How to Whiten Yellowed Plastic: Simple & Safe Methods

Don't throw away that yellowed and discolored plastic just yet. First, try our methods to remove the yellow stains.

Published October 14, 2020
yellowed dusty pc keyboard

Knowing how to clean yellowed plastic can make you a superhero when your child's favorite white plastic toy has started to yellow. It can also be great for your electronics that are yellowing over time. Learn how to whiten yellowed plastic with bleach, baking soda, peroxide, and white vinegar.

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic With Bleach

One of the most common ways to clean yellowed plastic is to give them a bleach bath. For this method, you need:

How to Use Bleach for Yellowed Plastic

  1. For electronic parts, removed the yellowed plastic.
  2. Fill a sink with an 8:1 water to bleach mix.
  3. Put on some gloves.
  4. Submerge the plastic in the bleach.
  5. Soak until white again.
  6. Remove from the solution.
  7. Wash with mild soap and rinse.

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic With Hydrogen Peroxide

Not a fan of bleach? You can get the same result with hydrogen peroxide. This method works exceptionally well for cleaning clear cellphone cases. For this cleaning method, grab:

Using Peroxide to Clean Yellowed Plastic

  1. Pour straight peroxide in a container.
  2. Put the plastic in the container.
  3. Allow the plastic to soak in the sunlight until the stain lifts.
  4. Rinse and dry.

How to Whiten Yellowed Plastic Toys

Looking for a safe way to whiten your plastic toys? In this case, you can stay clear of bleach and peroxide. Especially those toys that make their way into a kiddos mouth. For this method, you need:

  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (Dawn)
  • Sponge
  • Container
  • Lemon
  • Towel
  • Soft bristle brush or toothbrush

Cleaning Yellowed Plastic Toys With Baking Soda

  1. In a container, form a paste with Dawn and baking soda.
  2. Moisten the plastic with a bit of water.
  3. Scoop up a bit of paste onto the sponge.
  4. Rub the toy in circular motions. (This will take a bit of elbow grease.)
  5. Once clean, wash in soapy water.
  6. Rinse with water.
  7. Dry with a towel.

Removed Yellow From Plastic With Lemon

This method can work for small toys but will be ineffective for the bigger ones.

  1. Pour lemon juice into a container. (This can work exceptionally well if it is a yellowing plastic container you need to clean too.)
  2. Soak the toy in the lemon juice.
  3. Allow it to soak for at least an hour in the sun.
  4. After an hour, put a bit of Dawn on the brush and brush off the toy.
  5. Rinse and dry.

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic Containers With Vinegar

When you have some containers yellowed from food or stains, you can pull out the white vinegar. Materials you need include:

Woman washing a plastic container

Cleaning Yellowed Plastic Containers With Vinegar

  1. In the sink, add a tablespoon of Dawn, two cups of vinegar, and water.
  2. Allow the plastic containers to soak for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Use the bristle brush to scrub the containers.
  4. Rinse with water and dry.

How to Whiten Yellowed Plastic Electronics With Magic Eraser

When it comes to electronics or old game consoles, you can't be dipping them in water or bleach. However, you don't have to deal with the yellowed plastic either. In this case, you can grab a magic eraser and follow these steps.

  1. Wet the magic eraser with water and wring it out.
  2. Scrub the plastic with the magic eraser.
  3. Dip and wring out the eraser as needed.
  4. Scrub the yellowed plastic with the magic eraser.
  5. Wipe down with a dry towel.
  6. Enjoy that sparkling plastic.

This method can work great for white computers where your hands cause yellowing stains on the plastic. Just be sure to use as little water as possible.

Why Does Plastic Yellow?

Yellowing plastic is a sign of stains or age. For example, yellowing plastic on your Tupperware might be a stain from that spaghetti sauce. However, yellowing plastic on a game console is typically caused by UV light exposure.

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic

There are many different ways out there that you can clean your yellowed plastic from dipping it in bleach to creating a baking soda scrub. With the know-how at hand, it's time to get cleaning that plastic.

How to Whiten Yellowed Plastic: Simple & Safe Methods