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Homekeeping · Cleaning · Laundry · Here’s How to Clean Canvas Shoes (Yes, Even White Ones!)
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Here’s How to Clean Canvas Shoes (Yes, Even White Ones!)

This method works so well that even my white Keds look brand new!

When it comes to shoes, there are types that are as durable and versatile as canvas sneakers! Canvas shoes come in many different styles and sizes, and look great on people of all ages.

Although there are many advantages to canvas, the one major drawback I’ve found is that it does nothing to hide or camouflage dirt, grass stains, and scuff marks. (Especially white canvas, like the kind on my favorite pair of Keds!)

But luckily for me, when it comes to canvas and dirt, it’s easy come, easy go. By putting just a little bit of time and effort into cleaning up your canvas shoes, you can get them looking almost as good as new! 🙂

Machine-Washing Versus Hand-Washing

The tricky thing about cleaning most types of shoes is that it needs to be done gently, and it’s no different for canvas. Many people choose to machine-wash their canvas shoes because it’s quick and easy, but that option isn’t without its risks!

Machine-washing canvas sneakers can leave them discolored, and it can weaken the glue that holds the shoes together. So cleaning your shoes by hand may require a bit more of your time and effort, it’s the best way to avoid damaging them.

And as you’ll soon see, it really doesn’t even take that much time or effort to clean your shoes by hand. Here’s how you can do it at home!

How To Clean Canvas Shoes

You’ll need:

Directions:

Step 1 – Remove Laces & Insoles

Start by removing the laces from the shoes. Zip them into in a mesh laundry bag and toss them in your washer to clean them.

If your shoes have removable insoles or you’ve put a pair into them, remove those from your shoes as well.

Step 2 – Soak

Next, use a scrub brush to brush off any loose dust and dirt from your shoes. Then in a bucket or your sink, mix up a soaking solution of 1/4 cup of OxiClean per gallon of warm water.

Submerge your shoes in the solution and allow them to soak for 30 minutes to two hours, depending on how dirty they are.

Step 3 – Scrub & Rinse

After soaking, use a scrub brush or a toothbrush to scrub away the loosened dirt and grime. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water, then use a dry towel to absorb as much water as you can from the outside and inside of the shoes.

Step 4 – Dry

Finally, stuff a bit of newspaper into each shoe to help absorb excess moisture and hold the shape of the shoes while they dry. Set the shoes aside and allow them to dry completely, which could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days depending on the humidity.

Once your shoes have dried, relace them and then go show off your fresh and clean kicks! 🙂

Bonus Tips For Cleaning Canvas Shoes

  • Use a damp Magic Eraser to make short work of those unsightly scuff marks on the rubber parts of your sneakers.
  • Ball up some newspaper or paper bags and stuff them inside of each shoe to help them keep their shape while they dry.
  • Never underestimate the power of a new pair of shoelaces. They’ll instantly make your shoes look cleaner and less worn!
  • Looking for solutions for smelly shoes? Learn how to remove odor from shoes here.

How to Clean Canvas Shoes

Jill Nystul
If there's one thing I hate it's having my nice white canvas Keds become dirty and unwearable! If you've felt the same, follow these simple steps to clean your canvas shoes so they look like new.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 2 clean canvas shoes

Equipment

  • Bucket
  • Scrub Brush
  • Toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Newspaper

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup OxiClean
  • 1 gallon Warm Water

Instructions
 

  • Start by removing the laces from the shoes. Zip them into in a mesh laundry bag and toss them in your washer to clean them. If your shoes have removable insoles or you’ve put a pair into them, remove those from your shoes as well.
  • Next, use a scrub brush to brush off any loose dust and dirt from your shoes. Then in a bucket or your sink, mix up a soaking solution of 1/4 cup of OxiClean per gallon of warm water. Submerge your shoes in the solution and allow them to soak for 30 minutes to two hours, depending on how dirty they are.
  • After soaking, use a scrub brush or a toothbrush to scrub away the loosened dirt and grime. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water, then use a dry towel to absorb as much water as you can from the outside and inside of the shoes.
  • Finally, stuff a bit of newspaper into each shoe to help absorb excess moisture and hold the shape of the shoes while they dry. Set the shoes aside and allow them to dry completely, which could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days depending on the humidity. Once your shoes have dried, relace them and then go show off your fresh and clean kicks!
Keyword clean canvas shoes, how to clean canvas shoes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Do you have a favorite pair of canvas shoes?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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