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Cleaning Canvas Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning Canvas Shoes

When it comes to shoes, canvas ranks as one of the most durable and versatile shoe materials. Canvas makes up the upper shoe while the soles are generally made of rubber.

These types of shoes tend to be breathable, light, comfortable and super easy to care for. There are numerous advantages to choosing canvas shoes, but one main drawback is that they don't camouflage dirt, grass stains, or scuff marks very well.

Luckily when it comes to cleaning canvas shoes it's an easy process. In this article, we'll talk about different cleaning methods and detailed steps to follow while cleaning canvas shoes.

Check out the details below on the instructions to follow for each cleaning method.

How to Wash Canvas Shoes in a Washing Machine 

Most canvas shoes can be machine washed, unlike suede and leather shoes. This means if your pair of canvas shoes have a suede or leather trim you shouldn't put them in the washer.

If your shoes are embellished with beading or rope soles, they should also avoid the washing machine because it could loosen glue construction.

From there, here are the steps to follow:

1) Step one

First, you will need to unlace the shoes. If your shoes have laces, you will need to wash them separately. You could add your laces to your mesh laundry bag before tossing them in your washer or hand-wash them on their own. Remember to also remove the insoles.

2) Step two

If your canvas sneakers have been stained, you should remove the stains before adding them to your washer. Use a soft-bristled brush and laundry detergent and allow it to sit for a while. Remember, you should never add muddy shoes to the washer because it might clog the machine.

3) Step three

Wash the shoes using regular laundry detergent. If you are cleaning white shoes, you could add chlorine bleach to lighten and brighten them up. For coloured ones, use oxygen-based bleaches. Adding some disinfectant to the water if you have any foot issues is also a good idea.

4) Step four

After washing your shoes you need to air dry them away from direct sunlight. Avoid placing your shoes in the dryer since the heat can damage them. Wherever you choose to let your shoes dry, make sure it's well ventilated.

How to Hand Wash Canvas Shoes

Hand washing is the option if your canvas sneakers have embellishments. To do that, you'll need the following items cleaning detergent, a soft scrub brush, and stain remover (optional). You'll also need baking soda and a towel.

Here are the steps to follow:

1) Step one

Start by removing the laces and insoles. You'll have to clean those separately. Just like the shoes, the shoelaces will collect dirt and cleaning shoes while the shoelaces are still intact is not as effective. Also, if the shoe has removable insoles, you will need to clean them separately.

2) Step two

Then you will need to get rid of loose dirt or debris before you clean canvas sneakers. You could use a brush or your hand to knock off the dirt. You could also tap the canvas sneakers together or on a firm surface.

3) Step three

You will need to soak the shoes and the laces in a solution of detergent and water. The shoes and the laces need to be soaked for at least 15 minutes and then cleaned using soapy water.

4) Step four

Using a soft brush to lightly scrub, get rid of stubborn stains while still avoiding damaging the shoe. Here, you will need to clean the canvas sneakers' inner and outer parts to remove stains and even bacteria using the same cleaning solution as the step above.

5) Step five

You will also need to clean the soles. You could use something like Clean Magic Eraser on the rubber parts of your canvas, which is mainly the sole, to remove scuff marks. Make sure the Magic Eraser is not dripping on the shoe.

6) Step six

Rinse the shoes and air dry them. Usually, canvas sneakers will take one or two days to dry, but they could be affected by the weather and humidity in the areas you're in. To help the process along, use newspaper or paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

How to Clean White Canvas Shoes with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Cleaning white canvas sneakers can be done by using a mix of baking soda and white vinegar, which will act as a whitener. To make the solution, you will need baking soda, white vinegar and warm water.

Mix a tablespoon of each in a small bowl to form a paste-like consistency. Then you can use this solution to clean white shoes. Here are the steps to follow while cleaning white sneakers using baking soda and vinegar solution.

  1. Apply the baking soda mixture to the dirty areas directly using an old toothbrush. Then lightly scrub the stained areas in circular motions. You can also cover the entire surface with the solution - even the laces. For strong odours just sprinkle baking soda inside the shoe.

  2. Leave the shoes with the paste on them under direct sunlight for 4 hours when. The sun will help whiten and brighten the sneakers.

  3. When the paste is completely dried out, tap the sneakers to remove the dried paste. You could also use a toothbrush, scrub brush, or a damp towel to remove the remaining particles.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Canvas Shoes

a) How do I spot clean stains on canvas shoes?

If your shoes are coloured then a fabric stain remover with no bleach is perfect. Just apply around the stain and allow it to absorb for a couple of minutes. Use a damp cloth to gently wipe the stain and then rinse off the shoe with water to wash off the cleaning process.

If your shoes are white then using bleach, or baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will clean any stains. However, be sure to dilute the bleach with warm water to avoid discoloration of the shoes. Apply the cleaning solution to the stained areas and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Brush it off with a clean towel. If you have brand new pair of white shoes, you could spray them with a protectant to prevent stains.

b) How often should you clean canvas shoes?

How frequently you clean your canvas shoes is mainly determined by how regularly you wear them. If you wear your canvas shoes occasionally then you can just spot clean any specific stains and thoroughly clean them at the end of the season.

For canvas shoes worn daily, you should clean them regularly to keep them fresh. In between cleans, however, you can always just spot clean. The good news for the bigger cleans is that you can throw them in the washing machine or hand a wash following just a few steps.

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