How to Clean Canvas Ballet Shoes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Cleaning your canvas ballet shoes is essential not only for maintaining their longevity but also for keeping them looking fresh and presentable. Whether you are a professional dancer or an enthusiastic beginner, this step-by-step guide will help you learn the best practices in cleaning your beloved canvas ballet shoes.

Gather Your Supplies

Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s important to gather all the necessary supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

Mild Detergent:

Choose a gentle detergent that won’t damage the delicate canvas fabric of your ballet shoes.

Soft Bristle Brush:

A soft-bristle brush, such as a toothbrush or shoe brush, will help remove dirt and stains without causing any harm to the fabric.

Clean Cloth:

Have a clean cloth ready for wiping away excess moisture during and after cleaning.

Rubber Bands:

Rubber bands can be useful for securing laces or ribbons while washing and drying your ballet shoes.

The Cleaning Process

Step 1: Remove Laces or Ribbons (If Applicable)

Start by removing any laces or ribbons from your canvas ballet shoes. This will allow you to clean them more effectively without damaging these delicate accessories.


To avoid tangling, tie each pair of laces together in a loose knot before setting them aside.

Step 2: Brush Off Excess Dirt

Take your soft bristle brush and gently scrub away any visible dirt or dust on the surface of your ballet shoes. Be thorough but careful not to apply too much pressure that could cause damage to the canvas.

Step 3: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

In a small bowl, mix a few drops of mild detergent with warm water. Stir the solution gently to create a soapy mixture suitable for cleaning your ballet shoes.

Step 4: Spot Clean Stains

Dip the soft bristle brush into the soapy mixture and gently scrub any stubborn stains or marks on your canvas ballet shoes. Focus on stained areas while being cautious not to oversaturate the fabric.


If you’re dealing with tough stains that won’t budge easily, try using a gentle stain remover specifically formulated for delicate fabrics like canvas.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

After spot cleaning, rinse off all traces of soap from your ballet shoes under lukewarm running water. Ensure that no detergent residue is left behind as it can attract dirt and make future cleanings more difficult.


Avoid submerging your ballet shoes in water as excessive moisture can weaken their structure over time. A gentle rinsing is sufficient.

Step 6: Remove Excess Moisture and Air Dry

Gently press down on your canvas ballet shoes with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture. Avoid wringing or twisting them, as this can cause damage or misshape them. Once excess moisture has been absorbed, reshape your ballet shoes and place them in an area away from direct sunlight to air dry naturally.


To maintain their shape during drying, consider stuffing your damp ballet shoes with crumpled newspaper or tissue paper until they are completely dry.

In Conclusion

Follow these simple steps regularly to keep your canvas ballet shoes looking pristine and extend their lifespan significantly. By investing just a little time and effort into cleaning them properly, you’ll ensure that your ballet shoes remain comfortable and stylish for many dance practices and performances to come. Happy dancing!