How to Whiten Yellowing Shoes and Soles in 2024 (First One Works Well)

If you have white shoes or sneakers, you must be worried about your white shoes turning yellow, and looking for effective ways on how to whiten yellowing shoes and remove yellow bleach stains from them. As white color stands out, and even a minor stain on a white-colored product damages its quality and diminishes its shiny appearance.

To whiten yellowing shoes or remove yellow stains from your white shoes, you need a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Take a toothbrush and start with the applying mixture over the yellow stains of your white shoes’ upper. After that, apply the mixture to the yellow soles. Wait for around 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash your white shoes with lukewarm water, and place them in a dry space.

I know you are experiencing the same pain I did a few months back due to the yellowing soles of my favorite white shoes. Among all strategies, I explained below, the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda worked for my shoes. Luckily, the yellow stains of dirt on my white shoes were not cemented, and I was able to get rid of them.

whitening of shoes that have turned yellow

Why do White Shoes Turn Yellow?

There several different of your white shoes turning yellow. The major cause of yellow stains on your shoes is their washing.

Chemical Reaction of White Shoes Canvas in Sun after Washing

how to whiten yellowing shoes

The main reason for yellow stains on white shoes after washing is that some detergent, soap, or bleach remains on your white shoes after washing. These substances undergo chemical reactions during the drying process of white shoes in the sunlight that results in producing yellow stains on your white shoes.

Reaction of Dirt Particles with Shoes

Another aspect of the yellowing of white shoes after washing is that wet shoes attract some dirt particles in the air. Due to this, when you keep shoes outside for drying, dust particles in the air stick to the white shoes.

Moreover, there is also some dirt embedded in the shoes. As you know, the sole is the most functioning part of the shoes as they make the most of the impact with the ground when you are walking on running.

Therefore, when you wash your shoes, few dirt particles are left that cause the white shoes to turn yellow when they are kept for drying out outside.

Excessive Use of Bleach in Washing of the Shoes

Another reason for yellow stains on white shoes is the excessive use of bleach during the washing of the shoes. Research shows that overuse of bleach on clothing weakens the synthetic polymers in the shoe material resulting in yellow stain marks on the shoes.

Tricks and Hacks on How to Whiten Yellowing Shoes and Soles again

After ample research and experimenting with several methods of making yellow shoes white again, I am going to list out cost-effective tips and hacks that you can apply to get rid of yellow stains on your white shoes.

Let’s discuss each in detail…

1. Rinsing of White Shoes with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Whitening of yellowing shoes and soles by applying baking soda is the widely used method to remove yellow stains from the shoes.

The advantage of this method is that it is highly cost-effective to clean your expensive shoes as baking soda can be readily available at any place.

Normally, for effective cleaning and removing of yellow stains from white shoes, baking soda is used with a combination of hydrogen peroxide, detergent, or toothpaste.  

How Hydrogen Peroxide Yellow Stains from the Shoes

Hydrogen peroxide is a non-chlorine bleach that converts the dirt into bubbles by mixing it with baking soda. In this way, it furthers clean the surface. It is also great at killing germs and bacteria in the shoes.

It depends on the intensity of yellow stains and their nature to decide that whether the backing soda should be applied alone or with the combination of the above-mentioned cleaning agents.

Don’t be confused…

We will explain

Simple Steps of How to Apply Baking Soda to Whiten Yellowing Shoes
how to remove yellow stains out of white shoes

Here you can follow the below steps to use baking soda for whitening of yellow shoes and soles:

  1. First of all, take one tablespoon of baking soda with one teaspoon of warm water.
  2. Make a well-blended paste of baking soda and water.
  3. Take a toothbrush and dip it in the mixture you just made.
  4. Start with the cleaning of shoes upper first. The reason is that the sole of your shoes is the dirtiest part of the shoes. If you first start with the soles, then it will diminish the effect of the mixture to be used effectively on the shoes upper.
  5. After that, leave the shoes coated with the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, and then wash your white shoes properly with lukewarm water.
  6. Lastly, after proper washing, keep the shoes in a fully ventilated room with negligible air dirt.
Cleaning of Yellow Shoes and Soles by Applying Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide

If you have stubborn yellow marks on soles and shoes that are not removed by applying baking soda alone, you can use a combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. In this method, you don’t have to use water for making the paste. Hydrogen peroxide aqueous solution is readily available at medical stores.

  1. So, make a fine paste by mixing half tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with half tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Rub the paste on the shoes and sole in a similar way as described above.
  3. Leave it for at least 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
  4. Let the shoes dry in a clean and warm place for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Congrats, you will sparkling white soles and canvas of your shoes.

2. Applying Toothpaste to Whiten Yellowing Shoes and Soles

Toothpaste is also a good substance and a mild cleaner for removing yellow stains out of the shoes in the same way as it cleans yellow areas on your teeth. I would advise you to apply this method only when you are in a hurry. For example, if you have to urgently leave your home for the office and you just notice that there are yellow stains on your shoes. Toothpaste is the most viable option in that case.

Why Toothpaste is used to Remove Yellow Stains from White Shoes

The reason why toothpaste can be used to remove yellow stains from white shoes because it contains fluoride salt that reacts with the yellow stains to some extent, and removes them from the shoes.

Disclaimer: While applying toothpaste, make sure that it is non-gel as it contains a great foamy texture that properly covers yellow stains and helps to remove them. You need to also make sure that toothpaste is colorless.

