How to Remove Yellowing from a White Christmas Tree

Lisa asked: My white Christmas tree has turned yellow in some spots. How do I get rid of the yellow?

Whether due to storage conditions or as a natural side effect of aging, white plastic tends to yellow over time. Unfortunately there’s not an easy solution, but there are a couple of things you can try to improve the look of the tree.

You Will Need:

  • Sunlight
  • White vinegar
  • Cloth or sponge
  • White spray paint

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. First try leaving the tree outside on a sunny day. Sunlight has natural bleaching properties that may cure your tree.
  2. If the sunlight doesn’t work, try spraying white vinegar on the affected areas. Allow the vinegar to work for a while, in sunlight if possible, then wipe with a cloth or sponge.
  3. When all else fails, you can paint the tree. Find a white spray paint indicated for use on plastic and spray several light coats, allowing time to dry between each.  Be sure to test this first, as you may not like the results.
  4. Finally, contact the manufacturer or store of purchase. They may warranty the tree, especially if the problem is a common complaint from customers.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Always spot test in a small area before you begin a new technique.
  • It’s possible that a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser can improve the yellowing, but it might be a daunting task depending on the type of branches and needles your tree has.
  • Avoid using bleach, which can yellow white plastic.
  • Another solution is to spray white flocking on the tree. This all over solution will hide the yellowing, but it can be messy.

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