What Is the Best Way to Clean Canvas?

Canvas needs special care when cleaning.


You should use soft materials, light water and non-abrasive cleaning soap to properly wash your canvas. Set on stains are more difficult to remove. However, with the proper technique you will be able to have your canvas looking new in no time.

Canvas is a soft cotton material. Your shoes, paintings, clothes or other accessories, such as purses or wallets, could be a design from this delicate fabric. Cleaning your canvas weekly or to remove stains is the best way to ensure your material is long lasting. This type of product can be expensive and if you do not take the proper precautions, you can destroy the item you wish to clean.


The items that you use to clean your canvas can be your choice. You can decide on the type of soap and non-abrasive scrubbing products from several options. The kind of soap that is required for this project is mild; this can be anything that is non-abrasive and PH balanced. You could use Dove, Ivory, Dial or Burt's Bees hand soap. You can purchase all of these products from department stores in your local area. The type of cleaning material can be a soft washcloth or a soft bristle brush. If you have a set in stain, the brush is your best choice. For weekly cleaning, a soft washcloth will work well.


Keep in mind that canvas is a soft and delicate material. You will need to use soft cleaning supplies as well as a soft touch. Set in stains can be difficult to remove without rough scrubbing and pressure. However, you can scratch the surface and damage the product that you are trying to clean. The best way to clean set in stains on canvas is to use extremely hot water and let the soap absorb into the material. Use your washcloth to damp the area of the stain. Let the soap sit on the area for 5 to 10 minutes then gently scrub the stain. Make sure you remove all of the soap with the hot water. Repeat until the stain is gone.


The best way to clean canvas is weekly or as soon as a stain is present. Use a dry wash cloth or your brush to sweep away any excess dirt from the material. Gently rub the area removing all dirt or grim. Dip your washcloth or brush into the hot water. Wring out any excess water, as you do not want the material soaked. Wash the item first with the water. Pay attention to every crevasse in the item. Next, add a dime size amount of the mild soap to your washcloth. Work the soap through the canvas, washing every part. Wring out the washcloth and remove all the soap. Blot the canvas with more hot water to get rid of the soap. Let dry for 24 hours.


When at all possible, use a soft cloth instead of a brush. The brush is more convenient, but can damage the material if you apply to much pressure. Always use non-abrasive cleaning products as light and deep scratches can occur. Never soak your canvas; always use a small amount of water and soap.

About the Author

Randall Shatto is a professional writer with 10 years of experience. Shatto maintains a focus in internet freelance ghost writing. His expertise includes medical writing, college paper composition and SEO-rich content writing. With only a high school education, Shatto's opportunities continue to grow. Shatto resides in the beautiful state of Oregon.