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How to Fade the Color of Plastic

Mary Johnson-Gerard, Ph.D.

Ever noticed how plastic toys and furniture left outside lose their brightness over time? The brilliant colors of your plastic toys, furniture and decorations will not last long if exposed to sunshine. Plastic exposed to the sun's rays, either outdoors or through exposed windows, will eventually fade.

Use the power of sunshine to fade plastic.

The sunlight has natural bleaching power that will fade plastic without the use of chemicals.

  1. Place the plastic item in a sunny window if the weather doesn't permit it to be outside. Leave the item in the window until it has faded as much as you want. It may take a few days indoors. Rotate the item a couple times a day to even the fade.

  2. Put the plastic outside in full sunshine. Light fading will occur within a few hours. If the plastic is designed for outdoor use, it may take a few weeks for you to see a noticeable difference in the color.

  3. Remove stains on plastic by putting it outside for the sun to bleach. This method works particularly well for tough tomato stains on food storage containers.

  4. Warning

    Any item placed in a sunny window for too long will eventually show the bleaching effects of the sun.