Why Do White Shoes Turn Yellow? How To Make Them White Again?

Why Do White Shoes Turn Yellow

Many sneaker-holic are passionate about white shoes because they are trendy and complement practically any outfit.

However, caring for white shoes is more complicated than preparing a cup of tea. Everyone has experienced an occasion where their freshly cleaned white sneakers became yellow.

So why do white shoes turn yellow? And, how to make them white again?

Why Do White Shoes Turn Yellow After Washing?

There are several reasons why white canvas shoes turn yellow after washing.

But the main explanation to answer this question is a chemical reaction called oxidation that occurs when drying white sneakers in the sun after being washed.

They will naturally oxidize when exposed to the air for a long time, causing them to turn yellow.

Besides, there are some other reasons causing this phenomenon, which will be explained in detail below.

Sweat & Dirt

Sweat and dirt are one of the most common reasons why white shoes turn yellow because you tend to wear your shoes daily, with no opportunity for relaxation.

As a result, the sneaker is sweaty, unable to remove dirt and sweat. Washing your shoes correctly is the best way to make an effort and make the dirt in your shoes white again.

Sun Exposure

Drying white shoes in direct sunlight will make them yellow and old.

Besides the oxidation reaction, UV rays from the sun cause the destruction and blackening of the shoe’s glossy paint after only a short time.

Strong Detergent Residue

Most people use the same laundry detergent to wash clothes and shoes.

However, the detergent you use for your clothes may not be the best choice for the construction of your shoes.

As a result, shoes can still contain strong detergent residue after washing, especially if they have not been washed thoroughly.

Detergent in your shoes means your shoes are likely to turn yellow when exposed to sunlight. Therefore, it is better to use detergents made specifically for cleaning shoes.

Dirt Remained On Sole

The sole often gets dirty faster than other shoe parts because this is the most active part.

After washing, dirt particles may not be removed entirely, and some components may remain inside the sneakers. It is a common cause of the shoes’ soles turning yellow when drying.

Wrong Or Harsh Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning shoes with the wrong or harsh chemicals is also a cause of shoe damage, especially leather shoes.

Although leather is well-known for its toughness, it is still fragile and easily damaged by harsh chemicals. You should maintain the quality and condition of your leather shoes by using a decent and appropriate cleaning solution.

Make sure the pH of the cleaning product you buy is around 5. This number should represent the average pH of the leather shoe.

If the pH level is lower or higher than the perfect point, you risk depriving your leather shoes of vital nutrients and hastening the yellowing of the leather.

Check more: How To Clean Bottom Of Shoes Like New?

How To Clean White Shoes That Turn Yellow At Home?

Several simple methods exist to whiten your shoes at home, such as baking soda, toothpaste, specialized shoe cleaners, etc.

However, depending on the material of the shoe, a suitable cleaning method is used, especially for leather, fabric, etc.

So, here are some methods of bleaching yellow stains that you can apply effectively, which can also be used to clean white shoelaces.

Step 1: Wipe Dirt Off Your Shoes

First, you must ensure your white shoes are as clean as possible.

This includes wiping them down, using a cleaning solution, and letting them dry based on the three steps detailed below:

  • Clean and wipe shoes

Scrape any apparent dirt and mud from granules on the surface of your white shoes. You can use a moist cleaning cloth or paper towel at the beginning.

  • Prepare the cleaning solution

Use a moist, clean towel to wipe the cleaning solution off. You may prepare your cleaning solution in addition to using readily available one.

Add equal parts of distilled white vinegar and cold water to a bowl. Stir to combine to create a self-cleaning solution at home.

  • Dry shoes

To go on to the following stage, let your sneakers air dry for 15 to 20 minutes after cleaning them. Wipe out any leftover moisture with a clean, dry towel.

You’ll love: How To Remove Shoe Paint Effectively?

Step 2: Use A Whitening Product

  • Baking soda

One advantage of using baking soda to wash away yellowed shoes is that it is accessible and helpful in removing stains.

  1. Add one teaspoon of water to one teaspoon of baking soda.
  2. Apply the mixture to the yellow color with a toothbrush after making a paste.
  3. Put the shoes on and wait 15 minutes.
  4. Then use gentle circular motions to rub the shoe.
  5. After that, rinse with warm water to clean all the baking soda residue.
  6. Dry your shoes outside or in a relaxed environment.
  • Toothpaste

Because toothpaste can successfully remove yellow stains from teeth, it can also remove yellow stains from white shoes.

  1. Take a small amount of non-gel toothpaste.
  2. Gently rub it on the dirty areas that have turned yellow
  3. Wait 20 minutes before cleaning.

But since toothpaste is such a gentle cleaner, the yellow stain may not vanish completely.

  • 40 volume cream

Another method to fix yellowing white shoes is to apply 40 volume primer. Note that this method should be used to clean and dry shoes.

This cream is affordable and can be found at your local beauty store for a low price.

Step 3: Plastic Wrap

Pick up a plastic bag that is one size bigger than your shoes. Wrap cling film around the shoes after placing them on the plastic wrap.

This step prevents the cream from melting and aids in maintaining the annealing temperature.

The shoes should then be dried in the sun to aid the cream’s ability to remove yellowed shoes.

Step 4: Leave Shoes Under The Sun

Ensure that whitening products exposed to sunlight are applied to the whole shoe. Shoes should spend at least 45 minutes in the sun.

Step 5: Rinse And Repeat

The shoes’ plastic wrapping needs to be taken off as the last step. The shoes may then be cleaned with warm water and a scrub brush.

Avoid giving shoes a water soak. You might need to repeat the stain removal procedure, depending on how stained your shoes are.

How To Turn Yellow Shoe Soles White Again

  1. First, clean them using your scrub brush and cleaning solution, dipping the brush and scrubbing the shoes.
  2. After your shoes’ soles have been cleaned and dried, it is time to apply the 40-volume cream with any type of brush to the rubber soles of your shoes.
  3. Wrap your shoes in plastic wrap and expose them to the sun for 30 to 40 minutes.
  4. Allow the 40-volume cream to dry for at least 30 minutes to ensure complete drying.
  5. Wash off with warm water and a sponge to reveal spotless white soles.

You may have to repeat the steps until you are satisfied with the result.

How To Prevent White Shoes From Yellowing?

The natural oxidation process is inevitable. However, it can be slowed down by the following actions. These suggestions might assist your shoes from getting yellow spots on white sneakers.

For washing, you should attempt machine washing if the shoe has no connected minor pieces and the maker permits it. Here are some guidelines for cleaning shoes to protect them from being damaged.

  • Sports shoes must be lined up, the insole removed, placed in a laundry bag, and only then placed in the drum of the washing machine.
  • Before being put in the washing machine, extremely stained shoes must be cleaned with detergent.
  • Select cleaning powders and gels that are chlorine-free. Sports shoes turn black when submerged in a “submersible” that contains chlorine.
  • Choose a gentle wash with a slow-spinning drum. The spin must be appropriately turned off as well.
  • It is advised to hand wash shoelaces. The laces run the danger of falling into the drawer of the washing machine and becoming tangled in the drain hose.

Final Words

Finally, what causes yellowing on shoes?

White shoes can be yellow for various reasons, including oxidation, sweat and grime, the structure of the sole, improper detergent, and others.

It is best to use correct and acceptable shoe maintenance and cleaning techniques to avoid this issue.

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