Forum: Ballet / Ballet - General

How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes (karma: 1)
By bri_xoxo
On Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:35 PM

If you wash any dance clothes the wrong way you can end up messing it up. If you wash tights the wrong way it won't last as long. If you was leotards the wrong way they will lose their color. Washing leg warmers isn't really needed, but if you go a long time without washing them they will lose their warming abilities. If you wash costumes the wrong way you can damage them and there won't be a point to having them. I'll also tell you how to get a stain out of costumes.

Tights:

Supplies- Clear nail polish/hairspray, bath tub, baby soap, towel

1) Check your tights for any runs or holes. If you see any put clear nail polish on it so you don't risk the chance of it getting bigger. The clear nail polish will probably come off but not easily so it does protect the run a little. Wait for it to dry. If the run or hole is too big for clear nail polish spray hairspray on it. It will wash off faster, but anything is better than nothing. Wait for it too dry.
2) Fill a bath tub with cold water.
3) Put all the tights in the cold water. Press them down and wait at least 2 minutes for them to get soaked with water.
4) Take baby soap and rub the feet and the crotch area. If you know that you sweat a lot around other places clean there too. Rub the areas with soap lightly with your hands. Don't wash the soap away. Just put the tights back in the water. I use baby soap because it is milder than regular soap.
5) After at least 5 minutes of the tights sitting in the water rub all the soap off lightly and lift it out of the water. Pat the water out lightly.
6) Lay the tights on a towel.
7) Roll the towel up. If you want it to dry faster you can step on the towel, but don't put all of your weight on it.
8) If you have enough time, you can let the leotards air dry, but towel drying is faster.
9) After 30 minutes or so the towel may be really wet so you may have to replace it.
10) After the tights are dried out all the way reapply hairspray or clear nail polish to runs or holes.

Leotards:

Supplies- Bathtub, baby soap, towel

1) Separate your bright color leotards (Red, pink, lime green, ect.) from the rest.
2) Fill the bathtub with cold water.
3) Place the leotards in the water. Allow them to sit for at least 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness.
4) Use the baby soap to wash the underarms and crotch area. If you know you sweat other places wash there too. I sweat around my stomach so I make sure to wash there along with the underarms and crotch.
5) Rub the soap in lightly.
6) Let the leotards sit in the water for about 10 minutes or so.
7) Rub all of the soap out of the leotards.
8) Take them out of the tub and pat the water out lightly.
9) Place the leotards in a towel.
10) Roll the towel up.
11) You can also hang them up with the tights.
12) Then fill the tub with fresh water and do the same thing to the bright colored leotards.

Leg warmers:

Supplies- Baby soap, bathtub

1) Fill up the bathtub with warm water.
2) Let the leg warmers sit for about 3 minutes.
3) Take the baby soap and wash the areas of the leg warmers that touch the floor.
4) Let the leg warmers sit in the tub for about 5 minutes.
5) Take the leg warmers out of the tub. You can wring the out because they are not as delicate as tights and leotards.
6) Lay them out on a towel.
7) Roll the towel up.

Costumes:

Supplies- Bathtub, baby soap

1) Fill the bathtub with cold water.
2) Place the costume in the water. Allow the costume to sit for at least 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness.
3) Use the baby soap to wash the underarms and crotch area. If you know you sweat other places wash there too. I sweat around my stomach so I make sure to wash there along with the underarms and crotch.
4) Rub the soap in lightly.
5) Let the costume sit in the water for about 10 minutes or so.
6) Rub all of the soap out of the costume.
7) Take them out of the tub and pat the water out lightly.
8) Hang the costume up to dry.

Getting a stain out of a costume:

Supplies- Baby soap, bathtub, bleach (only if the costume is white)

1) Fill the bathtub with the coldest water possible.
2) Put about 1/4 to 1 cup of bleach in the tub depending on how much water is in it.
3) Make sure you know where all the stains are.
4) Put the costume in the tub. Let it sit there for about 5 minutes.
5) Rub the stain with the baby soap for about 10 minutes. You will have to dunk the stain in the water and reapply soap many times.
6) Let the costume sit in the tub for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
7) Pat the water out of the costume very carefully.
8) Hang the costume up to dry.

Warnings for everything except leg warmers:

Do not rub the fabric together. Just rub one little part with your hands.
Do not wring it out.
Be very careful.
Make sure to wash with cold water.


The times for these are not exactly correct. Those are just times made up by me to make my dance clothes the cleanest they can be.

