Tips when Cleaning and Caring for Acrylic Glass

Apr 27 2014

Thank goodness for acrylic! This alternative to real glass has made a lot of things easier and safer. It is light-weight, durable and shatter resistant. Aside from its durability, acrylic glass can also be infused with UV-protective capabilities while still maintaining optimal visual clarity. When processed further, it can filter the harmful UV rays of the sun and protect the item it is shielding, be it a motorist’s delicate eyes or a photograph behind a picture frame.

Thus, it has found its way to many items that used to use real glass. There are a lot of applications for acrylic glass. It can be found in aquariums, sunglasses, the headlights of vehicles and motorcycle helmet shields. For avid collectors, acrylic is a safer and better alternative for custom display cases such as jersey cases, acrylic domes and shadow boxes.  With acrylic, picture frames and display cases can be bigger because there is less danger of breakage and the overall weight of the finished product is more manageable.

However, acrylic also has its disadvantage. It is easily scratched when it is not cleaned properly. Acrylic is easy to maintain but you will have to clean it from time to time. Here are some tips in cleaning acrylic to prevent unsightly scratches:

Avoid wiping when there is surface dirt or dust. Rather than wiping off particles of sand or dirt, blog it off first. This can be done by using an air hose. You can also run the item through running water. When hosing it down, do so at an angle, rather than pointing the hose directly on the surface of the acrylic glass. If you have to wipe the surface, use a wet cloth and avoid putting on too much pressure as you wipe.

Use the right cleaning tools. Since acrylic is prone to scratches, you should not use paper products such as tissue paper for cleaning. Rather, use a microfiber or the soft side of a sponge. Never use cleaning agents or glass cleaners that contain ammonia, acetone, benzene or tetrachloride. You can mix some laundry detergent with warm water and use this as a cleaning agent. Also, be sure to wash used cleaning cloths if you want to use it since these may contain residue of harsh cleaning chemicals.

After washing, blot dry. Use another microfiber cloth or soft cloth to blot the glass dry. Do not rub or brush, even with your bare hands. Wiping the glass dry can result in static electricity, which will attract dust and cause it to stick to the surface. To prevent this, you can leave the glass moist and allow it to air-dry. If you must wipe it dry, you can prevent static with an anti-static brush.

Scratches can be removed. Fine and hairline scratches on the surface can be buffed out using a mild abrasive polish and a chamois or flannel cloth or a buffing brush. You can do some sanding and buffing to keep the shine on the surface of the acrylic.

Protect the acrylic from dust and grime. You can apply some automobile wax (one that is not also a cleanser). This wards off and dirt that may stick to the surface.