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The ultimate guide to washing your ballet kit

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Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

In order to maintain the status of a prima ballerina, it is essential that your ballet kit is adequately washed and cared for. Luckily, we have devised this ultimate guide. 

  • Leotard
  • Tights
  • Leg warmers
  • Tutu
  • Ballet slippers

Leotard

Leotards are a staple of any ballet kit. They are usually made from lycra, which makes washing them slightly tricky.

Before you begin washing, first check the care label as some leotards are dry clean only.

If you are washing by hand, firstly, fill a basin with lukewarm water and add a gentle liquid detergent. It’s best to use liquid rather than powder detergent as powder detergent does not easily dissolve in cool water. It is also best to use a gentle detergent to prevent damage to the fibers of your leotard. 

Turn your leotard inside out, and submerge it in your basin. To allow the detergent to fully penetrate the garment, swish it in the water using a circular motion. You can also place the leotard in between your hands and rub your palms together, moving downwards so that the entire length has been washed. 

Once you are satisfied with the standard your leotard has been washed, remove it from the basin and rinse it. To ensure that your item has been properly rinsed, keep it under a cool running tap until no bubbles run from the fabric. 

After rinsing your leotard, gently press the water from the fabric, making sure that you are not wringing it as this will cause it to lose shape. To finish drying, either hang your leotard on a washing line or lay it on a flat surface, somewhere away from direct sunlight. 

If you would prefer to use the washing machine, you must use a short and delicate cycle. Anything other than a delicate cycle will misshapen your leotard. You will also need to use a cold wash setting to avoid unnecessary damage to the fibers of your item. 

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Tights

Ballet tights are thicker and more durable than normal tights, which means that you have to use an alternative method to wash them.

To hand-wash your tights, fill a basin with cool water and add a gentle detergent. Once your laundry detergent has dissolved, completely submerge your tights in the water, and swish them around in a circular motion. To ensure that the detergent reaches every area of your tights, rub them in the palm of your hands until you reach the bottom of them. Once you are satisfied, rinse them under a cool running tap until all of the bubbles have stopped running from the fabric. 

If you would prefer to wash your tights in the washing machine, place them in a mesh laundry bag first. This will prevent any snagging and potential rips. Make sure that you use a cool and gentle machine cycle and a mild laundry detergent. 

Once your tights have been washed, leave them to air dry. If you need to dry your tights quickly, use the air-only cycle of your tumble dryer

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Leg warmers 

Leg warmers keep the leg muscles of ballet dancers warm to prevent muscle spasms. They are often made from cotton or synthetic fibers, so the most effective way to wash them is by hand. 

Begin by filling a basin with cool water and add mild liquid laundry detergent. Once your detergent has completely dissolved in the water, add your leg warmers. Allow them to soak in the water for around 10 minutes, before gently squeezing each leg warmer to ensure that the detergent has fully penetrated the fibers. Once you are satisfied that your detergent has been worked thoroughly into each leg warmer, rinse each warmer under a cool running tap until no bubbles are left running from the fabric.

To dry your leg warmers, never wring them out as this will only cause them to become misshapen. Instead, press out any excess water by gently squeezing each leg warmer between the palms of your hands. Lay your warmers on a clean towel, and wait for them to air dry. This may take a while, so be patient and ensure that you leave plenty of time between when you wash your leg warmers and when you next need to wear them.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Tutu

The tutu is the stand out of any ballerinas outfit, which is why it must be cared for and cleaned. 

To hand-wash your tutu, begin by pressing it in between two clean towels. These towels will prevent your tutu from tearing under its own weight or floating to the top. 

Next, fill a basin with cold water and add a mild laundry detergent. Once your basin is filled, submerge your towel-covered tutu and leave it in the basin for 5 minutes. You must make sure that your tutu is completely submerged in the water to ensure that it is fully cleaned. 

After 5 minutes, remove your towel-covered tutu and rinse both the towels and tutu with cold water. Continue rinsing until no bubbles run from either the towel or the tutu. Once you are satisfied that all of the detergent has been rinsed out, remove your tutu from the towels and check for any lingering marks. If you do find marks, gently scrub them with a soft-bristled toothbrush

To dry your tutu, either lay it flat on a clean and dry towel, or hang it up. If you are hanging your tutu to dry, make sure that you hang it in an open area where there is plenty of fresh air to help with the drying process. 

If you would rather use a washing machine to wash your tutu, make sure that you first place it into a mesh laundry bag to prevent any rips. You must also ensure that a delicate cycle is selected to prevent any unnecessary damage to the tule of your tutu.

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

Ballet slippers

Your ballet slippers are guaranteed to get dirty and dusty as you pirouette and plie. It’s important to remember that, no matter how dirty your ballet slippers become, you should never put them in the washing machine. This will only misshapen your slippers and create an ill fit the next time you wear them. 

To remove any dirt and dust from your ballet slippers, simply use a wet cloth to gently rub them. This will lift any fresh dirt before it begins to set in. For tougher areas of dirt and dust, add a drop of mild laundry detergent to either a clean cloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rub it into those tougher stains. Use a gentle circular motion to help loosen the dirt and lift it. 

Photo by Budgeron Bach from Pexels

If you are dubious about washing your ballet kit, let us do it for you. We are experts in cleaning delicate items and will ensure that every part of your ballet kit is cleaned to the highest standard. 

To book your Laundryheap service, simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app. 

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