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.

Updated February 20, 2024
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 turn yellow.  Learn how to whiten yellowed plastic with bleach, baking soda, peroxide, and white vinegar. A Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can also help restore the pure white of yellowed plastic. With all these methods, your plastic will be as good as new in no time. 

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide solution in brown amber bottle

Hydrogen peroxide might be the easiest and quickest way to restore your white plastic after it's yellowed. Depending on your specific plastic and the items you have around the house, you might find this method brings back that familiar white without too much elbow grease required. 



  1. Pour straight peroxide into 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.
Fast Fact

This method works exceptionally well for cleaning clear cellphone cases.

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic With Bleach

Cleaning product

If you don't have hydrogen peroxide, you might have some bleach in your cleaning cabinet. One of the most common ways to clean yellowed plastic is to give the item a bleach bath.  

Much like the hydrogen peroxide method, cleaning your yellowed plastic with bleach is pretty easy on the elbows. You can even get some things done around the house while you wait for the bleach to work its magic. 



  1. For electronic parts, remove 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.

Related: The Quickest Way to Get Bleach Smell Off Your Hands

Safe Method to Whiten Yellowed Plastic Toys

A worn-in toy is just a sign that your child had an absolute blast during playtime. But you might need a safe way to white those yellowed plastic toys. 

In this case, you can stay clear of bleach and peroxide. Especially those toys that make their way into a kiddo's mouth. Give the baking soda and dish soap a try for safely restoring your child's favorite toy. 


  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap (Dawn works great for this method)
  • Sponge
  • Container
  • Lemon
  • Towel
  • Soft bristle brush or toothbrush


  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.

Remove Yellow From Plastic With Lemon

lemon drink and lemons

The lemon method for removing yellow from plastic is also a safe way of whitening your child's toys. It cleans the item gently and leaves behind a fresh scent, so it's a win for everyone.


  • Lemon or lemon juice
  • Container
  • Dish soap
  • Bristle brush or toothbrush


  1. Pour lemon juice into a container. (This can work exceptionally well if it's 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.
Need to Know

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

How to Clean Yellowed Plastic With Vinegar

Woman washing a plastic container

Spaghetti night is all fun and games until your favorite plastic container goes from crystal clear to yucky yellow. When you have some containers yellowed from food or stains, pull out the white vinegar. This gentle cleaning method is safe for food containers and items that children frequently use.  



  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. Continue to scrub the yellowed plastic with the magic eraser.
  5. Wipe down with a dry towel.
  6. Enjoy that sparkling plastic.
Helpful Hack

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 simple aging. For example, yellowing plastic on your Tupperware might be a stain from that spaghetti sauce or leftover chili. However, yellowing plastic on a game console is typically caused by UV light exposure.

The reason behind yellowing plastic may differ from item to item, but overall it's just a sign that the item is being used regularly or is aging as it sits in your home. 

Scrub Goodbye to Yellowed Plastic

There are many different ways you can clean your yellowed plastic, from dipping it in bleach to creating a baking soda scrub and breaking out the trusty Magic Eraser. With the know-how at hand, you can restore countless plastic items to their original appearance. Find the method that's best for your particular plastic (and your family) and watch the yellow fade to white. 

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How to Whiten Yellowed Plastic: Simple & Safe Methods