Removing Stains from Canvas

Written by April Reinhardt (last updated April 12, 2021)

Used in the fabrication of tents, backpacks, purses, canoes, sails, and sneakers, just to name a few applications, canvas is an extremely durable, heavy-duty, sturdy fabric. Canvas is also stretched over a wooden frame to use as a painting surface. Back in the day, when I was growing up in the 70's, Converse All-Star high-top white sneakers were popular for gym class, made of canvas, and cost very little. We often wore our canvas sneakers on weekends, playing in the dirt and mud, and Mom would throw them in the washing machine periodically to wash away the grime, leaving sweat and mud stains permanently within the fabric after a thumping round through the dryer's heat. Today, Converse sneakers are now considered a high-end shoe, coming in many colors, and costing nearly $100 a pair. I had to buy a pair for my step-daughter for school this year, and she and her friends try to keep them in pristine condition. I want to keep them looking good-as-new, too, since I don't want to fork over another $100 for a new pair. My dilemma was removing the stains from the canvas, and I found that these methods work best. No matter what item you have that is made of canvas – a purse, backpack, tent, or shoes – follow these guidelines for removing stains from light-colored canvas:
  1. Mix into a bucket one gallon of warm water with one-quarter cup each of Ivory liquid dish detergent and Clorox Color-Safe bleach.
  2. Thrust a washcloth into the bucket, and gently rub the solution all over the canvas, especially into the nooks and crannies.
  3. Rinse the canvas with plain, cool water.
  4. Allow the fabric to air-dry.

For darker canvas, and for difficult stains, follow these steps to clean the canvas:

  1. Allow mud and dirt to dry completely, and then shake the canvas free of the debris.
  2. Wash the canvas in warm water mixed with baking soda.
  3. Rinse with cool water.
  4. Use a non-abrasive soft pad with a mild dish detergent and hot water to scrub away remaining stains and dirt.
  5. If you've mold on your canvas, use a solution of equal parts of rubbing alcohol and warm water, and then you use stiff brush to apply the solution to the mold spots. Rinse with clear water and allow to air dry.

If you've made the mistake of bleaching your canvas, with resulting yellow stains, soak the fabric in a solution of one-half cup of cream of tartar and one quart of hot water. Allow the fabric to sit overnight, and then rinse in cool water.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Getting Great-Looking Highlights

No matter the color of your hair, getting great-looking highlights can enhance your complexion, while creating a new and ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Poison Ivy

The only way to completely eradicate your yard of poison ivy is to dig it out at the roots and then apply a herbicide. ...

Discover More

Replacing Damaged Sections of Carpeting

When replacing damaged sections of carpeting, you'll need a carpet remnant or leftover of the carpet you're replacing. If ...

Discover More

Remove Stubborn Stains Quickly Get everything looking clean again: Walls, floors, baseboards, counters, blinds, appliances, and more. Micro-scrubbers easily reach into surface grooves, lifting dirt away. This low-cost 8-pack is great for stubborn stains and touble areas. Check out Mr. Clean Magic Eraser 8-Pack today!

More Cleaning Tips

Removing Oil Stains from Fabric

Most oil stains can be easily removed from clothing with soap or detergent. Just pre-treat the stain, rinse everything ...

Discover More

Removing Rust Stains from Silk

Silk is a delicate material and difficult to safely rid of rust stains. It can, however be done if you are careful. If ...

Discover More

Removing Grout Stains

Mold and mildew tend to build up between bathroom tiles. To remove these growths, you'll need to scrub first with water, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven minus 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.