EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic  (Read 427 times)

CybexRV

  • ---
  • Posts: 18
Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« on: September 23, 2017, 09:22:21 AM »
As you can see in the attached picture the spot light mounts and around the door window on the side of my fifth wheel have yellowed.  Is there anything I can do to get them white again other than replacing or painting the plastic?  I was hoping there was a treatment or chemical that would do it?  It sticks out to me since everything else looks fine.

Sun2Retire

  • Photo moderator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 1928
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 10:08:21 AM »
I've used a "trim restorer" (I think it's from Turtle Wax) to restore black trim with some success. It's a clear, petroleum based chemical. Might give it a try on a small spot, otherwise there are spray paints made for plastic you could use.
Scott
2005 Newmar Dutch Star 3810, Spartan, Cat C7 350 "OURVEE"
Eezrv TPMS, VMSpc, 800W Solar
2002 Dodge RAM 1500 Quad Cab "RTOAD"
Stowmaster towbar & Brakemaster

CybexRV

  • ---
  • Posts: 18
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2017, 11:15:10 AM »
Thank you Scott, I'll check it out.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 60773
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 11:26:19 AM »
I was able to clean off the yellow surface using acetone, but it takes a lot of finesse.  The acetone actually dissolves the top layer of the plastic, so you can mess up badly if you don't quickly develop the right touch (a practice piece helps a lot). Lacquer thinner or MEK works about the same - they are basically just variants of acetone.

Sanding and painting is probably a safer approach, especially if you use one of the plastic/vinyl-safe spray paints. Like the Krylon brand, but Rustoleum has one as well. And I'm sure some other brands. However, the paints can be scratched easily so not great for heavy wear surfaces unless you can repaint occasionally. Better sanding prep reduces the scratching problem.

http://www.krylon.com/products/?N=1471130120
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 11:30:25 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

99dart

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
  • If it ain't broke...don't fix it!
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2017, 11:31:23 AM »
I used scotch brite and some soft scrub cleaner on our old MH. It got it pretty white again. But, even with a armour all type protectant it was yellow ahain the next year. I used the scotch brite and dawn to clean off any of the protectant. Then, taped it of and used plastic specific paint. It looked perfect until we sold it several yrs later.
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

2kGeorgieBoy

  • ---
  • Posts: 381
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2017, 10:13:08 AM »
Have you actually priced replacement frames for these items? Not knowing the specifics of your door window, I did a search online and found various prices, anywhere from $7 on up to maybe $13 or so. (I just took a quick look, so numbers are what I sort of remember). Personally, if it was me, I would opt for the new pieces and be done with it. By the time you gather up possible cleaners, etc., and remove the plastic and "try" to restore them with no guarantee it will work, you could have replaced the plastic with new and be "moving on down the road".
2000 Georgie Boy Maverick
31' E450 V10  No slides
our toys:
'08 Polaris Touring LE ATV (mine)
'12 Polaris 550 XP ATV (wife's)
1968 AH Sprite (original owners, not on road at this time)
Gary, Jena, and Presley (our awesome yellow Lab).
Westcliffe, CO.

CybexRV

  • ---
  • Posts: 18
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2017, 07:52:30 PM »
Have you actually priced replacement frames for these items? Not knowing the specifics of your door window, I did a search online and found various prices, anywhere from $7 on up to maybe $13 or so. (I just took a quick look, so numbers are what I sort of remember). Personally, if it was me, I would opt for the new pieces and be done with it. By the time you gather up possible cleaners, etc., and remove the plastic and "try" to restore them with no guarantee it will work, you could have replaced the plastic with new and be "moving on down the road".

Actually, I have not and will look at replacement.  I was looking for a quick fix since we are out of here in a couple of days for a maiden voyage and thought there might be a temporary solution.  I will try the other suggestions posted until I do some research.  I already have some of the supplies the others mention, so what the heck.

Thank you!

Isaac-1

  • ---
  • Posts: 503
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2017, 08:30:43 PM »
I have heard of people restoring some old auto trim plastic by using fine steel wool to remove the top surface then carefully heating it with a heat gun or propane torch just enough to reflow and smooth out the top layer.  I have not tried this myself.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Graycat

  • ---
  • Posts: 165
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2017, 05:35:50 PM »
I googled this recently and found claims for just about everything. lol  I try not to use anything with bleach on plastic because over a period of time, it will make it brittle.

