How to Remove Stains from Canvas Shoes

Adrian asked, “How do you take off stains [from white canvas shoes]?”

White shoes can stain easily, but they also can be easily cleaned. Keep reading to learn how to restore your canvas shoes to a bright white.

You Will Need:

  • A toothbrush
  • A nail brush
  • Shampoo
  • Dish soap
  • Nail polish remover
  • Oxygen bleach

Steps to Remove the Stains:

  1. For dirt stains, place some shampoo on a toothbrush or nail brush and scrub the dirt stain. Use a wet sponge to wipe away the shampoo residue.¹
  2. For grass stains, make a soapy solution with dish soap and water. Dip a nail brush or toothbrush in the solution and scrub the stain away.²If any stain remains, you can use nail polish remover as described in the next step.
  3. For 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.⁴It 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
  4. General stains –oxygen bleach can be used to remove some kinds of stains from canvas shoes. Apply the oxygen bleach to a nail brush or toothbrush and scrub the stain until it is removed.⁵

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Surface dirt can be cleaned from shoes with Lincoln EZ Cleaner.⁵
  • To brighten canvas shoes, sprinkle talcum powder on a dry nail brush and scrub the canvas.⁶
  • Wipe the shoes with a cloth dipped in diluted ammonia for a general cleaning.⁶
  • Be sure to only use ammonia in a well ventilated area. For more ammonia safety information, see Wikipedia.


  1. 101 Essential Tips for Removing Stains by CassandraKent
  2. 10,001 Hints & Tips For The Home by Reader’s Digest
  3. Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley
  4. Household Hints for Dummies by Janet Sobesky
  5. Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook
  6. Haley’s Cleaning Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley


  1. Victor says:

    My navy and white sneakers have blood stains; how can I remove the stains?

  2. Melanie says:

    This is the article that you need: How to Remove Blood Stains.

  3. Alx says:

    Anything can be cleaned, but especially brightened with baking powder. I always put a sachet in with my white laundry – either sprinkled directly on the textiles before closing the machine’s door (no matter if it’s used with liquid detergent) or into the compartment with/for the washing powder (either works fine).
    The baking powder works on the same principle as those Oxy powders, but at a fraction of the price.
    And recently, I cleaned my eggshell-colored Converse’s by sprinkling baking powder on the dampened canvas. With a toothbrush and →warm to hot!← water, I worked away on the stains. You can watch the dirt disappearing as the baking powder starts reacting with the ‘hottish’ water – it bubbles. (As in a cake, it takes heat for baking powder to do its work. As far as I remember, baking soda, on the other hand, reacts with acidity instead of heat, but both produce oxygen, which is what it takes for laundering textiles).

  4. Viktorya says:

    I had stains all over my white Converse from wearing them a lot. The thing that works the absolute best is making a mixture of laundry detergent and baking soda. Use a toothbrush to scrub the mixture on the stains, rinse them off, and throw them in washing machine. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE DRYER BECAUSE OF THE RUBBER PARTS. Let them air-dry and tada, looks brand new!!!

Leave a Comment