Over the years, shoe enthusiasts (a.k.a Sneakerheads) are becoming more and more prevalent all over the world. In line with this, top of the line brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma are creating more and more masterpieces for their fans to enjoy. This means that the more shoes they produce, the more shoes their patrons start to collect. I don’t know about you, but this is a win-win situation for them.
As storage units start to fill up with rare and amazing finds, sneakerheads always had this one underlying problem when it comes to their shoes – and that is shoe yellowing. This is not an unusual thing, especially since everything in this world starts to grow old over time. However, if you really want to take care of your collections, there are ways you could consider to keep them looking brand new all the time. That is what we are going to focus on in this article.
Why Do Shoes Turn Yellow Over Time?
There are plenty of factors that contribute to shoe yellowing. Some of them are environmental, and some of them are the little things that you hardly notice. The important thing to remember is that your main problem here is time, and you have to work with it in order to keep your shoes fresh and neat.
At first, you will notice that your white shoes turned yellow after washing. Although it may seem that the cause of this problem is your cleaning materials, it is actually far more simple than that. The biggest factor that causes your shoes’ yellowing is oxidation, which is the reaction of the materials itself towards air whenever they are wet or dirty.
Another thing that could ruin the integrity of your shoes’ color is dirt. Depending on your lifestyle and usage, you need to know how much dirt they accumulate. If you missed even a few spots of dirt, their soles would most likely fade anytime soon.
How to Keep Your Shoes from Yellowing
If your shoes have been stocked for a long time, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. To understand the simple process of how to keep shoes from yellowing, just follow this simple guide at home. You can purchase additional products and improve your results by restoring their whiteness, but we’ll get to that later. Right now, just focus on these simple steps, and you will protect your kicks from those harmful elements.
1. Store Them in the Best Place Possible
The best way to avoid shoe yellowing is by storing your shoes in the best place possible. You do not have to find someplace fancy and expensive. Just make sure that the storage area is cool, dry, and is able to decompress air as much as possible.
If you have extra space at home, try getting a couple of shelves for your shoes. It may seem like it doesn’t work, but wait until you see the effectiveness of this idea. If this is not the right option for you, try renting out a storage unit specifically for you to store your shoes in. You can search online for places like these, or you can ask around your community to look for efficient options.
2. Wash Them Thoroughly
As mentioned before in this article, dirt and water combined have a negative effect on your shoes. These two elements can quicken the yellowing process of your kicks, and before you know it, you are stuck with an unattractive pair. Make sure that when you are washing your shoes, you will thoroughly cleanse their soles and sensitive areas.
To do this task, you will need a couple of cleaning tools and products. You do not have to look for expensive and unique items. Just go for simple cleaning solutions such as mild detergents, a hard textured toothbrush, and maybe a protective coat or solution to block harmful elements out. Clean your shoes to make sure that they are spotless, and after that, try a spray-on protective coating to ensure that it will stay clean for a long time.
3. Avoid Harsh or Unfamiliar Products
When you are trying out cleaning and protective products, make sure to avoid harsh ones. For example, some people often use bleach when cleaning their shoes just because it’s easier. Sure, it may remove dirt and stains easier, but it could actually weaken your shoes’ overall durability.
To make sure that you are going to use the right products, double-check the ingredients or materials used while they are created. A lot of these cleaners and protectors are manufactured by shoe enthusiasts like yourself, which means you can ask them anything about the product. If you are concerned about something, try asking them for specific details until you get to the answer you are looking for. By digging deeper into your research, you are taking care of your kicks and educating yourself at the same time.
4. Remove the Underlying Factors (Paper, Silica Packs, etc.)
Sometimes, the factors that we thought would help us the most are the ones that would actually ruin things. In this case, try noticing the paper and silica gel packs that come in the box when you buy your shoes. They look like friendly products, right? Well, guess what, you’re wrong.
The paper that comes with your shoes is good for the first weeks, but these things are acidic and can contribute to shoe yellowing. Aside from that, the silica packs are good for driving moisture out, but if you leave them in for too long, the shoes will dry out and become brittle. If you want to prolong the lives of your kicks, remove these factors right away. Stick to more effective solutions such as tissue paper and cool places to keep them dry and protected.
5. Use Plastic Bags
Plastic bags may be bad for the environment, but if you are going to use them for your kicks, you are actually being efficient. These things can help keep moisture away from the shoes, keeping them dry and sealed all day long. You can use any type of plastic bag for this, but the most suggested option is Ziploc or sealable bags.
Aside from Ziploc bags, you could also use shrink wrap for a more protected feel. All you need to do is to wrap your shoes within the material, use a hairdryer to heat seal the plastic, and you are good to go. You could also use moisture barrier bags for the more expensive shoes, but these things come with a price as well. This is just an additional option if you want a more secure storage solution.
Quickly Restoring the Victims of Shoe Yellowing
If you want to restore your white shoes, the process is quite simple. Of course, you have to prepare a budget first, because this is not going to be a cheap task. After that, you can purchase all the necessary items such as a cleaning kit, de-yellowing product, and Mink Oil.
Naturally, you would want to start by cleaning the shoes first (use the cleaning kit for this). After that, apply the de-yellowing product to get rid of those yellow stains on your shoes’ soles and main body. Then, for the final touch, apply Mink Oil to give your kicks that waterproof characteristic. This product also works as a conditioner, which means it can improve the condition of your shoes as well.
Collecting shoes and taking care of them are two separate tasks, and both of them require extreme dedication. Most sneakerheads are already used to dealing with stained shoes. However, some of them are still new to the experience, and they tend to panic or freak out when they don’t know what to do. This is a normal thing to face when you are collecting shoes, and you do not have to be one of those people.
If you are having a hard time doing the maintenance part, you do not have to fret! Lucky for you, you happened to stumble upon this awesome article, and you won’t have to deal with the shoe yellowing issue any longer. Just make sure to follow the steps and pay attention to every detail so that you can thoroughly take care of your amazing kicks. Eventually, you will also be able to teach others how to handle this type of situation.