How to Whiten Yellowed Vinyl


Lauren asked: How do I clean the vinyl trimmed handle on our white-on-white refrigerator? The vinyl clad handles on my GE refrigerator have yellowed. How can I restore the bright white? It is about 7 years old and it doesn’t really get dirty, but the yellowing looks terrible. I have tried fantastic and also a magic eraser, but nothing seems to solve the problem. Help!

I wish we had better news Lauren, but when vinyl turns yellow, it is typically from a chemical reaction that occurs in the vinyl and can be very difficult, if not impossible to reverse. This yellowing can be from the sunshine or a faulty product. Here are some methods that you can try to see if it will lessen the yellow tones or possible restore them back to white again.

  • Bleach is a natural whitener and can sometimes remove the yellowing. Mix 1 part bleach with 2 parts water. Apply with a soft cloth. Rinse thoroughly with clean water and allow to dry.
  • White vinegar is another product that has had some success. Apply straight white vinegar to the stained area and allow it to set. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry.
  • If your refrigerator is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to request a replacement part.


  1. I worked for a vinyl producer. Ask the manufacturer to replace, or as as alternative buy a replacement part from them if possible.

  2. I used a Mr. Clean magic eraser on my fridge handle, it took several cleanings and it looks so much better. It is still not as white as the rest of the fridge, but it isn’t as noticeable now.

  3. Carefully removed the yellowed fridge handle. Clean well with dish soap to remove any grease and/or dirt. Rinse and dry well. Spray paint with a paint formulated for vinyl and allow to dry thoroughly (three days) before re-attaching. When you clean the painted handle use a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth.

Leave a Comment