Can You Put Vans in the Washing Machine?

Vans in the Washing Machine

If you are like millions of people around the globe, you probably love your Vans shoes and maybe even have more than just one pair. This popular brand designs and manufactures a wide variety of options, from comfortable sneakers that you can use at the skate park to leather shoes that would be right at home in most laid-back office environments. These shoes have some of the best insoles to keep your feet comfortable.

Since these shoes are so comfortable and quite popular, most people who own a pair tend to put them through a lot of use. This means that they can often get quite dirty and scuffed without the proper care.

Like most other shoes made of different materials such as canvas and suede, you need to wash your pair of Vans as often as necessary. The question is, however, can you put vans in the washing machine? If so, how do you go about it?

Can Vans Be Machine Washed?

The simple answer is, yes, you can put your Vans in the washing machine. It is, however, not the most advisable of cleaning methods for these wonderful shoes. Now, let’s take a quick look at how you can machine-wash your Vans and what else you should do to keep them clean.

Tips on How to Machine-Wash Your Vans

Note: If you are going to put your Vans in the washer, make sure that you only do so with the canvas variety. If you own a suede Vans, you will need to use a different approach since suede is rather delicate and can easily get ruined by machine washing.

That being said, here are some tips on how to wash your Vans in the washing machine:

  • Only use a gentle and mild detergent and clean water; avoid using any harsh chemicals
  • Don’t use too much laundry detergent. In fact, only use about half of what you would typically use for a full load
  • The mild detergent you use should be bleach-free if you have a colored pair of Vans. You can, however, use bleach on all white Vans
  • Start by taking the laces off the shoes
  • Put the shoes in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag and tie it shut
  • Add a couple of towels to the load and make sure that the machine is set to the lowest warm water setting possible. The idea here is to make sure that the shoes don’t bang around too much as they tumble within the washer. Always use the gentle cycle
  • Once the washer has gone through the entire gentle cycle and your shoes are clean, you need to air dry them instead of using the dryer. While the dryer will definitely be a much faster option, there’s a good chance that the heat will damage the material of your shoes
  • Use some packing materials or crumpled up newspapers to help maintain the shape of the shoes as you dry them

What You Need to Do After Washing Your Vans

It should be noted that putting your Vans in the washing machine isn’t exactly the best way to wash your shoes. Granted, it’s a much faster and easier method, but it also puts your shoes at great risk of damage over time. However, if you are keen on putting your Vans in the washing machine, here are some tips on what you need to do after you have washed them:

  • Don’t put your Vans in direct sunlight, especially if they are colored or checkered Vans. Drying them in direct sunlight will eventually make those colors dull and faded.
  • Don’t machine wash your Vans after every wear. The idea here is to try and minimize the number of times your Vans go into the washing machine to help them maintain their shape and color. You can simply wipe or dust loose dirt off your shoes if they need some sprucing up. Only wash them when they are really dirty.

How to Wash Your Vans Without the Washing Machine

It should be noted that while you can put your Vans in the washing machine, the manufacturer doesn’t recommend it at all. That’s mostly because machine washing your Vans can easily damage or even shrink the shoes. Instead, you can hand-wash your Vans whenever you need to give them a quick cleaning. In fact, for some materials such as suede, there isn’t really any other cleaning option.

Here are some tips on how to clean your suede or leather Vans.

People wearing vans
Source: Pixabay

Cleaning Your Suede Vans

  • Dust off the loose dirt using a soft brush or clean piece of cloth
  • Use a concoction of white vinegar and water (equal parts) if you want to give your shoes a quick cleaning
  • Using the same piece of cloth, dampen it in the water and white vinegar concoction and use it to wipe the shoes. This will help clean it as well as remove any stubborn stains
  • If, however, you want to deep clean the shoes, you can use an old toothbrush as well as the dampened cloth
  • Air-dry the shoes

Cleaning Your Leather Vans

  • Use a shoe brush to get rid of the dust from the shoe surface
  • Get your preferred polish or gel, and apply it to the surface of your shoes with a synthetic brush
  • You can use an old toothbrush and some water-vinegar concoction if you want to clean the stitching before brushing the shoes with the polish or gel
  • Air dry the shoes and store them in a safe place

Cleaning Your Canvas Vans

  • Remove the shoelaces and insoles of your canvas shoes and wash them separately using warm soapy water
  • Dust off the canvas shoes using a piece of cloth or a synthetic brush
  • If the shoes have stubborn stains, you can use your preferred stain remover instead of the water and vinegar combination. Soak the shoes for about 15 minutes before washing them
  • Using either a piece of cloth or synthetic brush, clean the shoes to make sure that there are no more stains or loose dirt on them
  • Rinse them thoroughly in clean water (use cold water)
  • Air dry everything
  • You can use newspapers to help the canvas shoes keep their shape while they dry

As you can tell, washing your Vans isn’t that complicated a process. You just need to be careful not to ruin their color or shape. The tips highlighted above should help you keep your shoes clean and well-maintained.

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