I hope that you enjoy this post! (:

11 Replies to How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes

re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By actsingdance
On Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:02 AM
That sounds like far too much work.

I soak stained items overnight in vanish in cold water then everything gets thrown in the washing machine.

Never had any problems yet.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By SarahdncrPremium member
On Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:20 AM
Yea, I kind of have to agree. While you certainly gave a great description and advice on how to wash these things, I would never have time to go through all that process's each time I do wash. Work and work travel take up way too much time now as it is, so I will stick with my washing machine for my dance things. I don't however use the dryer, and no one should machine dry their dance stuff unless they absolutly can't help it. Line dry all those things or if you absolutly have no other choice but to use a machine dryer set it on the lowest heat setting possible.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By ElizabethPerson
On Sun Jan 13, 2013 06:51 AM
Thank you for posting this. The information about cleaning costumes is especially helpful. Usually I just wear a costume without ever washing it, which can sometimes be a problem in terms of odor :). I don't really wash my leg warmers, as they don't get particularly dirty, but light-colored ones get dirtier easier than my black ones. I wash my leotards and tights in the sink. I fill it with warm water and put a few pumps of regular hand soap in so it can bubble. I wash the tights then the leotard, or vice versa, but always one at a time. The hand soap is probably no the most gentle for the materials, so, when I am feeling patient, I will try your method. Also, I roll them up in a towel after carefully squeezing them dry(not wringing).I hang them up to air dry, or toss them in the dryer if I am in a hurry. I wouldn't suggest using the washing machine, as my pink tights have quickly lost their color and shape in their :). This post ended up rather long, I apologize. These are good tips, so I guess I just got eager to share my own tips
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By hummingbird
On Sun Jan 13, 2013 03:50 PM
Every costume has to be washed differently and some of them can't be washed at all.

Please be very careful when throwing costumes in baths of water, some of them will be totally ruined!

And I agree about tights and leotards going in the machine, I've never hand washed my dance wear except as a student when I had no machine to use.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By majahayes
On Sun Jan 13, 2013 04:35 PM
I wash my tights, leotards and legwarmers in the machine with cold water on the gentle cycle. Leos and tights get washed after every wear, legwarmers once in a while, since they don't get worn for the whole class and they are worn over my tights. Costumes I only clean when they are visibly dirty or have gotten very sweaty, and those get washed by hand in the sink or spot cleaned depending. I never put any dance clothes in the dryer, everything gets hung up or layed flat to dry.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By hummingbird
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:06 AM
OMG, I missed the bit about bleaching your costumes to get stains out.

Do not! Under any circumstances use any kind of bleach on costumes! Not even white ones. If you slap that stuff on your tutu, white or otherwise, you'll damage it to the point where you will never be able to use it to perform in it again.

It very much depends on what the fabric is on any piece of clothing as to how you wash or dry it. Always check the fibre content before you wash or dry any item of clothing, if there's no fibre content listed then (this can be the case with many costumes) ask the manufacturers advice before you do anything.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By BalletBrain
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:40 AM
That dos sound like a lot of work! I usually just throw my tights and leotard in the washer and they're fine even after 6 years of dancing! (I'm 14) I don't really wash my megastores or costumes because. Don't wear them much, but do you have any tips for washing ballet shoes? My flats are filthy!
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By wembley
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 02:04 AM
I wear canvas ballet shoes, and I just put them in the washing machine, then allow them to dry on a flat surface.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By actsingdance
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 04:48 PM
I find that it helps tights to stay pink if you put them in with a red wash.

Dd hasn't ht puberty yet do her dance stuff is washed once every half term only.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By JigEnPointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 05:30 PM
:-P I wish I had this much time in my normal schedule to commit to my dance laundry.

My class stuff gets washed with the regular clothes (we use earth-friendly detergent, which might make a difference) in the machine, and then they're line-dried... just like everything else I own. Canvas shoes have gotten the same treatment, but usually I don't bother washing them; I toss them and get new ones when they get to that point, because they're worn out by then anyway.

Costuming gets washed per the manufacturer's (or a mom's) instructions only.
re: How to wash tights, leotards, leg warmers, and costumes
By Sumayah
On Mon Jan 14, 2013 06:34 PM
bri_xoxo wrote:

Washing leg warmers isn't really needed, but if you go a long time without washing them they will lose their warming abilities.


o.O

They will lose their warming abilities?

I just can't.

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