Brighten up canvas shoes with a new pair of shoelaces.

How to Clean Dry-Erase Marker Off of Canvas Shoes

by M.H. Dyer

Stylish and comfortable, canvas shoes include lace-up tennis shoes, casual sneakers for adults and kids, slip-on boat shoes and canvas oxfords dressy enough for the office. Although the shoes are durable and easy to care for, canvas -- a type of cotton fabric -- is susceptible to dirt and stains. With persistence, though, you can remove even stubborn stains such as ink from a dry-erase marker.

1 Remove shoelaces from the canvas shoes, if necessary.

2 Pretreat the stain with a concentrated gel or liquid stain remover. Work the stain remover gently into the stain with a toothbrush. Before using the stain remover, test it on an inside seam or other inconspicuous area to be sure the substance doesn't affect the shoe color.

3 Mix two or three drops of liquid dish soap in a bowl filled with cool water. Dip the toothbrush into the soapy solution and scrub the stain, working in a circular motion beginning at the outside of the stain.

4 Scrub the shoes lightly with a nylon scouring pad dipped in a paste made of baking soda and water if the stain is still visible. Don't rub hard, because the scouring pad may damage the fabric.

5 Rinse the soap from the shoes with a clean, damp sponge.

6 Stuff the damp shoes with brown paper bags or paper towels. Don't use newspaper or colored paper, which may bleed and discolor the shoes.

7 Place the shoes in a shady spot to dry. Don't attempt to dry the shoes in bright sunlight or near a heater because the heat may break down the adhesives in the shoes.

Items you will need

  • Concentrated gel or liquid stain remover
  • Toothbrush
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Bowl
  • Nylon scouring pad
  • Baking soda
  • Clean sponge
  • Brown paper bags or paper towels


  • It may be tempting to remove dry-erase stains by washing the shoes in the washing machine. According to Florsheim Shoes, one washing may not harm the canvas; however, repeated exposure to hot water and the chemicals in laundry detergent can break down the adhesive in the shoes. Additionally, immersion in water may weaken the stitching.


  • Never place canvas shoes in the dryer. The heat of the dryer may break down the adhesive that fuses the canvas to the soles.

Photo Credits

  • Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images