Free cleaning tips for yellowed plastic - Cleaning plastic with hydrogen peroxide

Are you looking for free cleaning tips for yellowed plastic? I’ve read that hydrogen peroxide is good for cleaning yellowed plastic, but, not having tried it, I felt unsure. Also, I had no yellowed plastic to try it out on, or so I thought.

The good news is I found some items to experiment with.

Item #1: a blue plastic strainer, stained around the bottom, probably from some fruit like cherries. (I use these strainers to wash fruit and then to carry the fruit….) Okay, I poured some 3% hydrogen peroxide over the stained areas, and then scrubbed at the stains with a stiff brush. This worked really well.

Item #2: This is the biggie: a hard plastic mixing spoon. This is the type of hard plastic that you can cook with. Maybe plastic isn’t even the right word, I’m not sure what this stuff is called. Anyway, these spoons do get stained, and I’ve tried scouring with the usual scouring powder and it makes no difference. This stained spoon has been bugging me for a long time, so I’m sure I’ve tried a number of things on it. Well, this morning I put it in a bowl and poured some 3% hydrogen peroxide in the bowl. I noticed that I didn’t have enough to cover the while spoon. I went to get some more and then thought better of it: why not leave it partly covered – that way I could easily see if the peroxide bath helped. I was gone all day, and came home to find that the portion of the spoon that was covered in peroxide all day was bright white. The difference from the part that was not soaked in hydrogen peroxide is totally obvious. I’ll see if I can get a picture of this!

Item #3: This one is inconclusive: the lid of a plastic drink cup. The way it is built, it has some crevices that are very hard to get to, and it always looks a bit dingy there. I poured 3% hydrogen peroxide in there and left that all day, too. The stained parts still looked stained, so I scrubbed with a scrub brush. I think it looks a bit cleaner, but not dramatically renewed.

Item #3 UPDATE! Now it is totally white! I refilled this lid with hydrogen peroxide, and left it sitting next to the kitchen sink for a couple of days. I forgot all about it, but when I noticed it again, all the little crevices were completely cleaned and white.

Here are my thoughts about using hydrogen peroxide to clean yellowed tupperware, plastic utensils, and stained plastic dishes:

  • Be patient. Use 3% hydrogen peroxide, but expect that it may take more than one attempt to get the stains off.
  • Give the peroxide time to work. At the least spray the peroxide on and leave it alone for a while to give it time. Better, soak the item in 3% hydrogen peroxide. If it is a bowl, fill the bowl up. If it is a plate, find a tub big enough to hold the plate and cover it with hydrogen peroxide. (When you’re done you can use the leftover hydrogen peroxide to feed to your garden or to pour into a foot bath. If you feed it to your garden be sure to dilute it! This page has charts that show how much much to dilute it to feed your plants....)

So, there you have it: free cleaning tips for yellowed plastic!

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