How To Clean Satin Shoes

How To Clean Satin Shoes

Worried about cleaning your satin heels? It’s not as difficult as you may think to clean them at home.

But before you take the plunge, check out this handy guide that’ll help you to avoid common mistakes and feel confident in your shoe-cleaning abilities. Let’s dive in.

What You’ll Need

Good news — you’ll already have most of the items on this list lying around your home, so there’s no need to buy expensive equipment. While proprietary satin cleaners are certainly useful, many have been designed specifically for clothes and furnishings. Instead, we recommend these gentle everyday household items:

  • - Two soft toothbrushes

  • - Small cup

  • - Mild detergent suitable for silk and delicates

  • - Cold water

  • - Clean cloth or towel

Brush Away Dirt and Debris

Now for the nitty gritty. Using a soft toothbrush – an old one is perfect! – gently brush away any loose dirt particles, dust, and debris. If you have a dedicated shoe brush, feel free to use this instead. Both work well.

An important tip from experienced dancers: as loose dirt can rub easily into wet satin, scrub before dampening the material. Remember: brush away, then wet. 

Mix Up a Soap Solution

Combine your mild detergent with cold water. Using warm or hot water may affect the smooth, glossy texture of your satin shoes, so keep it cool!

A note about cleansers: we recommend soap flakes or liquid soaps typically used for handwashing delicate and woollen materials. Why? Harsh cleansers may strip your satin of its delicate base, so much like effective jewellery cleaning, gentle is best. Check the laundry aisle of your supermarket for ideas.

Use two parts cold water to one part detergent; reduce the strength by diluting with water if desired. A stronger solution will help lift stubborn stains. You’re in control of the ratio, so if you’re worried about damaging the satin, start small. 

Some people use baking soda for oily stains but use it in smaller quantities - a pinch of water works brilliantly. 

Gently Clean the Shoes

Using a second toothbrush, mix it into the soap solution. (Tip: rather than forking over two toothbrushes, double dip with your initial toothbrush after a good rinse!) Tap away any excess water. This is important: dampening without tapping excess water could lead to obvious and persistent water damage.

Using a gentle circular motion, gently work the toothbrush over the shoe. While it may be tempting, don’t apply too much pressure, as this could work the dirt further into the material.

Leave the Shoes to Dry

Pat the shoes dry with a clean cloth or towel and leave them to dry naturally. Don’t apply heat with a hairdryer or put them on or near a radiator, a sure recipe for scorching your heels’ fabric. Air drying will minimise the risk of any residual watermarks.

Removing Stubborn Stains

It’s tempting to work away stubborn stains, but you can make them worse. Clean the shoes and leave them to dry, and then repeat the process for stains that have not been lifted properly.

It can take two or three attempts to get rid of a stubborn stain. If you try and do this in one cleaning session, you will irreparably damage the fabric.

Satin textiles are usually dry-cleaned. There are dry-cleaning spot-on solutions which can help with stubborn stains, but you must make sure they are specifically designed for satin before you use them. 

Only use a tiny amount and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Spot test if you can on another pair of satin shoes to check the strength.

Know When It’s Time to Purchase New Satin Heels

Even with regular care, cleaning, and proper storage, some dance shoes will get to a point of no return. It’s tough giving up on your favourite pair of satin heels, but the good news is, you can still use them in training and practice sessions.

A top tip from pro dancers is always to have the next pair ready and worn in. That way, you won’t get caught out if your best pair become marked or damaged, and you’ll always have some perfect satin heels to swap to if need be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Satin Shoes Hard To Clean?

No. Satin shoes aren’t difficult to clean at home or in the studio, as long as you clean them correctly. Regular cleaning will keep them in tip-top shape and prevent dirt and grime from becoming an issue. Luckily, this guide offers great advice.

Shop Supadance to Keep Your Shoes Clean   

Anyone can clean their satin shoes at home quite easily and effectively with household items and gentle cleansers. 

Take tips from seasoned dancers to keep your satin heels pristine, clean, and smooth. And don’t forget, Supadance is always on hand to offer advice on care and fit alongside our wide range of premier dance shoes for womenmen, and children. See you on the dance floor!