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How Do I Whiten Vinyl Trim?

Chris Deziel

If a refrigerator, dishwasher or other appliance has discolored vinyl trim, the appliance won't look clean. It's a simple matter to clean scuff marks and stains from white vinyl, but it's a different matter if the vinyl has yellowed. In that case, you can try bleach or vinegar, but success isn't guaranteed.

Routine Cleaning

A woman has a sponge in her hand in the kitchen.

Dirt and scuff marks don't adhere well to vinyl, so you can get most of them off with a solution of 1 to 2 ounces dish soap per gallon of warm water. Use a non-scratch kitchen scrubber to loosen stubborn marks. If you need more cleaning power, use a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water. Avoid strong solvents such as mineral spirits as they can etch vinyl, which results in a dull finish.

Cleaning Yellowed Vinyl

Vinyl usually turns yellow because it's exposed to prolonged and frequent sunlight or because it's defective. A chemical reaction causes the yellowing so you may not be able to remove it. You may have some success with a solution of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water. If that doesn't work, try undiluted white vinegar. Allow the vinegar to remain on the vinyl until it dries, then wash it off with clean water.