Can You Wash White Vans In The Washing Machine?



Can You Wash White Vans In The Washing Machine

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No, it is not recommended to wash white Vans in the washing machine. The manufacturer advises against it, as even if you put them in a pillowcase or shoe bag, they can still get damaged.

White Vans, the embodiment of casual cool and classic style, often bear the marks of daily wear and adventure. While the convenience of tossing them into the washing machine might seem tempting, it’s essential to consider the intricacies of these iconic sneakers and the potential consequences of machine washing. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why washing white Vans in the machine is discouraged, delve into alternative cleaning methods, and offer insights to help you maintain the timeless charm of your beloved footwear.

The Case Against Machine Washing White Vans:

White Vans, known for their canvas exterior and versatile design, require a delicate touch to preserve their appearance and structure. Despite efforts to protect them by placing them in a pillowcase or shoe bag, the washing machine’s mechanical agitation and water pressure can still cause damage to the canvas, adhesive components, and stitching. The potential for color fading, distortion, and deterioration makes hand cleaning a more suitable option.

Dos and don’ts of When Washing White Vans


  • Regular Inspection: After each use, inspect your white Vans for dirt, scuffs, and stains. Prompt cleaning prevents these issues from becoming deeply ingrained.
  • Hand Cleaning: Opt for manual cleaning by hand to ensure gentle and precise care of your white Vans.
  • Use Mild Detergent: Create a mixture of mild laundry detergent and lukewarm water for cleaning. This helps maintain the integrity of the canvas material.
  • Gentle Brushing: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the canvas areas of the Vans. Gentle circular motions are effective in removing dirt without causing damage.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: After cleaning, rinse the Vans thoroughly with clean water to remove any detergent residue.
  • Air Dry Naturally: Allow the Vans to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.


  • Avoid Machine Washing: Refrain from using the washing machine for cleaning white Vans, even if placed in a pillowcase or shoe bag. The mechanical action and water pressure can lead to damage.
  • Say No to Harsh Cleaning Agents: Harsh detergents or chemicals can affect the color and structure of the canvas material.
  • Skip Professional Instructions: Disregarding care instructions provided by the manufacturer can lead to unintended damage or discoloration.

Alternative Cleaning Methods for White Vans

  1. Spot Cleaning with Vinegar Solution:
    • Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar to create a gentle cleaning solution.
    • Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and wring out excess liquid.
    • Gently blot the stained areas on your white Vans, using light pressure.
    • After blotting, use a clean damp cloth to wipe away any vinegar residue.
    • Allow the Vans to air dry naturally.
  2. Using Baking Soda Paste:
    • Create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water until it forms a thick consistency.
    • Apply the baking soda paste to stained or discolored areas on your Vans.
    • Gently scrub the paste using a soft brush or toothbrush, focusing on the stains.
    • Let the paste sit on the stains for about 15 minutes.
    • Wipe away the paste with a damp cloth and rinse the Vans with clean water.
    • Air dry the Vans in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Lemon Juice and Sunlight:
    • Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice with an equal amount of water.
    • Dip a cloth or sponge into the lemon juice solution and wring out excess liquid.
    • Gently blot the stained areas on your Vans.
    • Place the Vans in direct sunlight for a few hours. The natural bleaching properties of lemon juice combined with sunlight can help lighten stains.
    • Wipe away any lemon juice residue with a damp cloth and allow the Vans to air dry.
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide Solution:
    • Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water to create a mild cleaning solution.
    • Dip a cloth or sponge into the solution and gently blot the stained areas on your Vans.
    • Avoid excessive rubbing, as hydrogen peroxide can have a bleaching effect.
    • Wipe away the solution with a damp cloth and rinse the Vans with clean water.
    • Air dry the Vans in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Specialized Sneaker Cleaners:
    • Consider using specialized sneaker cleaning products that are designed to clean canvas materials without causing damage.
    • Follow the instructions on the product’s packaging for the best results.
    • Test the product on a small, inconspicuous area of your Vans before applying it to the entire shoe.

Remember that different cleaning methods may work better for different types of stains and levels of dirtiness. Always test any cleaning solution on a small, hidden area of your Vans to ensure that it doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage. Additionally, avoid excessive scrubbing or abrasive materials that can wear down the canvas and affect the appearance of your white Vans.

Final Words:

White Vans are more than just sneakers; they’re a symbol of effortless style. By avoiding machine washing and adopting alternative cleaning methods, you protect the canvas, structure, and iconic design of your white Vans. Hand cleaning, using suitable cleaning agents, and gentle brushing are the keys to maintaining their timeless appeal. Remember, a little care today ensures you’ll have fashionable footwear that stands the test of time.


Can I wash white Vans in the washing machine?

Answer: No, it’s not recommended to wash white Vans in the washing machine. Even if placed in a pillowcase or shoe bag, the machine’s mechanical action can cause damage.

Why should I avoid machine washing white Vans?

Answer: The mechanical agitation, water pressure, and potential color fading can compromise the integrity of the canvas and structure.

Can I use regular detergent for cleaning Vans?

Answer: Choose a mild laundry detergent suitable for delicate fabrics to avoid damaging the canvas material.

Are there specific cleaning instructions from the manufacturer for Vans?

Answer: Yes, manufacturers often provide guidelines for cleaning and maintaining Vans. Adhering to these instructions is important for proper care.

How often should I clean my white Vans?

Answer: Regularly inspect your Vans and clean them as needed. Prompt cleaning prevents dirt and stains from setting in and helps maintain their appearance.

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