How To Remove Yellow Bleach Stains From White Shoes?

To remove yellow bleach stains from white shoes you can take the help of readily available household items like baking soda, vinegar, toothpaste, and table salt. Besides cleaning agents like detergent and laundry whitener may come of help too. How? You’ll know in a moment!

While bleach is helpful in whitening your shoes and removing certain types of stains, sometimes yellow stains can also result from bleaching your shoes in an effort to restore their shine. This happens when you leave the bleach for too long or don’t dilute it properly.

Has something similar happened to you? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

Luckily, we have completed several easy and effective methods to remove yellow bleach stains from white shoes, or at least diminish the appearance of the stains. Let’s take a look!

How to Remove Yellow Bleach Stains from White Shoes?

Find the best way to clean white shoes with yellow bleach stains quickly and easily with our step-by-step instructions below. 

How to Remove Yellow Bleach Stains from White Shoes

Deciding Whether To Clean By Hands Or Use Washing Machine

Based on whether or not the shoes have any delicate parts, you can wash them in the washing machine or by hand.

  • White fabric shoes and canvas can usually be washed in the washing machine. However, canvas shoes with beading or trim made of leather/suede should be hand-cleaned.
  • We do not advise machine-washing white leather shoes because doing so could weaken the bonding agents and cause them to crack or fade. Additionally, it can also damage the machine.

Selecting The Suitable Cleaning Agents

Before beginning, make sure the technique you select is both secure and efficient for the particular pair of shoes you are wearing. You should be aware that in contrast to delicate leather shoes, canvas shoes may be able to withstand tougher cleaning chemicals.

Now, select from the following methods you think will work best for your shoe. 

Method 1: Spot Clean with Baking Soda- Vinegar Paste

This method uses 2 readily available home items as whitening agents. You may use the solution for your favorite sneakers and canvas, for white leather/suede shoes, and also for the white vinyl toes and soles of your shoes that have turned yellow. 

Gather These Ingredients:

Follow These Steps:

  • To get rid of any surface dirt, simply give your shoes a quick wipe with a moist cloth or brush with a soft-bristle brush.
  • Now, to make the paste, combine 1 tablespoon of warm water, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
  • Apply this thick paste to your shoes in a circular motion with a toothbrush, and let it sit for about an hour to air dry.
  • Use a toothbrush or sponge to scrub off the dried paste, and rinse thoroughly with clean water.
  • Repeat if necessary until the stains are completely removed.

Here’s a tutorial video demonstrating how to treat yellow stains with baking soda and air dry. 

YouTube video

Method 2: Machine Washing with White Vinegar-Laundry Detergent Solution 

Shoe care specialist Marc Sigal shares the next method which you can use to remove yellow stains if your shoes are machine washable. It will help to either reduce or completely remove the bleach stain appearance, depending on the intensity of the stain.

Gather These Ingredients:

  • White Vinegar 
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Lukewarm Water
  • Toothbrush

Follow These Steps:

  • Fill a small bowl with warm water and add some laundry detergent in the water.
  • Using a clean toothbrush, stir until the detergent dissolves fully.
  • Now, with the toothbrush bristles fully soaked in the solution, scrub your shoes vigorously to remove or at least reduce the yellow stain.
  • When the yellow stains have started to disappear, take your shoes out of the detergent solution and wash them in the washing machine using a gentle cycle and 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle. 
  • Once the cycle completes, take the shoes out of the machine and properly dry them.

Method 3: Treating the Stain with Warm Water-Salt Scrub

You probably won’t have an issue with finding salt in your home and can immediately start working on the stains that have just started to form because of the bleach. Though his method requires a little time and patience, the results are surely effective.

Gather These Ingredients:

  • Salt
  • A bowl of warm water
  • Toothbrush

Follow These Steps:

  • Fill a small bowl with warm water and add about 1 tablespoon of table salt to the water
  • Using a clean toothbrush, stir the water and salt until the salt is completely dissolved. 
  •  Now, with the toothbrush bristles fully soaked in the solution, scrub your shoes vigorously to remove the yellow stain
  • Apply a little more salt solution to the stain every few minutes and keep on scrubbing for about 5-7 minutes
  • Stop scrubbing when the stain has significantly lightened and let your shoes air dry. 

Charlie Freilich shares a video demonstration of how this method works. Watch here!

