Canvas shoes are so comfortable, they’re easy to wear day in day out. But what do you do when they start getting stained and worn out? Luckily, cleaning canvas shoes is easy, and can give your footwear a new lease of life.
How to Clean Canvas Shoes
To find out how to clean shoes, start by taking a look at the material they are made from. Leather or suede shoes will require specialized cleaning products. Canvas or cotton shoes with suede detailing should also be cleaned with suede and fabric shampoo according to the instructions on the shoe label. It’s important that suede and leather shoes are not cleaned with detergent or submerged in water, as this can damage and discolor the material.
You have several options when cleaning canvas shoes. Washing shoes in a washing machine is quick and easy, but risks discoloration and a weakening of the glue that holds the shoes together. Hand washing takes a bit longer, but is a good way of helping your favorite shoes last. Simply applying and wiping or brushing off a specialized cleaning product, as with leather or suede shoes, may also be effective for shoes of mixed fabrics.
Cleaning Canvas Shoes by Hand
Whichever method you plan to use, first off, make sure the shoes are dry. Shake off as much excess dust and dirt as you can. Remove the laces, and wash these separately in a normal laundry load with similarly colored clothing.
You will need:
- A bucket
- Warm water
- Laundry detergent
- An old toothbrush, or a cleaning sponge
- An old towel
- Waste paper
How to do it:
- Fill a bucket with warm water, and make a lather with 1-2 tbsp (15-30 ml) of laundry detergent – a liquid detergent like Breeze Liquid is ideal. If you are using a powdered detergent, swirl it around until it is mostly dissolved and bubbles appear.
- Hold each shoe above the bucket and scrub the outside, including the soles, with a toothbrush or cleaning sponge. Gently dip the shoes in the water to wash off the dirt and continue scrubbing – avoid submerging the shoes entirely.
- Rinse your shoes with warm, clean water.
- Use an old towel to squeeze any excess water from the shoes.
- Stuff your shoes with paper or similar to preserve their shape.
- Leave the shoes to dry in the sun (if possible) or in a warm, dry place indoors – away from any direct heat source. Direct heat can weaken the glue used to hold this kind of shoe together, and affect the texture of the canvas.
You could also try washing your shoes by hand with an unexpected cleaning product: toothpaste!