Canvas Glow: How to Clean White Canvas Shoes and Keep Them Sparkling!

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: James Leigh

How to Clean White Canvas Shoes

Project Overview:

WORKING TIME: 20 - 40 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 - 2 hrs (Additional time may be required for air drying)
ESTIMATED COST: Minimal (Most cleaning agents and tools are commonly available at home)

What You Will Need in This Project

Equipment / Tools

For Machine Washing:

  • Washing machine
  • Mesh laundry bag
  • Soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush

For Hand Washing:

  • Bucket or sink
  • Soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Melamine sponge (Magic Eraser) (optional)


For Machine Washing:

  • Laundry detergent (preferably one suitable for white fabrics)
  • Chlorine or oxygen-based bleach (optional, and only if suitable for the fabric)
  • Disinfectant (optional)

For Hand Washing:

  • Liquid laundry detergent or mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Terry cloth towel or paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
  • White toothpaste (optional)

Table: Tips for Cleaning White Canvas Shoes

Step Action Materials Needed Tips
1 Remove Shoes and Laces - Take the laces out of the shoes to clean them separately and
ensure a thorough cleaning of the shoes.
2 Pre-Clean with Paper Towels Paper Towels Wipe off any loose dirt or debris from the shoes using paper
towels before submerging them in any cleaning solution.
3 Prepare Cleaning Solution Baking Soda, Water,
Toothpaste, Clean Toothbrush
Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of water to make a paste.
Toothpaste can also be used as an alternative cleaning agent.
4 Scrubbing Sponge, Old Toothbrush Use a sponge or an old toothbrush to get into the nooks and crannies of the shoes,
focusing on stains and soles.
5 Rinsing - Rinse the shoes properly to remove all the cleaning agents used.
6 Drying - Allow the shoes to air dry completely. Avoid direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.
7 Laces Cleaning Soapy Water Submerge the laces in soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, and allow them to air dry.
8 Final Touch White Sneakers Remover For stubborn stains on white canvas sneakers, use a specialized stain remover.

Understanding White Canvas Shoes

White canvas shoes, often made of cotton, are comfortable and versatile, but their fabric nature makes them prone to getting dirty easily. Understanding the composition of canvas shoes is crucial for effective cleaning. Regularly cleaning your canvas shoes can keep them looking spotless and extend their lifespan.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular and proper cleaning can keep your white canvas shoes looking brand new.
  • Address stains promptly with suitable cleaning agents like baking soda or magic eraser.
  • Always air dry your shoes after cleaning to maintain their shape and fabric quality.
  • Regular maintenance and preventive measures can prolong the life of your white canvas shoes, keeping them looking spotless and stylish.

Preparation Steps for Cleaning White Shoes

Before diving into cleaning, remove the shoelaces and shake off any loose dirt or debris from the shoes. This preliminary step ensures a more thorough cleaning process, allowing you to focus on ingrained dirt and stains during washing.

With Washing Machine

Machine washing is a convenient way to clean canvas shoes. However, it’s essential to use the right settings to avoid damage. Place your shoes in a mesh laundry bag to prevent tangling and select a gentle cycle with cool water. Add a small amount of laundry detergent, avoiding bleach to maintain the fabric's integrity. Nike does not recommend washing shoes too frequently as it could damage the material.

With Hand Washing

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, hand washing allows for targeted cleaning. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with a cup of warm water to create a cleaning solution. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the shoes, focusing on stained areas. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with cool water to remove soap residues.

Addressing Tough Stains

Tough stains require special attention. A mixture of baking soda and water can be a powerful cleaning agent. Apply the baking soda mixture to the stains and use a toothbrush to scrub gently. For scuffs and more stubborn stains, a magic eraser can be an effective tool, removing grime and restoring the shoes' white appearance.

Drying Your Cleaned Shoes

After washing, let them air dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight which can cause yellowing. Avoid using a dryer as the high heat can warp the shoes and damage the fabric.

Maintaining White Canvas Shoes

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your white canvas shoes spotless. Wipe your shoes with a clean cloth after each wear to remove surface dirt and prevent stains from setting. Hand-washing your shoes regularly can also keep them looking their best.

Additional Cleaning Tips for Spotless Shoes

In addition to regular cleaning, using alternative cleaning agents like white vinegar or micellar water can also be used for spot cleaning. However, always check the shoes' care label before using any new cleaning agents to avoid damage.

Final Thoughts

Keeping white canvas shoes clean can be a challenge, but with the right knowledge and techniques, it is possible to maintain their pristine appearance. Regular care, prompt stain removal, and proper drying are crucial steps in ensuring your shoes stay spotless and look good as new for years to come. Whether you’re a sneaker aficionado or just someone who loves their white canvas shoes, following these steps and tips can help you enjoy your footwear in its best condition.

List of Best White Canvas Shoes

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can I clean white canvas shoes in the washing machine?

Yes, white canvas shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine. However, it’s crucial to use a gentle cycle, cool water, and a small amount of laundry detergent to avoid damaging the fabric shoes. Also, placing the shoes in a mesh laundry bag can prevent tangling and further damage.

2. Is bleach suitable for cleaning white canvas shoes?

While bleach is effective in whitening fabrics, it’s not recommended for cleaning white canvas shoes as it can weaken the fabric and cause yellowing. Instead, opt for gentler cleaning agents like baking soda or a mild detergent mixed with water.

3. How can I clean the soles of my white shoes effectively?

To clean the soles, use an old toothbrush or a shoe brush and a mixture of baking soda and water or soapy water. Scrub the soles thoroughly to remove dirt and grime, and wipe them with a clean, damp cloth.

4. Can suede and leather shoes be cleaned the same way as canvas shoes?

No, suede and leather shoes require different cleaning methods. Suede shoes should be cleaned with a special suede brush, and stains can be treated with a suede cleaner. Leather shoes can be wiped with a damp cloth and cleaned with leather cleaner and conditioner.

5. Any tips for maintaining clean white laces?

Remove the laces from the shoes and soak them in soapy water or a mixture of baking soda and water. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry. Regular cleaning of laces can keep your shoes looking fresh and spotless.

Author Box
James Leigh

James Leigh

James Leigh is a certified health professional, physiotherapist, and a seasoned runner who wins Boston Marathon, with a wealth of experience under his belt. Passionate about sharing his expertise with fellow runners. James is your go-to expert for your health, wellness and running tips.