How To Care For Your Fabric or Canvas Shoes


Fabric or Canvas Shoes

Some may perceive it as being materialistic or superficial, but let’s be honest, buying a brand new pair of shoes can bring about an inexplicable joy! They feel good, they look good and if the shoes in question are made of canvas material, they are extremely versatile too! Unfortunately, shoes are prone to dirt and stains no matter how hard you try to keep them clean (I mean, they are worn). Dark coloured canvas shoes can go for long periods of time without noticeable stains. Lighter colours, like your whites, beige hues, etc, aren’t so lucky. Regardless of the colour,though, it’s important to clean your shoes regularly - especially if you are not trying to have those impossible long-lasting stains.

Here are some cleaning tips to help you avoid those nasty stains

Canvas Cleaning

Before you can start cleaning your canvas shoes, make sure that they are completely dry. If you’ve walked through muddy grounds, allow the mud to dry and harden so that it’s easier to remove. 

Now it’s time for the major part of the process – cleaning the canvas! A thorough scrubbing of the outer and inner parts of the material is important as this is where dirt, stains and bacteria accumulate each and every time you wear them. 

A few things to keep in mind when cleaning canvas shoes:

  • Avoid soaking the material in water for more than 15 minutes -  this may weaken the fibres

  • Use minimal pressure when scrubbing

  • Avoid harsh cleaners

  • Do not use bleach or bleach-based products on canvas shoes unless they are white

  • Always clean the outsole of the shoe before cleaning the canvas material; you can use an old toothbrush for this

  • Try to brush in one direction as opposed to constantly scrubbing back and forth 

  • Be more gentle when cleaning around the stitching

To begin cleaning the canvas, rinse the shoes under running water and sprinkle a good amount of baking soda inside the shoes to neutralise any bad odours. Next, make the cleaning solution by mixing approximately 1 or 2 caps of liquid dish soap or laundry detergent in about 3-4 cups of water. Depending on how dirty the shoes are will assist to determine how strong you make the cleaning mixture.

Take a scrubbing brush, dip it in the solution and clean the canvas by scrubbing it gently. Rinse off the shoe and repeat the scrubbing until you find that most of the dirt has been removed.

Lightly brush dirt and debris away using a light coloured horsehair or soft nylon brush. Gently wipe with a damp, lint-free cloth. Light dirt spots can be removed using Club Soda, seltzer water, or soda water and a toothbrush. Wipe to remove excess water and air dry. You can avoid water marks by "chasing" wet patches with a damp cloth. Heavier marks and/or stains can be removed using International Professional Fabric Shoe Cleaner or Scotchgard fabric cleaner.


Treating with a Water & Stain Repellent or Scotchgard Fabric Protector will help avoid water spots, and reduce dirt pickup and stains.

Other Tips

Dyeable satin shoes that have been dyed should be fixed with a fabric protectant spray such as Scotchgard or International Professional Fabric Shoe Cleaner before attempting any cleaning or dry cleaning. Always test any new cleaning method used with fabric shoes in an inconspicuous place of the shoes first.


Now that you know how to keep your canvas babies nice and shabby, there’s no reason they should stay dirty ;)

We hope that this blog helped you and that you keep adding to your shoe collection by shopping with TSL ;)









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