Asked on Dec 08, 2016

Need help cleaning yellowing plastic shower doors!

Mr bill
by Mr bill
Is it too late ? I've had them for 14 years and don't know how many years before I bought.
I saw plenty of suggestions for shower tile cleaners but none for yellowing doors.
  7 answers
  • William William on Dec 08, 2016

    White plastic turns yellow over time due to a chemical reaction that occurs when it is exposed to light, oils, etc. There are a couple of different ways to get rid of this discoloration, ranging from easy to more difficult. Look through the methods to find one that works best on your particular project. ***** Bleach.....Fill a bucket or large bowl with one part bleach and one part water. Soak paper towels with the bleach solution and cover the yellowed plastic with the wet paper towels. Press the paper towels firmly against the surface of the plastic and let them stay there until the plastic has whitened. Re-wet the paper towels with the bleach solution as needed to keep them moist. This can easily be done by putting the solution in a spray bottle, just be sure not to let the solution spray onto any surrounding areas or it may bleach them as well. Allow the items to soak until they return to the original white color. Wash with a mild detergent and allow the pieces to air dry completely. ***** Comet.....Start by moistening the plastic pieces. Place some Comet cleaner on the scrubbing sponge and start scrubbing. This requires plenty of elbow grease and time, but will take the yellow out with some scrubbing. When the yellow is removed, wash the piece in water and dish detergent. Rinse completely with clean water and allow it to dry. ***** Peroxide..... Begin by protecting yourself with rubber gloves and goggles. Fill the bucket with hydrogen peroxide. Add ¼ teaspoon of Oxy laundry booster for each gallon of peroxide. Wet a paper towel with the solution, squeeze it out so that it’s not dripping, flatten it out again, and press it against the item. It should stick in place on it’s own, but if not, you can cover it with plastic wrap and tape the plastic wrap in place. The soaking time will vary with most whitening in 2-6 hours. The mixture will last for up to four days before it needs to be replaced. When the item has reached the desired whiteness, remove and rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning product residue.

    If necessary, wash with dish detergent and water.

  • Bridget Gannon Bridget Gannon on Dec 11, 2016

    Baking soda and vinegar and lots of elbow grease. I saw a post using a car buffer to scrub off built up grime good luck!

  • Dgreen Dgreen on Dec 12, 2016

    Mine plastic curtains are washable. So I put them in the washer with bleach in the water. They come out white again.

  • Mr bill Mr bill on Dec 15, 2016

    I have all the items to do the job. I wonder if the stuff used to brighten headlight lens would work also ?

  • Bridget Gannon Bridget Gannon on Dec 16, 2016

    I would try in a small area first , but it should work good luck.

  • Danielle Danielle on Apr 06, 2017

    DO NOT use bleach on plastic, that's what causes a lot of the yellowing to start with. You only need 2 products to get beautiful, white plastic again: regular old hydrogen peroxide, and Carnauba car wax.

    Step 1: clean your doors thoroughly with a non abrasive, bleach free cleaner.

    Step 2: Fill an empty spray bottle with a fine mist setting, not one of the kind that only streams, with hydrogen peroxide. Mist the doors completely with the peroxide and walk away. That's it. You may have to mist several times and the treatments need to dry completely between coats but eventually it does work. This is not a fast process, and depending on how yellow the doors are you may have to treat them 4-5 times with 6 plus hours between treatments.

    Step 3: Once your doors have come back to white rinse throroughly, dry, then apply a coat of carnauba car wax and buff it in well. This fills and seals the scratches that have built up in the plastic with time, wear and tear so they don't fill with dirt and mineral deposits from hard water, and provides a beautiful shine as well.

    The wax should be reapplied between twice a year and every couple of months depending on how often the shower is used and how hard your water is. For an infrequently used guest bath twice a year is plenty, maybe even just once a year. A main bath for a family probably closer to every other month.

    And I'm not guessing on this method, like some posters above. I have a plastic garden tub and when my husband and I moved into our house it looked like someone had brewed tea in the tub and left it to sit there for a few years. I used this exact method and my tub looks almost brand new even though it's 16 years old.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 10, 2023

    You could try ScilitBang ( not sure of spelling ) They advertise - Spray nd the stain is gone. I have used it on my PVC fencing panels with success.