Why Do Clear Phone Cases Turn Yellow?

Clear phone cases turn yellow over time because they are made of plastic, and this breaks down when in the presence of UV rays. So clear phone cases will turn yellow pretty fast if you leave them out in the sun often. 

This post will explore why clear phone cases turn yellow. I’ll tell you the causes of this issue and provide some tips on what you can do to limit the discoloration of a clear case. I’ll also provide you with some other relevant information. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • UV rays are the leading cause of clear phone cases turning yellow. So the more exposure to UV rays a case has, the quicker it will turn yellow. 
  • You can prevent the yellowing of a clear phone case by trying to keep it away from sunlight and other UV light sources. 
  • Some clear cases now available claim to not turn as yellow, but chances are they will still change if exposed to large amounts of sunlight.

Why Do Clear Phone Cases Turn Yellow? 

The main reason clear phone cases turn yellow is UV rays from the sun. These UV rays cause the plastic that the phone case is made out of to oxidize, which brings out the yellow color instead of the clear. 

Most clear phone cases are made of a type of silicone that can be especially prone to degradation from UV light. This plastic is easy to produce and affordable, which is why they make phone cases out of it. 

Natural oils from your hands and other sources can also cause the phone case to turn yellow or even brown. These oils can amplify the effect UV rays have on the plastic and can be hard to avoid because of how much we use our phones. 

Believe it or not, most clear phone cases are actually yellow to begin with and are made clear by a dye used during the manufacturing process. So even though you might think that yellow is not good, it’s more of the natural state of the plastic. 

How to Prevent Clear Case from Yellowing

The best way to prevent a clear case from yellowing is by keeping it out of direct sunlight. The more often your clear case is exposed to sunlight, the faster it can turn yellow. If you try to keep it out of the sun, it won’t get yellow as quickly. 

Can your phone be kept away from UV light at all times? Technically that is possible. But unless you’re a vampire, you will probably expose it to some UV light at some point. Just do your best to keep it out of direct sunlight when you’re outside or in your car. 

You can also clean your case and phone often to help reduce the buildup of natural oils. This can prevent the oils from amplifying the effects of UV rays and causing the case to turn yellow. But even a clean case will still turn yellow in lots of sunlight. 

How to Clean Clear Phone Case that Turned Yellow

If your clear phone case has turned yellow because of UV oxidation caused by sunlight and UV rays, there isn’t much you can do to get it clear again. The yellowing is likely inside the case, not on it, so you can’t just wipe it off. 

But if part of your phone case is yellow because of natural oils, you can clean it using dish soap and warm water. Just take your case off before doing this, so you don’t get your phone wet during the process. 

Use a clean cloth that won’t scratch or otherwise damage the case as well. But you can scrub pretty hard to try and remove any dirt or oils. You might want to do this a few times for the best results. 

But remember, if UV rays cause the yellowing, you can’t really clean it off. If you want a clear case again, you’ll need to buy a new one. Yellowing doesn’t compromise the protection of the case. It just makes it look different.    

How to Choose the Good Clear Case for Your Phone

Here are a few key factors to take into consideration.


With the main purpose of the case being to protect your phone from various types of damage, you want to ensure it is durable.

The case should stand up to many drops and hits without breaking or showing too much wear and tear. It should be made of a material capable of withstanding regular use without potentially damaging your device.

Weight and Size

Another consideration to make before deciding which clear case for your phone to buy some down to its size and weight.

You want a case that fits your phone snuggly, and also one that isn’t too large and bulky. A heavy or bulky case, while durable and secure, can often make your phone larger and more uncomfortable to hold or carry.

Raised Edges

While many cases protect only the back of the phone from drop damage, that is beginning to change. Many cases are being shipped with raised edges so that if the phone is dropped flat, the edges will take the impact, not the screen.

If you want the best protection, make sure you consider getting a case with a raised lip or raised edges to make sure your screen is protected as well.

What’s the Best Clear Phone Case that Doesn’t Turn Yellow

Some clear cases now available claim they don’t turn yellow. I haven’t personally used these cases, so I don’t know if they work as advertised. But my guess is that they will still turn yellow if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods. 

These cases might not turn yellow as quickly, but they will still probably turn yellow. That’s just the nature of clear plastics and sunlight. And most things exposed to high levels of sunlight will get some sort of damage. 

If you are sick of dealing with a yellow case, you might want to switch things up and not use a clear case. Died plastics don’t experience as much of a color change when exposed to UV light. They typically fade but don’t change completely as clear cases do. 

That said, here are a few recommendations that have a good reputation.

1. Spigen Ultra Hybrid

Spigen has been a popular provider of iPhone cases for years and it’s easy to see why. They offer durable and light cases, that won’t break the bank. The crystal clear Ultra Hybrid provides a hardback with a flexible bumper to survive a number of drops or hits.

The raised bezels provide protection for both the screen and the camera, and the case only adds .13 inches of depth to your device, so it is very slim. The buttons are easy to press in this case and it will let you show off your phone’s design clearly, without the potential for damage.


  • Very thin
  • Can be used with wireless chargers
  • Light, but without sacrificing durability


  • Some edges are quite smooth, which can hurt grip
  • Can be a magnet for fingerprints, so be ready to wipe it frequently

2. CANSHN Case

This case is one of the most advanced and user-friendly on the market. It is incredibly flexible and easy to put on and take off, but still offers world-class protection. Raised edges protect the screen and camera, and the case is designed very intelligently.

For example, it has little slits cut out on the bottom of the case to provide wider sound, without making your phone any more prone to damage. The case is anti-yellowing and doesn’t show fingerprints as easily as many others. The corners are also reinforced to protect from impact.


  • Offers wider stereo playback
  • Increased protection on the corners of the phone, where many drops have their impact
  • Coating helps prevent the case from yellowing over time


  • A little on the larger and thicker side
  • Can be some echoes during phone calls

3. Trianium Clarium Series Case

Two layers of protection make this case a great option for those looking to protect their phone. It features a shock-absorbing frame, and then a durable body to protect against all kinds of damage. Despite this, the case still looks very sleek and slim on your device.

Raised edges and scratch-resistance round up the amazing protection features of the device. Best of all, the case comes with a lifetime warranty so you can rest assured that you’re covered and the provider stands by their products.


  • Features two different layers of protection
  • Sleek and slim design
  • Fits with nearly any screen protector


  • Some of the buttons can be a little tough to press

Final Thoughts

Clear phone cases can be nice because they let you see your phone as it was originally designed. But these cases are well-known for turning yellow because of exposure to UV light. Sunlight is the main source of this problem. 

Keeping your phone away from direct sunlight is the best way to prevent this yellowing. But even if you do your best, there’s still a chance that a clear case will turn yellow.

Have you ever had a clear phone case turn yellow? How long did it take to do so? Let me know in the comments below.

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