Adrian asked, “How do you take off stains [from white canvas shoes]?”
Canvas shoes can stain easily, but they also can be easily cleaned. These cleaning solutions can be used on white or colored canvas shoes, but be sure to test each one on a hidden area first, such as under the tongue or lip of the shoe, as it is always a concern that colors could bleed or bleach.
Dirt or Mud Stains
Mix some shampoo or mild laundry detergent like Woolite or Dreft in a bowl of water. Dip a toothbrush or nail brush in the soapy water and scrub the dirt stain. For particularly bad stains, put a small amount of the soap directly onto the brush. Use a wet sponge to wipe away the soap residue. Press the fabric with a towel to blot out as much moisture as possible, then let the shoes air dry.¹
Make a soapy solution with dish liquid and water. Dip a nail brush or toothbrush in the solution and scrub the stain away.² If any stain remains, you can use nail polish remover as described in the next step.
Grease Stains or Tar
Use nail polish remover.³ Dip a cotton ball or cotton swab in nail polish remover and rub the stain until it is removed.⁴ It is best to use a clear nail polish remover to avoid any potential staining from the dyes in colored solutions. Nail polish remover can also be used to remove any grass stains.⁴
Oxygen bleach can be used to remove some kinds of stains from canvas shoes. Apply the oxygen bleach to a damp nail brush or toothbrush and scrub the stain until it is removed.⁵
One of the easiest ways to remove blood stains from a fabric is to spit on it (works especially well if it’s your own blood) and rub the spit into the stain. Let it sit for a minute, then rub in some soap and since with cold water. Repeat until the stain is gone. If that doen’t fully remove the stain, use the method above for general stains.
Brighten White Canvas
If your white canvas shoes have become dingy, first clean them using the method for dirt stains or by using Lincoln EZ Cleaner following instructions on the label. Once the shoes are clean, sprinkle talcum powder on a dry nail brush and scrub the canvas to return the shoes to a bright white.⁶
Additional Tips and Advice
- Surface dirt can be cleaned from shoes with Lincoln EZ Cleaner.⁵
- Wipe white shoes with a cloth dipped in diluted ammonia for a general cleaning if needed.⁶
- Be sure to only use ammonia in a well ventilated area. For more ammonia safety information, see Wikipedia.
- Once your shoes are clean, spray them with laundry starch to protect them from dirt and stains in the future.⁷
- 101 Essential Tips: Removing Stains by Cassandra Kent
- 10,001 Hints & Tips For The Home by Reader’s Digest
- Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- Household Hints for Dummies by Janet Sobesky
- Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook by Martha Stewart
- Haley’s Cleaning Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
- Joey Green’s Cleaning Magic by Joey Green