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How to Prevent Your Transparent Smartphone Case From Turning Yellow


Transparent phone cases are highly popular because they go well with all smartphone colors. However, they have an annoying downside: transparent phone cases often turn yellow quickly.

So, let’s look at the reasons why your transparent smartphone case turns yellow, several ways to slow down the yellowing process, and some alternative phone case materials you can try to avoid this issue.

Why Do Transparent Smartphone Cases Turn Yellow?

To begin with, your brand new smartphone case isn’t fully transparent. By nature, the material is ever-so-slightly yellow. Manufacturers add a little blue dye, making our eyes see the material as clear rather than yellow.

Now, most transparent phone cases are made of silicone, acrylic, or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). These materials undergo degradation over time, mostly due to UV light and heat. Other factors may include the oil and sweat from your hands.

man using smartphone while sitting on bicycle in park

This is why you’ll notice your crystal-clear smartphone case adopting a yellow hue within one to three months. Of course, the duration depends on the case’s quality and the extent to which it’s exposed to the elements.

How to Prevent Your Transparent Phone Case From Turning Yellow

It’s impossible to reverse the effect once your transparent phone case turns yellow. However, there are some steps you can take for your transparent smartphone case to stay clear for as long as possible.


Clean Your Smartphone Case Regularly

How long has it been since you cleaned your smartphone screen, let alone the case? Set a reminder to clean it every one to two days. You’ll only need to use a slightly wet cloth to wipe away the grease, fingerprints, and dirt.

Due to active daily use, your smartphone contains lots of bacteria. By cleaning your smartphone and its case, you better maintain the hygiene of your device and slow down how quickly the transparent case turns yellow.

hands holding cloth and black smartphone against orange background

Remove your smartphone from the phone case every one to two weeks to thoroughly clean the transparent material. Wash it with some mild soapy water, dry it as much as possible with a soft cloth, and leave it for a couple of hours to air dry completely.

Keep Your Smartphone Case Away From Heat

When you clean or wash your phone case, don’t use a heat-generating device such as a blow-dryer to speed up the drying process.

Also, don’t use scalding liquids like hot water in an attempt to “disinfect” your case. All this will cause your transparent smartphone case to turn yellow faster.

Don’t Place Your Smartphone Case Under Direct Sunlight

As discussed earlier, UV light is a factor that causes your transparent phone case to turn yellow.

Don’t leave your case-protected smartphone right beside a window, where sunlight will likely stream through the glass panes. Place your smartphone in a cool, shaded place.

Can You Turn Your Yellow Smartphone Case Transparent Again?

When your transparent smartphone case turns yellow, some people may suggest you use strong cleaning detergents such as bleach to “clean off” the tint.

Soaking your phone case in a mild bleach solution will reward you with a squeaky-clean and bacteria-free case. However, bleach cannot reverse your yellow smartphone case back to its transparent state. It just won’t do it.

Related: Smartphone Repair Myths Debunked

It’ll clean off the stubborn, waxy dirt coating the edges and corners of the case. Due to this thorough cleanse, you’ll find that your smartphone case will look slightly clearer, thus contributing to a more transparent effect. However, the underlying yellow will remain.

You may come across other methods on the internet: clean with toothpaste, alcohol, baking soda, and so on. These are merely myths. Furthermore, don’t attempt to mix and match detergents. The yellowed material remains underneath the case surface, where no solution can reach and fix. Mixing different detergents and agents could cause an unexpected, potentially hazardous reaction.

Alternatives When Your Transparent Phone Case Turns Yellow

Since you can only slow down the process of your transparent phone case turning yellow, let’s look at some alternatives you can try to avoid the problem altogether.

Buy Transparent Cases Made of Polycarbonate

Whether silicone, TPU, or acrylic, your clear smartphone case will turn yellow no matter what the phone accessory shop claims. The cheaper the case, the faster it’ll turn yellow.

If you’re willing to pay more, you can try transparent phone cases made of polycarbonate, which is more resiliant than the materials mentioned above. Ringke Fusion and SupCase are examples of brands that sell polycarbonate clear smartphone cases.

man holding gold iphone xs

Still, keep in mind that polycarbonate will still discolor one day. Again, the causes are UV rays and heat. But for a longer-lasting transparent smartphone case, polycarbonate is your best bet.

Try Out Other Smartphone Case Materials

Replacing your smartphone case frequently is costly. In pursuing this aesthetic, it creates a lot of consumer waste as well. Transparent smartphone cases shouldn’t be seen as the be-all-end-all.

To avoid getting frustrated time and again, wondering why your transparent phone case turns yellow, try stepping out of your comfort zone. Choose a case made of another material, or simply pick one with color.

four colors of iphone cases: white, black, light blue, and pink, on white surface

For example, you can start by exploring eco-friendly phone cases. These are better for the environment. You’re sure to find one that fits your style and budget.

Since many of us like to showcase our personality with unique or customized smartphone cases, refreshing your style is a fun process. This way, you can cut down on your phone care expenses and prevent unnecessary waste.

Can You Clean a Transparent Phone Case?

Everyday factors will cause your transparent phone case to turn yellow. You can only slow down the yellowing process by cleaning the case and keeping it away from sunlight and heat. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to make your phone case clear again once it turns yellow.

If you hate investing time into caring for a smartphone case, check out other phone cases that are easier to manage.

various phone cases are spread out in a line
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