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How to Soften Canvas Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Canvas is used in the design of many shoes, as it is a strong, durable fabric. It allows for long periods of foot traffic, while also being a flexible fabric that stretches to fit your feet. Found mostly in sneakers and walking shoes, canvas often has a harder feel than many people prefer. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to soften the canvas fabric, allowing for a more flexible shoe.

Place the canvas shoes in the dryer. Turn the dryer on high heat, add a fabric softening dryer sheet, and let run for 10 minutes or until dry. When allowed to dry on their own after coming into contact with water from snow or rain, they become stiff. Placing the shoes in the dryer will tumble them dry, softening the canvas.

Place the shoes in the washing machine if the dryer alone does not soften the canvas to your satisfaction. Use a short-run cycle with warm water, adding the shoes and 1/2-cup of table salt to the washing machine. Then place in the dryer. Use high heat with a dryer sheet and let run until the shoes are fully dried.

Wear the shoes around the house. Simply wearing the shoes will stretch the canvas, making it more soft and durable.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing machine
  • Dryer
  • Fabric softener
  • Dryer sheets
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
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About the Author

Mel Frank is a professional freelance writer with over 15 years of writing experience. She has completed a wide variety of writing assignments for a number of publications that include CNN and various websites. Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from a prestigious university in Pennsylvania.