How to Clean The Soles of  Dance Shoes Effortlessly 

Written By Sunny

Dirty dance floors can spoil the environment to the extent where your performance can degrade. Filthy shoe soles are the prime reason for a smeared dance floor.

The sole is the part of the shoe where the floor wax and dust accumulate. Dancing shoes are different compared to other shoes, and they require a different technique of maintenance.


In this article, I’ll be discussing all the effective ways of cleaning the soles of your dance shoes. Therefore, you’ll need to pay extra attention and read each line carefully.

Basic Dance Shoe Facts You Should know

Dance shoes are different from your regular walking or running shoes. They tend to get dirty quite quickly within every performance or rehearsal.

The dust and floor wax accumulated on the soles are bad for the (sole’s) material. Sadly enough, you can’t throw your dance shoes in the washer or dryer.

For your shoes’ longevity, you should make a habit of cleaning your shoes daily. Daily, I mean clean your shoe soles after every performance on a practice session.

There will be times when you won’t have the time to clean your shoes properly. In such cases, you can slightly dampen a paper towel to wipe off the grind. It’s a quick fix method that many dancers use.

Dance shoe soles consist of different materials; each has a different method of cleaning. The materials commonly used to construct dance shoe soles are suede and other types of leather.

Along with the soles, the uppers also consist of different types of materials. Cleaning methods vary here as well. But don’t You Worry!

I’ll explain every method of cleaning the dance shoe sole as well as the upper. So, without further ado, let’s get straight into the cleaning techniques.

Check out my new post on Clean White Mesh Shoes.

Use the Following Methods to Clean Dance Shoes

As mentioned earlier, different cleaning methods depend on the materials used to construct the shoe’s sole. For your convenience, I’ve discussed everything in detail.

Here are the methods you should follow:

Suede S0les


Dance shoes with suede soles tend to be more delicate than other shoes, which is why they need more care if you want them to last long. You’ll need a good-quality brush to clean the soles.

After every performance or rehearsal, you must carefully brush the soles with short, gentle strokes to get the dirt and grind out of your shoes. You can use castor oil or Vitamin E and rub it into the soles as an act of conditioning.

Since you’re dry brushing, there will be some shedding of the suede material. As suede is a delicate material, some fiber will be shed from the continuous dry rubbing. But, don’t worry, it’s very typical and the material won’t be damaged. Dry brushing will increase its life.

Do check our latest post on the how to Clean Velvet Shoe.

Leather Soles / Rubber Sole

This one’s relatively easy! Shoes with leather or rubber can be cleaned with a damp paper towel quite easily. All you have to do is dump a paper towel in water and carefully wipe off the dirt from the soles.

Once it is done, use a dry paper or microfiber towel to soak up excess moisture. When it comes to more difficult spots, add a small amount of sanitizer or Windex for better results.

Microfiber sole

Like suede, microfiber soles benefit from dry brushing, too. Dry brushing allows you to lift dust, dirt, eliminate grime and floor wax too. Get yourself a suede brush with a combination of wire and nylon bristles.

Hold the shoe over a trash bin or old newspaper to avoid dirt on the floor for the cleaning part. Starting at the center, brush from the heel to the toe with short, gentle strokes. Remember to brush io in one direction only and dry brush the edges too.

For easy to remove dirt and dust, use a light hand. For deep-seated, stubborn stains, brush profoundly but don’t overdo it.

Follow our guide to know how Should Your Basketball Shoes Fit.

Techniques for Cleaning Dance Shoe Upper

It’s not just the soles that need cleaning; you’ve to clean the upper of your dance shoes to ensure proper maintenance.

Just like the soles, I’ll tell you exactly how to clean your dance shoes’ upper. With your shoe completely clean, you’ll have the confidence to set the floor on fire.

Also, keep in mind dance shoes consist of different upper, and yes! The cleaning methods vary too. Just like the soles, I’ll demonstrate the various cleaning methods for different materials. Without further delay, let’s get straight to our techniques.

Here are the techniques to follow:



The patent requires a bit more attention compared to others. It’s a smooth material that needs more than just cleaning. After cleaning the shoes, you’ll have to polish the shoes to give them a proper shine.

Take a clean microfiber towel or any soft fabric rag and wipe off excess dirt or dust. If there remains a spot or stain, slightly dampen the towel/rag, and wipe off the remaining mark with a bit of pressure.

Once done, soak up the excess moisture with a dry paper towel. Now that the shoes are clean, it’s time to shine them.

