Can You Wash Slip On Vans In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Slip On Vans In The Washing Machine

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Washing slip-on Vans in a washing machine is not recommended by the official Vans website. While some people do wash their Vans in the washing machine at their own risk, the company strongly believes that the material and shape of the shoes can be damaged, even if they are placed in a shoe bag or pillowcase.

Slip-on Vans have become a classic and fashionable choice for footwear. They are comfortable, easy to wear, and perfect for casual outings. However, with regular use, they can get dirty and develop unpleasant odors. This often leads to the question: Can you wash slip-on Vans in the washing machine?

In this article, we’ll provide you with a clear and concise guide on how to clean your slip-on Vans effectively while addressing the dos, don’ts, and alternative methods to maintain the quality and longevity of your favorite footwear.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Slip On Vans In The Washing Machine


  • Remove Insoles and Laces: Before tossing your slip-on Vans into the washing machine, take out the insoles and laces. This will prevent them from getting tangled or damaged during the wash.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: If you decide to go ahead with machine washing, choose the gentle cycle with cold water. This minimizes the risk of damaging the fabric and colors.
  • Protect Sensitive Areas: For slip-ons with sensitive areas like leather or suede, consider using a laundry bag or pillowcase to protect these parts from abrasion during the wash.
  • Mild Detergent: Use a mild detergent to clean your slip-on Vans. Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric and adhesives.
  • Air Dry: After the wash, resist the urge to throw your Vans into the dryer. Instead, let them air dry naturally. Placing them in direct sunlight can also help eliminate odors.


  • Skip Pre-Treatment: Don’t ignore stains and dirt spots. Pre-treat them with a gentle stain remover or a mixture of water and baking soda before washing.
  • Hot Water or Aggressive Cycles: Avoid using hot water or aggressive washing cycles as they can cause the glue to weaken and the fabric to shrink or fade.
  • Bleach or Strong Chemicals: Never use bleach or strong chemicals to clean your slip-on Vans. These can cause irreparable damage to the fabric and color.
  • Dryer Usage: Never use a dryer, direct heat, or a radiator to dry your slip-on Vans. Excessive heat can warp the shape and cause the glue to deteriorate.
  • Frequent Machine Washing: It’s not advisable to machine wash your Vans frequently. This can accelerate wear and tear. Reserve machine washing for when it’s absolutely necessary.

Steps To Wash Slip On Vans In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Prepare Your Vans: Remove the insoles and laces from your slip-on Vans.

Step 2

Pre-Treatment: Inspect your Vans for stains and dirt spots. If you find any, gently pre-treat them with a stain remover or a mixture of water and baking soda. Allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Step 3

Load Your Vans: Place your slip-on Vans in a pillowcase or laundry bag to protect sensitive areas.

Step 4

Select the Right Cycle: Choose a gentle cycle with cold water on your washing machine.

Step 5

Add Detergent: Use a mild detergent. Avoid using bleach or strong chemicals.

Step 6

Wash: Start the washing machine and let it complete the cycle.

Step 7

Air Dry: After washing, take your Vans out of the machine, reshape them if necessary, and let them air dry naturally. Avoid direct sunlight, radiators, or dryers.

Alternative Washing Methods For Slip On Vans:

While machine washing is an option, there are alternative methods to clean your slip-on Vans, especially if you’re concerned about potential damage to the shoes:

  • Hand Washing: Fill a basin with cold water and add a mild detergent. Gently scrub your Vans with a soft brush or cloth. Rinse thoroughly and air dry.
  • Spot Cleaning: For minor stains or dirt, spot cleaning with a mixture of water and mild detergent is effective. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the affected areas.
  • Shoe Cleaning Kits: Consider investing in a shoe cleaning kit designed for canvas or fabric shoes. These kits typically include specialized cleaning solutions and brushes to keep your slip-on Vans looking fresh.
  • Odor Control: To combat odors, sprinkle baking soda inside your Vans after wearing them. Shake out the excess before wearing them again.
  • Professional Cleaning: If your slip-on Vans have particularly stubborn stains or require a thorough cleaning, consider taking them to a professional cleaner who specializes in shoe care.


Can I use a washing machine to clean slip-on Vans made of leather or suede?

Answer: It’s not recommended to use a washing machine for leather or suede slip-on Vans, as the machine can damage these delicate materials. Instead, opt for spot cleaning or professional cleaning methods.

How often should I clean my slip-on Vans?

Answer: The frequency of cleaning depends on your usage and how dirty they get. It’s best to clean them when they visibly need it rather than on a strict schedule to avoid unnecessary wear.

Can I use regular laundry detergent to clean my slip-on Vans?

Answer: Yes, you can use a mild, regular laundry detergent to clean your slip-on Vans. Just make sure not to use too much, as excess detergent can be difficult to rinse out.

Can I speed up the drying process of my Vans after cleaning?

Answer: While it’s best to air dry your slip-on Vans, you can place them in front of a fan to help expedite the drying process. Avoid using direct heat sources like hairdryers or radiators, as they can damage the shoes.

How can I prevent my slip-on Vans from getting dirty in the first place?

Answer: To prevent dirt and stains, be mindful of where you wear your slip-on Vans. Avoid muddy or excessively dirty areas. Additionally, applying a fabric protector can help repel stains and liquids.

Final Words:

Cleaning your slip-on Vans can rejuvenate their appearance and extend their lifespan. While it is possible to wash them in a washing machine, it’s crucial to follow the dos and don’ts mentioned here to avoid damaging your beloved shoes.

Consider alternative cleaning methods for delicate materials like leather or suede, and always air dry your Vans to preserve their shape and adhesive integrity. With proper care, your slip-on Vans can continue to be a stylish and comfortable choice for your footwear collection.

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