How to Clean White Canvas Shoes

Banish the dirt and restore their gleam! This guide from Facetune dives into effective methods for cleaning your beloved white canvas shoes.

Facetune team
min read
how to clean white canvas shoes easily

Clean your shoes, ‘ya filthy animal.

No, but seriously, do you have a pair of white canvas shoes that are in no state to be worn out in public, but you do it anyway? #noshame.

Oh yes, I feel you on this one. But here’s the deal: With the number of cleaning solutions out there for cleaning white canvas shoes, you really have no good excuse to be walking around like you’re unfamiliar with a bar of soap and a solid hair brushing (unless, of course, you dig that look).

Clean up your style by scrubbing your shoes with these easy-breezy tips to get your white canvas shoes looking brand new without dropping any cash.

Here we go.

  • Have you tried the baking soda trick?

Let’s start off with one of my favorite white shoe cleaning tricks: baking soda. Easy-to-apply and oh-so-effective, you’re going to wonder how you ever survived without this trick for so long.

Simply head into your kitchen and mix one tablespoon hot water, one tablespoon white vinegar, and one tablespoon baking soda (no Martha Stewart skills required). You’ll end up with a thick paste-like solution. From here, grab any old toothbrush and get to work applying your baking soda mixture to your dirty kicks with the brush.

Stick those babies out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D and watch as they magically start to whiten.

Finish up by simply brushing the baking soda off with the same toothbrush. Easy ‘peasy.

  • No baking soda? No problem! Try soap.

Unless you’re boycotting cleaning your dishes, chances are, dish soap is readily available in your household.

Try out the same method mentioned above, but reach for your dish soap instead.

  • Let your washing machine do the work

Lazy girls, listen up. Did you know you can simply throw your white canvas shoes into the washing machine?

While you’ll certainly want to make sure they’re in their own separate load (no need to dirty up all your white clothing) and on a delicate cycle, this is one of the simplest ways to get your shoes looking squeaky clean.

Oh, just be sure to skip the dryer to avoid the heat melting your rubber sole (you can be lazy, but not that lazy).  

  • Mr. Clean has your back

Yes, I’m talking about the bald gentleman you’ve seen lurking in your mother’s laundry room cabinets…

Don’t get it twisted, we’re truly talking about Mr. Clean, and yes, he can help you whiten your shoes with the power of the magic eraser.

Well-known for its ability to get out even the toughest stains, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is definitely worth a shot when you’re looking for your white shoe cleaning solution.

  • Bleach is also an option

While bleach feels like something reserved for horror movies and crime scenes, it can also help you out when it comes to getting your white shoes shining bright like a diamond.

Again, grab your handy-dandy toothbrush and start scrubbing bleach into the dirtiest parts of your shoes. Just be sure you’re using gloves and you’re working outside or in a well-ventilated part of your house.

No need for passing out today, my friends.

  • What about yellow stains?

While dirt stains tend to be the most common reason you’re looking for white shoe cleaning solutions, yellow stains can also be a pain in the booty.

In this case, try using rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the yellowest part of your shoes. It might not fully remove the stain, but it will significantly lighten it.

  • Is there a solution for dirty shoelaces?

If you’ve got your shoes looking their best, you probably want the laces to match, right?

Lucky for you, it’s an easy solution. Simply remove the laces from the shoe and let them soak in a stain remover product for a couple of hours, or even a day or two if your laces are particularly dirty.

You should be able to remove the laces knowing they’ll fit right in with your freshly cleaned white sneakers.

  • Can I prevent my shoes from getting dirty in the first place?

If your shoes are already dirty, this tip might have you yelling at your computer screen, but to be real with you, when it comes to white sneakers, preventative measures are your best bet for keeping your shoes… well, white.

And no, I’m not suggesting you leave your white shoes to sit sadly on a shelf in your closet. And no, you certainly don’t want to become someone who’s a little too precious about their shoes (so annoying). But, at the same time, you do want to take the couple minutes it takes to use a stain and liquid repellent on your shoes prior to wearing them.  

This will require you to shell out some cash, but remember, you can use this spray on multiple pairs of shoes. Plus, you’re saving your shoes from ending up in a landfill because you’re actually able to wear them for multiple seasons, so you’re basically a modern-day Mother Theresa. Look at you go.

Our Final Thoughts on Cleaning White Canvas Shoes

White sneakers are quite possibly the most versatile fashion item you can own. Rock them with a cute sundress in the summer, pair them with your favorite denim, or simply style them with leggings and a knit sweater in the fall.

Oh so versatile! But like, wear them at your own risk, right?

I hope using some of the tips from above will help you fall back in love with your white sneakers. I know you might be having a little Ross and Rachel moment with them right now (a.k.a. you’re on a break), but I also know once you fall in love with white sneakers, you never go back.

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