How To Clean Ballet Shoes: Definitive Guide 2023

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Ballet shoes are a delicate item, taking care of them prolongs their life.

But How To Clean Ballet Shoes,

Keep your dancer’s shoe on point and hold his/her best foot forward by following these few simple maintenance tips for their clean leather ballet shoes.

When you’re at practice or performing in your ballet shoes, they can get dirty pretty easily.

These are a few good tips on how to clean them without damaging the leather.

This article will provide you with some of the best ways to clean ballet shoes,

As well as how to get rid of the smell from ballet shoes.

Prevention is always better than cure, so we will also be looking at some of the ways in which you can prevent smelly shoes.

How To Clean Ballet Shoes – Step By Step Guide


Ballet shoes are an essential part of the ballet dancer’s attire.

Ballet dancers spend a lot of time on their feet and they need to be comfortable.

They also need to have their toes pointed and their feet arched.

In order to maintain these features, it is important that you take care of your ballet shoes when they are not in use.

Here are some steps for how to clean dance shoes:

  1. Put the shoes on a flat surface and remove any excess dirt or debris from them with a brush or vacuum cleaner.
  2. Also, use a damp cloth or towel to wipe off any excess dirt and sweat.
  3. Use a brush with a small amount of water and soap or shampoo to scrub out stains and dirt
  4. Take out the insoles, which you can wash separately in cold water with mild soap, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a towel.
  5. Remove any laces or ribbons from the shoe and soak them in cold water with mild.
  6. Rinse with water and let the shoe air dry on its own.

Cleaning Your Ballet Shoes Table

Cleaning your leather ballet shoes depends on the cleaning solution and cleaning products.

For some, it is an easy process for others a more complex one.

There are still plenty of options to consider and ways to clean your shoes. 

TypeMachine WashableSpot CleaningAvoid Water

How to Clean Ballet Canvas Shoes

Canvas Ballet Shoes

Canvas ballet shoes are an easy-to-maintain choice.

They can be machine washed unlike other types of ballet shoes.

You’ll need a lingerie bag to protect your delicate ballet shoes from being scratched or broken by other clothes in the wash.

I recommend a detergent that does not contain bleach or fabric softener.

The recommended washing cycle for canvas ballet shoes is a cold, delicate cycle.

You should also carefully wash it with similar items (using a spray bottle) such as tights and leotards.

Once the cycle has finished, place your leather ballet shoes on a dry towel and allow them to flatten.

Shape them by hand as best you can and avoid harsh sunlight.

When wet, you can put on socks to conform to the shape of your feet and make them more comfortable.

Make sure not to walk too much as the wetness of the fabric means that dirt and grime will stick easier.

How to Clean Ballet Leather Shoes

Ballet Leather Shoes

Leather ballet shoes are easy to maintain and should be hand-washed with a mild detergent and then hung up to air dry.

The leather is less porous than other materials so a damp cloth can also be used to clean it.

Maintaining shoes in this way helps the leather last longer by avoiding any build-up of dirt or salt in the sweat.

To keep your leather in great condition, always clean it with a cleaner, then with a conditioner.

If the cleaner dries out the leather, it will become brittle and might even crack.

The conditioner will keep the material pliable so that you can enjoy your purchase for many years to come.

Satin ballet shoes should be hand washed only.

Satin Ballet Shoes

For canvas shoes, you can use a gentle dish detergent but if you are using satin the same soap you would for the same material is best.

Fill your sink with cold water and add a few drops of the detergent to create suds.

Submerge your satin ballet sneakers in soapy water but do not twist or crumple them.

To rinse the detergent off the ballet shoes, empty the bucket or sink and refill it with cold water.

Then submerge them in clean, cold water again to rinse.

Continue to dry with a bath towel and reshape to avoid more creases.

This process should be followed for canvas, not satin ballet shoes.

How To Clean Pointe Shoes

Pointe Ballet Shoes

Cleaning pointe shoes is not a straightforward process.

There are many materials that need to be cleaned and disinfected, and the process can be quite time-consuming.

  1. The first step in cleaning pointe shoes is to remove all of the old adhesive residues. This can be done by using an adhesive remover, like Goo Gone or Citrus Cleaner, or by using a strong solvent like acetone or alcohol.
  2. Next, you’ll need to remove any dirt from the shoe with a soft brush and warm water. You may use a small amount of soap if needed.
  3. Rinse the shoe with clean water and towel dry it before proceeding to disinfect it with an anti-microbial agent such as Lysol Disinfectant Spray or Lysol Wipes.

How Do You Wash Bloch Ballet Canvas Shoes?

Bloch Ballet Shoes

You can clean your bloch canvas shoes by using a cloth soaked in mild detergent or running them through the washing machine on a gentle wash cycle.

It is okay to apply light pancake padding to Satin Ballet Flats and Pointe shoes.

But don’t saturate them, as that will affect the adhesive.

How To Clean Canvas Ballet Shoes By Hand

Canvas ballet shoes are usually made of canvas or leather and have a rubber sole.

They are used for dancing, such as in ballet, but can also be worn by people who enjoy dancing.

Cleaning canvas ballet shoes by hand is a tough task.

The dirt that gets stuck in the fabric of the shoe is hard to remove.

