The stress of white shoes 

There’s no feeling quite like the one of seeing your favorite tennis shoes get stained. They might be a victim of a rogue pizza piece, a ketchup-flinging french fry, a splash of salad dressing, or even simply routine wear and tear. While I wish I could wave a magical shoelace and bring back all your kicks to their initial out-of-the-box magnificence, I just don’t quite have that power.

Rocking a brand-new pair of white Vans is a wonderful experience. But, like many white clothing items, wearing them around comes with the constant fear that they’ll get dirty at any given moment. 

White Vans shoes look trendy, but they also stain easily. Fortunately, you can easily clean your white Vans at home with items you can find around your house.

how to clean your white Vans

White shoes of all kinds need to be cared for.

Vans make a range of mostly white-soled canvas skate-shoes, which look best when they look fresh and clean. If you wish to get your Vans looking new again, you can learn a couple of quick tips to clean them up, bleach the whites, and do deeper cleaning every once in a while to get the most life out of your shoes.

So let’s talk about how to clean your white Vans or white shoes of just about any make. 

Preventative care

If at all possible, taking preventative measures to keep your brand new shoes safe and clean is much easier than fixing stains. Unfortunately, not everyone has the foresight to protect their shoes before problems arise. 

If you do have a brand new pair you’re looking to protect, there are a few things you can do that will make cleaning easier in the future. 

Prior to your very first wear and after every cleaning, spray your Vans with a water and stain repellant spray to help them stay clean longer. You can easily find these kinds of sprays in just about any shoe store or on any number of online retail sites. 

Feel free to read reviews to determine which product would be best suited to your shoes and your lifestyle. 

For example, if you’re only ever going to wear your shoes indoors and on sidewalks and paved surfaces, you probably won’t need a heavy-duty protection spray. 

But if you’ve already gotten your shoes dirty and you need to get them looking good again, read on for home remedies and cleaning solutions. 

Home fixes

There’s no genuine trick to cleaning your white Vans. It just takes a small bit of perseverance and the proper materials. 

First, assemble your tools: a cup of water, a toothbrush, a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and some dishwashing soap. 

Seriously, that’s it. You do not need to go overboard here. 

Remove the laces (if your shoes have them) and clean them independently in a mix of moderate soap and warm water.

Wet the magic eraser and wipe away any stains on the sole, or on any of the more difficult locations of the shoe (leather, rubber, plastic, etc).

how to clean your white Vans

Simple dishwashing soap can make a huge difference.

Now, for the rest of your shoe, splash a little of the dishwashing soap in the water, and blend it all up. It needs to just still be clear, simply sudsy. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and gradually rub it across any tough spots. A little effort will help here, so don’t be worried about scrubbing too hard.

Of course, hand-washing isn’t the only way to clean your white Vans. 

If you’re short on time (or do not have the persistence for Do It Yourself remedies), you can place your white Vans in a mesh bag for delicates and run them through a gentle, warm-water cycle in the washing machine. 

If your shoes have removable insoles (Dr. Scholl’s etc.), make sure you remove these from your Vans before moving forward with the cleaning. Otherwise, your shoes will take much, much longer to dry. 

Make certain to wash them alone and add 1/4 cup of detergent. 

As soon as the wash cycle finishes, let them air-dry.

Professional options 

If you’ve been using these methods to get stains out of your white Vans and they haven’t been working for you, then it may be time to explore some professional cleaning options. 

Your best bet for a local solution is to visit or call a nearby dry-cleaning and tailoring shop. Many of these local businesses offer cleaning services for many different types of clothing items. 

Simply ask them whether they offer a shoe cleaning service. If the answer is yes, you can set up a time to drop them off and work out how much the service will cost you. 

Just remember that these shops often have a lot of work to do outside of your order, so you might have to wait a few days until they’re finished, making this a bad option if you need your shoes for a special event ASAP.

There are also a few online services that specialize in cleaning shoes and other delicate clothing items. While some of these services are highly reliable, keep in mind that you’ll most likely be spending more money to get your shoes cleaned and it will probably take much longer to get your Vans back. 

Alternative shoe options 

While Vans have a lasting style that has remained popular for decades, especially among the skateboarding community, it’s no wonder that so many people buy them and want to keep them clean. 

how to clean your white Vans

However, if your lifestyle puts your shoes in danger of getting stained on a regular basis, then you may want to think about other shoes you can buy that will be more resistant to stains. 

If you spend a lot of time outdoors or like to go hiking, then you should consider buying some boots or adventure tennis shoes that have a better grip and are designed to handle different types of weather conditions. 

If you’re mostly spending your time in urban environments, then Allbirds might be a more practical choice for you. While relatively expensive, Allbirds have the advantage of being constructed almost entirely of a wool blend, which is highly breathable and can be machine-washed with ease. 

You can also speak to a sales associate at a shoe store of your choice about which shoes and shoe types look great while also being resistant to stains and marks.