How to Take Pen Stains Off Canvas Shoes

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Things You'll Need

  • Cotton ball

  • Hair spray

  • Clean white cloth


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

Ink stains can be stubborn.

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.


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Step 1

Spritz a cotton ball thoroughly with hair spray until it is wet. This is safe for colored or white canvas shoes.

Step 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.

Step 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 hair spray residue from the shoe.


Step 4

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

Step 5

Allow the shoes to air dry.


references & resources

Chelsea Fitzgerald

Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.