How to clean your white Vans shoes like a pro

by Maria Konou

The classic white Vans are iconic. They are a staple in almost every wardrobe. But, there is a reason why everyone wonders how to clean white Vans shoes all the time- they get dirty so easily! If you have white shoes, you probably know the struggle. You clean them thoroughly, and before you had the chance to blink they are dirty again. And, let’s be honest, no one enjoys dirty white Vans. That is probably why you are here looking for the easiest and ultimately the best way to clean your white Vans shoes. Don’t fear, in this article we have prepared a couple of different methods for you to try.

The well-known all-white Vans shoes in their full glory

all white clean vans shoes

Classic white Vans combo- blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black jacket

girl wearing outfit with white vans shoes

1. How to get yellow stains out of white shoes

All white Vans are probably the easiest shoes to stain. If you are trying to get a yellow stain out and make your shoes pearly white once again, keep reading.

What you will need:

  • bleach (or a bleach pen for easier use)
  • water
  • dishwashing liquid
  • a cloth
  • gloves


  1. If you are working with a bleach pen just use it to spot treat the small stains on your Vans shoes. If you don’t have a pen, however, and you will be using bleach, make sure the bleach and dishwashing liquid do not contain chlorine and ammonia. These two should not be mixed!
  2. Dilute some bleach with water and some dishwashing liquid. Remember to always wear gloves when working with bleach.
  3. Soak a soft cloth in the liquid.
  4. Start scrubbing the dirty spots on your white Vans.
  5. And voilà, your shoes are clean once again just like that.


Make sure to always wear rubber gloves when working with bleach

using bleach to clean white vans shoes


2. How to wash white Vans in the washer

This cleaning method is not the kindest to the shoes, but sometimes you are tight on the time and your white Vans’ are extremely dirty. Remember that leather shoes don’t go in the washing machine. Like ever! Also, never think about putting any type of shoes in the dryer! But, if your Vans happen to be the canvas ones, then you are free to give it a chance.

What you will need:

  • a washing machine (of course!)
  • washing liquid
  • a mesh bag or two


  1. Put your shoes into one or two mesh bags to help them keep their original shape.
  2. Add some dirty laundry like towels or bath mats to help balance and buffer the load.
  3. Start your washing cycle, preferably using a more delicate setting with a low or moderate spin speed.
  4. After your washer is done, take out the shoes. Stuff the shoes with some towels to absorb the moisture, and help them hold their shape while air-drying.
  5. You are done! Time for a celebratory dance.


Mesh bags help protect the shape of your shoes while washing  

woman putting mesh with white sneakers into washing machine, closeup


3.  How to wash your white Vans with baking soda

Ever wondered how to clean white sneakers with baking soda? It is actually quite easy. Baking soda is undoubtedly a superhero when it comes to cleaning things. Just read online about its million great uses. What’s even better is that it is a natural product, so no harsh chemicals are involved. Baking soda is a wonderful natural cleaning solution that will leavyour dirty Vans shoes looking very white and squeaky clean.

What you will need:

  • baking soda
  • warm water
  • a toothbrush


  1.  First, take some baking soda and mix it with the warm water until it forms a thick paste. There are no specific measurements that you should follow.
  2. Then take the toothbrush and rub the thick mixture on your shoes. Don’t rub too harshly because you might damage the quality of your Vans shoes.
  3. After you are done cleaning, gently rinse your shoes with water.
  4.  Lastly, leave your shoes to air-dry. Remember to stuff them with some towels to help them hold their original shape.
  5. You are done! It wasn’t that complicated, was it?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a magical compound and a must-have for every household

how to clean white sneakers with baking soda


4. How to clean your white shoes with toothpaste

You might have never guessed that toothpaste is actually a very effective homemade shoe cleaner. You do not want to color your all-white Vans shoes blue or red, so make sure you are using plain white toothpaste.

What you will need:

  • plain white toothpaste
  • a toothbrush


  1. First, apply the toothpaste to the stains on your shoes.
  2. Then use the toothbrush to scrub the shoes in circular motions.
  3. After scrubbing, leave the toothpaste on the shoes for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Lastly, wipe away the toothpaste and wash your shoes if needed. Don’t forget to fill them and let them dry naturally.
  5. Done!

The whitening and bleaching ingredient found in toothpaste is actually hydrogen peroxide

can you use toothpaste to clean white vans

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put bleach on white Vans?

Yes! As we discussed in our first cleaning method above, using bleach on white Vans shoes is totally okay. However, make sure to dilute it with water, so it isn’t as strong.

Can you clean white shoes with dish soap?

Yes, you can! First, mix a few drops of dish soap with some warm water. Then use a brush to clean your white Vans with the soapy water solution. Finally, make sure to stuff the shoes with some towels and let them air-dry.

Can you clean white vans with baby powder?

Yes! Take some baby powder and mix it with warm water. You want to form a thick paste. After that, use a brush to scrub your shoes with the paste. Lastly, rinse the shoes thoroughly and let them air-dry.

Can rubbing alcohol clean white shoes?

Yes! Moreover, rubbing alcohol is especially useful for removing anything greasy or sticky from your shoes. Dip a cotton ball in some rubbing alcohol and scrub the stains. Finally, wash your shoes with cold water and leave them to dry naturally.

How your shoes should never look vs how they can be transformed using the methods mentioned above

how to clean white vans shoes without bleach


You can see that there are a lot of ways to transform your dirty Vans shoes into the pearly-white sneakers you once knew. Maintaining your white Vans shoes fresh and clean at all times takes no longer than 5 minutes and 2 ingredients. Moreover, you already have most of those ingredients in your house, so there should be no excuses. And lastly, nothing beats a cool outfit paired with the iconic all-white Vans.

Take a look at people rocking stylish outfits and their pair of white Vans:

An all-white summer look to make your tan pop

girl styling white vans shoes with white dress

You can never go wrong with a full denim look and a pair of low Vans 

woman outside wearing white vans shoes

Match your Vans high-tops with colorful socks for an interesting look

girl wearing all white vans shoes outfit

For a more feminine look, dress up the classical model with a silk dress

styling white vans shoes with silk dress

A super funky and colorful styling paired with low Vans

emily ratajkowski is pictured out and about in new york city.

A chic and feminine look paired with an all-white Vans model

exclusive: model kaia gerber goes for coffee and spent 7 hours in the hair salon

A white tennis skirt, frilly white socks, and Vans high-tops

girl with white vans high tops and white tennis skirt

Maria Konou

Maria Konou is a specialist in the field of digital marketing and fashion. However, she has always had a way with words. That’s what led her to her dream job here at Archzine. She has worked in many different fields over the years, but according to her, being an author has been the most rewarding. Maria is a huge plant enthusiast, loves everything fashion-related, is very sustainably aware, and is always open to learning about new things.