Can Ballet Shoes Be Washed?
What can’t a good wash do? It’s a common misconception that ballet shoes can’t be washed, but that’s simply not the case. In this article, we’ll discuss how and when to wash ballet shoes to make sure they remain in tip-top condition!
1. What You Need to Know About Washing Ballet Shoes
If you’re a professional ballet dancer, or someone who’s just starting out, you may have wondered whether your ballet shoes can be washed. The answer is yes, they can be washed. But, there are some important things to keep in mind if you want to maintain the quality of the shoes.
1. Use a gentle detergent: It’s important that you use a gentle soap or detergent when washing your ballet shoes. Harsh detergents can damage the delicate material. Use either a mild liquid detergent or a mild soap, such as a mild natural soap bar.
2. Handwash only: Handwashing is the safest way to keep your ballet shoes clean. Avoid using a washing machine to clean them, as this can cause damage to the material. If you need to scrub your shoes clean, use an old toothbrush or a soft nylon-bristled brush.
3. Let them air-dry: It’s important that you never put your shoes in the dryer as this can cause them to shrink or get damaged. Instead, let them air-dry naturally. You can also stuff them with newspaper to help absorb the moisture.
4. Take preventive measures: In order to keep your shoes clean, it’s important to take preventive measures. This includes avoiding walking in open fields or doing any strenuous activities in your ballet shoes. Additionally, you should always wear socks or tights with your shoes to protect them from dirt and sweat.
5. Replace when needed: Finally, you should replace your shoes when necessary. If your shoes become worn or damaged, it’s best to get a new pair to avoid potential injury.
2. Why You Should Wash Your Ballet Shoes
Washing your ballet shoes is important for various reasons. Below are a few of the reasons :
- Help them last longer: Dirt and sweat can cause your shoes to wear quickly, making them lose their shape and discolour over time. Regularly cleaning them can help them stay in good shape for longer.
- Hygiene: Washing your shoes can help reduce odours, minimize bacteria buildup and keep your feet healthy.
- Look good: You want your ballet shoes to look their best, but dirt and wear will make them look scruffy. Washing them can help restore their colour and finish.
Maintaining your ballet shoes is an essential part of taking care of them and keeping them in their best condition. The effort you put into taking care of your shoes will be returned to you in performance quality and longer wear.
3. The Best Way to Clean Ballet Shoes
Cleaning ballet shoes is an important step for any dancer to ensure that their shoes remain in good condition. Here are some of the best ways to keep your ballet shoes looking like new:
- Spot Clean: Use a soft cloth with an appropriate cleaning agent to try and remove any stubborn marks and stains.
- Hand wash: Dilute a drop of mild detergent in a bowl of warm water, then gently rub the stained areas with a soft cloth or brush. Pay extra attention to the insoles of the ballet shoes.
- Machine wash: Place the shoes in a mesh laundry bag and set your machine to a delicate cycle. Do not use hot water or a heavy cycle, as this could damage the shoes.
In addition, try to avoid wetting the laces, ribbon, or elastic parts of the shoe as this can cause them to become frayed or discolored. After the shoes have been cleaned, allow them to dry completely before being worn again.
4. What You Should Avoid When Washing Ballet Shoes
No matter if your ballet shoes are made of leather or canvas, there are some rules to take into consideration:
- Avoid Using Dish-Washing Detergent. This type of detergent is usually too abrasive and can damage the delicate material of the shoes.
- Do Not Soak the Shoes. When dealing with leather shoes, soaking them can damage its structure.
- Do Not Dry with Direct Heat or Sunlight. The heat of the dryer or sun can cause cracks and/or damage to the fabric.
Be also aware of the fact that regular washing can cause the shoes to wear faster. To avoid this, be sure to follow the care recommendations mentioned on the tag attached to the shoes.
5. Taking Care of Your Ballet Shoes for Long-Lasting Wear
It’s important to keep your ballet shoes clean in order to maintain them for long-lasting wear. You should make sure to regularly remove dirt and other debris that builds up on them while practising or performing. You can clean your ballet shoes with a damp cloth or use a special cleaning brush designed specially for dance shoes.
After cleaning your ballet shoes, allow them to dry thoroughly. Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight, as this can cause damage to the leather or other materials. Instead, lightly pat them dry with a soft towel or hang them in an airy spot for the best results.
Keeping Them Supple
Keeping your ballet shoes soft and supple will also help in preserving them. You can make use of a thin layer of leather balm or other special shoe care product to keep the leather supple and clean. Keep in mind not to use too much of the balm as this can weaken the leather and reduce the life of the shoes.
Condition Once a Month
Once a month, you should condition your ballet shoes with a light leather conditioner in order to keep them from cracking or becoming brittle. Another good practice is to stuff the toes of the shoes with tissue paper when they’re not in use to help them maintain their shape. Overall, it is possible to clean and keep your ballet shoes in good condition, but you should always consider the instructions on the shoe’s label, as the material and type of dirt can determine the cleaning steps you should take. Keeping ballet shoes looking pristine is an important part of maintaining your ballet routine and will ultimately make you look great on the dance floor.