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.

Remove shoelaces from the canvas shoes, if necessary.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

About the Author

M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.

Photo Credits

  • Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images