer? Having addressed the query, we advise against washing them in the machine because of their vans’ fabric. They are unquestionably constructed of high-quality materials; however, the delicate cloth degrades after machine drying.

The option we’ve urged above is the handwashing technique, which is generally preferable to maintain your lifestyle shoes in good condition and ensure they retain their design and brilliant shine. In this manner, they may be completely free of greasy marks or filthy dust particles.

But still, can vans’ shoes go in the washing machine? We propose you choose your choice afterward, once we have helped you with both cleaning techniques.

Make sure your wonderful pair of sneakers is always fresh and clean by cleaning your vans correctly now that you know how best!

Frequently Asked Questions on Whether You Can Put Vans Shoes in the Washer

a) Why do my shoes turn yellow when I use bleach?

Stained vans shoes

The opposite effect occurs when bleach is applied for an excessive amount of time or when the mixture is improperly diluted. After removing the surface dirt, your shoes ended up with yellow stains.

It might be challenging to remove these yellow stains. To reduce the yellow, if this occurs, you’ll need to soak them in a different solution;

  • Laundry detergent and white vinegar
  • Scrub with hot water and salt.
  • Cream of Tartar.

It’s best to stay away from bleach in the first place, even if you want to learn how to clean vans with it. Because of this, you may do the above procedures using a different solution that won’t make our vans yellow.

These are some options for use:

  • Lemon juice
  • Acetone or rubbing alcohol

Instead of using bleach, fill the cup with one of the following and clean your vans with a soft-bristled brush.

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jacky chou


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