How to clean white canvas shoes?

Canvas shoes are a popular footwear choice for many people due to their comfort, versatility, and casual style. However, white canvas shoes can become dirty over time and lose their pristine appearance. If you own a pair of white canvas shoes and want to know how to keep them clean, this article is for you. In this guide, we will provide step-by-step instructions on effectively cleaning white canvas shoes, ensuring they stay fresh and bright for longer.


White canvas shoes are prone to getting dirty due to their light color and fabric material. Cleaning them regularly helps maintain their appearance and prolongs their lifespan. You can keep your white canvas shoes looking brand new by following the proper cleaning techniques.

Gather Cleaning Supplies

Before you start cleaning your white canvas shoes, gathering all the necessary supplies is essential. Here’s a list of items you’ll need:

  • Mild detergent or shoe cleaner
  • Soft-bristled brush or toothbrush
  • Water
  • Cleaning cloth or sponge
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • White vinegar (optional)
Gather Cleaning Supplies

Prepare the Shoes

Before diving into the cleaning process, remove the shoelaces from your canvas shoes. This step will make it easier to clean all the nooks and crannies. If the shoelaces are dirty, you can wash them or replace them.

Remove Loose Dirt and Debris

To begin cleaning, gently tap the shoes together or brush them with a soft-bristled brush to remove any loose dirt or debris. Don’t be too rough, as vigorous brushing may damage the delicate fabric.

Spot Clean Stains

You can use a mild detergent or shoe cleaner for stubborn stains on your white canvas shoes. Apply a small amount to the stained area and gently scrub it with a soft brush or toothbrush. Work the cleaner into the fabric in a circular motion, paying extra attention to the stains. Once the stains have loosened, wipe away the excess cleaner with a clean cloth or sponge.

Hand Wash the Shoes

Hand washing is often the safest method for cleaning white canvas shoes. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Place your shoes in soapy water and gently scrub them with a soft brush or cloth. Pay attention to the entire surface, including the soles. Rinse the shoes thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Machine Washing Option

If your white canvas shoes are particularly dirty or you prefer a more thorough cleaning method, you can consider machine washing them. However, remember that machine washing may cause the shoes to lose shape or suffer from excessive wear and tear. To minimize the risk, follow these steps:

  • Remove the shoelaces and place the shoes inside a pillowcase or mesh laundry bag.
  • Use a mild detergent and set the washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water.
  • Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric.
  • Once the washing cycle is complete, allow the shoes to air dry.
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Drying the shoes

After cleaning, it’s crucial to let your white canvas shoes dry properly. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight or using a heat source like a hairdryer, as excessive heat can cause the fabric to shrink or warp. Instead, place the shoes in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry naturally. Stuff the shoes with clean, dry paper towels or cloth to retain their shape.

Protecting and Maintaining White Canvas Shoes

To keep your white canvas shoes looking their best, there are a few additional steps you can take:

  • Apply a fabric protector spray to create a barrier against dirt and stains.
  • Regularly spot-clean any new stains or dirt that accumulates.
  • Avoid wearing your white canvas shoes in muddy or rainy conditions.
  • Store them in a clean, dry place when not in use.


Cleaning white canvas shoes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. You can keep your shoes looking fresh and bright with the right techniques and a little effort. Remember to follow the steps outlined in this article, from gathering the cleaning supplies to properly drying and maintaining your white canvas shoes. Incorporating these practices into your routine allows you to enjoy stylish footwear for a long time.


Q1. Can I use bleach to clean white canvas shoes?

A1. Using bleach on white canvas shoes is generally not recommended, as it can damage the fabric and cause discoloration. Stick to mild detergents or shoe cleaners specifically designed for canvas materials.

Q2. Can I machine wash my canvas shoes with other clothes?

A2. It’s best to wash your canvas shoes separately or with similar colors to avoid any potential color transfer or damage to other garments.

Q3. How often should I clean my white canvas shoes?

A3. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you wear your shoes and the conditions they are exposed to. As a general guideline, clean them every few weeks or when you notice visible dirt or stains.

Q4. Can I dry my canvas shoes in a dryer?

A4. Drying your canvas shoes in a dryer is not recommended, as the heat can cause the fabric to shrink or warp. Air drying is the safest method to retain the shape and quality of the shoes.

Q5. What should I do if my white canvas shoes start to turn yellow?

A5. Over time, white canvas shoes may develop a yellowish tint due to age or exposure to certain substances. You can try mixing baking soda and water paste, applying it to the yellowed areas, and gently scrubbing before rinsing. Another option is using a mixture of white vinegar and water, applying it to the affected areas, and letting it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. Always test these solutions on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure they do not cause further damage.

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