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How to Clean Canvas Shoes

If your shoes are looking a little worse for wear, spend a few minutes to get them as good as new.

A good pair of canvas kicks will see you through a lot of adventures. But all that walking around adds up, and grass stains, spilled coffee, and whatever else comes your way will leave your shoes in less than pristine shape.

Sure, there's something to be said for a beautifully beat-up pair, but sometimes a good cleaning is in order. And when that time comes, you've got a few options.


Spot Treatment

Canvas is, after all, a cloth. So if the area you're trying to clean is small, just dab at it with a damp, warm washcloth and a drop of soap, just like getting a stain out of a shirt or pair of jeans.


Toss Them in the Wash

If they're grimy all over, just take the shoelaces and insoles out and throw your shoes in a washing machine on a low setting and with not too much detergent. Easy, right?

A word of warning, though: do not put them in the dryer afterwards. The high heat can shrink the canvas, warp the rubber, and melt the glue holding everything together.


Give 'Em a Soak

If the stains are really intense, fill a bucket with plenty of detergent and hot water, then add your sneakers and let them soak for a few hours. Then put them through the washing machine. The extra time soaking should loosen up any stubborn stains.


Add New Laces

Whichever method you chose, add some new laces to your kicks once they're clean – either an inexpensive set of flat laces, or some upgraded leather ones. It'll help liven them up so that they look like they're fresh from the store.

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