How to Get Yellow Marks Off a White Shoe

Updated November 21, 2016

A wardrobe staple year round, white shoes are frequently exposed to the elements. Over time, even the finest of footwear can turn from a dazzling white to a dingy yellow. Luckily, you can remove yellow marks easily at home. You can choose from several simple home remedies, but the most effective whitening method will depend on the cause of the blemish. As with all forms of stain removal, the sooner you treat the discoloured area, the more effective the treatment will be.

Sponge warm water onto the yellowed area until it is evenly damp. Apply a dime-sized dollop of whitening toothpaste to the stain and then scrub with an old toothbrush. If you have leather shoes, scrub gently; too much friction will scratch the shoe. Place the shoe under warm running water to rinse away the paste. Wait for the shoe to dry. If the stain persists, repeat the treatment or move on to step 2.

Pour ΒΌ cup baking soda into a small dish. Add enough water to make a thick paste. Spread the paste over any areas of discolouration and then set the shoe aside for one hour. Rub the treated area briskly with a soft bristled brush. Wipe the shoe with a damp cloth to remove the baking soda.

Treat any remaining yellow marks with hydrogen peroxide. Soak a soft cloth in 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide and then dab the stain with the wet material, thoroughly moistening the affected area. Wait 10 to 15 minutes and then wipe the peroxide away with a soft cloth. Repeat as often as necessary.


Do not try to whiten shoes with bleach. Bleach contains a yellow colouring agent that can make the stain worse, rather than better.

Things You'll Need

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Old toothbrush
  • Baking soda
  • Soft bristled brush
  • Soft cloth
  • 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide
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About the Author

Lisa Parris is a writer and former features editor of "The Caldwell County News." Her work has also appeared in the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology," "The Monterey County Herald" and "The Richmond Daily News." In 2012, Parris was honored with awards from the Missouri Press Association for best feature story, best feature series and best humor series.