Well-maintained slippers are an integral part of a dancer's neat, poised appearance. Since ballet shoes are only worn indoors, they might not require cleaning very often. However, when the time does come, it's important to treat leather shoes differently than canvas shoes so that you don't ruin the pair all together. It is possible to have them professionally cleaned and detailed by a shoemaker. But for less money, the job can certainly be done at home.
Pour white vinegar into a bowl that is wide enough for you to dip your fingers into easily. The vinegar will act as a cleaning solution for your leather slippers.
Dip one cotton ball at a time into the bowl and swipe the soiled areas of the shoe with the vinegar. Dirt, grime and dust should wipe off easily using this method.
Follow up by swiping the freshly cleaned slippers with olive oil using clean cotton balls. This acts as a conditioning agent, to return the leather to its soft, pliable state.
Allow the shoes to dry in an open area. Do not place them in an automated clothes dryer or any other heated device as you might with canvas ballet slippers.
Use a clean, lint-free towel and dip it into calamine lotion as a last minute touch up for pink ballet slippers. Keep in mind that this might stain the dance floors if it does not dry in time.
Since 2006, Pilar Ethridge has had the pleasure of honing her writing skills as the assistant editor of the newsletter from a Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization. Her interests include children's media, film, American pop culture, crafts, and performing arts in general. Based in Southern California, Ethridge received a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of California.