How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover

Posted on: July 17, 2018, by :

How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover

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You love the abundance of light the fluorescent lighting fixture bestows on the room, but youre not too wild about the plastic cover that has become a dingy shade of yellow. Some white plastic fixture covers are comprised of a mixture of chemicals designed to be heat-resistant and flame-retardant. The result, however, is that these plastics yellow with age, heat or prolonged exposure to light. While there is no harm to you or your loved ones from a yellowed plastic cover, the unsightly shade may offend your design senses. So gather a few household items and try to restore the cover to its once-pristine whiteness.

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Brown, Kristie. How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover accessed July 14, 2018.


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Note: Depending on which text editor youre pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

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Brown, Kristie. (n.d.). How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover.

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How to Clean Practically Anything; Consumer Reports

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Update the Panels of Old Fluorescent Ceiling Lighting

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Whiten a Yellowed Plastic Tub Surround

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Immerse the yellowed plastic light cover into the solution and allow it to soak in the sun for 3 to 6 hours. If its not possible to submerge the entire cover in the solution, turn the cover over midway through the soaking time. At the end of the allotted time, put your gloves and goggles back on and pull the cover out to determine if its restored to its original color. If nooks and crannies are still yellowed, submerge the cover again until its the desired shade of white.

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Do not immerse a plastic light cover in bleach as the bleach can break down the chemicals in the plastic and weaken it.

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Dry the cover thoroughly with a lint-free cloth and replace it over the lights.

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Clean a Yellowed Antique Fiberglass Lampshade

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Add about 1/4 teaspoon of an Oxy-boosting detergent for every gallon of peroxide used.

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If your light fixture cover isnt too yellow, try cleaning it with a nonabrasive bleach cleanser to determine if that will restore the white color.

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Rinse the cover and bucket with cool water from a garden hose.

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Light fixture covers may yellow over time.

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Turn the light switch to the off position.

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Replace Fluorescent Light Fixtures With Regular Light Fixtures

Brown, Kristie. How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover.

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Take your materials outside and choose a sunny spot in your yard or on your patio.

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Put on goggles to protect your eyes and pull on gloves to protect your hands.

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Remove a Fluorescent Ceiling Light Fixture

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To retard the yellowing of plastic, paint it with a clear acrylic varnish before use.

Remove the light cover carefully. If the light fixture is on the ceiling, you may need to climb on a stepladder or taller ladder to do this safely. If the cover is held in place with screws, place the screws in a small juice glass so they will be easy to find and wont roll away.

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Orion Magazine: Polymers are Forever

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Kristie Brown is a publisher, writer and editor. She has contributed to magazines, textbooks and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Fill a large bucket with hydrogen peroxide, leaving about 5 to 6 inches of space from the top of the bucket. If your light fixture cover is too large for a bucket, use a childs hard-plastic swimming pool to soak the cover, which will obviously require a lot more hydrogen peroxide. You can add the peroxide to water, but it may take the peroxide longer to restore the white color.

Wash the light fixture cover and bucket with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Rinse them until the water runs clear.

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1 thought on “How to Clean a Yellowing Plastic Fluorescent Light Cover

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