How to Whiten Yellowish Plastics

Yellowish Plastics

Surely, plastic is one of the most used inventions thanks to its different and magnificent properties that make it an ideal material for the elaboration or manufacture of an endless number of things that accompany us in our daily lives and that make life easier for us.

Now, one of the “buts” or “cons” that the plastic possesses and that is more verified is that precisely, the white plastic turns or becomes with the passage of time yellow or yellowish projecting in this way, certain sensation of dirt or apparent carelessness and that unfortunately, it is not possible to remove with a simple cleaning.

Luckily, however, there are some cleaning tricks to whiten these yellow plastics so that they look good again, that is to say, white and not yellowish and which, of course, I would like to share here but before that, it would be good to explain the causes of this phenomenon, I hope that this article will help you.

Why do white plastics turn yellow?

Mainly, this change of tonality of plastics from white to yellow or yellowish is produced by a chemical process of mixing or composition of synthetic plastics.

That is to say, in other words, these plastics are a product derived from petroleum and this makes its chemical structure very flammable and logically dangerous because of that, it is mixed with certain chemical substances called “retardants” thus achieving a less flammable and safer product that can be used in many things within a home, office, industry or city.

Now precisely, this mixture between the polymers of the plastic and the flame retardants generate this chemical process where the plastics turn yellow and added to the heat, the air or the natural light reacts and make this inexorable process of white to yellow plastics a little faster.

Bleach Yellowish Plastics | Recipe N°1

A first recipe or recommendation that can be used to remove the yellow from plastics is to use a very fine sandpaper that must be passed gently and skillfully through the yellow plastic so as to remove the yellow surface layer that has the plastic.

Certainly, this procedure of using a fine sandpaper will serve if the yellow hue is present in a superficial layer of the plastic and will not serve at all, when the yellow hue is present in the deepest capable of the plastic.

Note N°1 | There are different types of sandpaper and for this type of repair will serve a fine sandpaper and between you, there is fine grain sandpaper (P150 grains to P180 grains), very fine grain sandpaper (P220 to P240), extra fine grain sandpaper (P280 to P320) or super fine grain sandpaper (P360 to P600). The ideal would be to try it in another plastic that does not have a value to perceive if it can serve finally, for the restoration or not.

Bleach Yellowish Plastics | Recipe N°2

A second recipe for restoring the original white of yellow plastics that gives very good results and has some variants would be the use of nothing less, than hydrogen peroxide. Well, this recipe will be required:

Whitening yellowish plastics | Materials

  • Oxygenated water: this chemical compound is sold in any drugstore or hardware store and comes mainly in a black or white bottle so that it is not affected by UV rays. A hydrogen peroxide containing 3% hydrogen peroxide will serve for this purpose, but you can use one that has a higher concentration (15% to 30%) and that will make this restoration faster and more careful.

By the way, the use of this compound in general and precisely, for this plastic bleaching must be carried out by an elderly person (expels gases and vapors) and must be tried that it is not within reach of children or pets.

  • Rubber gloves and goggles: the use of gloves and goggles is recommended to avoid possible splashes of hydrogen peroxide.
  • Transparent container with lid: you will need some container where you can fit the plastic you want to bleach in addition, must be transparent (a plastic lid is ideal) and must have a lid or failing that, you can use some transparent film and some elastic to make the seal and prevent evaporation.
  • Detergent enhancers: they must be of the “Oxy” type such as vanish, xanthan gum, and glycerin.
  • Sunny day or in its defect a lamp with UV rays: this procedure of restoration will require necessarily, of the natural light or, in its defect a lamp with UV rays can be used. However, because of the required exposure time that can reach 3 days, it is much better to use sunlight.

Bleach Yellowish Plastics | Step #1

After having gathered the aforementioned materials, put on the rubber gloves and pour enough hydrogen peroxide on the container so that the plastic that is going to be bleached is submerged and added and mixed with some detergent enhancer and after this and very carefully, finally put the plastic you want to bleach in the container, cover it properly and put it in the sun to start the reaction and this stage may last a few hours or about 3 days depending on the amount of hydrogen peroxide (less amount more days) and how yellow the plastic is.

Bleach Yellowish Plastics | Step #2

Finally, the container will be opened and the plastic will be removed with gloves on, washed with enough water and voila! you will have a plastic that will have recovered to a large extent, the white color it had or possessed.

Note N°2 | Now, this procedure for whitening yellow plastics will slightly remove the brightness of the plastic and most likely, in the course of time the plastic will return to acquire a yellowish tone and will then have to perform this procedure again to whiten or remove the yellow.

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