Unilever logo
Cleanipedia PH logo

Sole-searching: how to whiten yellow soles

White soles turned yellow? Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to whiten yellow soles in a few easy steps. Put your best foot forward!


Reading Time: 5 minutes

pair of white trainers

Key steps

  • Use a mix of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to whiten your shoe soles.

  • Equal parts bleach and water should also do the trick.

  • Rubbing toothpaste into the sole of your shoe should help to whiten it again.

If you own shoes which feature white soles, then you'll know the struggle of having to deal with yellowed soles. Especially with the heat and the sun, the substances in your shoe soles oxidize and turn yellowy. So, how can you restore them to their former splendor? Here we’ll share useful tips for how to whiten yellow soles once and for all.

Learning how to clean yellow soles doesn’t have to be difficult... did you know, household products like baking soda and bleach are perfect for getting them white again?

How to whiten yellow soles on shoes: a step-by-step guide

There are three simple methods for you to whiten your yellowed shoe soles. Read on to find out which one will work best for you.

shoe sole image

Method 1: How to clean yellow soles with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

  • Make a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.

  • Using an old toothbrush, rub the paste over the yellowed areas of your shoe sole.

  • Place your shoes sole side up in direct sunlight and leave to soak.

  • Rinse the paste off your shoe sole and check the results.

  •  If they still have some stubborn yellow marks, repeat steps 1-4.

a spoon next to a bowl containing baking soda
The Poll

What topics would you like to read about?

0 Votes

Method 2: How to clean yellow soles with bleach.

  • Mix equal parts bleach and water.

  • Dip an old toothbrush or equivalent soft bristled brush into the mix.

  • Use this to scrub the sole of your shoe, paying particular attention to the yellowed areas.

  • Rinse thoroughly with running water.

  • Noticed you still have some yellow marks? All you need to do is repeat steps 1-4 until the shoe is white as new again.

Domex Ultra Thick Bleach

Method 3: How to clean yellow soles with toothpaste.

  • Using an old toothbrush, rub toothpaste over the yellowed areas of your shoe sole.

  • Add a sprinkle of water.

  • Rub the sole again.

  • Using a clean, damp cloth, thoroughly clean the entire sole.

  • If there are still signs of yellow on your shoe sole, simply repeat the above steps.

How long it takes to whiten shoes

In general, it can take anywhere from a few hours to several days to whiten shoes. It's important to follow the instructions for the method you are using carefully and to test any products on a small, inconspicuous area of the shoe before applying them more broadly. With the right approach, you can effectively whiten your shoes and restore their original appearance. Enjoy box-fresh soles with this simple guide on how to clean shoe soles and remove that tired yellow tint. Now you know how to whiten shoes sole, make sure you keep on top of the cleaning of your white shoes with our guide on how to clean white shoes.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on cleaning white shoes

How do you clean soles of white shoes?

A simple rinse with a damp towel and liquid dish soap should remove most stains but work carefully as white shoes show dirt and stains more prominently than other colours. Special attention should be taken when you clean soles of white shoes made from materials such as suede and leather so that you don't damage the delicate shoe upper.

Why do white soles turn yellow?

White objects - including your shoe soles - will turn yellow as a result of oxidisation. This is simple exposure to oxygen in the air that affects many white goods. They may also turn yellow over time from contact with dirt and mud.

How do you whiten midsoles?

Midsoles are often made of rubber so stains should be easy to remove using any of the methods above. For dark stains caused by friction, simply rub a wet cloth (and if necessary, some liquid dish soap) against the stain until clean.

How do you get rid of yellow soles on Air Forces & other sneakers?

Air Forces and other popular sneakers can generally be washed in the washing machine - check the label first to be sure. If washing them by hand, mix detergent and water and rub the soles gently until they are clean.

Originally published