I have some very old (about 40 years) artificial flowers which used to be white but have yellowed with age. Is there any way I can clean them and bring the colour back as close to it's original colour as possible without destroying them?
You didn't say whether they are plastic or fabric. If plastic, they can be washed to clean dust off, but they'll never be white again unless you spray paint them white. If fabric, I heard shaking them in a closed bag with a little cornmeal will remove dirt. Try leaving them in bright sunshine for a few hours and see if the sun will whiten them again. Fabric flowers are ususally synthetic, though, which means plastic, and chances are they'll never be completely white again, either. At 40 years old, I'd say you have gotten your money's worth out of them, at least. Maybe it's just time to retire these and buy new ones.
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