Whether practicing or performing, dancewear, dance costumes, and dance shoes can be quite expensive. You need to know how to clean and care for them to make them last as long as possible.
LEOTARDS and Dance Outfits :
Leotards today are made from high-performance materials that need a bit of special care to maintain their stretch and texture. Always turn solid color leotards inside out before washing to prevent snags. Wash by hand or on a gentle cycle using a gentle or sports detergent.
Do not use fabric softeners which can build-up on the fibers and make the leotards less breathable. Use warm or cold water never hot. Do not place in a dryer, hang in direct sunlight, or hang near high heat sources like radiators.
If the leotard has stains, treat before washing following the specific direction for each type of stain. For heavy body soil and perspiration, mix a solution of oxygen-based bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2, Country Save Bleach, or Purex 2 Color Safe Bleach are brand names) and cool water following package directions. Soak the leotard at least two hours or up to overnight before washing as usual.
METALLIC & SPARKLE Outfits
The metallic threads used in leotards are more delicate than regular fibers. They can break and even tarnish during washing. Metallic designs should always be washed by hand with a gentle touch. Use a gentle detergent and no fabric softeners that can dull the threads.
TIGHTS and LEGGINS
All tights and leggings should, ideally, be hand washed in cool water with a gentle detergent. If it is necessary to wash them in a washer, they should be placed in a mesh bag before adding to the washer. Use a gentle cycle, cool water, and a mild detergent. Air dry away from direct heat.
Never place in a hot dryer. If they must be dried quickly, use the air only tumble cycle on the dryer.
Many dance costumes-especially those for children-are constructed from inexpensive materials and meant to be worn only once or twice. Do not clean or wash the costumes before the first performance because they may not withstand the cleaning and fade or lose their shape.
However, if you want to pass the costume along to someone else, read the cleaning directions carefully. Most can be washed by hand in cold water using a mild detergent. Remove as many bows or trimmings as possible before washing. Do not wring the costume. Roll in a towel to remove excessive moisture and dry flat or hang to air dry. Do not place in direct sunlight which may cause fading.
For costumes that are made of velvet, chiffon, leather, or satin, use a professional dry cleaner.