Heading to Europe for two weeks with just a backpack meant many things, but one of the most important was this – I could only take a few pairs of shoes. As in the ones on my feet and a second pair in my bag. For most people this is tough to imagine doing, but after countless vacations I’ve figured out how to expertly pack, and one of those pairs of shoes is always a comfortable and stylish pair of not-tennis shoes/tennis shoes.
Before this year’s trip I picked up an incredibly comfortable pair of slip on SPERRY’S that I knew would pair perfect with all of my outfits. They packed easy and were perfect, but after two weeks of trekking 18,000-20,000 each day, they were dirty. Plain and simple.
Upon returning home I didn’t want to just simply get rid of them, nor did I want to go out wearing these pathetically dirty looking shoes, so set out to clean them, and discovered that it’s quite easy.
WHAT DO I NEED TO CLEAN MY CANVAS SHOES?
Cleaning your canvas shoes doesn’t require but a few extra purchases, or you may even have everything you need on hand:
- An old towel – To catch any spills
- A bin for water – You’ll mix laundry detergent in here to scrub your shoes
- Laundry detergent – Be sure you don’t use one with bleach unless the shoes you’re cleaning are bright white
- A small scrub brush – A brush with soft brissels will work best and you can use this to clean other places in your home
- Magic eraser – You can save an reuse this
- Paper towels
LET’S GET TO CLEANING
I recommend taking your shoelaces out before cleaning your canvas shoes. If your laces are dirty you can easily throw them in the wash, otherwise they’ll just get in the way. When cleaning my SPERRY’S I had permanent shoelaces that I couldn’t take out, so that’s why you’ll see them in my pictures.
Step 1 – Fill up your bin with warm water and stir in a tablespoon or two of laundry detergent.
I ended up cleaning four pair of canvas shoes so I used used a couple tablespoons, but if you’re just doing one pair than use just a small bit.
Step 2 – Dip in your scrub brush and start scrubbing the dirt off your shoes.
Step 3 – Lightly wipe off the laundry detergent with a damp paper towel once your shoes are clean.
You won’t have a lot of suds, so this should just be a quick wipe.
Step 4 – Use the magic eraser to scrub the soles of your shoes.
This is my favorite part. Start scrubbing your soles and you’ll see them brighten up! This is something you can easily do on a regular basis after wearing them without all the scrubbing to keep them looking bright.
Step 5 – Stuff a few paper towels into your shoes so they maintain their shape while they dry.
Just one or two paper towels to help your shoes maintain their shape will do the trick.
BEFORE AND AFTER
COULDN’T I THROW THEM IN THE LAUNDRY?
You sure could. However I don’t think it’s necessary. To have your entire shoe laundered without the ability to pay attention to the places that may need a bit of extra cleaning. It seems excessively unnecessary for the canvas, plus I’d imagine that shoes banging around in the washing machine would be quite loud.
GOOD AS NEW!
And that’s it! All that’s left is to let them dry, put your laces back in and head out there with clean and refreshed shoes.
TELL ME: How do you keep your canvas shoes clean?