How to Take Pen Stains Off Canvas Shoes

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to Take Pen Stains Off Canvas Shoes
Ink stains can be stubborn. (ink splats image by Adrian Hillman from

Ink stains can be difficult to remove from canvas shoes and other apparel. You will receive the best results if you treat the stain immediately after it happens. Luckily, most canvas shoes are washable, so the chance of successfully removing the stain is better. You do not have to use expensive commercial products to remove the stain; common products found in most homes are effective in removing the stubborn ink from the canvas.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Cotton ball
  • Hairspray
  • Clean white cloth

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  1. 1

    Spritz a cotton ball thoroughly with hairspray until it is wet. This is safe for coloured or white canvas shoes.

  2. 2

    Rub the stained area with the cotton ball in a circular motion until most of the stain is gone. You may have to switch sides of the cotton ball or use another one before the stain is removed.

  3. 3

    Wash the canvas shoes (if they are machine wash safe) in the washing machine, according to the care label instructions. If they are not washable, use a damp white cloth to remove the hairspray residue from the shoe.

  4. 4

    Use chlorine or colour safe bleach if the care label says it is acceptable.

  5. 5

    Allow the shoes to air dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Alcohol is the effective ingredient in the hairspray, so if you do not have hairspray you can use regular household rubbing alcohol in the same manner.

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