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Top four ways to clean yellowing soles in shoes

Seeing them turn yellow is agonizing!

Yellowing. Sounds like some crop disease, doesn’t it? Well, the economic impact of yellowing is something that you are impacted by immediately. For crop disease, you would have to wait for a year before you realize how much damage has been done! But what are we talking about, crops and diseases! Yellowing takes the lives of our favorite shoes every year, and there is no denying or escaping this morbid reality. But cleaning it is still within our reach! And this is exactly what we are going to talk about in this discussion as well. We are going to share with you in these lines, the most tried & tested methods for cleaning yellowing in shoe soles. There is plenty of amazing stuff for you to learn from this brief, make sure you take notes where they are needed!

Can you whiten yellow soles?

Right then, let us start with the basic question that has been swirling in the mind of you all since you read the title first. Can you whiten yellow soles on shoes? We are happy to report that the answer to this question is YES, YOU CAN. But that’s the short answer only! A longer answer will explain how you can whiten yellow soles by donning on your chemist’s hat! Well, if you are interested in that sort of information, you will have to stick with us till the very end of this discussion. We have tons of amazing tricks to share with you! All we ask in return is your promise that you will lend your undivided attention to these words! Because the whole point of this discussion would be lost if you are not able to understand a word of what we tell you! 

Closed that Facebook tab? Alright, let us go!

Cleaning yellow soles with bleach: A guide

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Bleach is one of the most potent agents that you can use to clean the yellow soles in your shoes. Here is the set of instructions, the protocol that you need to follow in this regard:

  1. Take two tablespoons of bleach and two tablespoons of warm water. Please note that this amount is recommended for a pair of soles. 
  2. Now, carefully stir and mix these two ingredients for at least a minute. 
  3.  In this step, using an old toothbrush, apply the mixture that you have just manufactured on the soles. 
  4. Ensuring that your scrubbing is homogenous is vital to the whole process. 
  5. Once done with step 4, leave the shoes in the same state for at least half an hour.
  6. Once the time is up, you need to rinse the pair of soles with warm water.
  7. Next, leave the soles be dried under sunlight. Don’t use an air blower.
  8. Repeat the process in case you are not satisfied with the results. 

How can you clean icy soles?

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Again, without any beating about the bush, let us jump to the protocol that you need to follow to accomplish this objective. The materials that you are going to need include a sea glow cleanser, a conditioner, a paper towel, some water, and 3M notes. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Apply the glow on the surface of a toothbrush/ paper towel. Using that brush, apply the sea glow onto the surface of the sole in question. 
  2. It is important to ensure that you are limited to the area that needs cleaning and that the glued seams are not affected in any manner whatsoever. Otherwise, the glow will react with the glue, and eventually dissolve it. This means that your shoe sole will get detached from the base completely. One also needs to be aware of the fact that this sea glow cleanser can also react with the rather shiny part of your shoes that is made of plastic. No need to panic if that happens! All you need is some wet paper to mitigate the damage! 
  3. Once you have applied the sea glow, the major part of your job is done. Now leave the sole as it is for 2-3 minutes.
  4.  In the next step, rub the sole in question gently using a scrubbing pad. The objective of this step is to help the glow penetrate the sole so that the cleaning process is as thorough as it can get.
  5. Oxidation reaction that takes place as a result of previous steps kick starts the cleaning process.
  6. 6- Once you are satisfied, it is time to put the shoe in the sunshine for about 50-60 minutes. What’s the rationale here, you must ask? Well, the sea glow that has penetrated inside the sole needs an activator, and the sunlight is that activating agent for it. 
  7.  To remove the sea glow, you will need clean water and a clean brush. Being gentle is the key here.
  8. If you are not satisfied with what you have achieved, you can repeat the process to remove the cleanser completely from the sole. 

The wonder that baking soda is!

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This is one of the most popular tricks used to clean the yellowing soles in shoes. Generations after generations have benefited from the wonder solution that baking soda is. How can it help you in your fight against yellowing? We are about to share the exact steps that you need to follow to accomplish this objective. But before we jump into the protocol, there is a little piece of information that you should be aware of, and which is quite crucial with regards to the context of this discussion. There are two ways in which you can combat yellowing using baking soda. One, with hydrogen peroxide. Second, without hydrogen peroxide. To make things as comprehensive as we can, we are going to share both protocols with you. 

