Easy Ways to Clean White Shoes That Turned Yellow

White shoes tend to turn yellow over time due to various factors such as dirt, sweat, and improper storage. Yellowing can make them look old and worn out. You’ll be glad to know that there are simple and effective ways to restore the pristine white look of your shoes.

To clean white shoes that turned yellow, mix water and baking soda into a paste, then apply it to the shoes and scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse and air dry.

By following a few cleaning steps, you can easily remove the yellow stains and revive your white shoes to their former glory. In this guide, we will explore some easy and practical methods to clean white shoes that have turned yellow, so you can keep them looking fresh and stylish.

How to Clean White Shoes That Turned Yellow

Understanding The Causes Of Yellowing

When it comes to maintaining the pristine look of your white shoes, yellowing can be a major setback. Understanding the reasons behind this discoloration is essential to effectively tackle the issue.

Yellowing can be attributed to various factors, such as exposure to sunlight and accumulated dirt and stains. Learning about these causes allows for targeted cleaning methods, ensuring the restoration of your beloved white shoes.

Exposure To Sunlight

One of the primary culprits responsible for yellowing white shoes is prolonged exposure to sunlight. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can result in a chemical reaction within the materials of the shoes, causing the white color to turn yellow over time.

This process is accelerated when shoes are left outdoors or stored in spaces with direct sun exposure. A proactive approach to storing and protecting white shoes from excessive sunlight can help prevent or mitigate yellowing.

Accumulated Dirt And Stains

Accumulated dirt and stains are also significant contributors to the yellowing of white shoes. When dirt and various stains, such as oil or mud, embed themselves in the fabric or material of the shoes, they can lead to discoloration over time.

Factors like improper cleaning, neglect, or regular wear in challenging environments can lead to the buildup of these unsightly blemishes. Adopting a diligent cleaning routine and using suitable cleaning products can aid in preventing and addressing this issue.

By being mindful of these underlying causes, you can take proactive steps to preserve the whiteness of your shoes and prevent undesirable yellowing. In the following sections, we will delve into practical cleaning methods to effectively restore your yellowed white shoes to their former glory.

Preparing The Cleaning Materials

When it comes to cleaning white shoes that have turned yellow, the first step is to gather the necessary materials. Proper preparation ensures that the cleaning process is effective and gentle on your shoes. Below, we’ll outline the essential cleaning materials needed to restore the whiteness of your shoes.

Gentle Shoe Brush

A gentle shoe brush is essential for removing loose dirt and grime from the surface of the shoes. Look for a soft-bristled brush that won’t damage the material of the shoes. Using a gentle brush helps prep the shoes for deeper cleaning and ensures that the delicate material is not harmed in the process.

Mild Detergent

Using a mild detergent is crucial for removing stains and discoloration from white shoes. Opt for a gentle, non-abrasive detergent that is suitable for the material of your shoes. Always dilute the detergent with water to create a gentle cleaning solution that won’t cause further damage to the material.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a powerful natural cleaning agent that can help to lift stubborn stains and eliminate yellowing. Its mild abrasive properties make it ideal for gently scrubbing away discoloration without causing damage to the shoe material. Applying baking soda effectively requires care and attention to prevent any abrasive damage to the shoes.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process

When it comes to keeping your white shoes looking fresh and clean, a step-by-step cleaning process is essential to make them as good as new. Over time, white shoes can turn yellow due to dirt, dust, and aging, but with the right cleaning method, you can restore their original brightness. Follow these steps to learn how to clean white shoes that have turned yellow.

Clean White Shoes That Turned Yellow

Removing Surface Dirt

To start the cleaning process, begin by removing any surface dirt or debris from the shoes. Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to gently scrub away any loose dirt or grime. Be sure to get into the crevices and seams to ensure that all the surface dirt is removed.

Applying The Cleaning Solution

After removing the surface dirt, it’s time to prepare the cleaning solution. Create a mixture of warm water and mild laundry detergent in a small bowl. Stir the solution until the detergent is fully dissolved. Dampen a clean cloth in the solution and gently wipe the entire surface of the shoes to begin lifting any deeper set stains.

