Why Do White Shoes Turn Yellow? Know The Actual Truth [2024]

Written By Mahia

Most people have different types of shoes with many colors and designs, and specific shoes are worn with separate outfits and occasions.

Nowadays, white sneakers are the most trendy shoes all over the world. If you like to be fashionable with time, you must have a pair of white shoes in your closet.


While wearing white shoes regularly, you can notice that they are turning yellow for some reason. It’s quite common for white shoes.

But when you know the definite reasons for converting white colors, it will help you to keep the shoes clean by avoiding all those facts.

Well, I researched to dig out the causes behind this. And finally able to figure out the explanations.

hold tight to know why exactly the white shoes turn yellow.

Why Do White Shoes  Turn Yellow?

You can wear crocs at a beach party as well as for a formal meeting or the official day, you can wear sneakers. It depends and grows based on your fashion sense.

But keeping the shoes clean like the new ones is a little difficult. If you don’t take good care of them or fail to maintain the cleaning process perfectly, they will turn yellow within a short time.

Moreover, you must know why it happens right after wearing them several times or else you can not prevent the white shoes from turning yellow. The primary reason for color transformation can be a chemical reaction with sunlight. It’s pretty common for white fabric shoes.

Also, dirt and sweat stains can turn your lovely white shoes yellow. So you must keep them neat and clean in a proper way.

Follow our guide to know Can You Restore Color On Suede Shoes.

Here are the causes of white shoes turning yellow:

Chemical Reaction Due To Exposure

Sometimes wearing white shoes with formal outfits will help you to create eye-soothing and peaceful overlooks. But you must be a little careful during roaming around with them.

Because once they get dirty, even cleaning can be failed to turn them back white again, like the new one.

After washing any fabric shoes, we place them under the sun to dry naturally. But for the white fabric shoes, you can’t put them directly into the sunlight to dry out completely. The ultraviolet sun rays and the fabric dye create a chemical reaction in the air, this oxidation process will make your white shoes turn in yellow.

To avoid this, you must soak the shoe properly and put it in a dark place compared to the sunlight.

You can do one more thing to save your white shoes. Cover the shoes with a tissue and set them to dry. The tissue paper will stop the reaction from turning the white shoe yellow.

Sweat And Dirt

Shoes that are not sweat-absorbent can be dirtier than the other shoes. If you wear shoes for a long time, it’s natural to get sweaty feet inside the shoes.

The strains of sweat and dirt will mark your shoes yellow faster. You should avoid walking in dirty places while wearing them and must keep the shoes well-cleaned.

In a word, you have to clean them correctly following the washing manuals.

Another thing you can do is to keep them sweat-free. Take a little break while wearing them for a long time. Because taking a short break in wearing them will help you to control the turning methods.

You may also like to read: Can I Use Shoe Polish On Suede Shoes.

The Sole

Well, the soles of the white sneakers and the shoes can lead your white shoes into the yellow color. The dirty soles can be another primary reason for changing the color.

Suppose you washed your white shoes properly, but the insoles stayed dirty. They will affect your shoes in remaining clean.

Soles are the central part of any shoe. If they get dirty or sweaty, the color-turning method will be faster than the other reasons. So you must clean the outsoles appropriately. And for the insoles, you can clean them with a brush to clear all the dirt correctly.

If your shoes have removable insoles, you can take them out and clean them with your best effort.

Using Detergent

Shoes are one of the essential parts of everyday life. To get a healthy fit, you must keep your shoes clean. It also helps to maintain foot hygiene.

Well, many shoes are washable, and many shoes are not. You can simply wash the shoes, which are made of fabric material.

But to wash them, you must use a specific detergent and a proper cleaning process. Otherwise, they will remain yellow even after washing them well.

Most people use the same detergent to clean both clothes and shoes. You must avoid it because the specific shoes require specific detergents. Moreover, you must clean the white shoes more gently than the regular ones.

Using a cheap detergent in washing methods can assist your white shoe in turning yellow faster. So before washing them, read the cleaning methods manual.

Read more on how to Repair Torn Nubuck Shoes.

Can You Unyellow The White Shoes?

Yes, you can make the white shoes unyellow again. But sometimes they don’t turn back white like the new shoes.

You can find different solutions to turn the yellowish shoes back white again. But it can’t be guaranteed for sure. I know how pathetic it can be when your favorite white shoes change to yellow due to less care or for leaving them in the dust.

How To Turn Yellow Shoes White Again?

Once your shoes turn yellow, you will need to put in some effort to get them back in their original condition. You can apply several methods to turn them white again.

