Canvas shoes, both in slip-on and sneaker forms, have been a closet staple for decades. These timeless pieces are popular for many reasons, including the fact that they look great with everything from jeans and shorts to dresses and skirts. These shoes have recently become mainstream enough to be worn on political campaigns.
The main selling points of canvas shoes are their adaptability and comfort, so it's hard to think of a reason not to own several pairs. But considering that they're made of fabric, you know that they'll probably get soiled before the rest of your footwear. It has been reported by Bustle that dirt and grime, like grass and mud, can be easily ground into canvas shoes.
The good news is, the material can be cleaned and restored to pristine condition with the same ease with which it became soiled. Follow the steps below to thoroughly clean your canvas shoes.
Remove any loose debris, such as dirt, sand, grass, and even leaves, sticks, or pebbles, from both the exterior and interior of your sneakers before you begin the more in-depth process of cleaning them. Simply shake them in the open air or over a wastebasket to accomplish this. Byrdie suggests slamming your shoes' soles together or onto the ground for a good shake.
Better Homes and Gardens suggests using a brand-new, soft-bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away surface dirt. Avoiding this step may seem like a time saver now, but it could end up costing you more time and effort in the long run. Before moving on to the next step, spend an extra minute or two cleaning the sneakers thoroughly.
Next, unlace the shoes and make a mental note of how they were tied, especially if this is your first time doing so. It might be a good idea to snap a photo of them in advance. They can be cleaned in a variety of ways after removal.
Country Living recommended washing them in a solution of water and dish soap and drying them on a paper towel. They can be washed in a bleach solution diluted with water and then rinsed clean, as suggested by Family Handyman if they are white and particularly dirty. Wear disposable gloves to avoid bleach's harmful effects on your skin, even when it's diluted.
The washing machine is another option for cleaning your clothes. Before running them through a normal cycle, place them in a zippered mesh bag to prevent tangling and misplacing. You can wait to toss the laces in with the rest of your sneakers until after you've washed them in the machine.
Pre-treating stains is another step you'll want to take to ensure the cleanest possible outcome for your sneakers after you've taken the time to knock off the excess dirt. Better Homes and Gardens suggests applying laundry detergent directly to stains and waiting at least fifteen minutes before washing. The Spruce recommends using your hands or a soft-bristled brush to really work the detergent into the fabric.
Since canvas is also a fabric, Who What Wear recommends using the same gentle spot treatment you would use on your clothing for everyday stains. A more potent spot treatment product will be necessary for particularly stubborn stains like grass. Fortunately, you can find a brush in the packaging of many treatments, making it much simpler to scrub the area. If the laces are stained as well, you can clean them with either method.
This is probably the simplest way to clean your sneakers, but it won't work for all materials, so weigh the pros and cons before you dive in. Washing canvas shoes in the washing machine once in a while is usually sufficient to keep them in good condition. In contrast, you can skip this part if your footwear has embellishments or is trimmed with material such as leather, suede, or even rope, as in an espadrille sole.
If you've decided that your sneakers will survive a laundry cycle, then toss them in alongside some towels to cushion them as the machine spins Bob Vila suggests taking out any inserts and then storing the shoes in a zippered mesh lingerie bag. You should always have two on hand so that your laces can be washed separately in the same load.
The Spruce advises using regular detergent and a low spin cycle when cleaning sneakers. Bleach can only be used if all of the items in the load, including shoes, laces, and towels, are white. If you need a stronger cleaning, however, oxygen-based bleach is fine to use.
Cleaning canvas shoes by hand is a safer, albeit more laborious, option. In accordance with Good Housekeeping, all you need is a little bit of mild dishwashing detergent and some warm water. To clean your shoes, simply dip a soft cloth or brush into the solution, apply the soap, and give them a good scrub.
As an alternative to dishwashing liquid, you can use a mild laundry detergent or even baby shampoo. The Kitchn suggests using a paste made of baking soda, white vinegar, and water to clean particularly grimy footwear. After applying the paste to the shoes, they can be scrubbed thoroughly with a clean toothbrush. Finally, Good Housekeeping recommends cleaning white shoes with a brush dipped in hydrogen peroxide.
Either after you've washed them by hand or after a cycle in the washing machine, your shoes should be much cleaner. Right now, you should put on the finishing touches, such as shining the bottoms of your shoes. Using a Mr. Potato Head appears to be the most reliable strategy. Wash the Magic Eraser Reader's Digest recommends running the eraser under water and buffing the soles in a circular motion.
Since they are made of melamine foam, a strong yet gentle abrasive that, as explained by Apartment Therapy, resembles thin sandpaper, Magic Erasers are highly effective cleaners. You can try to remove any remaining stains from the soles of your shoes by rubbing them with a damp cloth if you don't have any erasers on hand. Pick up a pack of these melamine sponges the next time you go shopping so you can occasionally use them to touch up the soles.
You can now give your canvas shoes a final cleaning once you're satisfied with their appearance. While the washing machine will remove soap and suds effectively, hand washing will leave behind detergent and baking soda that can cause odors.
BHG recommends using a fresh cloth dampened with water to clean the shoes. Ensure that you get under the tongue and run it all over the area. How To Clean Stuff suggests using a sponge to remove dirt and grime from your shoes. No matter the approach you take, you should try to keep them from getting too wet. The Kitchn suggests waiting until the shoes are dry before attempting to scratch off the remaining baking soda paste or pounding them together to remove any remaining paste.
The time has come to let your shoes air dry so you can put them back into rotation. To clean them, The Spruce recommends using a quick-drying towel. After that, you could try putting some newspaper in your shoes. This, as suggested by Byrdie, not only has the added benefit of accelerating drying time but also aids in maintaining the shoe's original shape. Avoid using newspapers or anything else that could stain your shoes, even if it's just the insole. Use something more practical like a paper towel, printer paper, or a brown paper bag.
The best place to put shoes to dry is somewhere cool and out of the sun. Who What Wear notes that white canvas shoes can benefit from direct sunlight because it helps bring out their color. When they're dry, your go-to sneakers can be worn again without fear of a soaking.