Summary: The yellowing of sneaker soles is often caused by a buildup of dirt and debris over time, leading to a worn-out appearance. To maintain the appearance of your sneakers and prolong their lifespan, it’s essential to clean the soles regularly. There are various methods to achieve this, such as baking soda or toothpaste. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the extent of the yellowing. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clearer understanding of how to clean white sneaker soles.

The Yellowing of Sneaker Soles: Causes and Tips


Before delving into the solutions, let’s first understand the root causes of yellowing soles. Three primary factors contribute to this issue:

  1. You wear those sneakers so often that the soles must be properly maintained.
  2. The sneakers were kept in the shoe cupboard for too long and got damp.
  3. The color of the sole on washed sneakers may change after being exposed to sunlight.


Using washing powder mixed with water to clean sneakers may seem like a good idea, but there are better approaches than washing powder mixed with water to clean sneakers. The enzymes in the washing powder can cause yellowing when exposed to sunlight, making it more difficult to clean the yellowed edges of the sneakers. Consider these 5 tips when cleaning your sneakers:

  1. If you like sneakers with white soles, you can buy two more pairs and use them as replacements.
  2. If sneakers are to be washed and put away, find a waterproof sneaker spray and spray it on white sneakers to create a protective layer and reduce the chance of yellowing.
  3. If you want to dry your sneakers quickly in the sun, wrap them in white paper to avoid direct sunlight’s negative effects on your uppers. In addition, the uppers can absorb the phosphor powder in the paper towel to play a certain role in whitening and brightening.

If you’re struggling with yellowed soles on your sneakers, don’t fret! It’s a common issue that can happen to any brand of sneakers, but with a little effort, you can get them to look white again. Here’s a guide to help you achieve that.

9 Amazing Ways to Clean White Sneaker Soles

Way 1: Wash With White Toothpaste

Washing with white toothpaste can effectively remove yellow stains from the soles of your sneakers. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Prepare a bowl of warm water and add a small amount of white toothpaste.
  2. Dip an old toothbrush into the solution and use it to scrub the soles of the sneakers.
  3. Focus on the yellowed areas, applying moderate pressure.
  4. Let the toothpaste sit on the soles for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the soles with water to remove the toothpaste and yellow stains.
  6. Repeat the process as needed.
  7. Let the sneakers air dry completely before wearing them again.

Забележка: It is important to use white toothpaste and not colored or gel toothpaste, as the coloring could make the stains worse. Also, it is best to avoid using this method on sneakers with delicate or colored soles, as the toothpaste could cause discoloration or damage.

Way 2: Soak Sneaker Sole in Diluted White Vinegar

Another effective way to remove yellowing from your sneakers’ soles is by soaking them in diluted white vinegar. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Fill a basin with warm water and add a generous amount of white vinegar. Mix well.
  2. Place the soles of your sneakers in the basin and let them soak for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. After soaking, take out the sneakers and use a soft brush to scrub the soles gently.
  4. Rinse the soles thoroughly with clean water to remove the vinegar.
  5. Allow the sneakers to air dry completely before wearing them again.

Забележка: Be sure to use only white vinegar, as other types of vinegar may contain dyes that can further discolor your sneakers. Also, using only mild white vinegar is recommended as a stronger solution may harm the rubber soles.

Way 3: Dilute Baking Soda and Soak Mixed Soap

To do this, you will need baking soda, soap and water. Here are the steps:

  1. Mix baking soda and soap in a bowl with water until it forms a paste.
  2. Dip a cloth into the mixture and apply it to the yellow soles.
  3. Leave the paste on the soles for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the soles thoroughly with water to remove the paste.
  5. Let the soles air dry.

Забележка: By following these steps, the baking soda and soap mixture should help to remove the yellow stains on the soles of your sneakers. The baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help to remove the stains, while the soap helps to clean the soles.

Way 4: Soak the Sole With Disinfectant

Soaking the sole of your sneakers in disinfectant is another effective method of whitening yellowed soles. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Prepare a solution of warm water and disinfectant. Make sure to dilute the disinfectant according to the instructions provided on the product.
  2. Soak a cloth in the solution and use it to clean the sole of your sneakers. Rub the cloth gently over the yellowed area, careful not to damage the material.
  3. Leave the sneakers to soak in the solution for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the disinfectant to penetrate the fibers and break down any yellowing caused by bacteria or fungal growth.
  4. Rinse the sole of your sneakers thoroughly with warm water to remove any residue left by the disinfectant.
  5. Allow the sneakers to air dry completely before wearing them.

Забележка: It is important to note that not all disinfectants are safe for use on all types of materials, so check the product label and test a small, inconspicuous area before using it on the entire sole.