If you have a pair of canvas fabric shoes that get dirty for some reason, you can clean the shoes by simply washing them.

The fabric shoes are washable; you can wash them in a washing machine or using the traditional style. Both will be effective if you follow the cleaning methods correctly.

I’ll mention four washing methods to help your shoes return to white here. I will also include some facts you must remember while wearing white shoes.

Now without wasting time, let’s know what cleaning methods you can use for yellowish shoes.

Traditional washing


  • Collect the shoe-cleaning spray from the nearer store.
  • Spray generously on the dirty areas of the shoes.
  • Rub the muddy or uncleaned area softly using a toothbrush or a washing brush.
  • Wipe off the filthy area with a smooth piece of cloth; if the dirt remains on the shoes.
  • Wash the shoes with cold water and let them dry in a dark place.
  • Store them in a safe and clean place when they are not in use.

Machine washing

  • Take off the laces first to secure your shoes.
  • Put the shoes and the laces together in a mesh bag. It will make washing easier.
  • Fix the machine in a gentle cycle and use cold water for cleaning.
  • Use a decent detergent to wash the shoes appropriately. Avoid using warm water and harsh detergent.
  • Fill the machine tub with three-quarters water and use half of the detergent compared to the average load.
  • Use the air-dry method to complete drying.

Washing with Backing soda


  • Take a bowl. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda, half a tablespoon of water, and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Mix it well with an old toothbrush and create a paste of everything together.
  • Make a soft coat on top of the dirty shoes with a toothbrush.
  • Separate the lace from the shoes and stir them in the mixture.
  • Place the shoes and laces in sunlight for 4-5 hours.
  • Brush off the paste mixture from the shoes and put the lace back again.

Bleach washing

  • Create a mixture of 1 portion of bleach compared to 4 amounts of water.
  • Use a toothbrush to mix them and rub the mixture on dirty areas of the shoes.
  • Wash the shoes with a hard rubbing in cold water.
  • Let the shoes dry naturally.

Well, I have included every possible step of cleaning yellow shoes to turn them back white again. Following these steps, you can easily clean your shoes at home.

Besides, you can use toothpaste and shoe cream to clean them. Sometimes it can be efficient and hassle-free to turn the shoes’ white color back.

Follow our guide on how to Make Big Shoes Fit.

How To Prevent White Shoes from Turning Yellow?

Prevention is always better than cure.

You can save your white shoes from turning yellow or dirty. If you store the white shoes in a clean or safe place, like a closet or under your bed, they will remain white like a new pair of shoes.

I know how irritating it can be if your new white shoes start to get yellow marks or a muddy look. First, try to skip the filthy or dusty areas while wearing them and maintain their storage process with proper attention.

You can follow two practical instructions to prevent the color-turning of yellow marks on your shoes.

Storing the shoes correctly

  • Store the white shoes in a dark place like a closet or shoe cabinet. Ensure the closet is in cold temperature compared to the average weather and well cleaned.
  • Store your shoes in a ziplock plastic bag to ensure the storage process well.
  • Put the shoes into a shrink-wrap bag and Heat the shrink bag with a dryer to get secure storage. Or you can reserve them in a shoe box when you are not wearing them.
  • Use a moisture bag to protect them while storing. The moisture bag will help to keep your shoes neat and clean in storing them.

Protecting the shoes after washing them

  • Wash them with decent washing powders and a toothbrush.
  • Avoid using mild laundry detergent while washing them.
  • Wrap the shoes with tissue paper right after washing them.
  • Let them dry in a darker place naturally.
  • Remove the tissue paper after drying them well and store them in a safe and clean place.

That’s it! The cleaning process is easy to maintain, and it won’t waste your money at all. But it’s always better to prevent the color transformation before occurring it.

Before You Say Goodbye

Wearing a pair of white shoes can add an eye-soothing vibe to your casual outfits. But they are easy to get dirty after wearing them a few times.

So you must be very careful and alert while wearing white sneakers or shoes; otherwise, your shoes will be ruined.

I tried to provide all te recovery steps here so that you can skip the color transformation easily. If you discover any new methods of turning the yellow shoes white back over, Let me know in the comment section.

About The Author
Since childhood, Mahia is a shoe freak. And this is what lead her to do more research and gather knowledge about shoes.Mahia has always wanted to share her skill and knowledge about footwear with a mass audience, which ended her up in this amazing workplace.When Mahia is not writing, you can almost always find her in the kitchen experimenting with different recipes to upgrade her catering menu.

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