How to Clean Canvas Shoes – Easy Cleaning Tips

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Wondering what to wear for an impromptu brunch with your friends? Your canvas sneakers are there for you. Planning to go for a shopping spree? Head over to your canvas shoes. In short, your canvas shoes will always be your go-to buddy for any occasion. 

Canvas shoes are a popular and affordable option for footwear, but they can be difficult to clean. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to clean your canvas shoes so that they look their best.

Cleaning your canvas shoes isn’t as tiring as it sounds. It has become an integral part of our wardrobes regardless of age, and gender, and they need some pampering as well.


Know Your Canvas Shoe

Before simply rushing to clean them, take a thorough look at your canvas shoes and note down the type of canvas used, sole material, laces, etc.

Machine-Washing Versus Hand-Washing canvas shoes

If your canvas shoes are machine-washable, follow the care instructions on the tag. Generally, you’ll want to use a gentle cycle with cold water and air dry them afterward.

How Often to Clean Canvas Shoes

You should clean your canvas shoes every few weeks, or as needed. If you wear them frequently, you may need to clean them more often. If they start to look dirty or feel stiff, it’s time for a cleaning.

What you Need:

To make your dirty shoes look brand new, there are certain things you need to grab beforehand:

  • A small tub or a bowl
  • Mild detergent or baby shampoo
  • A toothbrush (other than the one you use to clean your teeth duh)
  • A piece of towel 
  • Warm water
  • Newspaper or paper sheets
  • Nylon scrubber brush

Steps to Clean Canvas Shoes

Cleaning your canvas shoes is easy with these methods. Of course, not as easy as it would be if you could toss them in the washing machine. were you just thinking of doing that? Don’t! Although your sneakers are made up of fabric, you can’t wash them like you’d wash your laundry in a washing machine.

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You will have to do some manual labor for this. Here is your step to step guide for a happy and easy cleaning of your beloved shoes!

Step 1. Remove Laces & Insoles First

If your canvas sneakers have laces, don’t forget to untie and remove them first. If you fail to do this, chances are there that they might get entangled with each other and create a mess during later stages of cleaning. Also, remove the insoles if any.

Step 2. Shake It Off

Shake off the dry dirt and debris from your shoes to get them ready for a bathing session. Prepare the soap solution.

Put one or two teaspoons of mild laundry detergent or a few drops of baby shampoo into the tub filled with water. Rinse the solution until it starts to lather and make bubbles.

Step 3. Use Scrubber to Clean the Sole

Pour some soap solution on the nylon scrubber and rub the sole of your shoes vigorously. In the case of a leather sole, be extra careful and wash using minimum water or moisture in general.

Step 4. Use a Towel to Clean

Dip the cloth in soap solution and let it absorb the solution. Rub it all over the surface (upper side) of your shoes. Be careful in the case of the designed ones. They should be spot cleaned with a damp cloth applying low pressure.

Remember not to submerge the whole shoe in the water.

Step 5. Remove the Soap Solution

In this completion step, use a clean piece of towel soaked with some freshwater to clear off the soapy surface and sole. 

Step 6. Let Them Air Dry

At last, fill the inner part of your shoes with crushed newspaper or paper sheets to maintain their shape, then put them out to air dry.

While you’re busy washing your canvas shoes, keep its laces soaked in soapy water and try manually agitating them a little bit. After rinsing them under clean water, put them to dry in the air. 

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Alternate Method to Clean Canvas Shoes (without soap)

Here’s another quick way to make your canvas shoes look as good as new. This one is for all you lazy heads out there! This method is especially recommended for white canvas sneakers. Nevertheless, you can use it on others as well:

1. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda, vinegar, and warm water each. Blend them using a toothbrush until it becomes a paste-like texture. Apply it to the upper surface of your white sneakers and let them dry for some time.

2. After drying, bang the shoes against each other so that the hardened mixture falls off. Remove the rest with the toothbrush.

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Things to Keep in Mind While Cleaning Canvas Shoes

1. Never submerge your shoes in water.

2. Don’t use harsh cleaners to clean canvas shoes.

3. Be sure to use a gentle soap and brush when cleaning your canvas shoes. You don’t want to damage the material.

4. If your shoes are white, you may want to use a little bit of bleach in the water to help remove any tough stains.

5. Never put canvas shoes in the dryer. The heat can damage the material.

6. Don’t apply too much pressure while scrubbing.

What Makes Canvas Shoes Dirty?

It takes something as simple as a polluted and dusty environment to get these shoes dirty. The rainy season is a curse for our canvas sneakers, especially the white ones. Muddy water puddles are just waiting around to ruin their look!

Once everything is done, put the insoles and laces back into your canvas shoes, and you’re ready to show off your kicks in your Instagram pictures like one of those proactive influencers! 

Written by Pulkit D

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