I have black canvas shoes. Every time I wash them with soap, after drying they become grey. There are whitish patches on the shoes that I suspect to be soap residue. But no matter how much I rinse them, the greyish patches won't go. Any suggestions to remove them after washing?

  • 2
    I don't understand "every time I wash them they become grey". Do they change back to black, or are they becoming less black each time you wash them? Perhaps you are washing out the dye. You could try dying them. Sep 4, 2023 at 18:36
  • 1
    Do you mean using ordinary soap? In hard water that leaves a scum of calcium salts. Use a detergent. Sep 10, 2023 at 22:04

2 Answers 2


Don't use soap:

  • Soap will leave a residue, especially if you aren't using distilled or rain water. Instead, use a mild dish detergent, such as Dawn.
  • But unless the dirt is greasy, there's no need to use any kind of detergent or soap.

In most cases:

  • Make sure the canvas is dry.
  • Use a soft brush to loosen and remove the surface dirt.
  • Use distilled water to rinse off any soil that remains.
  • If necessary, use the brush with water, and then rinse again.

Dish soap and a scrub brush, because if you put them in the washer then the colour will fade.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.