How to Clean Satin Pointe Shoes

Updated February 21, 2017

Satin pointe shoes are dazzling when new. The satin is shiny, pristine and a fresh shade of pink or peach. However, these pointe shoes become subject to a host of abuses; aside from supporting the weight of your entire body for hours a day, you pound, jump, spin and turn on them in dance studios, rehearsal spaces and stages that are often less than clean. While some dancers like the worn look of dirty pointe shoes, others don't. Unfortunately, you can't clean your pointe shoes with water; it will soften them, making them wear out quickly. However, there is a strategic technique to use instead.

Wrap the ribbons of the pointe shoes around the heel of each shoe. Tuck in the ribbons. This is to keep them out of the way as you clean them.

Dab a nickel-sized amount of calamine lotion onto a cotton ball. Pat the cotton ball around the exterior of the box, or toe, of the shoe. You will see the dirt absorb into the calamine lotion and your shoes will become a more muted shade of pink.

Continue to dab a nickel-sized amount of calamine lotion onto a fresh cotton ball and tap it gently against the exterior of the shoe. Do this until you have covered the exterior of the shoe.

Set your shoes in a clean, dry place to dry. Ideally, placing them in direct sunlight should help harden up the box of the shoe again as the calamine lotion might soften it a bit.

Things You'll Need

  • Pointe shoes
  • Calamine lotion
  • Cotton balls
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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."