Canvas shoes are comfortable and simple, but they are also easy to get dirty. Instead of tossing your shoes in the washer, which can damage the structure of the shoe, opt for washing your shoes by hand. This way you have full control over the cleaning of the material and can avoid any damage. You can protect new canvas shoes from dirt with a thin layer of spray starch, which helps to keep shoes clean longer.
Here’s what you need:
- A small bristle brush or toothbrush
- Laundry detergent or dish detergent
- Cold water
- A small, soft cloth or paper towel
Here’s what you need to do:
- You’ll want to be sure to let any serious mud or dirt dry before attempting to clean your shoes. Once dry, tap the soles together to clear the treads.
- Take out your shoe laces before starting, placing then in a container with water and detergent to let them soak. Or you can buy new ones, saving the old pair for craft projects.
- Use the toothbrush to brush off the larger pieces of debris as best you can.
- Put a few drop of detergent in a basin with cold water and mix up a bit. Dip your toothbrush in and use it to clean up the rest of the stains, working in circular motions from the outside of the stain in. Old electric toothbrushes are great for this as they require minimal effort on your part.
- Rinse and repeat until the canvas is clean then rinse well with more cold water to remove all traces of soap (dried soap residue leaves ugly stains). Try to not get any water inside of the shoe when you do this.
- Ball up the towel, or crumple up the paper towel, and stuff it in the shoe to help the shoe keep it’s shape while drying. Place in a well ventilated area and let the shoe sit out to dry.
- To complete the cleaning of shoelaces, scrub vigorously, rise and hang to dry.
Warning: Do not use bleach, even on white shoes. This will cause a yellow discoloration of the material. Also, don’t put your shoes in the dryer as this loosens the adhesive of the soles as well as deforms the rubber.