How to Clean Yellow Shoe Soles? (Step By Step)

Who does not love brand new white shoe soles?

But unfortunately, we can’t keep them white throughout life. Over time, they will get yellow due to various factors like exposure to moisture, dirt, regular washing, improper cleaning agents, oxidation and also just because wearing them in snow, water and grass.

Fortunately, there are some excellent agents that can be used to turn the yellow soles of the shoes back to white again! Some of these agents are toothpaste, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, etc.

How to Clean Yellowing Soles in Shoes

This article will give you a complete list of the best ways to clean the yellow soles with the least of your effort. Also, I will tell you the reasons that get the soles yellow and will also answer some of the most asked question regarding yellow soles and the ingredients to clean them!

So, let’s begin the hunt…

Why White Shoe Soles Start Yellowing?

Shoe soles start turning yellow for various reasons and here’s a list of some of the main ones:

1.) The soles of the shoes turn yellow due to accumulation of dirt and mud

2.) They turn yellow due to oxidation. This happens when you walk on ice and the snow gets stuck on the bottom of the soles. These soles when they come in contact with oxygen undergo oxidation and turn yellow

3.) The soles of the shoes can also turn yellow when they come in contact with some chemicals

4.) They also turn yellow over time and with regular use

5.) You will also get your soles turn with water. That is if you are someone who need to step on water or walk in water-logged areas for the whole day, be sure that your shoes’ bottoms are getting yellow in no time

6.) Walking in the grass can also make the bottom of your shoes dirty and look yellow

All in all, it is the moisture that is the moisture that is going to make your soles yellow when it comes in contact with air

Ways to clean yellow soles of shoes

1.) Cleaning yellow soles using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water:

→ Pour hydrogen peroxide in a glass bowl and mix water in it to make a thick paste

→ Take a toothbrush and apply the mixture on the yellow soles of your shoes

→ Leave it for 20 minutes and then scrub off the paste from the soles using water and the toothbrush

→ Rinse the soles under water thoroughly

→ Wrap the shoes in plastic and dry them in the sun

2.) Cleaning yellow soles using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda:

Baking soda works fine for fabrics. But when it comes to the soles, you definitely need something more and that is why hydrogen peroxide is used along with the baking soda.

→ Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in a bowl

→ Take a toothbrush and apply the paste by scrubbing it on the yellow soles

→ Allow the paste to dry on the boots for 30 minutes by placing the boots wrapped in plastic in the sun

→ Take the boots away from the sun and then unwrap the plastic

→ Again, take the toothbrush and dip it in water and scrub off the paste by brushing the soles

→ Use cold water to take off the paste from the soles and then dry the shoes

3.) Clean yellowing soles using a mixture of hot water, white vinegar and baking soda:

→ Mix the 3 ingredients in a bowl

→ Apply the paste using your hands or a brush on the soles of the shoes

→ Leave it for 45 minutes to soak it in the soles and to do its job

→ Rub off the mixture from the soles using a brush

→ Run the shoes under cold water to take off the mixture completely

→ Dry the shoes under the fan

4.) Cleaning yellow soles using a mixture of bleach and water:

Bleach has a yellow dye in it. So, you need to be very careful with the amount of bleach you are using. Therefore, I suggest you to use it in the minimum amount and then repeat the process until you reach the desired results.

→ Mix bleach and water in a bowl 

→ Tape the edges of the soles so that the bleach can’t touch the fabric of the shoes

→ Use a brush to apply the mixture only on the soles. Do not try to touch bleach with bare hands

→ Leave in the bleach on the soles for 10 minutes

→ Wash off using cold water

→ If you are not satisfied with the results, you can repeat the process once again

5.) Cleaning yellow soles using toothpaste:

This is in fact, the easiest and the safest way to clean yellow soles.

→ Apply toothpaste on the soles of the boots and leave in for an hour

→ Use a toothbrush to brush off the toothpaste from the soles

→ Clean the soles using a wet paper towel or you may run the soles under water too

→ Dry the shoes under the fan

Can toothpaste clean yellow soles?

Yes, toothpaste can definitely remove yellow stains from the soles of your shoes and can even turn your yellow soles white again.

All you need to do is apply a layer of toothpaste on the soles of the shoes and leave it for 15 minutes.

Wash off the toothpaste using a brush and then clean using cold water. Do not forget to dry them in the sun placing plastic below the soles.

Why did bleach turn my shoes yellow?

While bleach is commonly used to remove stains from shoes, but this can work the reverse for white shoes.

Using bleach in more than the required quantity can turn the soles of your white shoes yellow because bleach contains a yellow dye in it.

How do you dry white shoes without turning yellow?

Remember direct heat can turn the white soles of the shoes yellow. Therefore, the perfect way to dry white shoes is to wrap them in a paper towel and then letting them dry under the fan or in the heat.

See also: How to Take Care of Leather Work Boots (Step By Step)

It’s time to bid Adieu!

That’s all for today. See you seen in my next column!

Till then stay healthy, take proper care of your shoes and flaunt your style effortlessly!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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