Will Magic Eraser clean yellowed plastic? (2023)

Will Magic Eraser clean yellowed plastic? (1)Will Magic Eraser clean yellowed plastic? (2)Photo: Skylar Kang

Dip and wring out the eraser as needed. Scrub the yellowed plastic with the magic eraser. Wipe down with a dry towel. Enjoy that sparkling plastic.

Will Magic Eraser clean yellowed plastic? (3)

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(Video) How to remove yellowing from old plastic (retrobright) the BEST method


White plastic items such as computer keyboards, plastic pipes, plug sockets etc will eventually turn a yellowy color over time. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are filthy or covered in nicotine stains etc.The good news is there is no need to replace these items, as they can be safely and effectively cleaned at home. This article goes into what causes white plastic to fade to a yellow color and how to rectify it.There may be affiliate links in this article. You can read more about this in my disclosure.

Why Does Yellow Plastic Turn Yellow?

Typically, the main reason white plastic items (such as computers) turn yellow is prolonged UV exposure. The ultraviolet light doesn’t chemically work well with most plastics (such as polymer).Exposure to UV radiation can cause plastics to change color (the murky, unpleasant yellow). So, UV rays are the main culprit but other possibilities include extreme temperatures, humidity, and of course – nicotine.We’ve all seen those retro computers from the 1970s and we wonder if they were always that unpleasant yellow colour – the answer is no. So, if you’re looking to restore such an item to its original white glow, here’s how.

Cleaning & Whitening Yellowing Plastic at Home

Naturally, bleach is a popular solution for restoring white shades back into discolored items. Because bleach is very corrosive to all surfaces it touches (particularly human skin) caution will need to be exercised.

Here’s how to restore yellowing plastic back to white using bleach:

Items needed: bleach, plastic gloves or protective PPE, a container.

For electronic parts, remove the yellowed plastic. Fill a sink with an 8:1 water to bleach mix. Put on your PPE or gloves. Submerge the plastic in the bleach. Soak until white again. Remove from the solution. Wash with mild soap and rinse. Make sure the items are thoroughly dry before being returned to an electrical component.

No products found.

Another well-known whitening substance is of course hydrogen peroxide. Many of us have hydrogen peroxide already at home, but it is not difficult to find or expensive to buy.For this method, you’ll need a decent amount of hydrogen peroxide and a container. PPE is recommended.Pour straight peroxide in a container. Put the plastic in the container. Allow the plastic to soak in the sunlight until the stain lifts. Rinse and dry. Again, if the item is a component of something electric, it is imperative it is fully dry before it is returned to its place.If you wish to clean something such as a child’s or pet’s toy and want to steer clear of chemicals such as bleach and hydrogen peroxide for their safety, here is a useful (and fully safe) option:

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Will Magic Eraser clean yellowed plastic? (8)Promotion

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What you’ll need:


In a container, form a paste with the dish soap and baking soda. Moisten the plastic with a bit of water. Scoop up a bit of paste onto the sponge. Rub the toy in circular motions. (This will take a bit of elbow grease.) Once clean, wash in soapy water. Rinse with water. Dry with a towel.Another cleaning method that is as old as time itself (not to mention reliable and fragrant) is lemon! Lemon is a great way to remove certain stains or re-lighten an item without harsh chemicals.It’s also a very cheap option and probably the most kindest on the nostrils! Here’s how:Pour lemon juice into a container. (This can work exceptionally well if it is a yellowing plastic container you need to clean too.) Soak the toy in the lemon juice. Allow it to soak for at least an hour in the sun. After an hour, put a bit of dish soap on the brush and brush off the toy. Rinse and dry.

No lemons at hand? No problem. Vinegar works just as well.

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

How to Clean A Keyboard With a Magic Eraser

Yup – you read that correctly. A magic eraser is a great option for whitening electrical items that may be unsafe to use too much liquid on, such as computer keyboards.You will still need a small amount of water for this method, so it is advised that you only do this on a day when you don’t need to use the item and can give it 24 hours to dry out thoroughly (this will be done quicker if the item is upside down.Wet the magic eraser with water and wring it out. Scrub the plastic with the magic eraser. Dip and wring out the eraser as needed. Scrub the yellowed plastic with the magic eraser. Wipe down with a dry towel. Enjoy that sparkling plastic.

Other Ways to Whiten Yellowing Plastic Objects

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Rubbing alcohol is great for staining that requires whiteness being restored. Here’s what to do:Pour the rubbing alcohol into a container and let it sit for a few minutes. Soak the item for up to an hour. Rinse thoroughly and dry Safely dispose of the alcohol. Do not leave it around where it can be confused as water by a pet, child, or other family member.This method is particularly effective for plastic food containers that may have been discolored by sauces, as well as dentures/tooth plates.Place the tablets into a bowl of hot water to let them dissolve. Once dissolved, pour the mixture into or onto the stained containers and allow them to sit for about half an hour. Rinse the containers with soap and water.


