Can You Put Vans in the Washer? If Yes How to Wash Them?

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Vans shoes have become an iconic staple in the world of footwear, known for their versatility, comfort, and timeless style. Whether you’re rocking a classic pair of Authentics or sporting the iconic checkerboard slip-ons, keeping your Vans clean is essential to maintaining their appeal.

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s inevitable that your beloved Vans will encounter dirt, stains, and general wear and tear. This begs the question: Can you put Vans in the washer? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of washing your Vans to help you keep them looking fresh and pristine for as long as possible.


Understanding Your Vans

Before diving into the washing process, it’s crucial to understand the materials that make up your Vans. Most Vans shoes are constructed from canvas, suede, leather, or a combination of these materials. Each material requires specific care to ensure optimal cleaning results without causing damage.

Canvas Vans

Canvas Vans, such as the classic Authentic and Era models, are among the easiest to clean. Canvas is a durable fabric that can withstand washing machine cycles without losing its shape or color. However, it’s essential to be cautious with any embellishments or glued-on details, as excessive agitation could cause them to detach.

Suede Vans

Suede Vans, like the Old Skool and Sk8-Hi variations, require extra care during cleaning. Unlike canvas, suede is more delicate and susceptible to damage from water and friction. Washing suede Vans in the machine is generally not recommended, as it can cause the material to warp, shrink, or lose its soft texture.

Leather Vans

Leather Vans, such as the Slip-On and Authentic DX models, also demand special attention when it comes to cleaning. Leather is a natural material that requires gentle cleaning methods to prevent drying out or cracking. While some leather Vans may tolerate machine washing on a delicate cycle, hand cleaning is often the safest approach for preserving their quality.


Dos and Don’ts of Washing Your Vans

Now that you understand the materials of your Vans, let’s explore the dos and don’ts of washing them to ensure optimal results:


  1. Remove laces and insoles: Before washing your Vans, remove the laces and insoles to ensure a thorough clean and prevent damage.
  2. Spot treat stains: For localized stains, use a mild detergent or specialized shoe cleaner and a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the affected areas.
  3. Use a gentle cycle: If machine washing canvas Vans, select a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent to prevent excessive wear and tear.
  4. Air dry: After washing, air dry your Vans in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat or sunlight. Stuff them with paper towels to help maintain their shape as they dry.
  5. Apply protectant (for suede and leather): After cleaning suede or leather Vans, apply a waterproof or stain-resistant protectant spray to enhance their durability and longevity.


  1. Avoid hot water: Hot water can cause colors to fade and materials to shrink or warp, so always opt for cold water when washing your Vans.
  2. Skip the dryer: Avoid using a dryer to speed up the drying process, as high heat can damage the materials and cause them to lose their shape.
  3. Say no to bleach: Bleach is too harsh for most shoe materials and can cause discoloration or weakening of the fabric, so steer clear of it when cleaning your Vans.
  4. Don’t use abrasive cleaners: Harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners can damage the surface of your Vans, so stick to gentle, shoe-specific cleaning products.
  5. Don’t overdo it: While it’s essential to keep your Vans clean, overwashing can contribute to premature wear and tear, so only wash them when necessary.



Can Vans be soaked in water?

While Vans are generally durable, soaking them in water isn’t recommended, especially for prolonged periods. Excessive water exposure can damage certain materials, like suede or leather, causing them to warp, lose shape, or develop mold. Canvas Vans may fare better but can still suffer from water damage if soaked for too long. It’s best to avoid submerging your Vans in water and instead opt for spot cleaning or gentle washing methods.


Can you put Vans in the dryer?

Putting Vans in the dryer is not advisable. High heat from the dryer can cause materials to shrink, warp, or lose their shape. This is especially true for canvas, suede, and leather Vans. Instead of the dryer, opt for air drying your Vans in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Stuff them with paper towels or a shoe tree to help them maintain their shape as they dry.


How to dry Vans fast?

To dry Vans quickly, follow these steps:

  1. Remove excess moisture: Use a clean cloth to gently blot away excess water from the surface of your Vans.
  2. Air dry: Place your Vans in a well-ventilated area with good air circulation. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources, as they can damage the materials.
  3. Use a fan: Position a fan near your Vans to help circulate air and speed up the drying process.
  4. Stuff with absorbent material: Stuff your Vans with paper towels or a shoe tree to help absorb moisture and maintain their shape as they dry.
  5. Change absorbent material: If using paper towels, replace them periodically as they become saturated to continue absorbing moisture effectively.


How to clean Vans white rubber?

Cleaning white rubber on Vans can be done using a few simple steps:

  1. Remove surface dirt: Use a soft-bristled brush or cloth to remove any loose dirt or debris from the white rubber.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: Mix a small amount of mild detergent or dish soap with warm water to create a cleaning solution.
  3. Scrub the rubber: Dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the white rubber areas of your Vans.
  4. Rinse thoroughly: Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe away any soap residue from the rubber.
  5. Air dry: Allow your Vans to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as they can cause the rubber to yellow or crack.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean the white rubber on your Vans and keep them looking fresh and bright.



Keeping your Vans clean is essential for preserving their appearance and extending their lifespan. While machine washing is suitable for canvas Vans, it’s crucial to follow the proper techniques and avoid harsh methods that could damage the materials. For suede and leather Vans, hand cleaning with specialized products is the safest approach. By following the dos and don’ts outlined in this guide, you can keep your Vans looking fresh and stylish for years to come, ensuring that they continue to be a timeless addition to your footwear collection.


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