Are you a ballet dancer looking for ways to keep your pointe shoes looking their best? Are you a dance teacher looking for tips on how to clean your students’ pointe shoes? If so, this blog post is for you! We’ll discuss the best cleaning techniques, products, and hacks to help keep your pointe and canvas ballet shoes in clean condition.
How to Clean Pointe or Ballet Shoes
Here are 7 different ways to clean satin pointe or ballet shoes at home.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be a great option to clean your pointe shoes. It is a mild abrasive that helps remove dirt and scuff marks. To use baking soda, mix one part water with two parts baking soda and apply the mixture directly to the material.
For bigger pointe shoes, you might need to use additional baking soda. You can also sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in each shoe after wearing them to keep them fresh.
Additionally, you can use baking soda to eliminate bad odours by adding a couple of teaspoons into the shoes overnight. Baking soda is an effective and natural way to clean pointe shoes, but it should be used alongside other cleaning methods like hand washing or using a washing machine for more stubborn stains.
2. Hand Washing
Hand washing is a great way to keep pointe shoes clean. Gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and mild detergent, and rinse with water. Make sure to use a motion that follows the same direction as the satin fibers. For extra cleaning power, you can use baking soda or vinegar. Depending on the type of pointe shoes.
3. Use a Washing Machine
Using a washing machine to clean pointe shoes is an option, though you should be careful to put them in a wash bag and use a gentle cycle with water. While canvas ballet shoes are more suitable for this method of cleaning, leather shoes should be avoided as the water can cause damage. Once the cycle is finished, you can air dry the shoes or pan-cake them to help restore the original shape.
4. Try Vinegar to remove the stain
Vinegar is a great solvent for stain removal, especially when used in combination with baking soda. To use vinegar as a cleaner, mix one tablespoon of hot water with one tablespoon of white vinegar in a bowl. Use the solution with a soft cloth or toothbrush to gently rub away any stain on your pointe shoes.
Alternatively, if the stain is more stubborn, try using a mix of soap and warm water and dabbing the stain with a cloth or toothbrush. Finally, if you have leather pointe shoes, try using a drop of mild detergent on the shoes and then wiping it off with a dry towel or cloth or toothbrush.
5. Using Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a great way to clean ballet shoes as it helps to break in the material and soften the satin. Mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a bowl, then use a soft cloth to wipe down the shoes with the solution. For stubborn stains, apply a small amount of paste directly onto the stain and rub gently with a cloth or toothbrush.
It’s important to remember that pointe shoes should never be submerged in water, so instead, dab a small amount of detergent onto the stains and rub them gently with a clean rag.
For extra softening, try filling a spray bottle with one part alcohol and two parts distilled water and lightly misting the shoes. This practice will help keep your pointe shoes in good condition for longer, so you can keep dancing without worrying about wear and tear!
6. Spot Cleaning
Spot cleaning is another effective way to clean ballet or pointe shoes. It’s best used for small stains or marks, such as scuff marks or dirt. To spot clean, you can use a wet paper towel, damp cloth, or a soft brush to gently scrub the stain away.
For more difficult stains, you can also use fabric detergent, but make sure it is as mild as possible. Additionally, you can also try using a baking soda paste for stain removal. Simply mix warm water with two tablespoons of baking powder until you get a thick paste and apply it to the stain.
Wait a few minutes, then use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe it away. When cleaning pointe shoes, be sure to avoid washing them in the machine or submerging them in water, as they will shrink if they come into contact with water.
7. Dry the Wet Pointe Shoes
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having your pointe shoes get wet, fear not. The best way to dry them is to take out any padding and other removable pieces, such as ribbons and elastic, and lay them out flat. Place a towel inside each shoe and gently reshape them while they’re still wet. You should never put your pointe shoes in the dryer, as this could cause them to shrink. Let them air-dry naturally instead. Once they’ve dried, you can reattach any padding or ribbons to your pointe shoes and get back to dancing!
How to Clean Canvas Ballet Shoes by Hand
Cleaning canvas ballet shoes by hand is an easy process that will help the shoes last longer and look better. Here are some quick steps to follow:
1. Fill a basin with cold water and add mild hand-washing detergent according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Immerse the canvas ballet shoes in the water and gently agitate them for a few minutes.
3. Rinse them with cold water and allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
4. For more delicate satin ballet shoes, use a mild detergent and wipe it off with a dry towel or cloth, or use a toothbrush to gently scrub away any stubborn dirt.
5. Never put canvas ballet shoes in the dryer; tumble drying will cause shrinkage and damage to the material.
Taking good care of your canvas ballet shoes is an important part of maintaining their look, fit, and feel. Following these steps will help keep your shoes in great shape for years to come.
What to Avoid While Cleaning Pointe Shoes
It is important to remember several key points when cleaning pointe shoes.
- Firstly, avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasives that can damage the fabric or the shoes.
- Additionally, never use calamine lotion or any other whitening products as they may damage the shoes.
- Be sure to lightly dampen a soft cloth or toothbrush and use mild detergent if necessary.
- Finally, be sure to hang your pointe shoes up when you get home to ensure they dry properly and maintain their shape.