I've found a good-condition earphones in an old bag, and I've managed to clean the earphone cords with a rag and alcohol, I've also found this video which suggests to clean them with Window Cleaner Liquid which also helped me remove the last dirty of the places that alcohol couldn't remove it.

But on the plugin area, I can't seem to remove the "yellow" color. How can I clean this yellow area?

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11 Answers 11


I hate to break it to you, but short of shaving or chemically melting off the outer layer of discolored plastic, you can't really remove that kind of discoloration. And that is if it only penetrated shallowly. If it was due to some kind of volatiles that were able to work themselves deeply into the polymer structures, then it is a total wash. But as mentioned at first, you could always try shaving off the outer layers carefully of course. I wouldn't try chemical means though as you stand a pretty good chance of actually driving the discoloration deeper.


In case anyone is wondering if I did cleaned my white earphones, here's how I did it.
They are not 100% white, but definitely a lot whiter.

First I tried to brush them with toothpaste as suggested by @zzzzz , but I didn't quite see any plausible results, then when I was tired of brushing them and as a last resort, I sprayed them with bleach (that liquid that makes your clothes whiter) and brushed them again for another 2/3 minutes.

I wasn't seeing any results, but then I sprayed them again with bleach and left them outside in a sunny day so they could dry and you know... I just sprayed them with bleach, they are all soaked, so I want them clearly to dry :) . After a few hours being exposed to the sun, they started becoming whiter. At the end of the day, the results were pretty good.

Now I don't know if it was soaking them with bleach and its interaction with the sun, or the combination of the toothpaste then the bleach plus the sun, but they definitely became whiter.


Squeeze out a lemon get some baking soda and some toothpaste mix it together and apply to the cord and take a wet paper towel not too wet and remove the mixture and there you have it good as new.


Maybe Retrobright would do if regular cleaning isn't working. You'll need food grade (or downright lab grade) Hydrogen Peroxide and a laundry stain remover that contains TAED (Vanish brand does)...


Just use a little bit of hand sanitizer and keep applying it over the length of the cable over and over again. It has left my earphone cables looking almost new.


Nail paint remover is quite effective. Take a few drops on cotton ball, you can remove any color from headphones/charger- volatile or non volatile. Rub the cotton ball on cable with soft hands. Results are too good.


The easiest way is use eraser. And rub it over the length. this is quick and easy way when cable is not too much dirty.


Well, in my case, I just used wet wipes and rubbed it around the cord of my earphones.

And I tell you, it works just like magic! Although, it hadn't turned my earphones back into its original white color but still, the dirt clinging around the cord had definitely been removed.


Yes, the best that works in all the suggestions is hand sanitizer.

I just took a bit in my hand and kept my earphone on it and its color started changing, so if u take some of a cotton ball and rub it properly. It can work wonders.

  • That answer has already been given.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Nov 10, 2017 at 13:54

Dampen a wet wipe or cloth with hand sanitizer and wipe your headphones..it works without making your headphones sticky

  • Hand sanitizer has already been suggested.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 10:34

use white toothpaste :) it works on my white earphone turned yellowish

  • 1
    Welcome to Lifehacks SE. Could you please expand on this answer? How should you apply the toothpaste to get he best results?
    – michaelpri
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 1:20

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