how to clean canvas shoes

How to Clean Canvas Shoes

Let’s face it, our beloved canvas shoes are the unsung heroes of summer footwear.

Whether you’re hitting the beach or strolling through town, these lightweight and stylish shoes are the perfect go-to.

But, as much as we love them, it’s hard to keep them looking clean and fresh, right?

With dirt, stains and general wear and tear, our once-pristine canvas shoes can quickly turn into a hot mess.

So, we’re here to save the day with our ultimate guide to cleaning canvas shoes.

Whether you’re a first-time cleaner or a seasoned pro, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks to keep your favourite pair looking their best all season long.


Tools You May Need

woman holding cleaning materials

To get your canvas shoes looking fresh again, you’ll want to have a few key materials to hand. Here’s a few things you may want to grab:

  • A mild cleaning solution – Don’t go crazy with harsh chemicals! Stick to something gentle like mild laundry detergent or vinegar mixed with water to avoid damaging the fabric.
  • Soft-bristled brush – You’ll want a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush or shoe brush, to gently scrub away dirt and stains without ruining the shoe.
  • Clean cloths – Have a couple of clean, dry cloths on hand to help wipe away any dirt or moisture.
  • Stain remover – If you’re dealing with some seriously stubborn stains, you might need a specialised stain remover or cleaner made specifically for canvas shoes.
  • Water – You’ll definitely need water to wet your shoes and rinse away the dirt and cleaning solution.

The more of these materials you have, the better your chances of ridding your canvas shoes of those pesky marks!


Getting Things Ready

Before diving into cleaning your canvas shoes, it’s important to do a bit of prep work first.

Start by checking the label on your shoes for any specific care instructions. This will help you determine the best cleaning method to use without causing any damage or discolouration.

Next, remove the laces from your shoes to make the cleaning process easier.

Use a dry brush or cloth to wipe away any loose dirt or debris on the surface of the shoe. This will make it easier to focus on the tougher stains and dirt.

If you’re trying out a new cleaning solution, it’s always a good idea to test it on a small, somewhat hidden area of the shoe first to avoid any unwanted surprises.

You don’t want to accidentally discolour or damage the fabric!

Finally, protect your workspace by covering it with an old towel or cloth to avoid any spills or drips from the cleaning solution.

These steps will make cleaning your shoes much easier and less stressful.


Cleaning Methods

shoe cleaners

Now that you’ve prepped your canvas shoes, it’s time to get down to business and start cleaning them up.

There are a few different cleaning methods you can use, depending on how dirty your shoes are and what materials you have on hand.

Method 1: Laundry detergent and water

One simple method is to mix a small amount of mild laundry detergent or gentle soap with warm water in a bowl.

Dip a soft-bristled brush or sponge into the solution and gently scrub the shoe in circular motions, paying special attention to any stubborn stains.

Be sure to avoid getting the shoe too wet, as this can cause damage or discolouration.

Method 2: Vinegar and water

Another option is to mix equal parts water and vinegar to create a natural cleaning solution. This method is particularly effective for removing odours and mildew.

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and gently wipe down the shoe, then rinse with water and let them air dry.

Method 3: Specialised stain remover

For really stubborn stains or marks, you may need to use a specialised stain remover or cleaner designed for canvas shoes.

Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully and test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid any damage.

Once you’re done cleaning your shoes, rinse them thoroughly with clean water and allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area.


Drying and Caring for Your Shoes

black canvas shoes

Once you’ve finished cleaning your canvas shoes, it’s important to make sure they dry properly to avoid any damage or mould growth.

Here are some tips for drying and caring for your shoes:

Let them air dry

Instead of using a dryer or direct sunlight, it’s best to let your canvas shoes air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

This will help preserve the shape and texture of the shoes.

Stuff with newspaper

canvas shoes stuffed with newspaper

To help your shoes keep their shape while they dry, stuff them with newspaper.

This will also help absorb any excess moisture.

Avoid heat

Never dry your canvas shoes with a heater or hair dryer, as this can cause shrinkage or damage to the fabric.

Clean regularly

To keep your canvas shoes looking their best, it’s important to clean them regularly.

This will help prevent dirt and stains from building up and ensure they stay in good condition for longer.

Store properly

shoe organiser

When you’re not wearing your canvas shoes, it’s best to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Avoid leaving them in a damp or humid area, as this can lead to mould growth and odours.

By following these simple tips, you can help extend the life of your canvas shoes and keep them looking great for many summers to come!



canvas shoes on mud

Prevention is key to keeping your canvas shoes clean and in good condition.

Use a protective spray

One way to prevent dirt and stains from building up is to apply a protective spray before wearing your new canvas shoes. This spray can help repel water and stains, making cleaning easier later on.

Avoid wearing canvas shoes when it’s muddy

Another prevention tip is to be mindful of the weather.

If it’s rainy or muddy outside, it’s best to avoid wearing your canvas shoes altogether. Instead, opt for a pair of boots or shoes that are better suited to wet and muddy conditions.

Be careful with spills

When wearing your canvas shoes, be careful not to spill anything on them.

If you do spill something, try to clean it up as soon as possible before it has a chance to set in.

Clean them regularly

Even if your shoes don’t look dirty, it’s still a good idea to clean them regularly to prevent dirt and stains from building up over time.

By keeping your shoes clean, you can extend their life and maintain their appearance for longer.

By following these simple prevention tips, you can help keep your canvas shoes looking great and reduce the amount of cleaning and maintenance you need to do over time.



blue canvas shoes

So, there you have it!

Cleaning your canvas shoes might seem like a chore, but with the right techniques and a little bit of effort, you can keep them looking fresh and clean for longer.

Whether you’re rocking a pair of classic Converse or trying out a new style, taking good care of your canvas shoes will not only make them look great but also help them last longer.

Remember, your shoes are a reflection of your personal style and taking care of them is an important part of taking care of yourself. Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of putting on a fresh, clean pair of shoes?

So go ahead, give your canvas shoes some love and watch them shine. Your feet will thank you, and you’ll be strutting down the street in style.

With these cleaning methods in your arsenal, your canvas shoes will be looking brand new in no time!