Ballet dresses typically consist of fine fabrics such as chiffon, georgette, linen, spandex, rayon and satin. These beautiful costumes require special care to keep the fabric looking as good as new. Learning how to clean ballet dresses involves evaluating your own capabilities and attention to detail to avoid ruining the costume. Some dry cleaners will not clean dresses with elaborate sequins or beading. In order to clean these items properly, it’s important to check care labels and use mild detergents to prevent damage. 1. Evaluate the type of fabric by checking the label on the ballet dress. Wool, leather, chiffon, velvet, satin and rayon should be taken to the dry cleaner for best results. Cotton, linen, spandex, tulle and sequined or beaded costumes can be washed by hand.
2. Check every seam for loose threads. Examine beading, sequins, lace and ribbons to make sure every item is securely attached to the ballet dress. Sew and replace any loose seams or embellishments before laundering.
3. Fill a basin with cool water and a cap full of dye-free detergent for appropriate hand-washable fabrics. Immerse the fabric in the basin and gently squeeze soap and water throughout the fabric. Agitate the water gently to move the detergent through the fabric.
4. Allow the item to sit for a few minutes, evaluating whether dye is leaching out of the fabric. Don’t leave the ballet dress unattended for long periods of time since the wash basin may drain and cause bleeding in the fabric.
5. Pull the plug on the wash basin and run cool water over the ballet dress to remove the soap. Continue rinsing until the water runs completely clear.
6. Turn off the water and allow the basin to completely drain. Press down on the fabric without twisting to release water from the fabric.
7. Place one towel on a flat surface and lay out the ballet dress completely flat. Place another towel on top and loosely roll the dress inside the towels. This will absorb some water without causing undue wrinkles.
8. Hang the ballet dress on a padded hanger and allow to dry completely.