How to Clean Ballet Slippers?

Ballet dance aims for perfection. But the visual aspect is more important than the technical one. Everything from the clothes, shoes and dance moves must look clean and well-polished. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case as ballet slippers tend to be soil frequently and need regular cleaning.

However, cleaning your ballet slippers is not as simple as tossing them in the machine. The process can be more intricate. That’s why we have put together a guide on how to clean them perfectly and ensure that their appearance and performance are up to par.

how to wash ballet slippers

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What You’ll Need to Wash Ballet Slippers?

  • Leather Slippers
  • Gentle Liquid Dish Soap
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Warm Water
  • Towel
  • Canvas Slippers
  • Small bag
  • Laundry machine
  • Mild non-bleach detergent Towel
  • Satin Ballet Shoes
  • Mild laundry soap
  • Cold water
  • Towel
  • Basin

Recommend reading: What You Must Know on Cleaning All Sorts of Slippers


How to Clean Ballet Slippers?

If cleaning your leather ballet slippers, spot cleaning is the best way to clean a mark.

  • Apply a damp cloth to the mark and rub the stain as gently as you can.
  • Alternatively, you can use baby wipes for superficial stains. But, make sure you patch test the leather first to prevent wipes from affecting the material’s color and texture.


For more troublesome stains, here is the process to follow:

  • Put a few drops of mild dishwashing soap in a bowl of warm water. Then, stir until it lathers.
  • Wet your sponge in this mixture and thoroughly wash your leather slipper’s surface.
  • Rinse the sponge using clean water and wipe any remaining soap residue on your shoes.
  • Dry using a towel.


Canvas ballet slippers are easy to clean as the process is straightforward. Here is what to do:

  • Put your slippers inside a small bag. Doing this protects and prevents them from tangling inside the laundry machine.
  • Set your machine on a delicate cycle and add a mild detergent.
  • Put your ballet slippers inside the machine and run the cycle. Please don’t use a fabric softener or bleaching product.
  • After completing the wash, take out the slippers from the bag and place them on a towel. Then, take them outside to dry. However, avoid placing them under direct sunlight.
  • Once dried, use calamine lotion or foundation makeup to restore color if need be.


If you are cleaning satin shoes, you should be careful not to mess with the shine. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill your basin with cold water and add mild laundry soap. Please take note of the water quantity you need to use.
  • Submerge your slippers in your water, but avoid twisting or crumpling them.
  • Once the detergent has removed the stain, empty the water and refill your basin with clean cold water.
  • Rinse until no suds come out when you press them. But don’t twist or wring your satin ballet slippers.
  • Remove and gently press your ballet shoes to remove excess water.
  • Put them outside to dry but not under direct sunlight.


Other Cleaning Tips & Caring Tips

Giving your ballet slippers occasional deep clean can help increase their lifespan. However, please avoid aggressive cleaning as it can weaken the material causing it to separate. Spot cleaning regularly can minimize the number of deep cleaning you have to do while keeping your shoes looking new.

You can spot clean with baking soda as it removes stains quickly. Make sure you mix ½ cup of water with a cup of baking soda to create a paste that you can brush on stains on any ballet slippers.

You can also use baking soda to reduce odor. Once you finish the practice, sprinkle some baking soda on each shoe to absorb moisture and eliminate particles that cause the smell to linger.



When cleaning ballet slippers, always consider the material they are made from. Also, ensure that you keep them clean and neat for your next performance.