How To Clean White Canvas Shoes
Today I’m sharing how to clean white canvas shoes. My kids are hard on their white shoes and once they get really dirty, they stop wearing them. Since I’m not willing to replace them every few weeks, I figured I better learn out how to really get them clean! I’ve tried this same method with white canvas tennis shoes. It works well, but if you are buying the really inexpensive pair for under $10 at the big box store, they may not turn out as white. I have found that no matter how much you clean those shoes, they often dry with a light blue tinge. The more expensive brands will clean up better. By more expensive brand, I mean the ones I’ve spent $15-25 on.
This photo doesn’t really show how dirty these white shoes are, but trust me, they are in desperate need of cleaning! Laundry detergent alone would not be enough to make them white again, so here is what I did.
I dampened the shoes, then applied a paste of baking soda and white vinegar with a toothbrush. Afterwards I applied a little laundry detergent and water to form a lather, then rinsed well. Next, spray a bit of diluted white vinegar and water, then set them in the sun to “bleach” for 30-60 minutes, depending on how hot it is outside. Rinse again and set out to dry.
Here is the end result. I am very pleased with the outcome. Only one tiny stain remained, but I think a second cleaning would remove it. Once completely dry, you can deodorize with some baking soda. Make sure the shoes are dry or the baking soda will cake inside. This method should work well with Keds, Vans, Toms or Converse. Do you have a favorite method that works well?
UPDATE on How To Clean White Canvas Shoes:
I just tried a similar method with a pair of white high top Converse yesterday. Here is what I did:
First, with a soft brush, remove dirt particles before you dampen the shoes. Next you will use warm water with a small amount of Laundry Soap. Mix well and begin scrubbing the shoes. Rinse with cool water, then if your shoes are still pretty dirty, combine about 1 TBSP of laundry soap with 1 TSP of baking soda. Use your soft scrub brush and repeat scrubbing a second time, rinsing with cool water. Finally, I sprinkled some baking soda on the shoes and drizzled a bit of white vinegar over the top. As it begins to foam, use your brush to work it in a bit. Rinse a final time with cool water. Squeeze out any excess water and set out to dry. Now this is the first time I have cleaned a pair of Converse. I have heard that Converse may yellow if you dry them in the sun, so I did not take that chance. It was pretty warm outside, so I set them out in the shade. They came out pretty well considering how filthy they were. (Think water balloon fight in the dirt!) The only part that really didn’t come clean were black spots on the tongue, right beneath the eyelets/grommets around the shoelace holes. Since they were underneath, you really couldn’t see them anyway. We are really pleased with how they turned out. I wish I remembered to get a photograph of the “before” because they were so dirty and splattered with mud.