How to clean white rubber on shoes

Sneakers and running shoes are considered the most popular and comfortable shoes for every day. But they are less practical than regular leather shoes. The sole of the sneaker is made of specially treated white rubber, which darkens over time. Are there any effective ways to clean the white rubber of your shoes from yellowness and stubborn dirt?

How to clean white rubber on shoes
Lappen Fashion

For old dirt, just wiping with a damp sponge is not enough. You can give it to a special dry cleaner for sports shoes. There they will clean the old dirt from both the fabric and the sole white rubber. But you can also clean the white sole of your shoes at home. You will need chemical or improvised means, as well as a little time and effort.

General tips and handy tools

Bleaching the soles of your sneakers at home is a delicate science. With the same tool, you can clean some sneakers, and spoil others. There are several subtleties and tricks that will help make the cleaning process more competent and easy.

  • A hard-bristled toothbrush. It is better to clean the white rubber sole on sneakers with it. It will have an effective effect on the spots and save more energy.
  • For white sneakers — a white rag. Colored rags under the influence of various chemicals can “give” their color. As a result of cleaning, colored streaks will appear on the shoes.
  • Cotton swabs for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. And you can also use small screwdrivers, wrapping them with a layer of cloth.
  • First, gentle cleaning. If delicate methods do not help, only then move on to more intensive ones. Although it is better to get rid of the paint immediately with acetone.
  • Fix the result with a special shoe polish. For a white rubber sole, you need a white or transparent cream. It is applied after cleaning on dried shoes.

How to prepare your cross-country shoes for cleaning

To avoid streaks on your sneakers, you need to prepare your shoes for the main cleaning: wash thoroughly, remove dirt and stuck stones from the white rubber on the sole. Follow the following procedure:

  • remove the insoles and laces (they are washed separately);
  • make a solution of water and soap (30 g of shavings per liter of water);
  • moisten a sponge in the solution and wash the sole, including hard-to-reach areas;
  • wipe the sole with a dry cloth and proceed with further cleaning.

Machine washable: 4 rules

The washing machine will remove dirt not only from the sole but also from the entire surface of the sneakers. However, this method is only suitable for rag products of good quality. Suede or leather shoes do not tolerate automatic washing. This doesn’t just apply to running shoes. For example, leather sandals will permanently lose their shape after scrolling in the reel. Also, you should not send low-quality shoes to the drum — they will come apart or come apart at the seams in the typewriter. If machine washing is acceptable, follow four rules.

  1. A special bag. Use a special bag to wash your shoes. This reduces the risk of damage to the drum or the shoe itself. Alternatively, use an unnecessary pillowcase or wrap the sneakers in a white cloth cut, tying it with a knot.
  2. Choosing a washing powder. Depending on the color of your sneakers, choose a powder for colored or white underwear. For pure white sneakers, add bleach.
  3. Washing mode. Wash in the mode for sports shoes or delicate washing with a temperature of no more than 30°C.
  4. Spin mode. Push up at the minimum number of revolutions.

The machine method of cleaning does not greatly affect the ingrained dirt and old stains on the white rubber sole. The machine will only refresh the color and remove fresh dirt. The rest will need to be cleaned with additional tools.

Household chemicals: which one will help

How to make the sole of your sneakers white again? Use professional solutions. Make sure that the composition does not contain chlorine — it can leave difficult-to-remove stains. Do not forget to test the product: apply to an inconspicuous area of the sole and hold for at least an hour.

Washing Powder

Before cleaning the white rubber sole of your sneaker, dilute the bleaching detergent in warm water until it is completely dissolved.

  1. Put your shoes in the basin so that the water covers only the sole.
  2. Hold for three hours.
  3. Rub the sole of the shoe intensively with the solution using an old toothbrush.
  4. Wash the sole with clean water using a sponge and pat it dry with a rag.

Bleach for clothing

  1. To prepare the solution, follow the instructions on the product label.
  2. Proceed by analogy with washing powder.
  3. Make sure that the substance does not touch the edging of the fabric part of the shoe.
  4. Do not work without gloves — bleach is very aggressive for the skin of your hands.