So, we have learned that various white plastics aren’t susceptible to prolonged UV exposure, of which will eventually cause the item to fade to an unappealing yellow color.However, all is not lost and there are various ways to restore them to their original colour – most of which can be found lurking in your pantry or under the sink.For heavy staining, chemicals such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide may be what’s required. Make sure to don the correct PPE and clean the items in an area safe to handle such items, such as a sink.Keep all chemicals out of the way of pets and children. If the item is electrical, make sure you do not clean it while it is still connected to a power source.For milder staining, products like lemon, vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and Alka Seltzers or bicarb or baking soda may help gently remove all yellowing and restore an item back to its original white shade.If you’re cleaning an item that can go in a person/pet’s mouth, such as a chew toy or dentures, do not use bleach or other harsh chemicals. Gentler products, such as bicarb or lemon, are recommended for safety.Last update on 2022-12-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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(Video) How to whiten yellowed plastics (cheap & easy!)

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(Video) Can you clean yellowed plastic? Vinegar vs Baking Soda vs Citric Acid


Can yellowed plastic be whitened? ›

Coat your yellowed plastic gadget and wrap it. In a nutshell, all you need to do is to coat the plastic (cleaned and dried, of course) evenly with the cream peroxide. Avoid having the cream coming in contact with your skin or eyes, as it can cause burns.

How do you restore yellowed plastic back to white? ›

Use bleach - Bleach is easily available and is used as a whitening product. Mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 cup of water. Apply this solution pon your plastic items and let it sit for two hours. After this, you can rinse the plastic with soap and water thoroughly.

Can you make yellowed plastic clear again? ›

Place some Comet cleaner on the scrubbing sponge and start scrubbing. This requires plenty of elbow grease and time, but will take the yellow out with some scrubbing. When the yellow is removed, wash the piece in water and dish detergent. Rinse completely with clean water and allow it to dry.

Can hydrogen peroxide clean yellowed plastic? ›

Hydrogen peroxide is a popular liquid for removing stains from anything from clothing to teeth, so it will also work on your yellowing appliances. Here's what to do: Coat the yellowed plastic in hydrogen peroxide using a clean cloth (if it is a big appliance like a microwave) and leave for an hour or so.

Why does old plastic go yellow? ›

Why Plastic Is Yellowing? Plastic yellowing often occurs when polymer chains degrade. This happens either in the presence of oxygen and UV light (photooxidation) or in sufficient heat (thermal oxidation). As a result, “yellow bodies” are created that impart yellow coloration.

Does hydrogen peroxide destroy plastic? ›

On plastic, it would perfectly be fine as long as it's not the industrial 35% grade.

How do you whiten yellowed plastic toilet seats? ›

Julie Philips added: “I use bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. Apply the paste to the toilet seat and leave it to sit for between 10 and 30 minutes. “Scrub the stains, then wipe the toilet seat with a cloth dipped in clean, warm water. If any stains remain, repeat the process.

How do you clean a yellow plastic bathtub? ›

Hydrogen Peroxide: fill a spray bottle with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide. Let the solution sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe the tub down with a damp sponge. You can repeat these steps until the yellow staining disappears.

Does bleach turn white plastic yellow? ›

Although chlorine bleach is known for its whitening properties, it contains chemicals that may produce pale yellow stains on objects. Plastic surfaces, such as serving bowls and acrylic bathtubs, are susceptible to yellow streaks when exposed to chlorine bleach for extended periods.

How do you remove oxidation from plastic? ›

Fortunately, you can easily remove oxidation with sandpaper, vinegar, or a bleach solution. Plastic that has faded to a yellow or brown color was made with bromine, which causes the plastic to change color over time. However, you can reverse bromine discoloration with hydrogen peroxide.

How do you whiten yellowed plastic light covers? ›

Soaking your light covers in bleach for several hours should turn them white again, but if the bleach does not work, using a little elbow grease to sandpaper out the yellow spots is also an option. Whatever you decide, your light covers will be restored back to the beauty they deserve to be.

Does vinegar whiten plastic? ›

Lemon, vinegar, and baking soda are all natural cleaners that will lift discoloration from plastic.

Will 3% hydrogen peroxide whiten plastic? ›

Here are my thoughts about using hydrogen peroxide to clean yellowed tupperware, plastic utensils, and stained plastic dishes: Be patient. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide, but expect that it may take more than one attempt to get the stains off. Give the peroxide time to work.

How do I make my yellow appliances white again? ›

Just take a damp cloth, and sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on it. Wipe the cloth along the appliance, particularly in any yellowing areas. Then wipe the area again with a clean, wet cloth to rinse off the residue.

How do you clean yellow Tupperware? ›

Simply make a thick-ish paste of warm water and baking soda and rub it into the inside the container. Let it sit for at least one day, then rinse it out thoroughly. Continue until no stains remain and the container smells fresh.

What does Windex do to plastic? ›

Traditional cleaners such as Windex, Formula 409, or denatured alcohol can cause irreparable damage to clear plastic.

