Have you noticed that many white or light colored plastic appliances tend to take on an unsightly yellow color over time? What to do to restore the white color? This article explains why plastic appliances turn yellow after a while and what you can do to restore them to their original color.


The most common cause of devices yellowing is exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which react with the chemicals in the plastic to turn them yellow.

Other possible causes of devices yellowing are exposure to high temperatures, damp or wet environments, or exposure to nicotine over time. Is it possible to restore them to their original white or light color? Absolutely. Here are the most effective methods for whitening yellowed plastic from household appliances.


Rubbing alcohol is a popular and easy way to restore white items to their vibrant color. This concerns appliances such as microwave walls, computer keyboards, coffee percolators, kettles and refrigerators.

Here’s what to do:

  • Pour the rubbing alcohol into a container or bowl and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • Put on protective gloves to protect your skin from possible irritation.
  • Rub the alcohol onto the stained areas with a cloth clean of the product and let sit for up to an hour.
  • Clean with a clean, slightly damp cloth or paper towel.


Hydrogen peroxide is a popular liquid for removing stains from all materials, so it will work on your yellowed appliances as well. Here’s what to do:

  • Coat the yellowed plastic with hydrogen peroxide using a clean cloth (if it’s a large appliance like a microwave) and let it sit for about an hour. If it is smaller:
  • Put the plastic in a plastic bag with enough hydrogen peroxide to completely cover it (ability to submerge it depends on the size of the object), and leave it in direct sunlight for three to four hours .
  • Rinse off the solution with clear water. Repeat the operation if necessary.


Alka Seltzer tablets are great for removing stains from clothes and dentures, and should also be able to remove yellowing from your plastic appliances. Here’s what to do:

  • Place the Alka Seltzer or denture tablets in a bowl of hot water to let them dissolve.
  • Once dissolved, pour the mixture into or onto the stained device and let it sit for about half an hour. Be careful not to spill the liquid and risk burning your skin.
  • Rinse the device using soap and water.
  • If the device is electric, apply the mixture to a clean cloth or sponge and rub over the stained areas, being careful not to touch the plug area.


*Always wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Bleach is a heavy and corrosive chemical, so this method should be used as a last resort. Here’s what to do:

  • Pour hot water into a bowl and add a capful of bleach.
  • With rubber gloves and a sponge, rub the mixture on the yellowed areas, paying attention to the electrical elements (which must be unplugged).
  • Leave the liquid on the yellowed plastic for about 10-15 minutes, then, using a clean cloth, wipe it off with cool, lukewarm water.
  • Repeat the operation if necessary.


Vinegar – especially white vinegar – is a useful cleaning fluid that is less toxic and less corrosive than products like bleach or rubbing alcohol. Here’s what to do:

  • Use 70% vinegar essence.
  • Wear rubber gloves for protection before handling.
  • Dampen a soft cloth with a little vinegar, rub the yellow areas, then rinse with a little water and let dry.


This is the standard store-bought nail polish remover (but it should be acetone-based). Here’s what to do:

  • Dampen a cotton ball or clean cloth (making sure to wear gloves).
  • Clean the surface of yellow marks, trying not to leave traces.
  • Let the solution sit, as it will continue to gently penetrate the stain.

The yellowing of household appliances does not mean that you have to go broke to buy a new appliance. You can restore the appliance to its original white color – often using products you can find under your kitchen sink or in the pantry. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary to protect against any burns or skin aggression.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.