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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Leotard Care


jamesters

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I just got my leotard and guy-thongs recently. The guy-thongs said to hang dry, but I'm wondering what else. Can the leotard and guy-thongs be washed in a washing machine with my regular clothes, can the leotard be dried in a drying machine or only hang dried? Anything else I need to know?

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All garments are supposed to come with a care label attached. For best results, follow the care standards thereon. As dance belts are underwear, they're a lot less critical than leotards, which are outerwear for most of their length. Both may be machine-washed and dried with like items.

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Most dance gear is stretchy, and the stretchy materials are not very tolerant of heat or chlorine bleach. For maximum life, I think cold-water washing (I use Woolite, gentle cycle - I'm sure there are many other options) and line drying give the longest life. I wash my gear after each day's use and it lasts for years - I have thrown out only one pair of tights in six years, and I have taken daily classes for the last 3-4 years.

 

White nylon/spandex will eventually get a bit gray or yellow - I dye my t-shirts some amusing color at that point and buy a new set of white ones. My current favorite T's are a sort of traffic-cone orange now... :^)

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For maximum life, I think cold-water washing (I use Woolite, gentle cycle - I'm sure there are many other options) and line drying give the longest life. I wash my gear after each day's use and it lasts for years

 

That's my theory, too. My dance clothes seem to last forever. It may be urban legend, but I've heard that Woolite isn't really good for materials. I just use a standard liquid detergent like ALL.

 

Speaking to Mr. Johnson's theory of "throw it in the dryer", I was in a rush to get to class once upon a time but my dance stuff had been left in the washer. I gave my dance belt a blast of dryer time and it came out about half the size of when it went in. Not good!

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That's what I meant about "like with like" in washing and drying. There are dryer settings that don't do that. But one of the objectives must be not to get into a situation where you have to be in a hurry.

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I wash them in a warm or cool wash with a little lemon pine-sol to clean the sweaty and "soiled" parts. I dry at a cool or low temp "air fluff" setting.

 

Eventually the elastic waist goes on my tights. I sew suspenders on them at that point, they last for years and years.

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I use sports detergent for my dance clothes. It has less (or no) fabric softener in it and it lets the material breathe better. I would not recommend to put leotards and/or dance belts into the dryer. The material will get stiff over time and also shrink to some extent.

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I machine wash my dance clothes with my regular clothes. I dry my dance belts in the dryer but will hang dry tights and such. Nylon items dry quicker than cotton.

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I machine wash all my dance clothes at a low temp,I also add alittle wetsuit shampoo in the wash.It says on the wetsuit shampoo bottle that the shampoo is good for keeping lycra/spandex in good condition.It seems to work well.

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