Can you use isopropyl alcohol to clean plastic? ›

Even though it may seem like a good idea to clean and remove scuff marks on plastic with rubbing alcohol, it can crack and discolor acrylic and plastic. The result: A damaged item with a crack or hole that can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Does bleach do anything to plastic? ›

Yes, it is corrosive to plastic. It does not eat up the plastic in one go (we are assuming you are using the diluted bleach or bleach water as the cleaning agent), but the damage it would create is definite.

How do you remove urine scale from plastic? ›

Apply lye solution (1/4 tsp of lye into a cup of water) with a brush, > wait a few minutes, rinse (water spray again) and mop dry.

How do you clean an old yellow toilet seat? ›

Baking soda paste forms a cleaning solution that can not only clean your toilet seat but also the toilet bowl and lid. Baking soda, however, doesn't remove the bacteria, so homeowners may still want to clean the seat after with white vinegar as it has disinfectant properties.

How do you clean yellowed plastic shower seals? ›

Lubey Lou said: “Take it off, rinse off loose dirt then soak in sterilising fluid or bleach for an hour or two. “Use an old toothbrush to scrub in all the crevices then rinse off and reattach.” Most households own bleach, but for those who don't, it can be bought online or from local supermarkets.

What color does yellow turn when you bleach it? ›

Yellow turns to white or off-white when bleached.

Will bleach remove yellowing? ›

Chlorine bleach can be used on cotton fabrics that have yellowed due to storage issues. Always follow product directions, and don't use too much bleach. Check the label for directions concerning water temperature, too. Some chlorine bleach formulas (non-U.S.) only work in cold water, and heat inactivates them.

Will bleach lift yellow? ›

So in other words, you get yellow, orange or brassy hair after bleaching because you did not lighten enough. Lighten more, all the way to level 10 palest yellow, and most of your yellow hair problems will vanish away.

Can sun faded plastic be restored? ›

Although sunlight normally discolors plastic, it can reverse damage as long as your item is coated in hydrogen peroxide cream. A table or a stone surface is a great place to stick your item. Make sure it won't be disturbed there.

How do you make plastic look like new again? ›

Luckily, bringing out the plastic's natural luster is easily done. By rubbing olive oil or using a heat gun on the faded area, you can help your plastic look as good as new. And, if all else fails, you can always use black spray paint to give your plastic a sleek shine again.

Does olive oil restore plastic? ›


A better remedy for the haze, though, is a dab of olive oil. Pour a few drops on a lint-free cloth and rub the oil into the affected area. Continuing buffing the surface for a few minutes, and the cloudiness will disappear leaving the plastic looking good as new.

Will wd40 restore faded plastic? ›

CAN WD-40 BE USED TO RESTORE PLASTIC? Yes, WD-40® Specialist Silicone Lubricant can be used on plastic to help with restoring fading. WD-40® is actually safe* to use on metal, rubber, wood and plastic. It can also be applied to some painted metal surfaces without harming the paint.

How do you clean plastic without ruining it? ›

Use a nonabrasive, all-purpose cleaner. Rinse with clean water and dry with a clean, soft cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleanser that may scratch the plastic. Use a tub/tile/sink cleaner; nonabrasive, all-purpose cleaner; or a paste of baking soda and water.

Does baking soda remove stains from plastic? ›

Baking soda paste is a great disinfectant that can clean plastics. It can also remove the typical liquid stains previously mentioned. Baking soda paste needs to be mixed with water. Apply directly to the discolored areas of the plastic container.

How do you whiten yellowed plastic with UV light? ›

This is the step where the whitening takes place. Place the plastic pieces under the sun and leave them there for at least a day. It's the UV rays from the sun that in combination with the hydrogen peroxyde will make yellowed plastic white again.

Does vinegar do anything to plastic? ›

The plastic and glass surfaces on most small kitchen appliances, such as blenders, coffee makers, and toasters, are safe to clean with vinegar, but you want to avoid any rubber parts or metal that vinegar can corrode. This includes stainless steel.

Why does hydrogen peroxide remove yellowing? ›

For yellowing, there is a technique called retr0brite that has proven successful, and essentially involves using MORE UV light to break apart the bromine-oxygen bonds. Hydrogen peroxide is then used to get in there and fill the broken bonds with hydrogen, making the bromine more stable and reversing the yellowing.

How do you restore sun bleached plastic? ›

If you've got white plastic that's faded to yellow, you can actually restore it with hydrogen peroxide! Tape off or cover any colored areas with some clear tape or masking tape so they're protected. Use a 12% hydrogen peroxide cream instead of the liquid and brush an even layer over the area.

How do I get my plastic shower white again? ›

White Vinegar and Baking Soda

A spray bottle filled with baking soda-vinegar solution does wonders for cleaning plastic shower doors. Just spritz, leave until dried, and wipe those stains away! Textured floors are more difficult to clean as dirt builds up in the nooks and crannies.


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