First, we are going to talk about the method which does not use hydrogen peroxide. Here are the steps:

  1. Take 2 tsp. of baking soda, and add 4 tsp. of washing detergent in it. Now add water, drop by drop, into this mixture so that a consistent paste is formed. Notice the emphasis on drop by drop? We want you to take things slowly, if you pour the water in a torrential manner, it will lead to a rather runny solution. What we need is a firm paste, not a runny solution that cannot stick. Hence going drop by drop is advisable.
  2.  In the next step, you need to add toothpaste to the mixture that you created in the previous section. Any brand will do, but be careful about the amount you are adding. Not exceeding the 10 grams limit is highly recommended. 
  3. Clear any dust or dirt from the sole of the shoe to be cleaned using an old brush first. 
  4. In this step, apply the mixture on the sole that has become a victim of yellowing. 
  5. Now leave the sole as it is till it dries. For drying purposes, you can put the shoe under the sunlight. However, be careful not to overcook things. The optimal time for which you can leave it under the sun is 1-2 hours. 
  6. Once the process is completed, you need to clean the paste you had applied earlier with the help of warm water. You can use a brush for this purpose as well.

And now for the method that does use hydrogen peroxide. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Mix 4 tsp. of washing detergent and 20 ml. of hydrogen peroxide in a container. Make sure that mixing is uniform so that a homogenous solution is whipped up. 
  2.  Next, add a scant amount of toothpaste into the solution that you created in the last step. 
  3. This is the step where you need to shake off any dust or loose dirt from the sole under cleaning. 
  4. Now using a brush, apply the paste you have created earlier, onto the shoe sole that needs cleaning. It is pertinent to mention here that you should make some spare paste as well, in case you are not satisfied with the results, or if the shoe in question is rather bigger. 
  5. Because you have used hydrogen peroxide, you need to prevent oxidation. The best way of averting that risk is to cover up your shoes with some sort of plastic material. 
  6. Forget about the sole and the shoe for at least thirty minutes. Watch the pilot episode of Friends. 
  7. Once the alarm for thirty minutes starts ringing, you need to put the soles into warm water. Please make sure that the water is not too hot or not too cold. Again, forget about shoes for 30 minutes and watch the second episode of Friends. 
  8. Once this 30- minute time limit is up, you need to wash off the paste via scrubbing. Do it with the help of a brush or a scrubber.
  9. You can repeat the process as well, in case you are not satisfied with the results. 

Cleaning icy soles with toothpaste

Prevent Your Icy Sole from Yellowing • KicksOnFire.com

So far in this discussion, we have mentioned the effectiveness of toothpaste in conjunction with bleaches and baking sodas. But will it surprise you very much that toothpaste on its own is an effective tool for combating icy soles as well? Here are the steps that you need to follow if you want to try it:

  1. Of course, you are going to need a toothbrush. Go for an old one, instead of sacrificing the one that you use daily. 
  2. Put some toothpaste on the brush, and smear it over the yellow areas, just like you brush your teeth.
  3. Now add a few drops of water to this mixture. Best if you can use some warm water in this step. 
  4. Now take a clean piece of cloth and rub the sole of your shoes with it. Thorough rubbing is highly recommended. 
  5. Repeat the process in case you are not satisfied with the results of your efforts. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1- Why do soles turn yellow?

The primary reason for this nasty event is oxidation. Bit of moisture, some dirt, and a pure stroke of bad luck are all that is needed to ignite this chemical reaction.

2- How to avoid yellowing in shoe soles?

The chemical reaction of oxidation is fuelled further by the presence of moisture. So keeping your shoes safe from water is one way of averting the threat of yellowing for some time. If there is a certain pair that you are not wearing all the time, you can wrap it up in polythene as well. This will further reduce the risk of early yellowing in your shoes.

3- Is it ok to use hydrogen peroxide to clean yellowing soles?

It is ok to use it, but you have to follow the post-procedure method for paste removal as well. Otherwise, it can be damaging to your skin.

4- Will using hydrogen peroxide or baking soda damage the glued portion of the shoe sole?

No, it will not. The reason for that is the fact that glues are applied on the interior, and not on the exterior of shoe soles.

5- Which method is most effective in removing yellowing from white leather shoe soles?

The answer to this question varies from one shoe to another, but the baking soda methods are quite popular among the masses.

6- For how long soles can be expected to remain clean after using one of the methods discussed here?

If you are using the recovered shoes daily, it would be five-six months at least before you can expect the curse of yellowing creeping in once more.

Final thoughts

That would be all from this discussion. We wish we could go on a bit more, and share some of the tips and methods which are tried by tribal and domestic shoe experts for countering the curse of yellowing. We hope we clarified your questions regarding yellowing soles in shoes, and if you have any further queries, we would be more than happy to get in touch.

About Rachel

Hi my name is Rachel; a registered nurse. I graduated from one of the best nursing programmes and have been working in the medical field for 10 years. As a licensed practical nurse, I understand the plight that comes with the job. While I enjoy taking care of patients, I understand the long working hours that nurses have to deal with. We spend majority of the shifts walking around the medical centre making sure all patients are taken care of and this requires a lot of work and energy on the feet. https://bestnursingshoes.net has been created to help nurses from different parts of the world find the perfect shoes to reduce the strain on your feet and posture and make the job much easier.

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