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Making Yellowed Plastic White Again

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Plastics can yellow over time and exposure to light. You may be able to whiten or paint it to restore a pleasing look. This is a guide about making yellowed plastic white again.


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October 28, 20060 found this helpful

How do I get yellowed appliances white again? For example, the cover of bathroom vent/fans and smoke detectors?

Karen from WI


October 1, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yellowed plastics can be renewed by coating them in a pastey form of hydrogen peroxide and exposing it to ultraviolet light, either an indoor source you buy (UVA bulb)and set up or simply direct sunlight. Regular hydrogen peroxide solution you get at the grocery store is really weak and very liquidy leading to lots of wasted solution.. A stronger and not too drippy alternative is hydrogen peroxide hair dye developer which can be cheaply acquired at a drug store and stays where you put it on the plastic.

You can't use this on anything where you aren't able to remove the plastic parts from other electronic or electric parts.

Remember the key is ultraviolet light exposure after application of the hydrogen peroxide.

Do this with appropriate gloves, eye protection and ventilation.

Rinse well after treatment.

For an awesome explanation of this process on an old famicom see: http://www.retr  ed-plastics.html

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October 29, 20060 found this helpful

First, take them down and clean them really well.
Still yellow?
Try soaking in bleach water.


Still yellow?
Use some Krylon paint for plastic and spray paint them white again.
When my father in law passed away, a distant family member, who is a firefighter, visited mom's house and said that when the smoke alarms turn yellow, they need to be replaced because they weren't reliable any more.

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By Kelaniz (Guest Post)
October 29, 20060 found this helpful

If the plastic is yellow from age, sun or heat exposure , and has become brittle or crumbly, there's not much you can do without chemically melting & reforming the plastic. (you don't want to do this. ever.)

Like the previous poster said, you CAN paint it, but make sure you use a plastic-bonding paint (like Krylon Fusion) or it'll unevenly flake off and look bad. But if the yellowing is only on the surface, and is due to chemicals (aerosol, hair spray, cleaner fumes) smoke, or dirt, you can clean it with bleach & water.


Some plastics can be cleaned with isopropyl or denatured alcohol. Spot test first to be sure.

Also, yellowing or clouding on some acrylic or more expensive items can be buffed with a super-fine steel wool or polishing compound to make them clear. Exampels would be those expensive room light covers and car headlight covers. Be careful to spot check, and use the finest abrasive you can find, though, 'cos these things scratch.

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By (Guest Post)
December 8, 20060 found this helpful


Editors Note: This is a product that is marketed for marine, RV and auto use.

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