If you have a pair of white shoes, you're likely worried about keeping them clean and white. White shoes look good, and they match almost every outfit. But they do get dirty and stained easily. So, here are some tips on how to remove stains from your pair of white shoes.
What causes yellow stains on white shoes?
Before we head on to getting rid of yellow stains, perhaps one of the best things you can do is to understand how they get that way in the first place. After all, if you can avoid them from turning yellow, you don’t have to work to get rid of the stains.
Overexposure to sunlight
Sunlight is one of the main culprits for yellow stains on shoes. This is because of a chemical reaction between ultraviolet light and the shoe’s paint or dye. Thus, prolonged sun exposure can cause your white shoes to become yellow.
Accumulated dirt and stains
Shoes will get dirty. You just can't avoid them accumulating dirt and stains as you wear them. White shoes, in particular, tend to turn yellow after a while if they are not regularly cleaned.
Harsh cleaning solutions
Sometimes, the cleaning solution itself might be the problem. Harsh chemicals can ruin your shoes, so be sure to purchase reputable shoe cleaning products suited for your shoe materials.
Can you remove yellow stains from shoes?
The good news is that it is possible to remove yellow stains from your pair of white shoes. Here are some ways to do so.
You can try using toothpaste to remove yellow stains from your shoe as it contains peroxide, a bleaching agent that works against stains.
Wet your shoes thoroughly. Then apply toothpaste to stained areas. You can use a toothbrush to brush the dirty areas till they are clean. Be sure to rinse off all toothpaste before drying your shoes.
Baking soda is an effective and natural cleaning agent ideal for eco-conscious individuals.
To use baking soda to clean your shoes, mix one tablespoon of it with three tablespoons of water. Apply this thick paste until your shoes and leave it be for about five minutes. Then rub the stains off with a sponge or toothbrush until all traces of dirt and stains disappear. Finally, rinse your shoes and air dry in a well-ventilated area.
Household bleach can effectively remove yellow stains from shoe parts made from rubber and synthetic materials.
Apply bleach to your shoes and brush them gently till clean. You can use a toothbrush or sponge to do so. Once the dirt and stains come off, rinse thoroughly with water and allow your shoes to air dry in an open area.
Remember to use gloves when using bleach, as it can be harmful to your skin.
Alcohol is an effective and common chemical used as an ingredient in cleaning products. It is also used in disinfectants and sanitisers.
To use alcohol to remove yellow stains from white shoes, dab a small amount of it on the stain. Allow it to dry, and then use a sponge or toothbrush to brush the stain off. Finally, dry your shoes with a clean cloth and air dry your shoes if they are wet.
Similar to when using bleach, remember to wear protective gear such as gloves when using alcohol as it can be harmful.
White vinegar can also remove yellow stains from your white shoes. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip your shoes in the mixture and leave them for about half an hour.
The dirt and stains will come off as you brush your shoes. Rinse well with water once your shoes are clean and allow them to dry.
Tatar (Hydrogen peroxide)
Cream of tartar, also known as hydrogen peroxide, is often used in cleaning and getting rid of rust. It’s also effective in removing yellow stains from white shoes.
To clean your shoes with cream of tartar, mix one cup tartar with half a bowl of water. Soak your shoes in the mixture for one hour and 30 minutes, and then have a look to see if they are free of dirt and stains. If they are not, continue soaking them for another 30 minutes.
Once they're clean, rinse them with cold water to ensure no hydrogen peroxide is left on the shoes. Then, air dry them in a well-ventilated space out of direct sunlight.
Hot water and salt
If your shoes are just beginning to have yellowing stains, salt and hot water can also work wonders. Additionally, you probably won’t have any problems finding salt in your house.
To clean yellow stains from your white shoes, mix one tablespoon of salt in a cup of hot water. Make sure that all the salt dissolves. Dip a toothbrush in the salt water, and then brush your shoes until the stains come off. Dry your shoes, and you’re good to go.
Dishwash is an effective agent that gets rid of grease and oil. It removes food stains from your plates, cups and eating utensils. However, did you know that you can also use it to remove yellow stains from clothes and white shoes?
Because dishwash dissolves oil and grease, it’s excellent at removing petrochemical stains. First, wet your shoes and apply a generous amount of dishwash. Then, rub or brush your shoes gently until they are clean.
For tough stains, soak them in dishwash and water before cleaning. Once they are clean, rinse them with water and air dry.
Another household item that you can use to remove yellow stains from white shoes is shampoo. Apply the needed amount and brush your shoes gently with a toothbrush. Once the stained area is clean, rinse with water and air dry your shoes.
Lemon contains citric acid to dissolve the yellow stains accumulated on your shoes.
Cut two or three lemons in half and squeeze the juice unto your shoes. Leave it for about 15 minutes, and then rub off the stains with a cloth. Rinse your shoes thoroughly with water and dry them.
Shoe cleaners are specially made to deal with stains and dirt. They are designed to remove stains quickly and easily and to ensure that the original colour, in this case, white, last longer.
You will most probably be able to purchase them at your local supermarkets and shoe stores. They come in spray-on and foam types. As for how to use them, read the instructions on the bottle.
How to remove yellow bleach stains from white shoes?
While bleach is a solution for yellow stains and dirt on white shoes, leaving it on for too long can actually cause yellow stains. This is also the case if the bleach solution is not properly diluted before using it on your shoes.
Here's what you can use to remove yellow bleach stains from white shoes:
- Hot water and salt
- Hydrogen peroxide, or
- White vinegar and laundry detergent
How to remove yellow stains from white leather shoes?
One of the most effective ways to remove yellow stains from white leather shoes is baking soda. Apply the baking soda mixture with a clean cloth to your shoes and rub gently. The stains should start to disappear. Once your shoes are clean, wipe them down with a damp cloth to ensure that it is free of the cleaning mixture. Then, wipe it dry.
For more on leather shoes, read ‘Vegan Leather: Why You Should Choose It.’
How to keep white shoes white?
Keep your white shoes white with the following tips.
Don’t dry them in the sun
While it’s common practice in hot and humid Singapore to make full use of the sun when drying our shoes and laundry, sunlight can discolour your white shoes, making them turn yellow. Thus, keep from overexposing them to sunlight. Air drying them in the shade after washing is a better option.
Use neutral colour shoe polish
One of the quickest ways to ensure that your white shoes remain white is to use a shoe polish that is neutral in colour. You can also use it on your shoelaces.
Clean them immediately
It’s important to clean your shoes immediately if they get dirty or start turning yellow. Stains and dirt are far more easily removed before they set in.
Where to buy white shoes for kids?
White shoes match almost every outfit and should be part of everyone’s wardrobe, be it, adults or kids. If you’re looking for white shoes for kids, check out Two Little Feet’s back to basics white children’s shoes.
They’re ultra-light, comfortable and made with breathable materials. Specially designed for young children, the rounded toe caps offer much-needed protection for your child’s feet, and non-slip soles help prevent slips and falls.
To keep your white shoes stain-free, remember to clean them frequently. Try your best to wipe off dirt and stains before they set in. The sooner they’re cleaned, the better your chances of avoiding yellow stains.