There are many ways of cleaning canvas ballet shoes by hand, but they all require time and effort.

  1. The best way to clean canvas ballet shoes by hand is to get a bucket of water, dish soap, and a towel.
  2. Put the shoes in the bucket and add some dish soap to it.
  3. Then scrub them with your hands or use a brush for extra scrubbing power.
  4. Rinse them with water and then dry them with a towel for an extra shine!

How To Clean Ballet Shoes With Toothpaste

There are many different ways to clean ballet shoes.

Some people use toothpaste,

While others use a mixture of baking soda and water.

  1. The first thing to do is to scrub the shoes with a toothbrush.
  2. To remove any dirt, you can also use a sponge with soap and water.
  3. After that, you should rinse the shoes and let them dry overnight.
  4. If they are still dirty after this process, you might want to try using a small amount of dish soap on them.
  5. You should then rinse the shoes again in order to ensure that they are clean.

Ballet Shoes History

Source: Dancing Magazine

“Ballet shoes initially had heels because they were still meant for courtly dances.

It took until halfway through the 18th century for a dancer to wear non-heeled ballet shoes.

This dancer was the Marie Camargo, also known simply as La Camargo, who performed the first public appearance of ballet without heels in 1763.”

Following the French Revolution of 1789, leather ballet slippers remained untouched in the sense that they were no longer strapped on with heels.

It is said that the first woman to dance on pointe was the Italian Marie Taglioni in a ballet called Sylphide,

Which premiered in 1832. She was the first ever to integrate this into choreography.

Ballet shoes in the early 20th-century were rather stiff, having no support or structure.

This made ballet dancers put a lot of pressure on their feet and legs.

Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballerina who performed regularly in theatres around the world, wanted to improve ballet shoes to make them more comfortable.

She began reinforcing the soles of her shoes and also started creating the beginning of toe boxes in her pointe shoes.

This led to the current design of leather ballet slippers.

What’s The Difference Between a Ballet Flat and a Ballet Shoe?

How to clean ballet shoes

It is no secret that the ballet flat has become a staple of women’s footwear.

But many people are confused about what separates a ballet shoe from a ballet flat.

The difference lies in the type of shoe, not the style.

Ballet flats are typically made with a flexible sole and are usually flat on the bottom,

While ballet shoes have more support and are often more structured than their flat counterparts.

There are many other different types of dance shoes available on the market.

They all have different purposes and prices.

Ballet flats are the most common type of shoe that dancers wear.

They are usually made of canvas or leather and have a low heel with a soft sole.

Ballet shoes, on the other hand, are more expensive than ballet flats and they have an elevated heel.

A ballet flat is a shoe worn by dancers to perform ballet,

While a ballet shoe is more expensive with an elevated heel and is worn to perform other types of dance.

Suede Sole On Dancing Shoes Look More Attractive

The most popular type of shoe is the dancing shoe.

It is usually made with synthetic materials and has a suede sole on it, which makes it perfect for ballroom dancing.

To reduce slippage, brush the suede soles with a brush before use.

The type of brush doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clean and without any oils on it.

A shoe brush, a toothbrush, or a dish brush should all be fine.

If your way of moving is slipping on the floor during class, you can use some water for the suede sole to give you more traction.

Source: YouTube


The type of material of your shoes affects how you should clean them.

For example, ballet shoes can usually be found in 3 materials: canvas, leather, or satin.

The cleaning process also depends on the material and can vary significantly!

Canvas or machine-washable shoes are easiest to clean because they can be thrown in the washing machine.

Clean your leather shoes by spot cleaning or reviving them with a damp cloth.

Be careful and avoid getting water on satin pointe shoes as the shape of the shoe may get distorted if too much water is absorbed.

Ballet has a long history, starting back in the Italian Renaissance, and the art form has spread all over the world by now.

Ballet shoes have evolved significantly in the last few centuries as well, most notably in the 19th century.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to clean ballet slippers?

There are a few different ways to clean ballet slippers. You can use a dry brush to get rid of the dirt and debris that might be on the surface. You can also use a cloth and soap to get rid of any stains or marks on the slipper.

How do you clean dirty ballet shoes?

There are many ways to clean dirty ballet shoes. You can use a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and water, a scrub brush or towel, dishwasher detergent, or baking soda. You can also try using baby shampoo. It is very gentle on the shoes and will help remove the dirt.

How do you get stains out of pointe shoes?

There are many ways to get stains out of pointe shoes. The first thing you should do is identify the type of stain on the shoe and then use the appropriate cleaning method for it. For example, if there is a dye stain on your pointe shoe, you will need to use a dye remover instead of water or soap to clean it off because soap will make the stain worse.

How do you wash a ballet leotard?

Washing ballet leotards is a process that should be handled with care. Here are some tips on how to do it properly:
1. Use cold water and mild detergent.
2. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible without twisting or wringing the leotard.
3. Hang dry for at least 24 hours before wearing again.

Simpy Singh
I am a professional product reviewer and buyer's guide for online sites. I've been doing product reviews since my early teenage years. I started out reviewing books on Youtube, before moving on to other types of products such as makeup, clothing, shoes, and electronics. It is so much fun to give people honest feedback about the things they're thinking of buying! After graduating with a degree in Literature from university, I decided to move into this line of work full-time and never looked back.