How to wash canvas ballet shoes

Do you have a pair of white canvas ballet shoes, and you’re not quite sure how to clean them properly? You’re in luck! In this blog post, we’ll teach you all the ins and outs of cleaning your canvas ballet shoes. Not only do these shoes look great on the dance floor, but they are also very comfortable and essential for protecting your feet during performances. Whether you use them casually or professionally as part of your performance attire, it is important to keep them clean for optimal comfort. Keep reading to learn more about how to effectively wash your canvas ballet shoes!

Checking Care Instructions

1. Examining Manufacturer Recommendations

Before diving into cleaning your canvas ballet shoes, it’s important to check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. These can be found on the label or packaging of your shoes, and they will give you important information about how to properly care for them without damaging the fabric or material. It’s essential to follow these recommendations carefully as each shoe may have specific requirements.

2. Understanding Material Composition

It’s also important to understand the material composition of your canvas ballet shoes. Canvas is a durable cotton fabric that is commonly used for ballet shoes due to its lightweight and breathable nature. However, it can be sensitive to certain cleaning agents, so make sure you know what types of materials or chemicals should be avoided when washing.

3. Identifying Any Attached Decorations or Details

Some ballet shoes may come with attached decorations or details, such as ribbons or sequins. It’s important to take note of these before washing as they may require special care or removal prior to cleaning.

Preparing Ballet Shoes for Washing

1. Removing Insoles and Inserts

Before washing, it’s important to remove any insoles or inserts from your ballet shoes. These can be hand washed separately or replaced with new ones after cleaning.

2. Brushing Off Excess Dirt and Debris

Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush off any excess dirt or debris from the surface of your ballet shoes. This will help to loosen and remove any particles that may be stuck on the fabric.

3. Checking for Loose Threads or Damage

Inspect your shoes for any loose threads or damage. If you find any, use a pair of scissors to carefully trim them off or mend any small tears before washing.

Hand Washing Canvas Ballet Shoes

1. Preparing a Mild Soapy Solution

Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent or soap. Make sure to use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner to avoid damaging your shoes.

2. Using a Soft Brush or Cloth to Clean

Dip a soft brush or cloth into the soapy solution and gently scrub your shoes, paying extra attention to any stained areas. Avoid scrubbing too hard as this may damage the fabric.

3. Gently Scrubbing Surface Stains

For tougher or set-in stains, you can use a gentle stain remover specifically designed for delicate fabrics. Be sure to test the product on a small, inconspicuous area first before applying it to the entire shoe.

Machine Washing Canvas Ballet Shoes

1. Placing Shoes in a Mesh Bag

If you prefer to machine wash your canvas ballet shoes, it’s important to first place them in a mesh bag. This will prevent them from getting tangled or damaged during the washing process.

2. Using a Delicate or Hand Wash Cycle

Set your washing machine to a delicate or hand wash cycle with cold water. It’s important to avoid using hot water as this can shrink or damage the fabric.

3. Avoiding Harsh Detergents and Bleach

Make sure to use a gentle detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics and avoid using bleach. Harsh chemicals can damage the fabric and cause discoloration.

Drying Canvas Ballet Shoes

1. Removing Excess Water with Towels

After washing, remove your ballet shoes from the mesh bag and use a towel to gently pat them dry. Avoid twisting or wringing them out as this can warp the shape of the shoe.

2. Reshaping Shoes and Toe Boxes

Once they have been patted dry, reshape the shoes and toe boxes with your hands to their original form. This will help them maintain their shape while drying.

3. Air Drying in a Well-Ventilated Area

Finally, lay your ballet shoes flat on a towel in a well-ventilated area and allow them to air dry completely. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or using a dryer as this can cause shrinkage or damage the fabric. Once they are fully dry, you can put your insoles and inserts back in and they will be ready to wear again!

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

1. High Heat and Direct Sunlight

As mentioned before, it’s important to avoid high heat and direct sunlight when washing or drying your canvas ballet shoes. This can cause shrinkage, discoloration, and damage to the fabric.

2. Using Harsh Chemicals

Be cautious when using any cleaning products on your ballet shoes as harsh chemicals can damage the fabric or cause discoloration. Always test on a small area first and use gentle, non-abrasive cleaners specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

3. Overwashing

Finally, try to avoid overwashing your canvas ballet shoes. While it’s important to keep them clean, washing too frequently can wear out the fabric and cause damage. Instead, spot clean as needed and only wash when necessary.

Storing Clean Ballet Shoes

1. Keeping Shoes in a Dry Place

After washing and drying, make sure to store your ballet shoes in a dry place. This will prevent any mold or mildew from forming on the damp fabric.

2. Using Shoe Bags or Pouches

Consider using shoe bags or pouches to keep your ballet shoes clean and protected while not in use. This can also help prevent them from getting damaged or dirty in your dance bag.

3. Replacing Worn Out Shoes

If you notice that your ballet shoes are becoming overly worn or damaged, it may be time to replace them with a new pair. Taking good care of your shoes can help prolong their lifespan, but eventually they will need to be replaced for optimal comfort and performance.

Additional Tips for Special Cases

1. Spot Cleaning for Stubborn Stains

If you have a stubborn stain on your ballet shoes that doesn’t come out with regular cleaning, try spot cleaning it with a gentle cloth and some warm water. You can also use a mild detergent or stain remover, but be sure to test it on a small area first.

2. Treating Odors with Baking Soda

To keep your ballet shoes smelling fresh, sprinkle some baking soda inside them and let sit for a few hours before shaking out the excess. This can help absorb any lingering odors.

3. Dealing with Color Fading

If you notice that your ballet shoes are fading in color, avoid washing them with dark or bright colors and consider using a fabric dye specifically designed for canvas to restore their original hue. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and test on a small area first.

Regular Maintenance Routine

1. Establishing a Cleaning Schedule

To keep your ballet shoes in top condition, establish a regular cleaning schedule to prevent any buildup of dirt or stains. This can also help prolong the lifespan of your shoes.

2. Rotating Between Multiple Pairs

Consider having multiple pairs of ballet shoes and rotating between them to reduce wear and tear on a single pair. This can also give your shoes time to air out and prevent any odors from developing.

3. Knowing When to Replace Ballet Shoes

Lastly, be aware of the signs that it’s time to replace your ballet shoes. This can include visible wear and tear, loss of support or comfort, or a noticeable decrease in performance. By replacing your shoes when necessary, you can continue dancing safely and comfortably. Overall, taking proper care of your canvas ballet shoes can help them last longer and keep them looking clean and fresh.


In conclusion, whether you choose to hand wash or machine wash your canvas ballet shoes, it’s important to use gentle methods and avoid harsh chemicals. Taking the time to properly dry and store your shoes can also help prolong their lifespan. And don’t forget about regular maintenance and knowing when it’s time to replace worn out shoes. By following these tips, you can keep your ballet shoes in top condition and continue dancing with confidence. So go ahead, put on your freshly washed canvas ballet shoes and hit the dance floor! Happy dancing!

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