En Pointe

Professional Pointe Shoe Advice


How can I keep my pointe shoes clean?

Posted by [email protected] on August 27, 2011 at 8:10 AM

It is very sad when you have a beautiful new pair of pointe shoes and within one lesson you have already started to mark your pointe shoes. So what can you do?

Because the shoes are satin it is very difficult to clean them once they have got dirty, and you cannot wet a pointe shoe because it will go soft and mushy. Some dancers do, however, use calamine lotion to "white out" (also known as pancaking) the shoes, or effectively cover any marks on the shoes. To do this you must:

  • Stuff your pointe shoes as tightly as possible with paper, to avoid the shoes shrinking
  • Apply very light layers of the calamine with a sponge, try not to get the pointe shoes too moist
  • Leave to dry out between each layer of calamine lotion
  • Once you are happy with the coverage leave the shoes overnight so they have dried out completely
  • Remove the stuffing from the inside of the shoes.

Another way to cover marks on pointe shoes is by dying or spraying them a different colour. To dye the shoes you should use a Dylon cold water dye, DO NOT add salt to the dye (adding salt will leave uneven marks on the satin of your shoes) follow the instructions above, but use a toothbrush to apply coats of dye. Dying your shoes also keeps the sheen of the satin.  To spray your shoes you need a shoe spray like Magix, this way will cover marks on your shoes, but will also lose the sheen of the satin. To spray your shoes follow the directions above.

The most effective way of having a clean pair of shoes is to use pointe shoe covers, this way you avoid marking the satin, keeping your shoes beautiful. If you have an upcoming exam using the covers is ideal, adn saves having to buy a new pair of pointes just so they're clean. These protective covers can be worn whilst dancing, as they have the suede protection on the soles and tips to avoid slipping.

Categories: Pointe Shoes & Info

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