How to remove Yellow stains from white Leather Shoes

White leather shoes are by far the most fashionable option for leather footwear lovers. Besides blending seamlessly with most outfits, these classy types of leather pieces easily add a royal spring to my steps. However, I have noticed that even the best white leather shoes gradually turn yellow with constant use.

Besides ruining the appearance of my outfit, yellowing white leather shoes feel like a huge embarrassment, and if you are like me, you may be forced to stash them away in some dark corner of your wardrobe. But is there a way out if you understand how to remove yellow stains from white leather shoes?

To deal with this problem, I have conducted thorough research and have found the most efficient tips for removing yellow stains from white leather shoes. Wondering how to turn yellow shoes white again? Read on to find the best techniques in this step-by-step guide.

how to turn yellow shoes white again

Why do white leather shoes turn yellow?

Like so many fashion enthusiasts who take proper care of their white leather shoes, you might wonder what causes yellow stains on white shoes. White leather shoes gradually turn yellow because of the natural oxidation process.

Exposing your white leather footwear to natural elements such as rain, heat, and humidity will make even the whitest leather fabrics yellow as it reacts with the chemicals in the atmosphere.

While the duration of this oxidation process differs for different leather types, the white leather shoes you wear more often are more likely to turn yellow than others. Some other factors that make white leather shoes turn yellow include:

  • Leaving sweat and oil stains to dry on them before cleaning.
  • Incorrectly cleaning white leather shoes.
  • Cleaning shoes with harsh chemicals could cause the white material to react more with atmospheric elements and turn yellow.

However, there are several techniques for cleaning white shoes that turn yellow at home.

Removing Yellow Stains from White Leather Shoes: Step-by-Step

Removing yellow stains on white leather footwear is tricky, but you can get this done quickly with the proper technique and supplies. From using a suitable leather shoe cleaner to employing household leather-cleaning products like toothpaste, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar, here’s how to get yellow stains off white leather shoes.

Method 1 – Yellow Stain Removal with Shoe Cleaner

The best way of eliminating yellow stains from white leather shoes is by using specially designed leather shoe cleaners. The specially designed formula works by cutting into the tough stains locked between the structures of the leather hide. You can find lots of suitable leather shoe cleaners at stores around you.

That said, here’s how to remove stains from leather shoes with a shoe cleaner.

Supplies Needed

  • A suitable leather shoe cleaner
  • Clean, soft microfiber cloths
  • A leather conditioner

Steps to Follow

  • Start by cleaning your leather shoes’ surface with a dry cloth. This way, you get rid of any residual dust particles that would hinder the action of the shoe cleaner. Also, loosen up any zippers or strings on the shoe before you continue.
  • Nest, take some shoe cleaner with the microfiber cloth and rub it into the shoes. Move the cloth over the surface of the shoe using gentle circular motions. Pay attention to tough spots and ensure that the shoe cleaner gets into every inch of the shoe surface.
  • Once the shoes are thoroughly covered, leave them to dry for a few minutes. This way, the shoe cleaner gets to act on the yellow stains.
  • Now, wipe off the shoe cleaner with a clean cloth.
  • Finally, condition the leather shoes with a suitable leather conditioner. This way, you block the pores of the fabric and prevent oils and dirt from getting into the fabric.

Note: To get the best out of any shoe cleaner, you must follow the instructions on the packaging of the shoe cleaner.

Method 2 – Yellow Stain Removal with Toothpaste

You can also use toothpaste’s teeth-whitening effect to your advantage when dealing with yellow stains on white leather shoes. Once you have all the supplies and ample space, you can finish the job within a few minutes.

This technique is ideal for folks keen on learning how to remove yellow stains from white shoes sole. So, kindly follow this simple but effective technique to get the job done.

Supplies Needed

  • Toothpaste
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • A bowl of water
  • A soft cloth

Steps to Follow

  • Start by dusting the entire surface of the footwear with a dry soft cloth.
  • Now, slightly wet the toothbrush.
  • Apply a generous portion of toothpaste over the stained portions of the shoe.
  • Next, use the toothbrush to scrub the toothpaste into the stained area. Use gentle circular motions to scrub the stained area until the yellow stain is eliminated.
  • Finally, use a cloth soaked in clean water to wipe off the toothpaste from the leather before leaving the shoes to dry.

Note: Avoid rushing the process or going too hard over the material when scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Method 3 – Yellow Stain Removal with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household cleaning agent. It is highly effective for removing grease from leather shoes and can help deal with most yellow stains on white leather shoes. Here’s how to remove yellow stains from white shoes using baking soda.

Supplies Needed

  • Baking soda
  • A bowl of water
  • A mixing bowl
  • A spatula or small wooden stick
  • A small brush
  • Soft microfiber cloths

Steps to Follow

  • Clean the shoes thoroughly before you begin. Pay attention to the spaces between the fabric and the shoe soles. Use a tiny filament brush if you need to.
  • Now, create a paste by mixing some baking soda with little water in the mixing bowl. Use the spatula to stir the mix properly.
  • Next, apply the paste over the stained surface of the leather shoes with the toothbrush. Go over the entire surface of the leather shoes using gentle circular motions.
  • Leave the paste on the leather surface for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Now, wipe off the baking soda using a soft cloth and clean water.

Note: Use water to wipe off the baking soda thoroughly before leaving the shoe to dry.

Method 4 – Yellow Stain Removal with Vinegar

Vinegar is another household cleaning agent renowned for its acidic nature that helps break down the molecules of stain-causing substances. This quick-acting cleaning agent effectively removes yellow stains from white leather shoes.

