Is ballroom dancing your passion or career? If yes, then you probably made and will make some good investments for the things you need for your performance and practices. Buying outfits and shoes that would match sometimes take up too much of a dancer’s time. The budget is, of course, considered every time.
The good thing about ballroom dancing is that ballroom shoes are not like plastic spoons and forks that can be disposable after one-time use. Why buy a lot of shoes when you can maintain a high-quality one the best way you can? Here, we’ll talk about different tricks and tips on how to clean ballroom dance shoes.
How to Clean Ballroom Dance Shoes
Let’s go straight to the point, shall we? Obviously, ballroom dance shoes get easily worn out with everyday practice sessions and even once-in-a-while performances. Scratches from here to there can’t be avoided as it really normally happens no matter how much you try to prevent it.
What’s more is that dirt from the practice area also accumulates way too fast, and later on, covers the entire shoe. Now, that’s what we do not want to happen. Specific ballroom shoes require a specific kind of cleaning and care. We should keep in mind that not all cleaning agents would be very helpful. The materials of the shoes are, of course, considered.
Below are some of the ways to clean ballroom shoes without damaging them:
- Leather Shoes
You might be fond of using leather shoes, but they are not exempt from all those dirt. Most of the time, these are the shoes that are easily scratched. You are lucky enough if you have bought expensive scratchproof leather shoes. Sadly, that’s not the case for everybody.
To clean a pair of leather shoes, rub the sole and the harder leather with a damp paper towel. A kitchen towel could also work. You should then use a leather polish, which you can find at your local department stores. If not, try online stores.
Make sure to buy the right shade of leather polish. Using this would make your shoes look shiny and prevent it from getting scratched easily. Lastly, do not use water to clean it because this may result in the tarnishing of the leather.
- Patent Leather Shoes
When cleaning patent leather shoes, do not use your regular shoe polish. Instead, get a clean, soft cloth and apply the patent dressing gently.
- Satin Shoes
Sating shoes are a little sensitive when it comes to maintenance. More than the leather shoes, satin shoes are more susceptible to catch all the dirt around. Stains from accident liquid spills are sometimes inevitable too.
So, what do you do next? Here’s the trick: Do not do spot cleaning all at once with your homemade detergents. It would make the entire shoe all wet. Worst is that it could leave discoloration spots, and you don’t want that, obviously.
We know that washing machines nowadays have the advance feature of hand-washing. To warn you, this is not advisable. Why? Simply because doing this would damage the shoes.
We know of dancers who did put satin shoes inside a zipped case and had it run over the hand-wash feature. While the washing machine made the shoe totally clean, one thing was off—the small buckle in the shoe strap and even some of the rhinestones from the shoes were damaged.
- Shoes with Suede Soles
This type is a little more difficult to clean. Patience is really required when it comes to brushing suede soles. Take note not to use an old toothbrush for this one. Make sure that the brush you are using is a sole suede brush. The kind of brush that you use would affect the surface texture of the sole.
Also, remember to brush or rub the sole in a circular and slow motion. Petroleum jelly, castor oil, or even vitamin E extract would make the sole’s surface smoother. Be sure to use just a small amount though, so as to avoid slipping accidents.
Caring and Cleaning Tandem
Ballroom shoes are quite an investment, and now that we know how it is like to properly clean shoes based on their kind, we now understand that we must take care of them more!
Then again, learning how to clean ballroom dance shoes is not enough. You also need to care for them the right way on a day-to-day basis. Hence, here are some tricks and tips you can do to take good care of them.
- Use a shoe bag
Do not put your shoes together with your practice bag as it may be easily scratched by whatever other item is inside your bag.
- Invest on heel protectors
Heels are the fastest to wear out. This surely would prolong the life of your shoes. It only does not protect your heels; it also adds up to your security as it provides additional tractions.
- Use non-skid powder
It’s obviously used to avoid skidding. It gives you protection, and this is highly recommended.
- Store it in a moist-free place
Moist is the number one enemy of dance shoes, especially for leather ballroom shoes. It could easily tarnish leathers.
- Use your dance shoes inside the practice or performance area only
Walking outside with your ballroom shoes is the worst thing. The shoes can be easily worn out with rough surfaces.
Clearly, cleaning is caring and caring is cleaning. The passion for ballroom dancing should always be equal to the passion you are giving for you ballroom shoes. These shoes would give you that marvelous feeling when dancing.
They are also light enough that you are in that perfect place. In fact, name it—slide, grip, bend, or even stretch, these are all easily possible when you take good care of your shoes.
In the end, remember that your pair of ballroom dance shoes is the key. A pair of unclean and improperly maintained shoes would greatly affect the quality of your performance. How can you possibly expect to dance graciously when you are uncomfortable because of your shoes?
So, keep them clean! They are one of the greatest investments that you will ever have!