How to Clean Yellow Shell Toe Adidas (White Again)

The Adidas Superstar is popular for its distinct shell toe boxes. While they can become yellow as time goes by, there is one hack to unyellow them. Here’s how to clean and restore yellow shell-toe Adidas Superstar shoes and make them white again::

The most effective way to restore yellow shell toe Adidas Superstar is to apply Angelus Sole Bright evenly with a toothbrush. Then, cover the rubber soles with plastic wrap and leave them out in the sun for 40 minutes. They should unyellow and become white again.

If you are interested to learn more about how this method works, read on and we will guide you step-by-step on how to clean yellow shell-toe Adidas sneakers.

Why Do Adidas Superstars Turn Yellow?

So why do Adidas Superstars turn yellow?

Adidas Superstars turn yellow over time because of oxidation. Yellowing of the shell toe and soles are the effects of a chemical reaction where the rubber reacts with oxygen and oxidizes, which causes the material to change colors from white to yellow.

Moreover, dirt and sweat-soaked inside the rubber can also cause yellowing.

If you want to prolong the life of your Adidas Superstars and prevent them from yellowing sooner, keep them clean as much as possible while storing them away from direct sunlight.

Remember, yellowing is caused by oxidation, which is sped up by sunlight and dirt.

How to Restore Yellow Shell Toe Adidas Superstar

Now that you know why your Adidas Superstars become yellow, it’s time to go to work and restore them back to their glorious white color.

The supplies you need for this simple hack are:

In addition to the 4 items above, you will need a small bowl of water. Here are the steps on how to clean yellow shell toe boxes and rubber soles of Adidas Superstar:

1. Remove dirt from the sneakers with the Magic Eraser

Now that you have everything you need, the first step is to remove all of the surface dirt on the shoes. Chances are, your sneakers are full of dirt and grime, so you would want to remove them so that the dirt does not get in the way of the restoration process.

Take the Magic Eraser and dunk it in the bowl of water.

Using the wet Magic Eraser, scrub one Adidas shoe at a time gently until they are nice and clean. Be thorough and try to remove any black marks and scuffs on each shoe.

It’s important to not skip this step prior to restoring the yellow shoes because scrubbing the sneakers with the Magic Eraser will remove as much dirt as possible. Don’t forget to use the Magic Eraser to scrub any scuff marks on the uppers too.

2. Brush Angelus Sole Bright on the soles with a toothbrush

After scrubbing the shoes free of dirt, the second step is to brush the shoes with Angelus Sole Bright. To do this, you need the help of a toothbrush.

Open up the Sole Bright bottle cap and dunk an old toothbrush inside. After coating the toothbrush with the cleaning solution, you can start to apply the Sole Bright onto the rubber soles, starting with one of the shell toes.

Once the shell toe is evenly coated, move toward the back and brush the rubber sole thoroughly. We recommend using a toothbrush that you are not going to use again.

Be sure to apply light/medium coats on both soles evenly. You don’t need to shower the soles with Sole Bright, but you need to ensure the soles are completely covered.

Also, try to not get the product onto non-rubber materials like leather uppers and shoelaces. Thankfully, the toothbrush should help you achieve that.

You may be thinking about why we suggest using the Angelus Sole Bright specifically.

You need to use the Angelus Sole Bright because the solution is made to reverse oxidation on sneakers and restore yellowed soles, including yellowed shell toes.

In fact, Sole Bright is completely safe for Adidas Superstars and other rubber shoe soles, including glow-in-the-dark soles, and will not reduce their glow.

Not all shoe cleaning solutions can reverse the effects of the chemical reaction caused by oxidation, so we recommend using the Sole Bright to unyellow rubber soles.

3. Use plastic wrap to cover the soles

Once both Adidas shoes are evenly coated with Sole Bright, take the plastic wrap and cover the entire soles of the sneakers. Essentially, the plastic wrap is going to keep the Sole Bright nice and preserved as it bakes in the sun.

Start with one shoe at a time.

Adidas Superstars are trickier to cover than other sneakers because of their shell toes. To cover a shoe properly, take a piece of plastic wrap that is longer than the shoe. 

Next, place the shoe on the plastic wrap with the sole down, then wrap the shoe with the plastic wrap. Start by covering the shoe from the shell toe, and wrapping it around the back of the shoe. After covering both shoes with plastic wrap, you are ready for the next step.

4. Leave the Adidas sneakers out in the sun

Take your plastic-wrapped Adidas Superstars and leave them out in the sun.

For this particular step, it’s a good idea to do multiple sessions of 40 minutes per session. You need enough time for Sole Bright to work its magic.

Place your shoes face down with the soles up. After about 20 minutes, flip the shoes over with the soles down and leave them again in the sun for another 20 minutes.

Make sure the soles get enough sunlight

In our experience, 40 minutes is more than enough because if you leave the shoes out in the sun for too long, the glue can melt and the soles can start to separate.

After 40 minutes, take both sneakers inside and wash them with cold water.

The best way to do this is to hold one sneaker over the faucet and let the running water wash it. During this time, take a toothbrush and scrub the soles to remove excess solution.

Once washed, dry the shoes with a dry towel. You should be able to spot the difference in color. The once yellowed soles and shell toes have turner whiter.

For the best results, we recommend you repeat the process and do three sessions.

Reapply the Angelus Sole Bright on the soles with a toothbrush, then cover the soles with plastic wrap. Leave them out in the sun for another 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes and flipping the sneakers once, wash them with cold water. Once you have done 3 restoration sessions, the yellow shell toes and soles should look like new.

You may also want to read:

Bottom Line

Now you know how to clean yellow shell-toe Adidas shoes and make them white again. 

There are plenty of websites out there that recommend using non-gel toothpaste, baking soda, or bleach. However, we found that all of those methods generate mediocre results.

Save your time and effort by buying Angelus Sole Bright and using it properly. Before you even realize it, your yellowed Adidas Superstars should be restored and cleaned.

But, if you don’t want to worry about “unyellowing” shell-toe shoes, you may want to consider buying different shoes. Fortunately, there are plenty of sneakers that look like the Adidas Superstar but do not have the classic shell toes that are hard to clean.