Cleaning shoes

How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes

Jane Bertin
By Jane Bertin. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes

The hygiene of your dancewear is very important, and nothing makes more of a difference than perfect pointe shoes. While ballet slippers can be submerged and rubbed with dishwasher soap and a toothbrush, pointe shoes take more work.

Pointe shoes have wooden blocks at the front, so you must be very careful not to get them wet. The cleaning process of pointe shoes, then, requires extra attention. Here at OneHowTo we'll give you some key tips to know how to clean your pointe shoes.

You'll need:

  • Tub
  • Soapy water
  • Hand towel
  • Baking soda
  • Small brush, toothbrush or nail brush.
You may also be interested in: How to Clean Cloth Shoes

Steps to follow:


Cover the front part - the hard point - with paper tape, protecting them from accidentally getting wet.


Get a tub with water and liquid soap ready. Take a small toothbrush or nailbrush and a hand towel, which you will use to dry each part of the shoe as you clean.

How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes - Step 2

Dip the brush in the soapy water and rub the shoes clean. Remember to dry as you go along. The ribbons can be washed normally.

How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes - Step 3

Once that's done, add some more liquid soap to the water and repeat the procedure. This how you completely clean your pointe shoes.


Once your pointe shoes are clean, remove the paper and tape that protected them. Leave them to dry under the sun or in the shade. If you're in a hurry, you can dry them with a hair dryer.

How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes - Step 5

If the problem with your pointe shoes is that they are visibly stained, you can use baking soda.

Create a paste with a bit of baking soda and water, and apply it on the stains with the small brush or a cloth. Rub them and let the paste dry - when it's done, wipe away the residue. It's also very good to remove deodorant stains!


Since pointe shoes can become worn very quickly, you might not even have the time to clean them. In order to make your pointe shoes last longer, remember to take out the padding and let them dry between uses: the sweat can damage the wooden block. You can also stuff the box with absorbent paper.

Apply pointe shoe hardener - from professional liquids to shellac or superglue - inside the (dry) box where your toes go every once in a while if you feel your pointe shoes are too soft. Make sure you clean the brush afterwards.


These have been some instructions on how to clean your pointe shoes. If you have any doubts, ask your ballet teacher and check the manufactor's website for extra guidance.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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1 comment
Alice reynolds
A better way is to dip a qtip into some nail varnish remover and dab it over the stain
Mary Smith
Thank you for your tip! :)
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How to Clean Your Pointe Shoes