YouTube video

Method 4: Using Chlorine-Free Laundry Whitener

While laundry whiteners can remove certain types of stains successfully, they work best at removing yellow stains from clothing. Thankfully, you can use them to disintegrate yellow stains from fabric shoes, mesh shoes, and canvas as well (except for leather and wool shoes)! 

Out of so many whiteners we tried, we liked how well the OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener brightened the kicks without damaging the material and tackled yellowing successfully.

Gather these Ingredients: 

  • Warm water
  • Oxiclean
  • Dish Soap 
  • Scrub Brush or Toothbrush

Follow These Steps:

  • Prepare a soaking solution by combining 1/4 cup of OxiClean, 2/4 cup of detergent, and a bucket of warm water. 
  • Depending on how dirty your shoes are, soak them in the solution for 30-40 minutes to 2-3 hours.
  • After the soak time has been completed, brush the yellow stains and loose dirt away with a scrub brush or a toothbrush. 
  • Then rinse the shoes thoroughly with cold water and blot the excess moisture from the inside and outside with a towel or soft cloth
  • Let the shoe air dry completely.

Method 5: Toothpaste Can Do the Trick!

To make your yellow-stained sneakers appear stain free, all you need is an old toothbrush and some toothpaste for this last trick!

Toothpaste Can Do the Trick!

However, remember to use only non-gel white toothpaste for this, since colored toothpaste may stain your shoes more instead of cleaning them. Also, before proceeding, spot-test the toothpaste on any hidden area of your shoes for 20 minutes.

Gather These Ingredients:

  • Toothpaste
  • Baking Soda (Optional)
  • Toothbrush

Follow These Steps:

  • Thoroughly soak your shoes with water.
  • Use an old toothbrush to apply toothpaste, then scrub the paste into the stained areas vigorously and in a circular motion to ensure that no stain is left behind. You may also make a paste with a 1:1:1 ratio of water, paste, and baking soda to increase its effectiveness.
  • Let the paste sit for 10-15 minutes
  • After the stain has been removed, rinse well, then let the shoe air dry. 

Why Does Bleach Turn White Shoes Yellow?

While cleaning your shoes, overusing bleach, either in concentrated bleach solutions or directly from the bottle without diluting it, will leave yellow stains on your shoes. Additionally, if left for too long on shoes, bleach can turn them yellow. 

Why Does Bleach Turn White Shoes Yellow

If you go out wearing your shoes without treating them with bleach in the right manner, your white sneakers may turn yellowish when they come in contact with soil. This is due to the bleach’s reaction with the iron in the soil on your shoe, which causes oxidation and turns your shoes yellow. 

How to Prevent Bleach From Turning Shoes Yellow?

While using bleach to clean your white shoes, dilute it with water to stop the bleach from turning your shoes yellow. Mixing 1 part of bleach with 5 parts of water can be considered ideal. When finished, rinse with warm water.

Given that bleach contains chemicals that, if used improperly, can damage your shoes, bleaching your white shoes is not thought of as a gentle method. However, if you still want to do so, then you may dilute the bleach and reduce its harness on your white shoes. Undiluted bleach can actually leave a yellow mark instead of removing it

How to Keep White Shoes Appear White and Clean?

Here are some tips to maintain the clean appearance of your shoes. 

How to Keep White Shoes Appear White and Clean
  • Before wearing your shoes outside, pre-treat them with a suitable stain protector. For leather shoes, you may use something like Apple Brand Garde Rain & Stain Water Repellent. As for white canvas or fabric shoes, you may use a fabric protector or any upholstery protector like Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector
  • Wipe your sneakers after every wear, even when they are not stained. And deep cleanse them every few weeks with suitable detergent or baking soda.
  • It is better to avoid canvas sneakers in the washing machine, though some manufacturers approve of it.
  • Leave your shoes outside to dry, but away from the sun.
  • For difficult-to-remove stains, consider using a tiny dab of white shoe polish.

Final Thoughts

Even though yellow bleach stains on white shoes may make you want to never wear those shoes again, now you’ve learned some potential tricks to make them disappear. Enjoy your favorite kicks without any stains!

Though these methods are approved by most, if you are having trouble removing the yellow stains with them, try taking your shoes to the dry cleaner. It may help to lessen the stain’s visibility.

Hopefully, you’ll apply the methods and let us know how they worked. Good luck!

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