I am looking for the best possible way to wash my Rubber VANS shoes. I know that some rubber shoes can have a decrease in color after attempting to wash them. I am looking for a proper way to wash the shoes while maintaining their quality during the wash.

  • I'm not really a shoe-cleaning expert. But I'd suppose the kind of rubber (material) defines what you can clean it with. So what are your rubber shoes made of?
    – Alex
    Sep 10, 2015 at 13:48
  • Welcome to Lifehacks SE. This question is kinda confusing and low quality. Could you please edit to clarify more what you are looking for and what hasn't worked?
    – michaelpri
    Sep 11, 2015 at 2:34
  • I have my VANS here
    – rjps12
    Sep 11, 2015 at 9:07
  • Rids, did my post provide useful information or answer your question? If it did, please mark it or add a comment, thanks!
    – Hector
    Sep 15, 2015 at 13:02
  • 1
    Why not to follow the cleaning instructions from the maker
    – vladiz
    Mar 4, 2016 at 10:08

6 Answers 6


I suggest you the following steps:

  1. Use this type cotton waste:

cotton waste

  1. Dip it in non edible vegetable oil.Most preferably use coconut oil.

  2. Rub it on your shoes rubber surface and thus try removing dirt.

  3. After everything, try to dry shoe under sun.

This works as oil absorbs dirt and cotton collects them with the help of oil.Thus you get your shoes old shining back.


I have used fingernail polish remover (acetone) and a tooth brush to clean the rubber part of my Chuck Taylor's and it has worked like a charm. I suggest you try soaking a rag in fingernail polish remover and rubbing it over the rubber parts of your shoes and follow it up with a tooth brush or other small brush.


First and for most, you can use soapy water and sponge. Rub the sponge until its clean and you can dry it with a rag. This method cleans most of the material.

Second is, if you want to achieve bright white color, put some toothpaste on the rubber soles and sides, and rub it with an old toothbrush. This should help you achieve a new look with bright white color.

If the body of the shoes are cotton and the soles are rubber, you can make some soapy luke warm water and soak your shoes for a while. After that, you can just wash your shoes under cold water. For the rubber parts, you can use the above methods.

Beware that, if you have writings on the rubber parts, they might fade away (they even fade away from regular use).

I and my mom have tried above methods with most of our casual (non-leather) shoes, and it works wonders.


Beware of your water sources calcium density. Highly chlorinated water fade materials kinda like bleach. So use a water softener and a hose


You will need:

  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A small dish
  • An old toothbrush
  • Dirty Converse shoes

Get a small container, and add some baking soda. Now, add a tiny bit of water. If it's not enough of a paste, add a little more. Now, get your toothbrush, and apply a pea sized amount of the paste on it. Now, scrub it in! If you get some on the shoe part, it can be wiped off. After you scrub it in and get all of the dirt off, wipe it off really well with a paper towel. (You can use a napkin, a regular towel, anything to wipe it off.


For spot cleaning I use Greased Lightning.

enter image description here



Just spray Greased Lightning directly to your shoe’s soiled area and wipe clean. For set-in stains, scrub with a well-bristled brush and toss into the washer. Test in an inconspicuous area first."

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