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Cleaning Canvas Shoes


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The marley floors in DD's studio, together with her busy ballet schedule this year, really made a mess of the canvas shoes (Sansha 1C pro) she started wearing only 4 weeks ago. So, this ballet mom thought she could wash them.

Between the fast rate DD is growing, and her narrow heel, she is almost impossible to fit right now, so when I took the PERFECTLY fitting canvas shoes out of the washer (delicate cycle, cold water, in a mesh bag--same load as her tights), I was SO unhappy to find that they shrunk...and the leather bottoms seem to have curled (maybe because the canvas around them shrunk?). Anyway, we were back buying new shoes (canvas, again--leather just doesn't fit her right now, and we've tried many brands to find one that fits in the toe and doesn't bunch at the mid-sole and heel)...


What is the correct way to clean them without a disaster? Thanks-

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autumnrose, you CAN wash the shoes in the washer. Yes, they will shrink some, BUT simply stuff them with newspaper (or whatever) to regain their shape and let them dry. As your DD wears them, they will stretch back to their original size.


There are some previous threads that have dealt with cleaning canvas shoes. If you enter "wash canvas shoes" into the Search function, you'll find some of them. Here is one: Washing Shoes

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Thanks, dancemaven! The link you gave me was great, and made it sound like I did everything right. I don't put any dance stuff in the dryer (learned that lesson the hard way with leos, another tell-tale sign of an inexperienced ballet mom). The shoes were air-drying, and at last check, still damp. I stuffed them and will have dd wear them to see if she can stretch them out. If so, I can save the ones I bought yesterday.


Next time, I'll try hand washing and I'll take Mr. Johnson's suggestion from the thread and avoid cleaning the bottoms if I can, although those black bottoms are pretty ugly to look at when she practices....and leave marks on her tights during class.

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Also, if she puts them on while they are slightly damp, they will conform to her feet better. Have her wear them around the house (maybe while doing homework) and not walking around.

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I usually hand wash/soak mine in the sink. Cold water and Woolite. As with the other suggestions, putting them on damp helps keep the shape. (I shrank a pair of my hubby's shoes once...not a happy camper.) I wonder how oxiclean would work??

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  • 1 year later...

I just tried Oxiclean on canvas slippers today, and it worked like a charm. I handwashed only the extensive stains, and only the tops of the shoes and let them dry in the sun to further bleach the stains. :thumbsup:

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