Here’s how to remove yellow stains from white shoes using vinegar.

Supplies Needed

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • A mixing bowl
  • Soft cleaning cloths

Steps to Follow

  • Begin by cleaning the surface of the leather shoes to reduce the chances of accumulating more stains at the end of the cleaning process.
  • Next, mix vinegar and water in equal parts in the mixing bowl and stir the mixture thoroughly.
  • Now, dip a clean cloth into the mix and rub it over the affected parts of the leather footwear. Go over the affected areas as many times as you require.
  • After treating the stain, mop any excess moisture with a dry cloth.
  • Finally, leave the shoes to air dry.

Note: Kindly ensure that you purchase vinegar from only trusted suppliers and know the correct concentration before proceeding.

Method 5 – Yellow Stain Removal with Hydrogen Peroxide

As a household cleaning agent, hydrogen peroxide is the first choice to treat the most stubborn stains. Its oxidizing effect on fabrics is highly effective in eliminating tough stains.

However, when treating yellow stains on white leather shoes, you are better off with a store-supplied 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Here’s how to remove yellow stains from white shoes using hydrogen peroxide.

Supplies Needed

  • Hydrogen peroxide solution
  • Soft cloths
  • A bowl of water

Steps to Follow

  • Pour some peroxide onto the clean cloth and gently wipe the affected areas of the leather footwear. Move the cloth over the surface of the leather in gentle circular motions.
  • Leave the solution to act on the material for a couple of minutes.
  • Finally, wipe off the peroxide with a damp, clean cloth.
  • You may need to redo these steps a few times to get a satisfactory result – you can also try higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for better results.

Note: This is not usually the first line of action I take in cleaning white leather shoes. I recommend the use of this technique if other methods prove unsatisfactory.

how to clean white shoes that turned yellow at home

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q: How do you get yellow shoes white again?

The most common method to make yellow shoes white again is by bleaching them. This may sound weird, but you can get the job done using the correct technique. Go over the surface of the leather shoes with a mild bleach solution (a part of bleach with four parts of water) using a hand-held spray bottle.

Focus on tough spots while applying the bleach solution for the best results. After this solution sits for a short while, wipe the entire surface of the material to eliminate the risk of further discoloration. Ensure that you use only the right concentration of your preferred bleaching agent. This way, you avoid ruining the leather shoes.

Q: Can you fix the yellowed leather?

Combining baking soda and detergent can help you fix yellowed leather and return it to its attractive white appearance. Mix a tablespoon of each substance with 100ml of clean water in a bowl. Next, use a soft microfiber cloth to apply the mixture over the surface of the yellowed leather in gentle, circular motions.

For more challenging spots, you can use a toothbrush with soft bristles. Once you have wiped off the yellow stains, clean the leather shoe with a soft cloth and just clean water. Finally, dry the shoes and apply a suitable leather conditioner once you are done.

Q: Does peroxide remove yellow stains?

Hydrogen peroxide is a proven agent that eliminates yellow stains. As hydrogen peroxide breaks down, it releases oxygen. This oxidation process removes stains from fabrics by bleaching them. You can combine peroxide with other cleaning agents to create a mild mixture that will safely help you remove tough yellow stains from white leather shoes.

However, this tough cleaning agent requires utmost care while you handle it. You should know that harsh concentrations of peroxide could permanently discolor your leather shoes and weaken the material.

Q: Can baking soda whiten yellow shoes?

Combining baking soda and other cleaning agents can help remove tough yellow stains from white shoes. The trick is to apply the cleaning mixture with a soft cloth or toothbrush over the entire surface of the leather shoes.

Leave the mixture on the shoe for about 20 to 30 minutes before thoroughly wiping the residue off the leather surface. Baking soda’s alkaline property makes it practical for cutting into oil and grease, primarily responsible for yellow stains.

Q: Does white vinegar clean white shoes?

White vinegar is excellent for cleaning white shoes. You can combine two parts of white vinegar with one part of hot water to create a suitable cleaning mix. You then apply this mixture on the surface of the white leather shoes to get rid of stubborn yellow stains.

Allow the mix on the fabric for about five minutes to work on the stains before cleaning the leather shoes with a soft cloth and clean water. Alternatively, combine white vinegar with baking soda to create a deeper-acting agent. This combo is also perfect if you need to get paint off leather shoes.

Q: Will hydrogen peroxide discolor leather?

Hydrogen peroxide will discolor leather if not appropriately applied when cleaning white leather footwear. The oxidation process caused by hydrogen peroxide helps bleach tough stains on the surfaces of fabrics.

Again, some dyed-in colors could also be affected; thus, ensure you only use a mild mixture of hydrogen peroxide when cleaning leather shoes. Also, rinse your leather shoes with clean water after applying hydrogen peroxide on the surface.

Q: What is the most effective yellow stain remover?

Several cleaning agents are effective yellow stain removers. However, the most effective yellow stain remover is a solution made from baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. A combination of baking soda’s grease-cutting quality and hydrogen peroxide’s bleaching effect works for even the toughest yellow stains.

Final Words

White leather shoes look cool and classy until those tough yellow stains start to appear. However, you can get rid of yellow stains on your white leather footwear with the right cleaning skills and solutions.

You can use the methods revealed in this guide on how to eliminate yellow stains on white leather shoes to get rid of this problem effectively. These DIY solutions are relatively cheap and easy to execute, ensuring you restore your white footwear to its pristine condition in no time.

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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