How to Clean White Shoes that Turned Yellow [ 7+ Easy & Simple Methods ]

We all love wearing white shoes or sneakers. don’t we? Because white shoes are modern and can go with almost every outfit. However, taking care of your white shoes is not as easy as making a cup of tea. We all have been faced with a situation where your washed white shoes turned yellow.

The same happened to me last Monday morning I thought of wearing my white shoes. I opened my shoe rack and I was quite puzzled looking at my beloved white shoes turning yellow!! I asked myself “How did it become yellow?” and now  “How to clean white shoes that turned yellow?”

After researching for many days, I found how my white shoes became yellow and also found some great ways to clean the white shoes that have turned yellow.

So, please read this entire article to know how to clean white shoes that turned yellow. You are here means you truly love your shoes and sneakers. We also have reviewed some top-best sneakers, which you can check.

Why do white shoes turn yellow after washing?

When we buy white shoes or sneakers they are completely white. However, they start yellowing after washing. why? Finding the solution to this problem I ended up with various reasons:

1. Exposure to the sun for a longer period of time

It happens often when we wash our white shoes and keep them drying in sun for more than the required period, the chemical oxidation (the sunlight has the power to react with the material to turn into pale yellow) can take place.

More often there is a precautionary measure of how to dry white shoes in the open sunshine. Don’t worry I have added this in the later part of the article so keep reading! Want to dry shoes quickly without hurting them – Read this.

2. Cleaning detergent residue

Nowadays washing anything takes time and people randomly wash clothes, shoes anything but “Be cautious while washing your white shoes” so just a simple method to be followed wash your white footwear properly giving mere attention so that no residue of detergent or soap is left behind.

Believe me, you will end up liking this simple method and can spend your time focusing on your minute mistakes. I am a shoe freak and like spending a day of a week cleaning my shoes.

3. Bleaching is used extensively

More often it happens we bleach our white shoes so that they should not turn yellow but unknowingly if you add more amount of bleach, it ultimately ends up making your white shoes yellow.

So the mantra here is “Be happy in the little” by adding a small amount of bleach to it therefore, it would rescue you from the question – “How to remove yellow stains from white shoes?”

4. Opposite attracts

“White shoes are meant to turn dirty or yellow” whether you agree with this fact or not but it’s true. White things attract dirt or tend to get dirty easily as compared to other colours. So be careful about your white shoes.

How to clean white shoes that turned yellow (9 Ways)

Answering the question of How to clean white shoes that turned yellow, here are the following tips and tricks to be followed when you come across your pale yellow shoes.

I have discovered some swift, short and handy tricks for cleaning white shoes and also found ways to keep your old white shoes like new ones. As stated correctly “old is gold”.

1. Cleansing white shoes with baking soda and detergent

white shoes clean

In this method, we are going to use baking soda as a natural cleaning detergent. It is quite an easy method where you require a few handy items which are as follows:

  • Baking Soda
  • Detergent Powder
  • An old toothbrush

Method Explained: To clean yellow stains from your white shoes, mix the 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1.5 tablespoon detergent with a splash of water and scrub around the yellow portion with the toothbrush. Keep it for a few minutes. And wash it with water. This method will also help you to get rid of tar from shoes. Guess what your brand new white shoes are on the way to the road.

2. Cleansing with baking soda and vinegar

white shoes clean

A combination of baking soda and vinegar works great for cleaning shoes (as a detergent). Adding 1 tablespoon baking soda with 2 tablespoons white vinegar some portion of water and rubbing around the shoes later washing it will gain the lost brightness back. And it is ready to pair up with your shorts.

3. Removing stains with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

This trick is often fruitful but care to be taken while using hydrogen peroxide. Mix the 1 tablespoon baking soda with 1/2 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide apply it on sneakers and keep it for 30 minutes and cleanse with water.

It is one of the laboratory techniques that can be performed at home.

4. Cleaning with toothpaste and water

how to clean white sneakers

It is one common household technique which I personally prefer to remove yellow stains from white shoes and suggest the most. Required items: an old toothbrush and toothpaste.

Applying toothpaste on the brush few drops of water rub down your sneakers and later on wash. You can achieve shoes as white as your teeth.

5. Cleaning with Toilet paper

It is a quite tedious method. Soak tissue paper (toilet paper) in water cover the yellow part with it, keep for overnight approximately 12 hours and finally peel it off to get our “tedious white sneakers”.

Patience is also important at times. So you can use this method if you are not running out of time.

6. Micellar water to clean white shoes

It is a makeup remover product that can be applied to your shoes and then run around and wash with water. If you can use makeup then why can’t your sneaker? So using this wonderful trick will surely remove the yellowish from your white shoes or sneakers.

7. Magic Eraser (Melamine foam)

It is a cube of melamine foam (formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer) by adding water to it and rubbing it across yellow patches helps you to achieve white shoes and remove yellow stains completely.

8. Magic lemon to clean white shoes

You know your half-cut lemon kept in the fridge can be your saviour from your yellow-stained shoes. As stated in science lemon consists of citric acid which has anti-bacterial and cleaning properties (dirt-repellent).

