Using the wrong methods to clean plexiglass can easily make scratches that’ll leave a permanent mark on it. That’s said, we’ll cover a few basics and advanced methods on how to clean plexiglass, the right ways!
Our tutorial involves working with some readymade plexiglass cleaner spray or, making your own homemade solution.
So be it in home, office sneeze guard, shower door, or your car and airplane windshields and headlights, why don’t you Do It Yourself!?!?!
And there are a lot of different methods to do it. However, not all the techniques are appropriate in every scenario. That’s what we’re about to reveal! So, without any further ado, let’s check out some easy ways to clean plexiglass effectively!
Read more about the differences between plexiglass and glass
Cleaning Plexiglass with Blow-Dryer & Cleaning Solution
If you’re cleaning off just a layer of dust, using a hairdryer is the best way to clean plexiglass in this case. It’ll simply blow off the dust and debris without any risk of scratches.
It’s surprisingly effective as well. You can use a microfiber cloth (We’ll talk about it in-depth in the Method 2 segment), but it can create friction between the dust particles and the plexiglass, which leaves scratches.
So, before you decide to use a microfiber cloth or any other advanced cleaning techniques, you should follow the steps down below.
Step 1: Get the Dust Off Of the Plexiglass
Take a hairdryer and plug it into an electric outlet. Any ordinary blow dryer or hair dryer will work in this case. However, it’s better to use something that has a cold setting.
Using cold air to blow off the dust is the safest way to get rid of the dust particles without damaging the surface. Once you have everything in place, start to blow the air directly on the plexiglass at a 45-degree angle.
This will help to make the process very efficient. Also, go with a side-to-side motion for maximum efficiency. That should get the surface cleaned out of small dust particles quite easily.
But sometimes it’s not going to be enough for the dust that’s sticking on the surface. In that case, follow the next steps to get rid of such sticky dirt easily.
Step 2: Get a Cleaning Solution
It could be a ready-to-use plexiglass cleaner or your homemade solution. Both are quite effective and help to get rid of the grime and ingrained dirt on the material.
To make your own homemade plexiglass cleaner grab 5 ml of your daily dishwasher and mix it with 950 ml of clean water. Mix it well, and it should give you the perfect cleaning solution for the job. Once you’re done, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Apply and Let It Dry
Start pouring the cleaning solution gently. You can use a sprayer to get the same results as well. The goal here is to get the surface covered with a cleaner solution. That’ll make the sticky dirt softer and eventually get cleaned.
Spill 1 or 2 layers of the solution and let it run over the surface. This should start taking out the dirt and dust quite effortlessly. Now, run some clean water, and there you have it!
Cleaning Plexiglass with Microfiber Cloth
The first method was a quick and easy way to clean the plexiglass. But if you need a more thorough cleaning, using a microfiber cloth can be a great solution.
However, you must follow the right techniques when you’re using the cloth since it might cause scratches. So here’s how to use a microfiber cloth to clean plexiglass –
Step 1: Apply the Cleaning Solution
Like the first method, you should grab a cleaning solution somehow. Now, apply it over the surface and let it run over the area needed to be cleaned. This should soak all the dirt and grime.
Step 2: Wipe Clean with Microfiber Cloth
Now, use a clean microfiber cloth and wipe over the surface thoroughly. Heed this warning, it’s very easy to apply too much pressure and be too aggressive when you’re dealing with cleaning.
So, you must keep that in mind while you’re wiping over the plexiglass material. Just focus on the dirty parts rather than wiping the whole surface. You should be super gentle and don’t wipe on an area the cleaning solution hasn’t covered.
If you see that there is still some grime remaining on the acrylic, you can reapply the cleaning solution and go over this step again. That should deal with any leftover dirt pretty well.
Step 3: Finishing Up
Finally, once the plexiglass is looking and feeling pretty clean, it’s time to get it dry. The worst thing you can do here is to let it air dry. Air drying will only leave watermarks all over the place, and it looks terrible.
To avoid that, simply keep wiping the surface with another clean and dry microfiber cloth until it’s dry. But if by any chance you see watermarks there, just spray some water and do the wiping motion again.
It should be quite easy to remove watermarks. And that should completely clean your plexiglass pretty well.
Heavy Duty Plexiglass Cleaning and Repairing
We went through 2 of the easy and most effective ways to clean plexiglass. However, if that is not working, and the material is deeply scratched somehow, it’s time for a heavy-duty cleaning!
Take note, these methods are very tricky, and you must use them only if there’s no other way. It’s more like an advanced technique. So if you’re not sure what you’re heading on, please get a professional hand if available.
So let’s check out how they do it!
Use a sharp razor blade to get the hard accumulated grimes out. You can already tell it’s very risky to use it as a tool when you’re dealing with plexiglass.
However, if you can’t get some piece of dirt out of the surface, scraping is the most effective way to get it out.
So take a sharp razor blade and start to scrape the surface very gently. Again, don’t rush, be patient and slow with the process. Once you get it clean, go over “Method 2” to finish off the process.
Sanding is only effective when you want to remove any existing scratches or marks from the plexiglass. You must use the right grit sandpaper during the sanding process. It’s the riskiest method of all as well, and there are reasons behind it.
However, to use it properly, grab a sandpaper of 220 or 320 grit. That should be able to restore deep scratches as well. Also, you can gradually move up to 600 or 800 finer-grit sandpaper to get the best results.
Apply very gentle pressure as you start sanding the scratches out.
Using a dermal tool with a buffing pad can bring a nice polish to the material. Make sure to stick to an 8 to 14-inch diameter piece of bleached muslin to keep the heat factor in check.
Too much heat buildup can mess up the acrylic thermoplastic, which you don’t want to happen. And like every other method, be slow and steady with the process.
Flame polishing can bring a glossy finish to the plexiglass which you can’t get from using any other method. You can use this method after sanding, scraping, or buffing to get the ultimate finish. However, it’s easy to ruin the whole thing if you are not careful enough.
Use a hydrogen-oxygen torch and attach the 4th or 5th tip for the best output. Run the fire over the acrylic and make sure to not keep it in one place for more than 3 to 4 seconds at max.
Also, maintain a good distance to avoid excessive heat buildup on an area. And be very careful while using this technique.
Additional Tips and Precautions
Now that you know how to clean plexiglass, it’s time to check out some extra tips. Following these precautions might save the acrylic from scratches and give better overall cleaning results.
- Wear protective eyewear and gloves when sanding or scraping.
- Take your time, rushing might leave permanent scratches and ruin the whole thing.
- Be careful while choosing commercial cleaning solutions. Using any products with alcohol, ammonia, or aromatics can damage the acrylic transparent thermoplastic.
- Always use clean cloths when wipe-cleaning plexiglass. And make sure it’s properly covered with the solution before you use any cloth on it.
- If you feel like there are too many scratches or marks, consider getting a replacement rather than spending hours and hours trying to get them off of the plexiglass.
We hope that you’ve learned how to clean plexiglass in some of the easiest and most efficient ways possible. Using these methods will greatly reduce the time and effort it takes to clean.
And you’ll get the best results hopefully.
However, as you can already tell, it’s not that hard to mess things up during the process. And the only way to prevent any accidents would be to go slow and gentle with the steps.
If one method doesn’t seem to work in your case, don’t hesitate to use another. Hopefully, it’ll be very easy for you to clean the plexiglass by following the simple steps.