How To Clean Yellowing Soles In Shoes – [ 4 Amazing Ways ]

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Nostalgia! I had one pair of Jordan 1, and the relentless pandemic disease of shoes exploited it. Yes! You guessed, right! Yellowing. Every sneakerhead has the same problem, and sadly it is inevitable. Unless you have to wear the pair every day or put them on ice. Even if you have installed the most formidable defense mechanisms (silica gel sacks or zip-lock bags) to combat, these can’t withstand the disease against yellowing.

The agonized minds seek remedy, how to clean yellowing soles? There are several methods, such as using baking soda or toothpaste. You can administrate these singly or in combination. The quantity and applying process varies according to the sole types. But, performing these operations are even more straightforward when you go through this article.

In this article, I will show you step by step procedure on how to get rid of yellow midsole and soles. In the end, I will answer some sneakerhead questions.

How to whiten yellow soles on shoes?

 I know you are here with the same pain as I had a few months back. I am a professional chemist, and I took the oath of cleaning my shoes with my knowledge and expertise. After ample research, I sorted out a few cost-effective and efficient method of cleaning discolored soles. Practically, I have tested these methods to whiten yellow soles.

Among different methods, I have shortlisted the most effective ways of cleaning icy soles and yellowing soles. I will describe the best practices to conquer over yellowing soles, and you might use any of these which seem fit for your soles.

How to clean yellow soles with bleach:

  • For one pair of soles, take two tablespoons of bleach and two tablespoons of warm water.
  • Mix these two ingredients for 1 minute.
  • Dip a used toothbrush in the mixture, and apply the mixture all over the soles.
  • Scrub the mixture with a clean cloth or brush.
  • Rest the sole for 30 minutes or so.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Dry out the soles under sunlight.
  • If you still see the light yellow spots on the soles, repeat the step once again, and you will get a glazy new shoe.

How to clean icy soles in shoes?

Materials required:

  • Sea Glow Cleanser and conditioner
  • Water
  • Paper Towel or Tooth Brush
  • 3M or other Non-abrasive scrubbing Pad

Now follow the process and get the answer of how to unyellow soles ineffective ways:

  • Take a paper towel or brush. An old toothbrush can be used. I prefer a toothbrush over a paper towel. A Paper towel sometimes leaves paper residues on the sole surface.
  • Now, apply Sea Glow onto the surface of the sole. Be careful not to spread the Sea Glow on glued seams. It will react with the glue and dissolve it, and the sole may get detached from the base. Another point is, Sea Glow can react with leather or shiny plastic portions of the shoe. If accidentally, it happens then wipe with a wet paper towel.
  • After applying Sea Glow, keep aside the sole for 2-3 minutes. Then, use a scrubbing pad to rub the sole gently. Rubbing will help the Sea Glow to penetrate the sole for effective cleansing
  • Next, repeat the previous steps once again. Repetition of previous steps will reduce oxidation on the sole surface.
  • Now, Let the shoe sunburn. Ensure the sole faces toward the sun. Sunlight will work as an activation agent for Sea Glow to penetrate deeper. It will help rigorous combat against yellowing. Try to keep the shoe at least an hour in the sunlight.
  • Take a bowl of clean water. Soak a clean brush or fresh scrubber into the water, and remove the Sea Glow, Gently. Remember, Gently and Slowly.
  • Examine the sole closely. If there are still residues of the cleanser, repeat the last step.

How to clean yellow soles with baking soda?

Mainly, cleaning yellow soles with baking soda is the most widely used method to remove sole yellowing. There are two different genres of cleaning shoe soles with baking soda. First, with the incorporation of hydrogen peroxide, and second is without hydrogen peroxide.

