Here’s how to make Apple cables white again:
In many cases, you can restore the white color of your Apple cable by cleaning it.
If that’s not good enough, you can carefully bleach the cable or even paint it to get the color that you want.
You can also use cable sheaths, braided or unbraided, to change the cable’s texture and color as you see fit.
So if you want to learn all about restoring Apple cables to their former whites, then you’re in the right place.
How Can You Make Apple Cables White Again? (3 Steps)
The best way to whiten a cable is really going to depend on what caused the discoloration in the first place.
If you spilled paint on the cable, then you might need to use paint thinner to get rid of it.
If it’s just dirty, then you need to clean the cable.
You get the idea.
For the most part, you can turn any cable white by using the three steps below, and in most cases, you should try them in order.
#1 Clean Them
In most cases, you can restore that nice white sheen to your cables with a little bit of cleaning.
Before you go grabbing a bucket of water and some soap—or even worse, your power washer from the garage—there are a few things you’re going to want to think about in order to safely clean an electric data cable.
Apple cables are designed pretty well, and the white sheath around all of the electric parts is a good protective layer, but there are some vulnerabilities.
If there are any places where the sheath is damaged and the wire is exposed, you’ll want to take note.
Also, the cable has two ends that can plug into things.
Those ends are also exposed vulnerable spots.
To keep a long story short, you’re going to avoid cleaning any exposed part of the cable.
Even when you use smart and safe cleaners, you don’t want direct contact with exposed metal or electric components.
That leads to unhappy outcomes.
With all of that covered, the easiest way to clean your cable is with alcohol swabs.
Soap and water could technically work, but it’s a lot riskier, as soapy water can absolutely wreck the exposed parts.
Alcohol is a lot safer (although you should still be careful with the ends of the cable), and it evaporates very quickly, so you don’t have to worry about drying the cables or creating a mess.
Simply scrub the white cable sheath with alcohol swabs until you are satisfied.
In most cases, you’ll get a nice white color back on the cable.
#2 Try Some Bleach
There are other times when cleaning the cable isn’t enough.
We all tend to put our modern electronics through a lot, and the cables can take some wear and tear along the way.
It’s not entirely uncommon for cables to get stained, and when that happens, alcohol swabs aren’t going to restore the original color.
The good news is that you can bleach the cable to get rid of most stains and restore the white color.
The bad news is that bleach is a lot riskier than alcohol swabs, so you’re going to want to be careful.
Here’s how you can go about bleaching a cable.
First, clean the cable.
You want to be sure that bleaching is necessary before you go to that step.
Also, you want to remove any dirt, grime, or anything else from the cable before you try to bleach it.
Any gunk can prevent the bleach from working.
Once the cable is clean, you are absolutely not going to try to soak the cable in bleach.
That would restore all of the white color to the cable, and it would almost certainly destroy the cable in the process.
Getting bleach on any of the exposed parts can quickly ruin your cable.
To do this in a safer fashion, you’re going to dilute some bleach, like you would to make your own spray.
You want to do this by mixing about 5 tablespoons of bleach with about a ⅓ cup of water.
Diluting the bleach makes it less potent, which means accidents are a little less dangerous for your cable.
Still, be careful with the ends of the cable.
Once you have diluted bleach, you want to apply it to a rag.
Remember that this is bleach, and it will bleach the rag, so you probably don’t want to use your favorite embroidered hand towels.
Instead, use a rag that you don’t mind bleaching.
Microfiber cloths are the best choice, but honestly, even paper towels can get the job done if you’re patient.
Using your rag, you’re going to wipe the cable with the bleach solution.
Again, you are not going to touch the ends of the cable at all.
After you wipe the rag, let it air dry.
This gives the bleach time to do its thing.
You can repeat the process a few times if necessary.
Since you’re diluting the bleach, it might take a few applications to whiten your cable as much as you like.
#3 Color the Cables
Still, there are cases where even bleach isn’t powerful enough.
If your diluted bleach solution still can’t whiten the cables, don’t fret.
You still have options, and they don’t include using a stronger bleach solution.
Stronger bleach can actually damage the cable sheath, which is not something you want.
Instead, you can simply color the cable so that it is a nice, pristine white color again.
There are two easy ways to go about this.
First, you can get white tape and wrap the cable.
This puts a fresh color on the cable, and the wrap actually adds a protective layer to the cable that can help it last longer.
White electrical tape is probably the easiest solution, but you can pick whatever you want.
If you don’t like the wrapped aesthetic, you can actually paint the cable.
Now, you don’t want to run to the hardware store and grab the first can of white primer that you can find.
For a rubberized cable, your best bet is to look at hobby paints—especially paints that are rated for rubber.
You can use small brushes and your hobby paint to give your white cable a nice refresher.
Let’s emphasize this point one more time.
Be careful with the ends of the cable.
It should go without saying, but painting the exposed leads on the end of your cable will ruin the cable.
How Can You Get Rid of Yellowing in Apple Cables?
Those tips are nice and all, but what if the cable starts to turn yellow?
It’s a bit of a notorious problem with Apple cables.
Sure, the white color looks nice when it’s new, but over time, the cables often turn yellow.
Yellowing is definitely an issue, and there are a few things that can lead to it.
The cable can absorb oils from your skin, and that can cause a slow color change.
Sometimes, the cables get exposed to too much UV light, and that can also produce a yellow tinge.
Regardless, you want solutions.
Here’s the good news, you can try the three methods I’ve already discussed, in order, and it will whiten your cable.
You can also look into cable sheaths, which is something I’m going to discuss in a little bit.
Can You Color Apple Cables?
We’ve covered how to whiten the cable, but what if you want another color?
The good news is that this is an option.
Obviously, cleaning and bleaching your cable won’t turn it blue, but that’s ok.
You can still wrap the cable in any color of tape that you want.
You can also paint it any color that you can find.
When we cover sheathing in the next section, you can even pick patterned or multicolor sheaths that really give you a ton of options.
I want to leave you with one tip, though.
Before you wrap or color your cable, clean it first.
A clean cable provides a better surface for tape, paint, or anything else you want to attach to it.
Can You Change Apple Cables to a Different Type? (2 Kinds)
So far, we’ve discussed changing the color of the cable, but what if you want a different texture?
Is that possible?
The short answer is yes.
There are a few ways that you can go about changing the cable texture.
You can wrap the cable in a sheath layer that can have any number of textures from smooth rubber to braided metal and anything in between.
You can actually replace the rubber coating on your cable with a material of your choice.
Granted, that’s an involved process, and I won’t have time to teach you how to do it here.
There’s also the option of replacing the whole cable with something else that you like more.
That’s not exactly a DIY solution, but it’s still easy and effective.
With those ideas in mind, let’s talk about a couple of common solutions.
#1 Braided Cables
First, I want to cover braided cables.
This is a different texture and cable-covering technique where a material is literally braided.
The braided structure tends to make the cable a lot stronger than just using a rubber coating, and braiding allows a cable to be covered in many more materials.
You can get fabric, canvas, nylon, metal, and other materials that are braided and cover the cable very nicely.
Needless to say, different materials come with various color options as well.
When it comes to braided cables, you have a couple of options.
#2 Sheathing Cables
How do cable sheaths work?
Well, you buy one that is the right diameter for your Apple cable (it will be advertised to work with certain types of cables).
The sheath will come with instructions, but in most cases, you just slide it over the cable.
It’s usually an easy process, and it provides a protective layer that can change the color and texture of your cable.
You can also make your own sheath.
That’s a bit of a process, but if you want completely customizable solutions, it’s a good way to go.