How to Restore Yellow Soles on Tennis Shoes

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Tennis shoe soles are typically made of rubber or a synthetic material in white or other colors such as gray, black or yellow. When a person refers to restoring “yellow” soles, this may refer to restoring yellow-colored soles or soles with yellow discoloration from natural material aging or heat damage. Whether you’re trying to restore dirty yellow-colored soles or soles with yellow discoloration, the methods to restore the soles are the same. You simply wash and scrub the soles gently to remove surface level dirt and debris and then use slightly more aggressive measures to deal with stains and discoloration.

How to Restore Yellow Soles on Tennis Shoes
(Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled brushes
  • Bucket (optional)
  • White lint-free microfiber cloths
  • Mild detergent
  • Toothpaste
  • Melamine resin foam eraser
  • White artist eraser
Step 1

Scrub the soles of your tennis shoes with a soft-bristled brush outside or over a trash can or bucket to dislodge and remove as much dry debris as possible.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 2

Wet the bottom and sides of the sole of the first tennis shoe. Wet a white, lint-free microfiber cloth. Apply enough mild detergent to the cloth to make it soapy.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 3

Wash the bottom and sides of the sole of the first tennis shoe with the cloth. Scrub the surface as needed with a wet soft-bristled brush to remove any remaining debris.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 4

Rinse the soap from the sole and then check the sole for remaining stains or discoloration.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 5

Apply paste-style toothpaste to any stained areas that you find and then wait 30 minutes. Scrub the areas. Rinse and check the sole again.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 6

Dampen a melamine resin foam eraser, if necessary. Rub the areas that you scrubbed to finish restoring the sole.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 7

Dry the sole with a cloth. Set the tennis shoe aside.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media
Step 8

Repeat the entire process with the second tennis shoe.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Tips & Warnings

  • Rubbing your tennis shoe soles with a soft, white artist eraser can also remove some stains. If you’re dealing with hard-to-remove yellow discoloration on the side of a white sole, apply liquid white shoe polish to cover the yellowing.
  • Reduce future yellow discoloration by never drying your tennis shoes in a dryer with heat or placing the shoes in direct sunlight to dry. Never use bleach or harsh chemicals to clean or restore your tennis shoes unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer of the tennis shoes.

References

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