Way 5: Clean the Soles With Conditioner

Cleaning the soles of your sneakers with conditioner is another simple and effective way to remove yellowing and restore their appearance. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Fill a basin with warm water and add a small amount of conditioner.
  2. Place your sneakers in the basin and let them soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the sneakers from the basin and scrub the soles gently with a brush.
  4. Rinse the soles thoroughly with water and let them air dry.

Забележка: Choosing a conditioner that is safe for your sneakers and won’t cause any damage is essential. You should also avoid using conditioner on suede or leather soles, which may damage the material. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test the conditioner on a small, inconspicuous area of the soles before applying it to the entire sole.

Way 6: Mix Glutinous Rice Water With Lemon Water to Remove Stains

Glutinous rice water contains starch that can help remove stains, while lemon water has natural cleaning properties and can help remove stubborn yellow stains. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Cook a pot of glutinous rice and strain the water into a bowl.
  2. Mix equal parts of glutinous rice water and lemon water in another bowl.
  3. Soak a soft cloth in the mixture and gently rub it onto the yellow soles.
  4. Leave the mixture on the soles for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the soles with water and dry them thoroughly.

Забележка: Repeat this process as many times as necessary until the yellow stains disappear. Note that this method may not work for all sneakers and yellow stains. But it is a gentle and safe way to try removing the yellowing.

Way 7: Clean the Soles With Hydrogen Peroxide

Here are the steps to clean the soles of your sneakers with hydrogen peroxide:

  1. Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water in a bowl.
  2. Dip a clean cloth into the solution and wring it out.
  3. Rub the solution onto the yellowed areas of the soles.
  4. Let the solution sit on the soles for about 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse the soles thoroughly with water.
  6. Dry the soles entirely with a clean cloth.

Забележка: Be sure to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the sole first to ensure it will stay on the rubber. Also, wear gloves when using hydrogen peroxide, as it can be harsh on the skin.

Way 8: Apply With White Nail Polish

Apply With White Nail Polish; here are the steps to follow:

  1. Prepare white nail polish and a soft brush.
  2. Dip the brush into the white nail polish and apply a thin layer to the yellow soles.
  3. Allow the polish to dry completely, which usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Repeat the process until the soles return to their original white color.
  5. Wait for the nail polish to dry completely before wearing the sneakers.

Забележка: This method works best for yellow soles that are mild. It may not work for highly yellowed soles. Additionally, be cautious when using nail polish as it may damage the sneakers if not applied properly.

Way 9: Other Ways to Clean the Soles

If the yellowing of your sneakers’ hem has been persistent, the above methods may not be effective. Consider purchasing professional cleaning products. Many brands offer practical cleaning sets that whiten and clean your sneakers and provide benefits for deodorising and sterilisation.

The level of cleaning required may vary depending on the severity of the yellowing. If the above methods aren’t working, you can try a combination of them multiple times.

Questions & Answers

Why Do the Soles Turn Yellow?

The soles of sneakers turn yellow due to a combination of factors such as exposure to sunlight, dust accumulation, and poor maintenance. Additionally, certain cleaning products can contribute to yellowing. The rubber material of the soles can also discolor over time, making them more prone to yellowing.

How to Prevent the Yellowing of Sneaker Soles?

There are several ways to prevent the yellowing of sneaker soles:

  1. Regular cleaning – Wipe the soles of your sneakers regularly with a damp cloth to remove dirt and dust buildup.
  2. Proper storage – Store your sneakers in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat to prevent discoloration.
  3. Avoid exposure to harsh chemicals – Do not use harsh chemicals such as bleach or fabric softeners on the soles of your sneakers, as these can damage the fibers and cause discoloration.
  4. Use a protective spray – Consider using a protective spray designed explicitly for sneakers to help prevent discoloration and protect the soles from damage.
  5. Rotate your shoes – Alternating between multiple pairs of sneakers can help extend the life of each pair and prevent excessive wear and yellowing.

By following these tips, you can help prevent the yellowing of the soles of your sneakers and keep them looking fresh and clean.

Why Use H2o2 to Clean Yellowing Soles?

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) can clean yellowing soles because it is a strong oxidizing agent. It has a bleaching effect and can effectively remove stubborn stains and discoloration on sneaker soles. Additionally, H2O2 is a natural disinfectant that can help kill bacteria and eliminate odors. Using H2O2 to clean yellowing soles, you can effectively restore the white color of the soles and keep your sneakers looking new.

How Long Will My Soles Last After Using the Mentioned Procedure?

The longevity of your soles after using the procedure to clean and rejuvenate them can vary and depend on various factors, such as the frequency of use, the materials of the soles, and the environment they are exposed to. However, if properly maintained, the soles can last a decent amount of time. It is always advisable to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the maintenance and care of your shoes.


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