Bleach can remove dirt and stains that stick to white shoes. However, if left too long or not dissolved properly, the bleach will leave yellow stains on the shoes. While yellowed bleach stains are quite difficult to remove completely, you can disguise them by scrubbing them with salt and hot water, soaking your shoes in a tartar solution, or washing your shoes with detergent and white vinegar.
Method 1 of 3: Rubbing Shoes with Salt and Hot Water
Step 1. Fill a small bowl with one cup of hot water
Choose a small, heat-resistant bowl. After that, turn on the hot water and let it heat up. Fill the prepared bowl with one cup of hot water.
Use hot water, not boiling water
Step 2. Dissolve 1 tbsp (20 grams) of salt in hot water
Put 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl filled with hot water. Stir the water in the bowl with a clean toothbrush until the salt dissolves.
Step 3. Apply salt water to the yellow stain and then brush with a toothbrush
Place a towel to protect the surface from hot water and dirt. After that, dip the entire head of the toothbrush in the salt water. Then, use a toothbrush to brush off the yellow stains on your white shoes.
- You can dip the toothbrush head back in the salt water every few minutes. This is done to re-wet the toothbrush head and apply more salt water to the yellow stain.
- The stain may fade after a few minutes of brushing.
Step 4. Allow the shoes to dry for 20 minutes before brushing them again
Once the yellow stain begins to fade, allow the shoe to dry for 20 minutes, or until it feels dry to the touch. After that, wet the toothbrush again with salt water. Brush back the yellow stain with a toothbrush for a few minutes.
Step 5. Stop when the yellow stain fades
Once the stain has faded and hasn't faded after a few minutes of brushing, stop and let the shoe dry. The stain may not go away completely. However, the stain may fade significantly so that you can put your white shoes back on.
Method 2 of 3: Soaking Shoes in Tartar Solution
Step 1. Fill a large enough container with 4 cups of hot water
Choose a bowl, bucket, or other large heat-resistant container that can hold hot water and your shoes. After that, turn on the hot water and let it heat up. Fill the container with 4 cups of hot water.
Use hot water, not boiling water
Step 2. Mix cup (100 grams) of cream of tartar in hot water
Use a measuring cup to measure the required amount of cream of tartar. After that, pour the cream of tartar into the hot water. Use a large spoon to mix hot water with cream of tartar until dissolved.
- Cream of tartar can generally be purchased at the nearest grocery store. Cream of tartar is usually sold in small packets. Therefore, you may need to buy a few packs of cream of tartar.
- You can buy cream of tartar in bulk on the internet.
Step 3. Soak the shoes in the cream of tartar solution for 30 to 90 minutes
Place the shoes in a container containing the cream of tartar solution. Make sure the entire shoe is submerged. After that, let the shoes soak in the cream of tartar solution. Check the shoes after 30 minutes to see the results. If the shoes are still stained, soak them in the cream of tartar again for 30 to 60 minutes.
If the stain isn't that stubborn, the yellow may fade quickly. If the stain has been left on for too long or is dark enough, you may need to soak your shoes longer, about 90 minutes
Step 4. Remove the shoes from the tartar solution and rinse with cold water
Once the yellow stain has been removed or faded, remove the shoe from the cream of tartar solution. Rinse the shoes in cold water to remove any remaining cream of tartar.
Due to its acidic nature, cream of tartar may be quite harsh on shoes. Therefore, you need to rinse the shoes thoroughly so that there are no remnants of the cream of tartar still attached
Step 5. Allow the shoes to dry completely before wearing
Lay the towel on a flat surface. Place the white shoes on the towel. Let the shoes dry for a few hours or overnight. Make sure the sole of the shoe is completely dry before wearing it.
You can also dry your shoes in a tumble dryer. Choose a low drying temperature, and allow the shoes to dry for 30 minutes. If after 30 minutes the shoes are still not dry, put them back in the dryer on a low drying temperature for 30 minutes
Method 3 of 3: Washing Shoes with Detergent and Vinegar
Step 1. Remove the shoelaces
Shoelaces will generally become tangled when shoes are washed in a washing machine. Therefore, so as not to tangle, remove the shoelaces and wash them separately.
If you don't want your laces to separate when you wash them, you can put them in a pillowcase or washing bag
Step 2. Fill the sink with lukewarm water
First of all, wash the sink by wiping and rinsing it with clean water. Turn on hot water and cold water. Set the temperature to lukewarm water. After that, install a sink plug so that the water in it doesn't drain. Fill the sink until of it is filled with water.
Step 3. Mix in tbsp of detergent
Use a spoon to measure the amount of detergent needed and then sprinkle it in the water. Stir the water with your hands or a spoon until the detergent is completely dissolved and the water starts to foam.
You can also mix detergent under running water when the sink is filled with water
Step 4. Put the shoes in the sink and brush the stains with a toothbrush
First, put the shoes in the detergent water. After that, dip the toothbrush in the detergent water until it is wet. Use a toothbrush to brush off the bleach stain on the shoe for a few minutes, or until the stain begins to fade.
While brushing one shoe, soak the other in detergent water
Step 5. Turn on the washing machine, select a gentle wash cycle, and fill the washing machine with water
Once the yellow stain begins to fade, remove the shoes from the detergent water and place them in the washing machine. After that, select a warm and gentle wash cycle and then turn on the washing machine. Allow the washing machine to fill with water before adding white vinegar to it.
You don't need to rinse your shoes before putting them in the washing machine
Step 6. Add cup of white vinegar to the washing machine
Once the washing machine is on and filled with water, slightly open the lid and pour cup of white vinegar into the washing machine. Close the washing machine and wait for the wash cycle to complete.
- Adding white vinegar to the washing machine water can help remove yellow stains and make your shoes look brighter.
- Vinegar can also deodorize shoes.
Step 7. Take the shoes out of the washing machine and let them dry
After the washing cycle is complete, take the shoes out of the washing machine. Place the shoes on a towel to let them dry. You can also put your shoes in the dryer on low for 30 minutes.
If after 30 minutes the shoes are still not dry, dry them again using a clothes dryer on a low temperature for another 30 minutes
- If you want to wash your shoes with bleach, mixing the bleach with water may help prevent yellow stains from forming on your shoes. Mix bleach for every 4 liters of water.
- If the yellow stains on your shoes don't go away after cleaning them with salt, cream of tartar, detergent, or vinegar, you may need to take your shoes to the dry cleaners. Laundry may have special products that can remove or disguise yellow stains on shoes.