How to Restore Yellow Soles on Nike Air Force Ones

We know it’s sad to see your once glorious pair of white Air Force Ones become yellow over time. The good news is, turning them white again is easier than you may think. Here’s how to restore yellow soles on Nike Air Force Ones and make them white again: 

The most effective way to restore yellow soles on Nike Air Force Ones is to apply Angelus Sole Bright evenly with a toothbrush. Then, cover the soles with plastic wrap and leave them out in the sun for 40 minutes. The yellow soles should turn white.

Curious about how the entire process works? Read on and we will show you how to clean and restore yellow soles on Nike Air Force Ones and make them white again magically.

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Why Do Air Force Ones Turn Yellow?

So why do Nike Air Force Ones turn yellow?

Nike Air Force 1 shoes, particularly the soles, turn yellow over time because of oxidation. Yellowing is the effect of a chemical reaction where the rubber reacts with oxygen and oxidizes, which causes the material to change colors from white to yellow.

Additionally, yellowing can happen when dirt and sweat get soaked inside the rubber.

To keep your Air Force Ones from yellowing, store them away from direct sunlight and keep them clean as much as possible. Yellowing is mainly caused by oxidation, and oxidation is accelerated by dirt and sunlight.

How to Unyellow Nike Air Force 1 Soles

Now that you know why your Nike Air Force Ones become yellow, it’s time to get down to business and make them white again.

For this job, the supplies you are going to need are:

Angelus Sole Bright

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Plastic Wrap

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Magic Eraser

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In addition to the three items above, you are going to need a toothbrush and a bowl of water. Here are the steps on how to clean yellow soles on Nike Air Force Ones:

1. Scrub the dirt from the soles with the Magic Eraser

Once you have all of the supplies ready, the first thing that you would want to do is to remove the surface dirt and grime from the rubber soles of your Air Forces.

To do this, take the Magic Eraser and dunk it in some water.

Hit up the soles and scrub them carefully with the wet Magic Eraser until they are nice and clean. Do your best to get rid of all the black marks and scuffs you see on the shoes. 

Scrubbing the shoes with the Magic Eraser will also get rid of most of the dirt, so we highly recommend you not skip this step. While you’re at it, feel free to use the Magic Eraser on any scuff marks you see on the uppers as well.

2. Apply Angelus Sole Bright on the rubber soles with a toothbrush

Once the shoes are nice and clean, the next step is to apply the Sole Bright solution on the rubber soles by using an old toothbrush.

To do this, take the toothbrush and dunk it into the Sole Bright. Once the toothbrush is evenly coated, scrub the rubber soles using the toothbrush.

For this step, we highly recommend using a toothbrush that you are not going to use again.

Make sure to apply light and even coats on the soles. You don’t need to “glob” the solution all over the shoes, but just make sure that you put enough to cover the soles.

Be careful not to let the product get onto unwanted areas which include the uppers and the laces. Also, do your best to avoid contact with non-rubber materials.

If you’re wondering why we recommend using Angelus Sole Bright instead of other shoe cleaning solutions, it is because the solution is designed specifically to remove oxidation and restore yellowed soles and midsoles.

In fact, Sole Bright is perfectly safe for Nike Air Force Ones and other shoe soles, including Glow in the Dark soles and, will not hinder their glowing properties.

Remember, not all shoe cleaning solutions can reverse the effects of the chemical reaction caused by oxidation and make yellow rubber soles white again.

3. Cover the rubber soles with plastic wrap

The next step is to cover the entire shoe soles with plastic wrap. Basically, what the plastic wrap is going to do is to keep the Sole Bright nice and preserved as it bakes in the sun.

Start with one shoe at a time.

Be sure to pull off a piece of plastic wrap that is a little longer than your shoe. Place the shoe on the plastic wrap sole down, then wrap the shoe with the plastic wrap.

It’s easier to start covering the shoe from the toe box area, wrapping around the back of the shoe. Once both of the soles are entirely covered, you’re good to go.

4. Leave your shoes out in the sun

Now that the yellowed Nike Air Force soles are entirely covered with plastic wrap, it’s time to leave them out in the sun. Leave the shoes for about 40 minutes out in the sun for each session, so each part of the soles gets enough sunlight.

For the best results, it’s a good idea to do multiple sessions of this.

Start by placing your shoes facing down with the soles up. Just like baking food in the oven, flip the shoes after 20 minutes with the soles down.


Leave the shoes out in the sun with plastic wrap like this
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In our experience, 40 minutes is more than enough.

It’s also a good idea to not leave the sneakers out for too long in the sun because the glue can melt and the soles can, unfortunately, start separating.

Once the shoes have been out in the sun for a total of 40 minutes, take them inside and wash them with cold water before doing another session.

Starting with one shoe at a time, hold the shoe over a faucet and use a brush or a toothbrush to scrub the soles under running water. After both shoes have been thoroughly brushed and washed, you should notice a difference in color in the shoes.

You can repeat the entire process by applying the Angelus Sole Bright on the soles with a toothbrush, then covering the soles with plastic wrap.

Leave them out again in the sun for 40 minutes, and wash them with cold water after.

After about three sessions, your yellow rubber soles should magically become white again.

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Final Words

Now you know how to clean yellow soles on Air Force Ones and make them white again. 

Instead of using common methods like brushing the soles with non-gel toothpaste, baking soda, or bleach, you can save time and do yourself a favor by using the Sole Bright solution. 

Your Nike Air Force 1 should look new in no time.