How to Clean White Canvas Shoes

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Christian Vierig/Getty Images

So you know exactly how to wear your favorite white canvas shoes (they go with just about anything), but do you know how to adequately clean them? Since white shoes can be extremely versatile, they tend to gather signs of wear and dirt quickly. To preserve your most prized pair, cleaning is essential. With a few simple tips, there’s no reason that this beloved wardrobe staple won’t last you well past the one-year mark.

See how to clean white canvas shoes using five simple methods.

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remember what happens when you combine baking soda and vinegar? These same two household ingredients can be used to make your white canvas shoes look crisp. Combine a tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of vinegar, dilute with a cup of warm water, and use a cloth or toothbrush to scrub your shoes with the paste. The baking soda mixture will dry fairly quickly, at which point you can brush it off and allow the shoes to air-dry.

2. Detergent

Mix a couple tablespoons of mild laundry detergent in a tub of lukewarm water. If you’re spot-cleaning, use a textured cloth or toothbrush to clean the shoes. For heavier allover cleaning, soak the shoes for up to five minutes before thoroughly scrubbing inside and out.

3. Stain Remover

Because canvas is such a versatile fabric, it typically cleans well with stain removers. While intense grass stains and oil-based stains may respond best to industrial-grade stain removal agents, basic scuffs and stains can often be resolved with a gentle stain remover, which tends to be easier on fabrics due to its gentler formula.

4. Proper Drying

An essential step in the cleaning process is knowing how to dry them. After draining excess moisture, place the shoes in a dry area away from heat. While you’d typically want to keep shoes out of the sun during the drying stage, direct sunlight can actually brighten white canvas shoes. Stuff them with crumpled newspaper or paper towels to absorb excess moisture and help them retain their proper shape.

5. The Easy Way Out

Did you know that basic white canvas shoes can be cleaned in the washing machine? Though this method shouldn't be used for shoes with embellishments or any other form of decoration, it seriously works otherwise. Place your shoes in a delicates bag and wash them alone on the gentlest cycle. Only use cool water and dry them correctly in accordance to step four.

Next, see 21 stylish outfits to wear with white Converse.