How to Make Your Vans Shoes Look New

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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 colors, 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.


Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristle toothbrush

  • Sink or bucket

  • Water

  • Laundry detergent

  • Bleach (optional)

  • Suede cleaner

  • Sponge

  • Newspaper

  • Towel

  • Baking soda

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Step 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 laundry detergent 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.


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Step 2

Fill the sink or bucket with cold water. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of laundry detergent 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 re-fill the sink with cold water. Soak your Vans again to remove soap.


Step 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 laundry detergent into the sink or bucket. Add 1 tbsp. of bleach to clean white shoelaces only. Do not add bleach to clean colored shoelaces, as bleach will lighten and change the color of the laces.


Step 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 color.



Step 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.


Step 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.

Step 7

Pour baking soda into the interior of your Vans to deodorize 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.


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



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