You can easily shine your shoes with good quality shoe polish or you can use a thin layer of petroleum jelly (yes, the ones that we use ) to shine your dance shoes.

But before that, go through our epic guide how to Clean The Soles of Dance Shoes.

Suede And Nubuck

Suede is a popular material that manufacturers use to produce different kinds of footwear. Many products in the market are made of suede and it is a huge positive point for the shoes out there.

You can easily use a suede brush to dry your shoes or you can use suede sprays. As for nubuck, you can easily use the sprays and brushes that you’d use to clean your suede shoes.


Satin comparatively is a tricky material to maintain due to its delicate nature. This particular material is commonly used to manufacture ballroom shoes since they appear pretty well and are grateful.

The thing with satin is that it gets dirty over time. Satin will pick up dust from all the contact you make with the ground or anything your shoes brush up against.

To prevent this process, you can coat your satin shoes with products such as Scotch Guard, which repels dust and ward off the dirt. Also, it makes spot cleaning a lot easier.

As for cleaning, you make a gentle mixture of soap/ shampoo with water. Then take a microfiber towel or soft dry rag and moisten it up. Take the moisten towel/rag and gently wipe off any dirt or stain from your shoes.

Once done, soak up excess moisture using a dry paper towel. Be very careful not to use any scrubbing or rubbing motion as this will disrupt the weave of the satin and cause it to pill and lose its luster.

How Can You Eliminate Odor from Your Dance Shoe

Along with cleaning the sole and upper, deodorizing your dance shoe is equally essential. Otherwise, you’ll end up with smelly shoes, something I’m sure you don’t want.

Submerging the shoes in the water or throwing them in the washer is not an option, as that will damage the shoes. Along with wearing socks or foot liners, you can use some basic terms to keep the odor in check.

Here are the items you can use:

Baby Powder

This particular item’s more of a precaution than anything else. Baby powder prevents any kind of odor from accumulating in your shoes in the first place. All you have to do is rub your feet with baby powder before you put them on.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household item that’s readily available. All you have to do is sprinkle baking soda inside your Shoes (be generous with the amount ). Leave your shoes overnight, and let the soda do its job.

When the morning arrives, dump out the powder and you’re done. Be careful if your shoes consist of leather upper. Frequent use of baking soda may dry out the leather.

Charcoal Bags

Like baking soda, activated charcoal eliminates can offensive odors and moisture quickly. There are charcoal bags easily available in the market that are specifically designed to deodorize smelly shoes.

You can easily get them from the pharmacy or your nearest superstore. All you have to do is drop a bag in each of your shoes and leave them overnight. You’ll have fresh smelling shoes from the following day on.

Fabric Softener sheets

Get yourself a box of fabric softener sheets from your nearest superstore. Once you have them, drop a sheet in each of your shoes and leave them overnight. From the following day on, you’ll be ready to go.


Didn’t see this one coming, did ya? Do you wear shoes without socks? If yes, then sparkle a little bit of salt in your shoes; the salt will perform the task of a deodorizer and soak up dampness and eliminate any sort of odor. Use this method occasionally or you may end up with dried-out leather.

 The Freezer

Put your shoes in an air-tight bag and put them in the freezer. That’s right, the freezer! Cold temperature prevents harmful bacteria from accumulating in the shoes and restores the quality of the upper material. Airtight bags are necessary here. Otherwise, there’s a chance of your shoes getting exposed to moisture.

Common Questions People Ask

Are dance shoes more comfortable?

Yes! It’s because the materials used are comparatively cushier. The main trick lies in the soles. Most dance shoes have a sole made of thin suede that allows you to glide across the dance floor with just the right amount of grip.

Why do ballroom dancers wear heels?

Ballroom shoes tend to keep the women’s body weight balanced evenly on her toes and heels, much like regular shoes. All the steps in ballroom dancing move forward on the heel and backward on the toes.

Can ballroom shoes be worn outside?

No! Ballroom shoes can’t be worn outside as they’re specifically designed to be worn on the dance floor. However, if you wear them outside, they’ll lose their traction (required for the dance floor) and make the moves quite challenging to execute.

Dancing Away

Dancing is an art form in which dancing shoes are essential. What’s more crucial is the regular maintenance of your dance shoes, especially the soles. These particular shoes are made differently compared to regular shoes.

Dance shoe soles are made of different materials along with the upper. Each material has a different technique of cleaning. And I’ve mentioned each method carefully.

I hope cleaning your dance soles has become much easier now. All you have to do is drop your query down in the comment section below. However, if you find any information confusing, don’t hesitate to let me know straight away. I’m always there to assist you.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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