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How to Remove Yellowing From Plastic Toys

By Crystal Bonser ; Updated April 18, 2017
Use sandpaper to remove the yellowed layer of plastic.

When plastic is exposed to light or oils for an extended period of time, a chemical reaction occurs that causes it to turn yellow. Not to worry — most yellowed-toys can be restored to their original color using bleach and a few items you likely have lying around your house.

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Submerge the yellowed item in a bucket filled with equal parts of water and bleach.

Wait an hour or longer until the bleach has removed the yellow color. You don't need to do anything else here; just let the toy soak.

Remove the toy from the bucket.

Wash the bleach from the toy using dish detergent.

Dry the toy with a dish towel.

Gently rub superfine sandpaper along any areas that remain yellow.

Wipe the toy with a soft cloth to remove any dust from the sanding.

Things You Will Need

  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Dish detergent
  • Bucket
  • Dish towel
  • Soft cloth
  • Superfine sandpaper


As an alternative to using bleach, you can scrub the toy with a powdered scouring disinfectant and a moistened scrubbing sponge.

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About the Author

Crystal Bonser has been working as a freelance writer and editor for an educational website since 2009. She is also the creator of a pet-loss website on which she facilitates weekly grief support groups. Bonser holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a minor in psychology from Ryerson University.

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