You nailed the audition, you got the part and you just ran outside to let your family and friends know. The problem? You forgot to change from your dancing shoes to your street shoes. Now you have scuff marks and a bit of dirt on the side and soles of your beautiful white shoes. Is there an easy way of cleaning them?

The first step is to get those shoes off your feet before they face any further damage. If it is a long drive home, go back inside the building and use a damp paper towel, soap and water to wipe off as much of the dirt and markings as possible. That will cut down on the chance of the stain setting. Avoid scrubbing, though, until you get home.

Only wash your dancing shoes in the washer if you know they are machine washable. Hang them to dry, rather than put them in the dryer and risk shrinking. To hand wash your shoes, use an old soft-bristle toothbrush and white toothpaste (blue and red gels may stain your shoes). Use a damp washcloth to wipe off the paste.

Keep a bottle of white shoe polish on hand. A light layer across the mark may cover up stubborn stains. Put the shoe someplace safe and let it dry for 15 to 20 minutes.

Repel Dirt from New White Leather Dancing Shoes

Keep your new white leather dancing shoes looking brand new with some preventative maintenance. Here’s how.

  1. Remove the shoes from the box and take out the shoelaces. Put them into the box for safekeeping.
  2. Spread an old towel on the sidewalk and set your shoes about six inches apart on the towel.
  3. Spray the shoes with leather waterproofing solution until they are thoroughly coated. Let dry for four to five hours.
  4. Apply another coat and let the shoes dry for another five hours. Replace the shoelaces and put the shoes back in the box until ready to use. This coating will keep them protected from water stains, dirt and scuff marks for quite some time.

Safe Transporting

Carry a bag that has a designated shoe compartment. Dust your shoes gently before putting them away and close the space to protect the shoes from damage. A few minutes of care will prevent damage to your shoes between practice and performances.