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How to Clean White Canvas Shoes

How to Clean White Canvas Shoes

  1. Decide Whether to Wash by Machine or Hand

    Many white canvas shoes can be washed in a washing machine. However, shoes with leather or suede trim, beading, or rope soles should be hand-cleaned. The agitation action of the washer is too harsh for embellished shoes and can cause glues used in construction to loosen.

  2. Remove Laces and Decorations

    Always remove shoelaces, removable insoles, and any decorations before you begin to clean. Laces should be placed in a small bowl of hot water with a teaspoon of heavy-duty laundry detergent and allowed to soak while the shoes are being washed. Insoles can be hand-washed or replaced.

    removing shoelaces from sneakers
  3. Rinse Before Placing in Washer

    If the shoes are muddy, rinse them off with a hose to prevent the dirt from clogging your washer. Pretreat any heavily stained areas by working a bit of laundry detergent directly into the canvas using a soft-bristled brush. Soles that are heavily soiled can be cleaned with a melamine sponge (like Mr. Clean Eraser).

    After rinsing and pretreating stains, put shoes in a mesh laundry bag. Then take these steps when using a washing machine to clean white canvas shoes:

    • Wash shoes together with a load of white towels using your regular laundry detergent.
    • Use chlorine or oxygen-based bleach if the shoes need extra whitening.
    • Select warm water and the normal cycle but chose a lower spin cycle speed to help keep your washer in-balance.
    white shoes going into the washer
  4. Spot Clean White Canvas Shoes

    For white canvas espadrilles or shoes that cannot go in the washer, spot clean by mixing one teaspoon of laundry detergent in one quart of warm water. Dip a microfiber cloth in the solution and scrub away the soil on the inside and outside of the shoes.

    Complete the cleaning process by dipping another cloth in plain water and wiping away any soapy residue.

    spot cleaning a non-canvas shoe
  5. Dry White Canvas Shoes

    Shoes and laces should be air-dried away from direct sunlight and never dried in a tumble dryer on high heat. The heat can cause glues used in constructing the shoes to melt. Wipe down the shoes with a towel to absorb moisture and help to speed drying.

    To help the shoes retain their shape, stuff the toes with nylon mesh.

    letting canvas shoes air dry