Add a few drops of lemon in water and rub across the yellow part of the shoes keep it for 20 minutes and then wash it carefully. It would definitely help you to remove yellow stains from white shoes.

9. Blue fabric colour helps in removing yellow stains

Add 3 to 4 drops of blue fabric colour in water and apply over the yellow part keep it for 20 minutes and wash with water and your white shoes are ready for use.

The last trick is why not to prevent your shoes from getting yellow by taking proper care as quoted “prevention is better than cure” but no matter how much you care things going to change with time. So keep on upgrading your tricks with us.

How To Maintain White Shoes?

  • As we know white shoes become yellowing when we wash them with detergent and put the shoes under the sun, therefore, you should apply whitening soap to white shoes and rinse the soap off completely with water. Also, you should frequently wash your white shoes to maintain white shoes.
  • Apply pure blue ink to your white shoes. Simply pour 4-5 drops of blue ink into the soft and cool water mix with the water and then put your white shoes in the water to soak for 10 minutes. At last, you can wash them with clean water and put your white shoes in a cool, dry and ventilated place (not in the sun).
  • Cover your washed white shoes with white tissue paper if you are going to put your shoes to dry in the sun. Which will prevent your shoes from yellowing.
  • Lead powders can also be used to maintain your white shoes if any of the above tricks don’t work. You can simply apply lead powders to your white shoes cover them with white tissue and put them to dry.

Related: What color socks to wear with white sneakers & shoes? – Styling tips

How to clean white rubber shoes that turned yellow?

How to clean white rubber shoes that turned yellow

You can easily unyellow your white rubber shoes as we did earlier. The supplier you need is Sole bright, plastic wrap, banking soda, a toothbrush and a magic eraser.

Take your Mr. Clean magic eraser and dunk it into some water and gently clean and scrub your shoe’s yellowing parts until it gets rid of all black and yellow marks and scuffs. Guys this step is highly recommended as it would wipe off all of your shoe soles’ dirt. Yeah, it will take only 3 to 5 minutes.

Magic eraser is very helpful to remove any unwanted scuffs on your shoes.

Next, we will use a toothbrush and sole bright, simply dunk it into the sole bright and start applying it to the sole. Make sure to cover every portion of the sole you don’t need to glob it on but make sure you put enough to cover the whole sole.

Next thing we are going to apply the plastic wrap onto the sole of the shoe, just keep the sole bright nice and preserved as it bakes in the sun. Now what? put your shoes out in the sun for 30 to 40 minutes. Do not put it for a long duration as it can melt the glue of the shoes and could, unfortunately, start separating.

Finally, after 45 minutes, wash with cold water. You will see that you just unyellowed your favourite white rubber shoes.

How does baking soda remove yellow stains from white shoes?

Baking soda is one of the best ways to remove yellow stains from white shoes. If your white sneakers have got yellow stains and you want to remove them then make a paste of the following:

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda.
  • 1/2 table-spoon non-gel toothpaste.
  • 1/2 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide.

After making the paste from the above items then take a toothbrush and apply the paste onto the stains gently in a circular motion.

Put your shoes on for around 30 minutes to dry. Once your shoes are dry, remove the dried paste and rinse completely with cool water. Put your shoes to dry in a well-ventilated place.

Video on how to clean white shoes that have turned yellow

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Clean White Shoes that Turned Yellow

Q1. Can toothpaste remove yellow stains from white shoes?

Yes, toothpaste can also be used for removing yellow stains from white shoes because we use toothpaste to clean and whiten our teeth.

Use only non-gel toothpaste to remove yellow stains from your white shoes. Don’t use gel or coloured toothpaste because it can create more stains on your shoes.
How to use toothpaste?

Simply scrub the paste onto stains on your shoes and keep rubbing them with a toothbrush leave it for around 10 minutes and then wipe off the paste with a towel.

Q2. What are the precautions to be taken while drying shoes

While drying your white shoes in the sunshine you need to cover them with tissue paper, wrap them completely and allow them to dry for a few hours so that the shoes can’t get any direct contact with sunshine which prevents the yellowing of shoes and enhances whitening instead. Read how to dry shoes with full safety.

Q3. Can white shoes be washed with bleach?

Yes, you can do so. However, Bleaching your white shoes is not considered a gentle technique because bleach contains chemicals that can also harm your shoes if not done properly.

If you really want to use bleach then mix one part of bleach into 5 parts of water. To clean your shoes use an old toothbrush rub them gently and rinse them off completely with cold water.

Note: Always perform this activity in a properly ventilated room or outside the room because bleach smells bad and can be harmful.

Summing Up: Clean white shoes that turned yellow

Finally, I found the answer to why my washed white shoes become yellow and how to clean them so that they don’t get yellow again. It’s very important to know how to clean white shoes that turn yellow for those who love white shoes.

Follow the above-mentioned tips and tricks to clean your white shoes and maintain your white shoes. Also, please let us know the reason why your white shoes turned yellow and which method you like the most and which has worked for you from the above-mentioned methods and hacks.

I am the founder and chief editor of Men Shoe Factory, a passionate shoe lover from India. Studying and researching on shoes led me to build this blog site where I share shoe care tips, detailed reviews and different types of shoe size charts. Feel free to contact me on my social accounts or through the contact form here.

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