Can You Wash Jazz Shoes? Effectively & Safely Methods!

Even though you don’t wear them outdoor, jazz shoes accumulate a lot of dust and grime on the dance floor. Cleaning them is not a big deal, given their small size. However, many people clean jazz shoes improperly, which leads them to premature deterioration. Here is an article explaining how can you wash jazz shoes effectively and safely.

Can you wash jazz shoes?

Jazz shoes are primarily made of leather, which makes them intolerant to water. Otherwise said, machine-washing jazz shoes is not a good idea. Hot water and tumbling shrink the leather and remove its color. Even using cold water and gentle wash cycle can deteriorate the delicate ballet shoes.

No matter how stained the shoes are, keep yourself from immersing them in water. It may remove the stain, but it will damage the material. Luckily, there are many cleaning alternatives you can use instead to prevent the prolonged contact of jazz shoes with water.

Baby Wipes

Cleaning your ballet footwear with baby wipes is safe and effective. Take a baby wipe and gently rub the dirty shoe to remove dust and superficial stains. Wipe down the sole as well, as it is also a hub of dirt. Switch to a new baby wipe as soon as the one you clean with gets messy. You are expected to need more wipes during a clean. So arm yourself with a full pack of baby wipes.

Once you bring your shoes to impeccable condition, let them air dry for an hour or so. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, as it can shrink them. OurPastimes prevents you from putting leather ballet shoes in the dryer due to the same risk. The disadvantage of baby wipes is that they deal only with loose dirt and superficial stains. They prove ineffective at fighting tough stains, so you will have to use other products.

Leather Cleaner

You can use a leather cleaner to chase dirt away from your jazz shoes. It proves a pretty good weapon against both superficial stains and stubborn ones. For stubborn stains, massage the leather cleaner into the shoe with slightly more vigor. Use persistent circular motions to make sure the spot has come fully off. Leather cleaner doesn’t damage the ballet shoes, except it can make them too dry. To solve this issue, use some olive oil to bring the luster back on your ballet footwear.

Mild Detergent

Use detergent to remove the toughest stains on your jazz shoes. Apply a drop of any ordinary mild detergent on the stain and start wiping with a clean microfiber cloth. Wipe persistently until the spot gives up. If you find this more convenient, you can dip the cloth in soapy water, then proceed with the wipe job.

Try to stick only to mild detergents, as those containing harsher chemicals are going to make the leather feel unwell. One clean with a harsh soap will not lead to catastrophic consequences. But, if you keep doing the same over and over, your leather shoes will have to suffer, becoming brittle, cracked, pale and discolored.

Melamine foam

Those from MoreThanDancers recommend using melamine foam, given its great compatibility with leather. It is smooth to touch, meaning treated surface is safe from scratches. At the same time, it performs excellently at removing stuck-on dirt and tough stains. All you need to do is to just dip the melamine foam-based sponge in cold or warm water and wipe down the jazz shoes. You will get a stunning eraser effect, removing stains in a couple of gentle wipes.

Most of the time, getting the melamine foam damp is enough to force the spots out. However, if the stain is extremely stubborn, be sure to dip the sponge in a solution of water and detergent. The detergent will add to the cleaning power, of the damp foam helping you remove the spot in no time.

How to remove jazz shoes odor?

Odors find jazz shoes a great place to settle in. While all ballet dancers’ feet get sweaty, those who perform in leather shoes struggle with odors more. This is because you can’t machine-wash them, so the there is more chance for bacteria to multiply and for grime to stay in place. Not allowing the shoes to air dry properly is also a reason of getting them stinky. Luckily, there are some tricks to help you remove unpleasant smells coming out from your jazz shoes.

Tips to deodorize jazz shoes

1. Air dry the shoes

After each use, you have to make sure your ballet shoes get completely dry. If you keep them in a place with no ventilation, the sweat will not leave. Moisture and darkness are the pefect conditions for smell-causing bacteria to grow and multiply. You don’t want this to happen. That’s why, let your shoes air out as soon as you take them off. If from the dance club to your house is a long way to go, don’t put your shoes in a regular bag. Choose instead a bag with netting to allow air circulate in and out the shoes, drying them out.

2. Use baking soda

If your feet are prone to intense sweating or your training session lasts for a couple of hours, ask baking soda for help. Sprinkle some of it inside the shoes before you start dancing. Baking soda has the unique property of absorbing moisture, so your shoes will stay dry during your entire performance. Besides prevention, baking soda is also good at odor removal.

3. Freeze the stinky shoes

Freezing your smelly jazz shoes is another way of eliminating odors. The point is that bacteria can’t stand extremely low temperatures and they die. BellaDivaDance advises you to put the shoes in a Ziplog bag and leave them in the freezer overnight.

Bottom line

Hopefully, the content above comes with a clear answer to your question “can you wash jazz shoes?”. Not being able to clean your leather ballet shoes with water is not the end of the world. There are many other methods that help you bring your footwear to spotless and good-smelling condition.