How To Clean Vans Shoelaces

I think one of the most iconic parts of a pair of Vans shoes are the bold, white, flat shoelaces that the majority of Vans have. If your bright white laces are dirty, then your whole outfit can be thrown off. You do not want that.

Materials needed

You will need a few simple items to clean your Vans shoelaces. These are inexpensive and can usually be found at home.

  • Warm Water
  • Bowl
  • Soft-Medium Bristle Brush
  • Laundry Detergent

Remove your shoelaces

This may come as an obvious thing to most people, but you want to remove your shoelaces from the shoes before cleaning. Knock off any loose or dried dirt before you pull your laces through to prevent dirtying your shoes.

To really clean your laces you will need to get underneath, and where they loop through the eyelets. This is done best with the shoelaces completely uninstalled from the shoe.

Knocking off dirt

Much like cleaning actual shoes you need to make sure all of the big chunks of mud and dirt are knocked off the shoelaces. A good way too do this is to take a towel or something similar and run the laces through the towel while you hold it in your hand.

If you have a nozzle attachment on your sink you can blast the laces with warm water and a lot of the dirt will come off.

Soak the laces

For this step you are going to make a solution of laundry detergent and warm water. Mix the two at a 1:5 ratio in a small bowl. I like to use laundry detergents that are free and clear of dyes and perfumes, this should reduce the risk of any discoloration to your laces. If your shoe laces are super dirty then you can add a stain fighter to your mix.

Toss the laces into your concoction and give them a nice vigorous swirl as if they were in a washing machine. Next leave them to soak for 10 – 15 minutes, swirling them every 5 minutes. 


After the soaking phase you are ready to put your brush to work. Either stretch the lace out or hold it in your hand and start working the brush into the laces. 

You should see things start to foam up and stains start to disappear. You may consider a stiffer brush if stains are being tough. 

Repeating the whole process of soaking and scrubbing the laces is sometimes necessary if you have the dirtiest laces ever. 


After all of the soaking and scrubbing your laces will be all soapy and slimy so you will need to rinse all of that stuff off.

Rinse out the same bowl you used for the last step, this time fill with clean water and swirl the laces around in the water. Dump the dirty water and replace with clean water and repeat until there are no more soap suds.


Make sure your Vans laces are completely dry before you reinstall them back into the shoes. Leaving them in the sun or a warm place for a while should do the trick. 

If you choose to throw your laces into the dryer, make sure you use a small mesh zipper pouch. Dryers can shrink things so be careful.