How to clean a clear phone case and get it looking like new

A clear phone case in a hand which has started to yellow
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Clear phone cases are known to yellow over time, but you can learn how to clean a clear phone case to prevent this. That’s right, there’s no need to leave this eyesore on show. With just a few household tools, you can make a clear phone case look like new again. This stain is renowned for being difficult to remove; it’s a consequence of the case being exposed to heat as well as ultraviolet light, so it can’t be avoided. The trouble is, we need a phone case to protect our phones, and if you enjoy the core design, a clear phone case is really the only way to go. 

Worry not though, we’ve got the answers. Rather than running out to buy a new phone case, we’ve pulled together four different methods you can use to get your case clean once more. Whether you’re limited to dish soap, baking soda or vinegar at home, we’ve got a technique to suit you. Plus, we will consider what not to use, and answer any questions you might have along the way. Here’s how to clean a clear phone case. 

If you want to give your iPhone a once over, be sure to also check out how to clean iPhone speakers and how to clean an iPhone's charging port.   

How to clean a clear phone case with dish soap 

A clear phone case being cleaned with dish soap and a toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)

It may seem like an obvious solution, but there’s a reason we use dish soap for everyday cleaning. It cuts through grease and helps break up any residue it comes into contact with. That’s why it's an excellent cleaning agent to use on a yellowing phone case. Simply follow these steps:

1. Combine a few drops of dish soap with warm water in the sink to create a soapy bath. 

2. Grab a spare toothbrush and scrub the ins and outs of your removed phone case with the solution. Remember to reach into the corners and any gaps for the ports/buttons. 

3. Repeatedly dunk your case in the water as you work to give it a thorough clean. 

4. Once you’re happy, drain the dirty water and rinse the case under clean water to wash away any remaining soap. 

5. Now towel dry with a microfiber cloth and leave the case out to air-dry completely afterwards.

6. Make sure that your phone case is completely dry before reapplying it to your phone, otherwise you could damage it. 

How to clean a clear phone case with baking soda 

A clear phone case sitting on a towel being cleaned with baking soda and a toothbrush

(Image credit: Future)

Baking soda is an excellent natural cleaner. This popular baking ingredient works well because of its abrasiveness. It can also dissolve dirt and grease when combined with water which is why it’s ideal for all kinds of cleaning hacks. In fact, here are 10 things you didn't know you could clean with baking soda

1. Lay your empty phone case on a towel. This hack can be quite messy, so we recommend this. 

2. Sprinkle baking soda all over the case. Start with one side first, we will change to the other later. 

3. Grab a spare toothbrush, wet the head, and then start scrubbing the baking soda in and around the case. Just as before, be patient and work the powder in thoroughly until it looks more like a paste. 

Scrub in a circular motion and pay particular attention to any heavily stained areas. Add more water to the toothbrush as necessary while you do this. 

4. Once you’re finished scrubbing, rinse the baking soda away under running water. 

5. Flip the phone case and repeat these steps on the other side.

6. Make sure all of the baking soda is rinsed away before drying the case with a microfiber cloth.    

7. Leave out the case to air dry completely before refitting it to your phone. 

How to clean a clear phone case with white vinegar 

A clear phone case being cleaned in a solution of white vinegar and baking soda

(Image credit: Future)

How can we mention baking soda without mentioning white vinegar? After all, the two go hand-in-hand, that’s what makes them so good at cleaning. White vinegar is an amazing natural cleaner because of its strength and acidity. It can easily work its way through limescale or disinfect your surfaces. Here’s how to use it on a clear phone case:

1. Find a small container or bowl which is large enough to fit your phone case. Place the empty case in there with something heavy on top to hold it down. Just make sure whatever you use isn’t metal or rubber so it won’t corrode. 

2. Sprinkle two tablespoons of baking soda over the case, followed by slowly pouring one cup of white distilled vinegar on top. Prepare for it to fizz at first — this is part of the cleaning process. If the case isn't quite fully submerged, add more vinegar as necessary. 

3. Leave to soak for a couple of hours. 

4. Rinse your case thoroughly once time is up. 

5. Dry with a microfiber cloth as well as leaving to air dry completely before using the case again.  

How to clean a clear phone case with rubbing alcohol 

Alcohol wipes on a wooden surface

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Rubbing alcohol is particularly useful if you want to disinfect the phone case as well as clean it. This solution will kill germs on contact and leave a brilliant shine because it dries so quickly. However, rubbing alcohol has been known to discolor some phone cases, so be sure to check the care guidelines before using and spot test in a small inconspicuous area first.

1. Apply rubbing alcohol to a microfiber cloth. You can do this via a spray bottle or just alcohol wipes as an alternative. 

2. Wipe down your empty phone case with the solution, front and back, being sure to work into the corners and charging port hole.

3. Once you’ve done that, remove the alcohol with a clean, microfiber cloth. It dries pretty quickly, so this shouldn’t take long. 

4. Leave the case out for a couple of hours to air dry fully before putting it back on your phone.

Can you use bleach?  

Someone wearing gloves removing the lid from a bottle of bleach

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bleach is an extreme solution which has been known to damage phone cases, depending on the material composition. For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend using it unless you’re willing to take that risk. 

Instead, try repeating the above methods and keep an eye on the progress. It may take more than one application to get your phone case looking as new again, but your persistence should be rewarded. Once you’ve got your phone case to that stage, remember to keep cleaning it every few weeks to prevent it from going yellow again.      

When is it time to get a new phone case? 

If none of the above works and your phone case still looks pretty yellow with age, it might be time to give up the ghost and invest in a new clear phone case. Just remember to clean your new one regularly to prevent this from happening again. 

We have a huge range of expertly crafted buying guides to help you make the right choice when selecting a protective case for your phone. If you're an iOS user, make sure you check out our guides to the best iPhone 13 cases, best iPhone 13 Pro cases and best iPhone 13 Pro Max cases. If you're an Android user, we have you covered too, with guides to the best Samsung Galaxy S22 cases, best Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra cases, best Google Pixel 6 cases and best Google Pixel 6 Pro cases

For more cleaning tips, tricks and how tos, check out how to clean iPhone speakers, how to clean an iPhone's charging port and how to clean a MacBook screen

Katie Mortram
Homes Editor

Katie looks after everything homes-related, from kitchen appliances to gardening tools. She also covers smart home products too, so is the best point of contact for any household advice! She has tested and reviewed appliances for over 6 years, so she knows what to look for when finding the best. Her favorite thing to test has to be air purifiers, as the information provided and the difference between performances is extensive.