For many ballet dancers, their precious shoes are the most important part of their wardrobe. The shoes give a dancer the ability to perform difficult steps, and they can be very expensive.
So naturally, dancers want to take good care of their shoes. One question that often arises is: Can ballet shoes be washed?
The answer is both yes and no. Ballet shoes can be washed, but it depends on the type of shoe and the material.
Most ballet slippers are made from leather or canvas, while pointe shoes may be made from satin or leather. Since fabric-based ballet slippers are more delicate than leather ones, washing them may not be recommended.
Leather ballet shoes can usually be washed safely with a mild detergent and warm water. You should never use hot water, as this could cause the material to shrink or fade. After washing your leather ballet shoes, allow them to air dry away from direct sunlight.
Canvas ballet slippers should not be washed in water at all, as this could cause them to stretch out of shape and weaken the fabric. Instead, you should wipe down your canvas slippers with a damp cloth after every use to remove sweat and dirt buildup.
Pointe shoes should never be washed with water as this may damage them irreparably. You should instead clean your pointe shoes with a soft brush after every use to remove dirt and sweat buildup. If necessary, you can also spot-clean pointe shoes using an old toothbrush dipped in rubbing alcohol.
In conclusion, most types of ballet slippers can be safely washed with mild detergent and warm water; however fabric-based ones should only ever be wiped down with a damp cloth while pointe shoes should never come into contact with water at all.
Conclusion: Ballet slippers can generally be washed safely in warm water; however certain materials such as canvas or satin may require special care when cleaning such as wiping down with a damp cloth or spot-cleaning with rubbing alcohol.