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How to Clean Tap Shoes

Tap shoes are an essential piece of equipment for dancers. They need to be kept clean to last longer and perform better. In this article, we will teach you how to clean tap shoes. Just follow these simple steps, and your shoes will be good as new in no time!

Tap shoes are often made of leather and other materials that can be easily stained. Therefore, to keep your tap shoes looking clean and new, you need to clean them regularly.

How to Clean Tap Shoes

Tools and Materials

  • Old toothbrush
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • Rubber band

A Step by Step Guide on How to Clean Tap Shoes

Step 1: Wipe Tap Shoe With Paper Towel

Begin by wiping the tap shoe with a damp cloth and some water, making sure to get into all of the crevices and underneath the straps. When finished, use a dry cloth or paper towels to dry them off completely!

Step 2: Dip Toe Plates in White Vinegar

In an enormous container, make a mixture of half vinegar and half water. Dip each toe plate in the solution until it is completely submerged. Place a rubber band around the heel section to ensure that they stay submerged during this process. Let them soak for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Let Toe Plates Sit for 1 Hour

Make sure to check them every ten minutes or so- if you see any areas where there is still dirt, dip those areas back into the vinegar mixture. The dirty will dissolve off quickly! When finished, place tap shoes outside or in a well-ventilated area and let sit for one hour to ensure all of the vinegar has evaporated from tap shoes before wearing again.

Step 4: Remove Toe Plates and Scrub With Toothbrush

After 30 minutes, remove the toe plates from the vinegar and water solution and use an old toothbrush to scrub all the dirt and build-up off them. Be sure to get into all of the nooks and crannies! Rinse them off with clean water when you are finished.

Remove Toe Plates From Vinegar

Step 5: Wipe Clean With Paper Towel

When finished, wipe each toe plate with a paper towel to ensure no dirt or debris is left on them before wearing again. Most of the build-up should come off quickly, but if some remains, reapply the vinegar and water solution and use the toothbrush once more. Again, be sure to rinse with clean water and let air dry outside for one hour before wearing again.

Step 6: Insert Toe Plates Back Into Shoe and Place Outside to Air Dry!

Finally, place your newly cleaned tap shoes back into their original shoebox or another storage container to keep them nice and safe until you are ready to wear them next! Then, leave them outside for 1 hour to air dry completely before putting them away. These steps will help in how to clean tap shoes.

Cleaning your tap shoes is a process that should be done regularly to keep them looking and performing their best! This guide provides an easy step-by-step process on how to clean both the toe plates and the entire shoe. Be sure to follow these instructions at least once a month (or more, if needed) to keep your tap shoes looking and sounding fantastic! Happy Dancing!

Tips and Warnings


  • If the shoes are filthy, you can use a toothbrush to scrub them clean.
  • Be sure to let the shoes dry completely before putting them away.
  • You can also purchase a shoe cleaner specifically for tap shoes if you prefer.
Use Toothbrush for Clean


  • Do not use harsh chemicals or cleaning solvents on your tap shoes, as they can damage the materials.
  • Do not put the tap shoes in the washing machine or dryer, as this can also damage them.

You Can Check It Out to Make Tap Shoes Not Slippery

How Do You Look After Tap Shoes?

Tap shoes are easy to maintain. If you treat them with care, they will last for years. How often you clean your tap shoes depends on how much use it gets and whether or not the tap is applied directly to the shoe’s sole (some dance styles like clogging do this). 

For example, if your tap shoes get sweaty feet every time you wear them – which is likely when performing – cleaning once a week may be necessary. On the other hand, if no sweat is involved, several months between cleanings should be fine.

Remove the Laces

The first step in cleaning your tap shoes is to remove the laces. This will allow you to get into all the nooks and crannies. Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire shoe, inside and out. Pay close attention to the taps, ensuring all of the dirt and debris are removed. If the fixtures are applied directly to the shoe’s sole, you can use a toothbrush or other small brush to get in between them. Once everything is clean, allow the shoes to dry completely before replacing them.

If your tap shoes start to sound “scratchy” while you’re dancing, it may be time for a more thorough cleaning. In this case, remove the laces and use a toothbrush or other small brush to scrub off any built-up dirt. Then, allow the shoes to dry completely before replacing them.

Which Shoe Cleaner Should I Use for Cleaning Tap Shoes?

Most tap shoes can be cleaned with a simple mixture of water and soap. However, some tap shoes may be made from more delicate materials that exposure to water and soap can be damaged. Therefore, it is best to use a shoe cleaner specifically designed for cleaning tap shoes in these cases.


Cleaning tap shoes is not a difficult task. It just requires some time and patience to get the job done right! And in this article, we have all of your questions answered on how to clean tap shoes so that you can be ready for another show-stopping performance.

You have read our top 5 tips on how to properly care for your dance gear, and don’t forget about tapping into our list of resources at the bottom! If you have any other questions, let us know in the comments section below or shoot us an email!