How To Clean Dance Shoes? (The Ultimate Guide)

Dirty shoes are like faulty brakes. They can lose grip (friction) at any time and lead you into tension while dancing in them. This is why you need to learn how to clean dance shoes to avoid unprecedented accidents while dancing. 

In this article, I will provide you with the steps on how to take care of your dance shoes to have long-lasting use and enjoy the value for your money.

Things You Need To Clean Your Dance Shoes

Dirty shoes are risky to perform in. They are a ticking time bomb, especially if the dirt is damp and already taking effect by eating up the construction of your dance shoes.

You will need these materials if you want to keep your dance shoes in good condition:

  • Brush
  • Shoe oil
  • Shoe polish 
  • Water spray 
  • Clean microfiber cloth


The brush you use depends on the type of dance shoe you have. Nonetheless, after careful research, many dance shoes are made with the suede upper, suede sole, or a combination of both. This places suede brushes among one the must-have brushes in your cleaning kit.

Shoe Oil

Shoe oil is most important for dancers who own leather dance shoes. This will refresh your leather dance shoe – also keep them clear of cracks.

Shoe Polish 

Shoe polish is equally important and does somewhat the same thing shoe oil does. But shoe polish is not limited to leather shoes alone and can be very good in restoring the colour of your dance shoes after cleaning them.

Water Spray

This comes in handy when you have a stubborn stain or spot. You’ll need water spray for a spot-clean dance shoe.

Clean Microfiber Cloth

Having a clean microfibre cloth is paramount. This will serve well in wiping off the moisture on your dance shoes. Moisture can cause a lot of damage, especially to satin and leather shoe, to name the least.

Types Of Dance Shoes And How To Clean Them

There are different types of dance shoes, but most of them are made with common materials – all crafted differently to display individual brand professionalism.

  • Leather
  • Satin
  • Suede
  • Patent Leather
  • Nubuck

Leather Dance Shoes

Many dance shoes today are made with full-grain leather or a touch of leather. Cleaning a leather shoe is simple but needs to be done accordingly.

  • Polish them once a week.
  • Apply a small amount of shoe oil to moisturize them.
  • Use a clean microfibre cloth to clean.

This routine will keep your leather dance shoes clean and shiny for the rest of the week.

Satin Dance Shoes

Satin is a delicate material, therefore, requiring unique treatments not to get damaged. 

To clean them:

  • Brush away any dirt or dust with a soft bristle brush;
  • Blot stains and dirt with a clean microfibre cloth using cold water from the top to the bottom of the shoes. Use the mild liquid for stubborn stains;
  • Rinse shoes by patting them with a clean microfiber cloth;
  • Use clean towels to dry first before air drying to avoid watermarks.

And you are good to go!

Suede Dance Shoes

To clean your suede-made dance shoes, start by:

  • Brushing them with a suede brush;
  • Use suede shampoo for difficult stains removal;
  • Brush from the front to the back and then apply a suede dressing.


Make sure to use suede dressing in advance to ensure they have time to dry out well.

Patent Leather Dance Shoes

You’ll need to be delicate with your patent leather dance shoes. To clean them, start by:

  • Cleaning off the dirt with a damp cloth;
  • Apply patent dressing on them when they are dry;
  • Shine them regularly with a soft clean cloth to keep them shiny and clean;
  • Do not use regular shoe polish on them. It will destroy the shiny finish.


Always use a patent protector polish on them to keep the patent from sticking when you bring your feet together.

Nubuck Dance Shoes 

If you have a nubuck shoe that requires cleaning, you can follow the instructions on cleaning your suede shoes – as nubuck is a cowhide with leather rubbed on the exterior to give it a suede look.


Do not submerge your shoes under water. This will damage your shoes to the point of no repair!

Cleaning The Soles Of Your Dance Shoes

The sole of your shoe requires special treatment. Most shoes, except satin ballet shoes, tend to have soft upper but thick soles. Therefore, it is only appropriate that you have different materials to clean both parts of your shoe.

Cleaning the sole of your shoe is very easy. Brush the sole with a designated shoe brush, then apply some designated shoe oil to keep them shiny.

Be careful not to catch and pull the stitches holding the sole of your shoe together, and also not to accidentally brush the upper part of your dance shoes.

You can easily replace the sole of your dance shoe with a new one if the old one is worn out already!

Cleaning The Interior Of Your Dance Shoes

As much as you need to keep your shoes clean to extend their longevity, you will equally need to clean the interior to maintain a healthy use!

Here is the list of what you need to clean the inside of your shoes:

  • Salt
  • Baby powder
  • Baking soda
  • Fabric softener sheets


Sprinkle a fair amount of salt in your shoes to keep the smell out. Use occasionally to avoid damaging the leather for leather shoes.

Baby powder

Apply baby powder on your feet before wearing your shoes. This will help keep your feet dry and keep them from smelling. Effective for those who wear dance shoes without socks!

Baking soda

Apply baking soda to your shoes and let them sleep overnight. Take out the powder in the morning and wear your shoes. Use occasionally to avoid damaging the leather for leather shoes.

Fabric softener sheets

Fabric softener sheets are good deodorizers. Stuck a fair chunk in your shoes and let them sleep overnight. Remove them in the morning and thank me later.

Final Words

Dance shoes already have rigorous activities poured into them, so you don’t need dirt to hasten the disability of your dance shoe. All dance shoes are investments that need to be taken good care of at all costs to enjoy the value of money put into them. Clean your shoes today and enjoy the dance!

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