Steps for Removing Yellow Stains from White Shoes and Soles using Toothpaste

Here are the steps that you can follow to apply toothpaste on white shoes to remove yellow stains:

  1. Using an old toothbrush, apply toothpaste on yellow stains of shoes in a circular motion.
  2. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Then sprinkle warm water and rub the sole and shoes upper with a damp towel at areas where you applied toothpaste.

3. Sprinkling of Lemon Juice on Yellow Stains of Shoes

Squeezing lemon juice on yellow stains of white shoes upper and soles has also proved to be an effective method to whiten the yellowing shoes.

Why Lemon Juice is used to Remove Yellow Stains from White Shoes

Lemon juice is acidic that has citric acid. This acid reacts with the yellow stains that are in the form of oxides.

After the reaction, citric acid converts those oxides into salts that can easily be washed out by rinsing the white shoes properly with the water.

Lemon juice also acts as a disinfectant and helps to remove germs and bacteria on the shoes that are embedded in them due to their prolonged usage. In this way, this method of washing the shoes also helps to avoid different infections in your feet.

Steps for Removing Yellow Stains from White Shoes and Soles using Lemon Juice

Here are the following steps for removing yellow stains from white shoes.

  1. Squeeze out lemon juice in a bowl or plate, and add some water into it to form a sort of mixture.
  2. Now take a sponge and soak it in lemon juice.
  3. Properly scrub the yellow stains on your white shoes
  4. Keep the shoes as it is for around half an hour, and then rinse them with warm water.

Please keep in mind that don’t keep the shoes from drying outside in the sunlight. You can keep them in a ventilated room for trying.

I hope you will see the magic after implementing this method of whitening yellowing shoes.

4. Use of Magic Eraser for Whitening of Yellowing Shoes

Magic eraser is a DuraFoam sponge that is capable of vanishing all kinds of stains from clothing. Without any added detergents.

Why Magic Eraser is used to Whiten Yellowing Shoes and Soles

The magic behind this material is simply a high abrasive material called Melamine. It is a foam-like material that is a mixture of carbon, hydrogen, and a rich concentration of nitrogen. This is the main material behind the magic of this eraser.

Melamine foam acts like very fine sandpaper to gently remove stains. With such a high abrasiveness, melamine foam in magic rubber can remove stubborn stains when mixed with the water.

The melamine foam is like an open-cell foam that has extremely hard and abrasive microscopic filaments. This abrasiveness plays the role of trip-off stubborn yellow stains from the white shoes. Moreover, there are air pockets between foam filaments that aids in pulling the dirt and stains when damped.

Other than melamine, magic rubber has two more substances i.e. sodium bisulfite and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde provides additional strength to rubber, and sodium bisulfite acts as an antimicrobial agent that enhances the cleaning properties of magic rubber.

Steps for Removing Yellow Stains from White Shoes and Soles using Magic Eraser

Here are the following steps that you can follow to remove stains from your white shoes.

  1. Dip magic rubber in warm water and simply rub it gently over the yellow stains of your white shoes.
  2. Keep rubbing it until you notice that the yellow stains on your shoes start diminishing.

This method of whitening yellowing shoes is highly fast and effective.

5. Applying Cream of Tartar – A Method to Remove Yellow Bleach Stains

The reason why the cream of tartar is used to remove yellow bleach stains is due to its acidic properties. I would suggest you try out this method for removing yellow bleach stains from white shoes if the lemon juice method doesn’t work for you. Cream of tartar has mild abrasive properties that help to remove stubborn bleach stains from white shoes.

Here are the following steps to consider:

  1. Take a bowl and fill it with 4 cups of very hot water (not boiling)
  2. Then add a half cup of cream of tartar and make a solution
  3. Dip your white shoes or sneakers in solution for around 90 minutes.
  4. Continuously check the shoes after 30 minutes to analyze whether yellow stains have been gone or not.

When yellow bleach stains are completely removed, rinse the shoes with cold water and let them dry in dry air. The reason for cold water is to stop the reaction as the longer exposure to the cream of tartar shoes can damage the quality of the shoes.

How to Prevent White Shoes from Turning Yellow?

It is a common practice that after washing shoes, you place them outside in the sunlight to dry them fast. The particles in shoes that are left after washing, react in the presence of sunlight due to which yellow stains start forming on white shoes.

The most appropriate method to prevent shoes from yellowing is to wrap them with white tissue paper. In this way, you can prevent direct contact with sunlight with the shoe material. The tissue paper also acts as a coloring agent to enhance the whitening of the shoes.

Following this method, you can dry the shoes after washing in the sunlight which helps to remove odor from the shoes, and will make them fresh.

Final Verdict

I hope that this guide will aid you to whiten your yellowing shoes and get rid of yellow stains if you try out each method.

You should not rely only on one technique as I don’t know how hard are the yellow stains on your white shoes. I have presented all the possible ways and hacks for you so that you can try each one by one.

Good Luck!

Frequently Asked Questions On Cleaning White Shoes

How do you clean the soles of white shoes?

To clean the yellow soles of the white shoes, you can use a damp towel and a cleaner to rinse the sole of the shoes. If your shoes are made of natural leather, special attention has to be made. My favorite cleaner is Jason Markk. You can also use a white Colgate and water to clean the yellow soles of your white shoes.

How do you get rid of yellow soles on Air Forces & other sneakers?

You can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to get rid of yellow soles on your Nike Air Force sneakers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *