How to Clean Colored Canvas Shoes

If you’re like me, you have a pair (or five) of colored canvas shoes that you love but can’t seem to keep clean.

It seems like every time I wear my colors, they’re covered in dirt or scuff marks. Well, I’ve finally found the perfect way to clean them without ruining the color – and I’m going to share it with you! So read on and learn how to make your favorite shoes look brand new again.

I will also share some precautions to prevent your colored canvas shoes from fading, discoloring, and bleeding.

So grab your shoes and read on.


  1. Do not scrub your canvas shoes too hard. Vigorous scrubbing can fray the canvas.
  2. Make sure to remove all of the cleaning paste while rinsing your canvas shoes. The leftover cleaning paste can cause discoloration.
  3. Never use harsh chemicals or cleaners like chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide on colored canvas shoes. Harsh chemicals can cause the color to fade.
  4. Always test the cleaner by applying it to a small inconspicuous area of the shoe before proceeding to clean the entire shoe.
  5. Avoid soaking canvas shoes in water for a prolonged period.
  6. Never use hot water for cleaning your colored canvas shoes. Hot water can damage the canvas.
  7. Before drying your canvas shoes, wipe excess water with a dry cloth. This will keep the canvas in good shape. 
  8. Do not dry colored canvas shoes in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause the canvas to fade.


  1. Unlace your canvas shoes and remove the insoles (if removable).
  2. Clean the laces and insoles separately.
  3. Brush off the loose dirt, dust, and debris from your canvas shoes using a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush.
  4. Now you can proceed to clean your canvas shoes using any of the following methods.

Cleaning Canvas Shoes With Dish Soap & Baking Soda

Four steps with illustrations for cleaning colored canvas shoes using dish soap and baking soda

Materials Required

  1. Baking soda (you can use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda)
  2. Dish soap (you can use any mild dish soap like Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap)
  3. Soft-bristled toothbrush
  4. Lukewarm water
  5. A clean cloth


  1. Mix two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid, two tablespoons of baking soda, and two tablespoons of lukewarm water in a bowl. Stir to form a thick paste.
  2. Dip the toothbrush into the cleaning paste and gently scrub the shoes with that brush.
  3. Once you’re done scrubbing, rinse the shoes with clean water. Make sure no residue is left on the shoes.
  4. After rinsing your shoes, let them air dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not dry your colored canvas shoes in direct sunlight as it can fade their color.

Cleaning Canvas Shoes in the Washing Machine

Seven steps with illustrations for cleaning colored canvas shoes in washing machine

Materials Required

  1. Liquid Laundry Detergent 
  2. Cold Water (not too cold, around room temperature)
  3. Pillowcase or Mesh Laundry Bag


  1. If shoes are muddy or dirty, clean them with a damp cloth.
  2. Pre-treat stains by applying mild detergent to them. Gently scrub the stains using a toothbrush.
  3. Put your shoes in a pillowcase or a mesh laundry bag.
  4. Place them in the washing machine with laundry detergent.
  5. Set the machine on a gentle cycle and wash your colored canvas shoes with cold water. Add an adequate amount of laundry detergent into the washer.
  6. Once the wash cycle is done, remove your shoes from the mesh bag.
  7. Let the shoe air dry in a shaded but well-ventilated place. Do not dry your canvas shoes in the tumbler. This can damage the shoes.

Cleaning the Laces of Colored Canvas Shoes

Five steps with illustrations for cleaning laces of colored canvas shoes in washing machine

Materials Required

  1. Dish soap
  2. A toothbrush
  3. Warm water


  1. Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with a bowl of warm water.
  2. Place the shoelaces in the mixture and leave them for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the laces from the solution after 15 minutes and scrub away the dirt or stains with an old toothbrush.
  4. Rinse the laces off with clean water and let them air dry.
  5. If your laces are particularly dirty, you may need to repeat this process a few times.

Quick Tips

  1. Before setting aside to air-dry, stuff shoes with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb moisture and keep the shoes in their natural shape.
  2. You can use a hairdryer on the cool setting to speed up the drying process. However, ensure not to hold the hairdryer too close to the shoes.


How to remove tough stains from colored canvas shoes?

Depending on the types of stains, it requires a different approach. For instance, if it is a grass stain. Then you can use a mixture of dish liquid and water. 

For more information, check out our comprehensive guide on how to remove stains from canvas shoes.

Can I put my canvas shoes in the dryer after washing them?

No, you should avoid putting your shoes in the dryer. The heat can weaken the glue, causing shoes to come apart. Excess heat can also cause the canvas to warp.

How often should I wash my colored canvas shoes?

It depends on how often you wear your shoes. If you wear them daily, you might want to wash them weekly. But if you only wear them occasionally, then once a month should be sufficient.

Can washing my colored canvas shoes affect their color?

Yes, if you don’t wash them properly, it can affect the color. The first thing to remember is that you should never use harsh cleaners like bleach on colored canvas shoes.

Also, restrain yourself from washing them too often, which can lead to the color fading over time.

Can I use the magic eraser on canvas shoes?

No, you should not use the magic eraser on your colored canvas shoes. Magic eraser has bleaching agents that can discolor your shoes.

However, you can use the magic eraser to clean the rubber soles.

You may also like to read our article on cleaning black canvas shoes and our comprehensive guide on how to clean canvas shoes.


There you have it, a complete guide on cleaning colored canvas shoes. By following the tips and tricks mentioned above, you can keep your shoes looking new for a long time. Just remember to follow the precautions listed above to avoid damage.

If you have any tips, feel free to share them in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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