I found one website that claimed peroxide will whiten the plastic.  I thought, what the heck, I have a bottle in the cabinet, I'll give it a try.  The shower in our trailer was almost orange in places.  The original owners had never removed a label on the shower wall with information and cleaning instructions for the shower.  Oddly enough, it didn't say to keep the skylight covered to prevent yellowing.  When I removed that label, it left a perfectly white square in the middle of the yellow.

Anyway, I put peroxide in a spray bottle, cleaned the shower to remove any soap residue and sprayed it down with peroxide.  The directions online said to leave it 15-30 minutes and may have to repeat.  That may have been good instructions for a slightly yellowed shower, but not an almost orange one.  Actually, only the tops of the corner shelves were orange, everything else was just yellowed.  The tub was still white, and the buttons covering the screws.  Everything else in the shower was varying shades of yellow.  The sink was even yellow and it wasn't under the skylight at all.

After 15 minutes, I looked at it, couldn't see any difference, and sprayed it again.  After another 30 minutes, I wiped it down and could tell it was less orange.  For a week, I sprayed it every day and by the end of that week, the orange was gone, the edges of the white square weren't as defined, and the sink was white again.

When we sold the trailer, the shower looked pretty good.  Not great.  Not white.  But pretty good.  I think with enough time, it might have whitened the whole thing.
Marti, Lee, and an old gray cat named Buddy

CybexRV

  • ---
  • Posts: 18
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 08:01:40 AM »
I googled this recently and found claims for just about everything. lol  I try not to use anything with bleach on plastic because over a period of time, it will make it brittle.

I found one website that claimed peroxide will whiten the plastic.  I thought, what the heck, I have a bottle in the cabinet, I'll give it a try.  The shower in our trailer was almost orange in places.  The original owners had never removed a label on the shower wall with information and cleaning instructions for the shower.  Oddly enough, it didn't say to keep the skylight covered to prevent yellowing.  When I removed that label, it left a perfectly white square in the middle of the yellow.

Anyway, I put peroxide in a spray bottle, cleaned the shower to remove any soap residue and sprayed it down with peroxide.  The directions online said to leave it 15-30 minutes and may have to repeat.  That may have been good instructions for a slightly yellowed shower, but not an almost orange one.  Actually, only the tops of the corner shelves were orange, everything else was just yellowed.  The tub was still white, and the buttons covering the screws.  Everything else in the shower was varying shades of yellow.  The sink was even yellow and it wasn't under the skylight at all.

After 15 minutes, I looked at it, couldn't see any difference, and sprayed it again.  After another 30 minutes, I wiped it down and could tell it was less orange.  For a week, I sprayed it every day and by the end of that week, the orange was gone, the edges of the white square weren't as defined, and the sink was white again.

When we sold the trailer, the shower looked pretty good.  Not great.  Not white.  But pretty good.  I think with enough time, it might have whitened the whole thing.

That's funny, just yesterday someone told me to look up Retr0bright (yes, spelled with a zero) and that you can even make a gel to use on vertical services.  Is used to restore old yellowed out collectable computers, etc. by some chemists.  Haven't had time to make it yet, but will let you know how it goes.  The website is http://www.retr0bright.com

Graycat

  • ---
  • Posts: 165
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 12:20:30 PM »
Please post how it works. My dryer control panel has yellowed also. If it works it would be worth the cost if a UV light.
Marti, Lee, and an old gray cat named Buddy

CybexRV

  • ---
  • Posts: 18
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 03:42:38 PM »
Will do, I plan to get to it next week when we are back.

99dart

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
  • If it ain't broke...don't fix it!
Re: Rejuvenating Yellowed Plastic
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 08:06:51 PM »
Have you actually priced replacement frames for these items? Not knowing the specifics of your door window, I did a search online and found various prices, anywhere from $7 on up to maybe $13 or so. (I just took a quick look, so numbers are what I sort of remember). Personally, if it was me, I would opt for the new pieces and be done with it. By the time you gather up possible cleaners, etc., and remove the plastic and "try" to restore them with no guarantee it will work, you could have replaced the plastic with new and be "moving on down the road".

Yes. And, be looking at a yellow one again in 2 yrs.  Just sayin'.
2016 Thor Quantum WS31
2014 Ford Focus toad
1998 Four Winds Chateau -- sold

 

Hosted by Over The Network