Wash Vans shoes by brushing off dirt, removing the shoelaces, washing them with Woolite or another mild detergent, and letting them air dry. The Vans company warns wearers not to wash Vans shoes in a washing machine because doing so may destroy the shoes. Vans shoes should also not be dried in a dryer since this can shrink them.
Begin cleaning Vans shoes by brushing off any excess dirt. Let any mud dry before trying to clean the shoes. If there are stains, use a commercial stain remover as soon as possible. Coat a toothbrush with stain remover and use it to scrub out stains. Take out the shoelaces and wash them separately, or replace them. Wash the shoes in a sink of warm water with some mild detergent.
After washing the shoes, let them dry outside. Don't leave colorful Vans shoes in full sunlight, however, as the dye may fade. Stuff the shoes with damp paper towels to help them keep their shape.
White Vans shoes pose special difficulties when it comes to cleaning. If bleach is used on them, the white canvas can turn yellow. In addition if the glue holding the sole to the shoe melts and spreads, yellowing can also result. Try soaking the shoes in a solution of baking soda dissolved in warm water for 10 minutes before scrubbing them.