Why Do Shoes Turn Yellow: Causes and Tips on Managing Shoes From Turning Yellow

Confirming with WikiHow, shoes can turn yellow due to several factors, including dirt, bacteria, and using bleach. As a result, they can become discolored and unsightly. To restore their white color, shoes must be cleaned thoroughly and treated with a whitening agent. Some shoe cleaners also include bleaching agents that can permanently remove the yellowing. 

Causes of Yellow Stains on White Shoes

Overexposure to Sunlight

Believe it or not, shoes can turn yellow over time due to overexposure to the sun! Shoes made of leather are especially prone to this because oxidation occurs when the shoe is exposed to sunlight. 

Protective coatings help by blocking the UV rays that cause this color change. However, if you get yellow stains on your white sneakers (or any other colored shoes), there is a quick and easy way to remove them using a shoe polisher.

Accumulated Dirt and Stains

There’s nothing worse than shoes stained with dirt, sweat, and bacteria. Accumulated soil and stains can cause the yellowing of shoes over time, especially if the shoes are made of light-colored materials.

It is essential to regularly clean your shoes to prevent this from happening. This can help to remove dirt and stains that can cause yellowing and can also help to extend the life of your shoes. For example, you can use a gentle leather cleaner or soap and water and rinse the shoes thoroughly to remove any soap residue. You can also use a soft brush or cloth to scrub any dirt or stains.

Harsh Cleaning Solutions

There are a lot of harsh cleaning solutions out there that can damage shoes in the long run. White shoes often become yellow with repeated use of these products. To prevent this from happening, it is best to go for milder cleaners and avoid scrubbing too hard when you clean your shoes. 

If stained yellow marks show up on your shoe after cleaning them with one of these harsher solutions, take them in for a repair or a full resale as soon as possible.

Tips to Remove Yellow Stains From Shoes


Toothpaste is a great way to remove yellow stains from shoes. Just apply a small amount to the stain and scrub with a toothbrush. It would help if you cleaned the area several times to see the results. Be sure to rinse off the toothpaste residue afterward. 

While toothpaste can be effective at removing yellowing from shoes, it is generally not the most effective method, as it may be too abrasive for some materials and can cause damage to the shoe. In addition, toothpaste is not explicitly formulated for cleaning shoes and may not be as effective as a shoe cleaner.

Baking soda

Baking Soda is a great way to remove yellow stains from shoes. Soak the stained shoes in a solution of baking soda and water, leave them to soak for a few hours, then rinse them off with water.

Alternatively, you make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Then, apply the paste to the yellowed area of the shoe, and use a clean, dry cloth to scrub the area until the yellowing is removed. Next, rinse the paste off the shoe after cleansing to remove any residue.

If the stain is particularly stubborn, you can use a special shoe cleaner made specifically for removing baked-on stains.


The most common culprit is food if you have a yellow stain on your shoe. To remove it, mix two tablespoons of chlorine bleach with 1 gallon of water and apply with a cloth or sponge. Do not use steel wool, boiling water, or other harsh chemicals, as they will damage the fabric of your shoe. Repeat if necessary until the stain is gone – usually, 3-4 applications should do the trick.

Note that bleach can be especially damaging to leather shoes, as it can cause the leather to dry out and become brittle, leading to cracks and other types of damage. In addition, bleach can fade the shoes’ color and may not effectively remove yellowing from all materials.


When it comes to cleaning shoes, you should avoid alcohol. Not only does this seemingly harmless liquid break down shoe color pigments, but it can also cause yellowing and staining. For particularly stubborn stains, scrubbing with an oracle may be necessary. You should rinse your shoes well after washing them to avoid further issues.

Suppose you are trying to remove yellowing from your shoes. In that case, it is generally better to use a dedicated shoe cleaner or soap and water, as these products are specifically formulated for cleaning shoes and are less likely to cause damage.


There are various ways to remove yellow stains from shoes – one of the most common is vinegar. Mix white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply them to the stained area. You can also dip a clean cloth or sponge into the vinegar solution and gently scrub the yellowed areas of the shoes. Let the solution work for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess with a cloth. Rinse off your shoe with water afterward.

Vinegar is a natural cleaning agent that can help to remove stains and discoloration from many surfaces, including shoes. However, it’s essential to be careful when using it on delicate materials or leather, as it can potentially damage or discolor the fabric. It’s always a good idea to test the vinegar solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoes before using it on the entire surface.


That is the perfect solution if you’re looking for a way to remove yellow stains from shoes. This powerful compound breaks down the stain and removes it easily.

To use tatar effectively, you must be aware of its main ingredients – hydrogen peroxide and water. For best results, mix 3% tatar with 97% water before soaking the shoe in the mixture for 30 minutes. Make sure to store the leftover tatar in an airtight container or place it in a fridge for later use.


Dishwashing can be a frustrating experience – but it’s essential to take the time to get all the dirt and stains out. Here are four tips that will help:

  • Try using hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. These products work well at cleaning away yellow stains, and they’re also safe for dishes.
  • If those don’t work, you should call a professional cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively remove tougher stains.
  • Never use fabric softener when washing dishes! This detergent leaves water spots on your words that are hard to remove, even with scrubbing power!

Hot Water and Salt

Nothing beats the power of hot water and salt when removing shoe stains. Apart from being effective, these cleaning methods are also gentle enough not to damage the shoes. If you use them sparingly, your shoes should look clean and white for a long time.

Be sure not to overdo it, though – excessive scrubbing can lead to scratches on the surface of the leather or, even worse – permanent shoe damage. So take things slowly until you know how much pressure is ideal for each type of stain. And always test a small area before applying it to an entire pair of shoes.


The shampoo is a mild cleaning agent designed to gently remove dirt and oils from hair, so it can effectively remove stains and discoloration from many types of shoes. Mix a small amount of shampoo with warm water in a bowl. You may need to adjust your mixture depending on the shampoo’s strength and the yellowing’s severity.

Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the shampoo solution and gently scrub the yellowed areas of the shoes. Rinse the shoes, then air dries them. Repeat the process if necessary.

Shoe Cleaner

Shoe cleaner is designed to remove dirt, stains, and discoloration from shoes. There are many different types of shoe cleaners available, and they work in various ways to help restore the appearance of your shoes.

Some shoe cleaners contain abrasive or scrubbing agents that help to loosen and remove dirt and stains from the surface of the shoes. Others use chemical cleaners or bleaches to break down and remove stains and discoloration. Still, others rely on enzymes or bacteria to break down and digest dirt and stains.

To use a shoe cleaner to remove yellowing from your shoes, you will typically need to follow the instructions on the product packaging. This may involve applying the cleaner to the shoes, scrubbing the surface to loosen dirt and stains, and then rinsing the shoes with water.