Scrubbing And Rinsing

Once the cleaning solution has been applied, focus on areas with more stubborn stains by using a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush. Scrub the stained areas gently to avoid damaging the material. After scrubbing, use a damp cloth to rinse away any excess cleaning solution and dirt from the shoes. Be thorough in this step to ensure all the cleaning solution is removed.

Drying The Shoes

After the cleaning process, it’s important to dry the shoes properly. Stuff the inside of the shoes with clean paper towels or cloths to help them retain their shape. Avoid exposing the shoes to direct sunlight or heat sources as this can cause discoloration. Allow the shoes to air dry at room temperature for at least 24 hours or until they are completely dry.

Special Care For Different Shoe Materials

Special care for different shoe materials is essential when it comes to cleaning white shoes that have turned yellow. By understanding the specific needs of each material, you can effectively clean and restore the pristine white appearance of your shoes. Here, we’ll explore the best cleaning methods for canvas shoes, leather shoes, and mesh shoes.

Canvas Shoes

Canvas shoes are a popular choice for their comfort and versatility. However, they are prone to collecting dirt and turning yellow over time. To clean canvas shoes:

  • Remove the laces and insoles.
  • Brush off any loose dirt and debris.
  • Create a solution of warm water and mild laundry detergent.
  • Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the exterior of the shoes with the solution.
  • Rinse with clean water and allow the shoes to air dry completely.
  • Reinsert the insoles and laces once the shoes are dry.

Leather Shoes

When cleaning white leather shoes, it’s important to be gentle to avoid damaging the material. To clean white leather shoes:

  • Gently wipe the exterior with a soft, damp cloth to remove surface dirt.
  • Apply a small amount of leather cleaner or a solution of mild soap and water to the cloth.
  • Using circular motions, clean the entire shoe, focusing on stained or discolored areas.
  • Rinse the cloth and wipe off any excess cleaner.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
  • Once dry, apply a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft and supple.

Mesh Shoes

Cleaning white mesh shoes requires extra care to avoid damaging the delicate mesh fabric. To clean white mesh shoes:

  • Gently brush off any loose dirt and debris from the shoes.
  • Prepare a solution of mild detergent and water in a bowl.
  • Dip a soft-bristled brush or cloth into the solution and gently scrub the exterior of the shoes.
  • Rinse the shoes with clean water to remove any soapy residue.
  • Allow the shoes to air dry completely, avoiding direct sunlight or heat.

Preventing Yellowing In The Future

One of the key factors in preventing the yellowing of your white shoes in the future is to establish a proper cleaning routine and storage methods. By incorporating these practices into your shoe maintenance, you can prolong the pristine appearance of your white shoes. Let’s delve into the details of how to maintain the whiteness in your shoes and prevent yellowing in the future.

Regular Cleaning Routine

A regular cleaning routine plays a crucial role in preventing the yellowing of white shoes. Regularly clean your white shoes with a gentle cleaning solution and a soft brush to remove dirt and prevent discoloration. This will help maintain the original color and prevent the accumulation of grime that can lead to yellowing.

Additionally, make sure to allow your shoes to air dry thoroughly after cleaning to prevent any moisture buildup, which can also contribute to yellowing.

Proper Storage Methods

  • Store your white shoes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent yellowing due to UV exposure.
  • Keep your shoes in a breathable storage container or cloth bag to prevent dust accumulation, which can lead to yellowing over time.
  • Consider using silica gel packs or moisture-absorbing products to keep moisture levels low and prevent yellowing caused by humidity.

Final Words

Keep your white shoes looking fresh and clean by following these simple and effective tips for removing yellow stains. From using baking soda to brighten your canvas kicks, to trying out hydrogen peroxide for leather sneakers, you now have all the tricks up your sleeve to keep your footwear looking brand new.

With these easy methods, saying goodbye to yellow stains has never been easier. So, put these suggestions to use and step out in style with your pristine white shoes!


Hi, I'm Asim! I love giving you cleaning guides, tips and tricks that will make your place sparkle and shine. Through years of practice, I've learned effective ways to clean and can't wait to help you. From tough spots to general cleaning, I can help you. Come along with me on this cleaning adventure, where I'll give you tips and tricks to make your cleaning process easier. Let's work together to make clean haven.

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