How to clean canvas shoes & Toms shoes

Canvas shoes are my favorite! But they can get so dirty, so very quickly. Do you know how to clean canvas (such as Toms) shoes?

how to clean canvas shoes

I grew up in Hawaii. Warm weather all year long. Bare feet as much as possible and slippers (Flip-flops) in my closet. 

I still would rather be wearing slippers or going barefooted in my daily life! 

But alas, it is not always practical to wear slippers, let alone be barefoot at work and all the “mom life” things! 

My sister got me hooked on canvas shoes! She found a TOMS clearance sale in Dallas (I’m talking HUGE clearance), and so kindly, picked up several pairs for me.

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Canvas shoes are perfect for Texas weather almost all year long. They are so lightweight and breathable. 

I have several neutral color pairs. I don’t know why I tend towards neutrals constantly in my shoe choices… I would like to branch out and try a crazy print or bold color!

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So… While canvas shoes are great… They also get really, really dirty. Like super dirty. Very quickly.

My poor shoes looked like my 3 year old twins had worn them through a rainstorm and jumped in all the puddles!

I am happy to report that these canvas shoes are relatively easy to clean. 

Begin by wiping any dirt off the bottoms of the shoes and sides. 

Use a stain stick – I use THIS ONE – on any dark spots. You can also rub those spots with a little dish soap and baking soda. 
Allow those stains to soak for at least 20 minutes. 

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Throw your shoes in the washing machine and turn on the delicate cycle and a little gentle laundry detergent. 
Be sure to use COLD water!

Once they have gone through the wash cycle, take them out of the washer and place on a towel to dry.
If some stains did not come out like you wanted, treat them again and run through the gentle cycle once more.

My shoes were dry in 24 hours. 
Outside is fastest, but if it is 25˚F and the middle of winter…Probably not the fastest…

When they came out of the washer and while they were drying they looked terribly misshapen. Don’t worry, they easily slid on my feet and quickly regained normal shape. 
They were slightly tight when I first put them on, but stretched to feel comfortable again.

I do NOT recommend putting your canvas shoes in the dryer!!! TOMS and other canvas shoes have leather soles and drying them in the dryer will ruin them! 

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*Please, read the recommendation for cleaning your canvas shoes directly from the brand first! I cannot guarantee this method will work on your shoes.*

I am READY for spring and summer and all the nice weather to be here! And now my shoes are ready too!

Happy “almost” Spring,

2 thoughts on “How to clean canvas shoes & Toms shoes

  • January 31, 2018 at 12:04 am

    I need to give this a try. I have a few pair of shoes that could use a good cleaning. Thanks for the tips. I can’t wait to give them a try.

  • January 31, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I rarely wear canvas shoes because I can never get them clean! But you’ve shown me that it’s not actually as difficult to get them clean as it seems. I may treat myself to a pair now 🙂

    Louise x


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