How to Wash Canvas Shoes

How to Wash Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes, they’re simple and basic, yet they accompany us through various adventures. In order to maintain such shoes, it’s vital for one to understand the importance of shoe care. This article talks about a proper step-by-step approach on how to clean canvas shoes, to ensure that your footwear remains spotless and ready for any occasion.

Understanding the Importance of Canvas Shoe Care

Canvas shoes have a versatile design with quite an appealing appearance. They require dedicated care and attention too. Whether it’s a brand-new pair of sneakers or a trusty old favourite, regular cleaning does not only preserve their aesthetic appeal. But it expands their lifespan, making sure that they continue to serve as reliable footwears.

Moreover, it’s vital to maintain your canvas shoes as it contributes to a hygienic environment. It prevents the buildup of dirt, bacteria and unpleasant odours. Good shoe care further enhances the comfort and well-being of one.

Step One: Preparing for the Cleaning Process

Preparing for the Cleaning Process

Before you start the cleaning process, it’s essential for you to gather the tools and materials that would be required for achieving the best results. Here’s some things you might want to keep in handy:

  • Liquid laundry detergent or any mild detergent
  • A soft-bristled brush
  • A sponge
  • Warm water
  • Baking soda (for odour removal)
  • Towels
  • Mesh laundry bag (for the laces)
  • Bleach (for white canvas shoes)
  • Fabric stain remover (for coloured canvas shoes)
  • Disinfectant

Once you have gathered these materials, you’re ready to start the cleaning process.

Step Two: Removing Laces and Loose Dirt

You would want to start by removing the laces from your shoes, as they require separate cleaning to maximise thorough dirt removal.

Next, for any loose dirt or debris, tap the shoes together or use a scrub sponge.

For the stubborn dirt, use a brush to dislodge the debris from the outer material. Gently scrub the dirt stains until you’re able to get most of it out. This helps you to prepare the shoes for the next cleaning steps.

Step Three: Cleaning the Laces

Laces, often overlooked while shoe cleaning are actually prone to accumulating dirt and stains. It therefore requires specialised attention to restore its original look.

Create a mild cleaning solution using detergent and warm water. Allow the laces to soak in it for at least 15 minutes. With the help of a soft-bristles toothbrush, scrub the laces gently. Ensure that you properly clean them without damaging the fibres. Then, rinse them under running water and allow them to air-dry completely before reattaching them to the shoes.

Step Four: Scrubbing the Canvas

Scrubbing the Canvas

Now, it’s time to focus on the main cleaning process. Your targets for this process should be the dirt, stains and bacteria that may have accumulated on the canvas material. Here’s a detailed approach to effectively clean your canvas shoes:

  • Start by rinsing the shoes under running water to remove dirt and debris from the surface.
  • Sprinkle baking soda inside the shoes.
  • Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing liquid detergent with warm water. Adjust the concentration of the detergent based on the level of dirt and stains.
  • Dip a soft-bristled brush into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the canvas material. Pay special attention to areas with visible stains.
  • Avoid soaking the material in water for extended periods, as this may weaken the fibres and affect the durability of the shoes.
  • Clean the outsoles separately. Use an old toothbrush or scrub brush to remove stains, whilst ensuring thorough cleaning of all surfaces.

Step Five: Spot Cleaning Stains

After the initial scrubbing process, check the shoes for any more targeted stains.
Now, depending on the colour of your canvas shoes, you can choose between two distinct cleaning methods:

  • For white canvas sneakers, dilute bleach with water and apply it directly to the stubborn stains. Using a clean toothbrush, slowly brush the stained areas.
  • For coloured canvas shoes, use a fabric stain remover. Make sure that it doesn’t contain bleach, as bleach causes discolouration.
  • Use a brush to lightly scrub the stains.
  • Using a clean white towel, carefully wipe away the stains. After doing so air-dry them away from direct sunlight.

Step Six: Dry Your Canvas Shoes

Proper drying is vital to prevent mold and mildew growth. Also, good drying conditions ensure that you preserve the shape and durability of your canvas shoes. Here are some effective drying methods to speed up the process:

  • Air-dry the shoes in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.
  • Place the shoes on a clean towel, or on an elevated surface to allow air circulation around them.
  • Use a fan or blow dryer on a cool setting to speed up the drying process. Make sure that you’re maintaining a safe distance to avoid overheating the shoes.


By following these cleaning processes whilst using the best tips for shoe care, you can ensure that your canvas shoes always remain clean at all times.

Image Source : canva

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