How to clean kids canvas shoes

How to clean kids canvas shoes

Whether your kids have well and truly broken in their canvas shoes, been caught in an unexpected change of weather or you’re simply planning on how to clean their canvas PE flats, we’ve outlined our top tips for cleaning stubborn stains on canvas shoes.

How often should you clean canvas shoes?

How often you need to clean your kids canvas shoes will depend on how well worn they are and the type of places they wear them to.

If your kids have a pair of trainers or canvas pumps that they love, they may need to be cleaned more often to keep them looking and smelling their best.

If you have the time, it's ideal to give them a clean once a week and a deep clean once a month.

How to hand wash canvas shoes

If your kids shoes have embellishments or rope soles, it's always best to hand wash them to ensure there is no damage during the cleaning process.

It’s also easier to just spot clean the fabric if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for the full shoe to dry.

Pink shoes with patterns across the shoe

We always recommend hand washing our embellished canvas pumps, such as our Pink Fantasy Unicorn Dolly Shoes.

What you'll need:

  • - Laundry detergent (preferably liquid)
  • - Warm water
  • - Cloth or sponge
  • - Bristle brush

    1. Make the cleaning solution

To start, make a cleaning solution by mixing a teaspoon of laundry detergent with some warm water. If you are using laundry power, mix well until all the detergent has dissolved.

    1. Remove the laces

If the laces are dirty, you can remove them and place them in a separate bowl with some detergent and warm water. Leave them to soak until you have cleaned the stains off the actual shoe.

    1. Pretreat the stains

If your kids shoes have quite a noticeable stain which looks hard to remove, put a small amount of the concentrated laundry detergent onto the stain and work in with either your fingers or a bristle brush. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.

    1. Scrub the stain

Using your sponge or a bristle brush, dip it into the warm water and detergent mix and gently scrub the stained area. We recommend using the bristle brush for hard to clean areas, such as the soles.

You can repeat this step however many times it is needed to remove the stain. You have to repeat step 3 a few times if the stain appears tough to remove.

    1. Wipe down and dry

Finally, once you’ve removed the stain, you can wipe down any excess detergent mix by using a wet cloth dipped in cold water.

Take out the laces from the detergent mix and rinse with cold water. Place both the shoes and laces either outside or on a radiator to dry off. Try not to place them in direct sunlight if you choose to dry them outside.

How to wash canvas shoes in the washing machine

The first step before you throw those shoes into the washing machine is to ensure there are no embellishments, suede or leather, on the shoe as the washing machine may cause damage to them.

All black canvas school pumps

Our Black Lily Canvas School Pumps are a great example of shoes suitable for the washing machine.

    1. Remove any laces

If your canvas shoes have any laces, remove them and place them in a laundry detergent and warm water mix for around 10-15 minutes.

    1. Choose your cleaning products

Canvas shoes can be washed with regular laundry detergent, especially for black or darker coloured shoes. For white shoes, we recommend adding in a small amount of bleach or whitening laundry detergent to brighten the shoes.

Wash on a 20 or 30 degree wash, and try to use a lower spin cycle to prevent any damage to the shoes or the washer.

    1. Pretreat the shoes

If the stain looks stubborn, it's a good idea to pretreat it by applying stain removing detergent straight onto it and leaving it to soak in for about 15 minutes. Again, like hand washing, you can rub this in with your fingers or a bristle brush to help break down the stain.

    1. Fill the washing machine

Try to avoid just washing the shoes on their own in the washing machine, as this can cause damage to the drum. Instead, wash the shoes with bedding or towels of a similar colour.

    1. Dry the shoes

To dry the shoes, place them outside avoiding direct sunlight. You should never put your shoes in a tumble dryer, as the heat can cause glue in the shoe to melt as well as potentially shrinking the shoe.

If you’re worried about the shape of the shoe changing whilst they’re drying, you can stuff them with kitchen roll, however, you will need to change the roll every so often as it will absorb the water.

Back to blog