First, I will illustrate the procedure of cleaning discolored soles with Baking soda, toothpaste, washing detergent, toothbrush (used but clean)

  1. First Step: For cleaning a single pair of shoes, you will need two tablespoons of baking soda. Now, add four tablespoons of laundry detergent. Mix these two ingredients thoroughly. Add water drop by drop and mix to form a paste. When it forms loose and firm paste, stop mixing.
  2. Second Step: Now, add toothpaste into the previous mixture. Add 10g toothpaste, as per assumption, no need for precise measurements. Again, mix it thoroughly. Tonic is now ready to apply.
  3. Third Step: With a used toothbrush, clean unnecessary dust and dirt from the sole. Now, apply the mixture with the brush onto the yellowed sole.
  4. Final Step: Let the mixture dry onto the sole. You can put the shoe under sunlight. Be aware of any dust flow. After drying, keep the shoe aside for 1 to 2 hours. Lastly, clean the paste with slow rinsing of water. You can use a wet brush or wet scrubber to clean off the dried paste as well. Here is a video demo on how to unyellow soles at home.

My lecture series (LOL!) on how to clean yellow soles continues with the amalgam mixture of Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, brush, scrubber, and warm water.

  1. Step One: First note is, hydrogen peroxide is available in any medical store. Now, to start the proceedings, take 20ml of hydrogen peroxide and four tablespoons of laundry detergent into a mixing pot. Mix them thoroughly. 
  2. Step Two: Add a little amount of toothpaste if the paste is too thin. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and make a paste.
  3. Step Three: Clean the dust off the soles with a used toothbrush. Now, apply the paste onto the affected yellowed areas of the soles. If the sole size is relatively large, you might need more paste.
  4. Step Four: Cover up the shoes with plastic to avoid oxidation—rest of 30 minutes.
  5. Final Step: Put the soles in the moderately warm water for 30 minutes and wash it with a brush. When the maximum amount of paste is washed off, scrub it with a scrubber. Ta-Da! Here come the white soles.

How to clean icy soles with toothpaste?

How To Clean Icy Soles With Toothpaste
Image sources: Youtube.com

Comparative to rubber soles or other common types of soles, icy soles are easier to clean. Toothpaste and used brush are the ammunition to fire against yellow marks. Here is the step by step process:

  • First, take a used old toothbrush and clean off the dirt from the sole.
  • Wet the toothbrush and put toothpaste onto it, and apply it onto the yellowed areas of soles.
  • Add a sprinkle of water. If you can use warm water in this step, you will see the magic.
  • Rub the sole with a clean and damp piece of cloth. Clean the yellowed areas of the soles thoroughly. It is better to clean the whole sole.
  • If yellow marks are still in place, simply repeat the process once again.

final verdict:

This guide will help you to remove yellow stains quickly. THE recipes I have mentioned here tested by me, and I got a fantastic result. So, now you know how to whiten shoe soles effectively. Follow my tips to enjoy box-fresh shoes for an extended period, and your friends will keep guessing the secret recipes. 

Frequently Asked Question:

Why do soles turn yellow?

Oxidation. It is the main culprit playing dark games with our shoe soles. When soles get in touch with water and sands, it processes a reaction called oxidation.

How to avoid yellowing in shoe soles?

Shoe soles are very prone to yellowing. To avoid yellowing, you need to be careful of stepping onto the water. Water accelerates the yellowing process. When you are not using shoes for a certain period, try to store shoes packed in polythene.    

Why is hydrogen peroxide (H202) used in cleaning yellowing soles?

Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is a non-chlorinated bleach, and in addition to baking soda, it reacts with dirt and converts it to gas bubbles. Warm water again breaks the bonds between Hydrogen peroxide and dirt, thus cleans the sole surface.

Does applying toothpaste, Hydrogen peroxide (H202), and baking soda degrades the glued portion of the sole?

Not really. Glues usually are applied to the inner surface of the sole. If, by any chance, it enters into the inner part, some damage may happen.  It is better to cover up the upper part of the shoe with a PP, or apply the cleaning agent gently on the sole surface. 

What is the most effective method to remove yellowing from a white leather shoe sole?

The cushioning part or midsole is a critical part of a shoe. I think the question is, how to get rid of yellow midsole? Look, it’s a natural UV mediated degeneration process, and in the case of leather shoes, it is better to paint for removing yellowness from the midsole.

How long will my soles remain clean after following the processes you have mentioned?

Truly, it depends on your uses. It may take six months or may turn yellow in one month. Stay away from water. It’s the best thing you can do to sustain a whiten shoe sole.

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