Laundry: How to Wash Ballet Tights

Trick For Keeping Ballet Tights Pink

If you are, or have, a dancer in your family, you know all about the drama of dirty tights, grey tights, or torn tights!  You may have even tried everything in the laundry aisle to keep those tights pink.  We have had seasons in ballet where my daughter went through 10 pairs of tights, between stains, and tears.  There’s not much that I can do about tears in the tights, aside from washing and gently stretching them before the first wear, or having her put them on after accordion style folding them on her hands, but I have learned how to remedy grey or dirty tights.

How to Wash Ballet Tights

I have found that scrubbing the heavily soiled areas on the tights with a bar of regular Dove white bar soap, really lathering them up, and rinsing them thoroughly with cool water, resolved my problem of constantly graying and stained tights.  The tights are then hung dry.  I have even removed red lipstick smears from dress rehearsals this way.

Sudsy with regular Dove white bar soap and cool water:

ballet tights

Note the grungy grey toe seams.

Tights are then rinsed with cool water and hung to dry:

Sparkling clean toe seam of ballet tights pictured, which is usually ridiculously dirty after ballet classes and rehearsals.

Sparkling clean toe seam of ballet tights pictured, no more grey grunge!

So, that’s how I wash ballet tights, to keep the grunge away.  I hope that helps any dancers that you may know.

Are you a dancer or a parent of a dancer?  Have a great tip?


    • Elizabeth says

      Hi Jessica! Three girls in dance, that is a lot of tights. I hope this helps to make them last longer!

  1. says

    I used to be a dancer (for a few weeks) back when I was 3 or 4. But I do not have dancers now, only a Football player and a climber!! But great tip!

    • Elizabeth says

      Thank, Sofia! I have a climber, and a soccer player, in addition to our dancer. I think our dancer’s tights have frustrated me far more than soccer uniforms over the years though. Let me know if you have any ideas for stains in football uniforms that I can apply to soccer.

  2. Barbara says

    Thanks for the tip. My daughter’s studio has them wear nude tights, but we get the same problem. Same for white tights she wears for dress. I also use a toothbrush, gently, on really grubby spots.

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