Stain Remover

  1. Apply the product only to contaminated areas.
  2. Rub it with a brush and leave it on for the time period specified in the instructions.
  3. Rinse with clean water.
  4. Repeat the steps until they are completely cleaned.

Dish washing gel

  1. Apply the product on a brush or directly on the sole.
  2. Rub intensively over the entire surface of the rubber.
  3. Pay special attention to hard-to-reach places.
  4. Rinse with clean water.

This method will help you remove only fresh dirt and stains. It is better to take a clear or white gel that does not contain chlorine.

Laundry soap

  1. Soak the soap.
  2. Rub the brush on the soap and start working on the sole.
  3. Lather the brush as needed so that the product gets on all areas.
  4. Repeat the procedure until the result is achieved
  5. Rinse it out.

How to clean the white rubber sole on sneakers: folk methods

How to whiten the yellowed sole of sneakers and get rid of stubborn stains with folk remedies? “Grandmother’s” methods can have a strong and sometimes even aggressive effect, so do not forget to test the product before the procedure.


  1. Take a large white elastic band to make it comfortable to hold in your hands.
  2. Put on an old newspaper or rag — there will be a lot of dirty “pellets”from the eraser.
  3. Cut the rectangular eraser diagonally to use the sharp angle to get to the hidden places on the sole.
  4. Rub intensively until the desired result.

A harmless but time-consuming way to clean your shoes without washing them. Using the eraser, you can “erase” the gray tint, as well as remove some other dirt.


  1. Apply the paste to the white sole and rub vigorously with a stiff toothbrush.
  2. Leave on for 20 minutes and rub again.
  3. Wash it off with clean water.
  4. Repeat several times until the desired effect is achieved.

Whitening toothpaste is a popular and affordable way to whiten your running shoes. The method is safe not only for white rubber soles but also for fabric sneakers.

Baking Soda

  1. Moisten the sole with a damp cloth.
  2. Thoroughly rub the baking soda on it with a brush.
  3. To enhance the effect, add a little lemon juice to the soda.
  4. The result here will depend on the duration and intensity of the procedure.
  5. Wash the baking soda off the sole of your shoe.

Soda copes well with ingrained dust and black stripes, can lighten old spots, and the problem of how to wash grass marks from the soles of sneakers will also help.

4 more options

Acids and active ingredients will help to whiten the rubber sole on sneakers and sneakers with minimal time and effort. How to use: apply, rub with a toothbrush, rinse with clean water. Do not forget to wear rubber gloves and a cotton-gauze bandage, as well as cover the surface of the table when working with particularly aggressive cleaners. The substances listed here have approximately the same impact on pollution. Choose according to the principle of availability here and now from four options.

  1. Citric acid. Sold in grocery stores, bred according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Instead, you can use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  2. Acetone. It will especially help with stains from linden and poplar buds. You can take a nail polish remover containing acetone. Without it, the effect will be lower.
  3. Acetic acid. It is not used in its pure form, but is diluted with water in the ratio of three parts water to one part vinegar.
  4. Washing powder, vinegar and peroxide. The mixture will help to get rid of yellowness on the sole of sneakers. Mix bleaching laundry detergent, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in a ratio of 3: 2:1. It will help lighten poplar bud stains.

If the dirt on the soles of your shoes does not take any substance, then try to disguise it — paint it over with special white paint. Suitable acrylic or paint for painting fabrics. Apply with a soft brush, as stiff bristles can leave grooves and spread the paint unevenly.

Drying rules

When drying shoes, you need to follow the rules, especially if the sneakers were completely washed.

  • Temperature regime. Dry at room temperature. Do not leave your shoes on the battery, near the heater, or in the sun. Shoes may become deformed, and a yellowish tint may appear, which can no longer be cleaned.
  • Remove the water. Use the laces to hang the shoes in an upright position so that the remaining liquid drains out.
  • Saving the form. Fill your sneakers with crumpled paper to help keep them in shape and dry faster.

The choice of a specific product before washing the white rubber sole on your sneakers will depend on your cleaning experience. The result will be better, the more effort you put in. Especially to old dirt. And the best way to keep your sneakers in perfect condition for a long time is to take care of them after each wear.

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