The best way to clean plexiglass

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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The best way to clean plexiglass
(Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Plexiglass (from the brand name Plexiglas) is just another name for an acrylic product often used for windows. As with other materials, dust and other pollutants will collect on the surface and make it look filthy after a time. Softer than traditional glass, plexiglass scratches easily--a factor you must consider when you clean. Avoid using glass cleaners, as many contain ammonia, which may damage acrylic.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Liquid dish-washing detergent
  • Soft cloths
  • Sponges

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  1. 1

    Pour 1 tablespoon of liquid dish-washing detergent into a clean bucket. Add 1 to 2 gallons of warm water to the bucket (you can make more or less of this detergent and water solution, depending on how large an area you need to clean).

  2. 2

    Wet a soft cloth or soft towel in the solution and wipe it over the plexiglass. When the cloth becomes soiled, change to a different cloth or turn it over and use the other side--dirt particles on the cloth may scratch the acrylic. Always make sure to thoroughly wet the cloth first with the cleaning solution--according to Ridout Plastics, you should never use dry cloths or other dry materials to clean plexiglass. Doing so presses dirt into the surface, making it harder to clean and potentially causing scratches.

  3. 3

    Soak a soft sponge (never use abrasive sponges on plexiglass) in the solution, and scrub over remaining soiled areas. A soft sponge is a bit more abrasive than a cloth or towel and should help remove stubborn caked-on dirt. Rinse debris from the sponge often, if the plexiglass surface is highly soiled.

  4. 4

    Rinse out your bucket, ridding it of soap residue, and add clean water. Use a fresh towel or cloth soaked in the clean water to rinse the plexiglass. Dry plexiglass with a soft towel.

Tips and warnings

  • If your plexiglass has caked-on areas of soil or debris even after the initial cleaning, do not risk scratching the acrylic by scraping it--just keep using a warm soapy sponge to wipe it until the dirt loosens and comes off.
  • If you discover your plexiglass is scratched, Ridout Plastics advises that you can polish it with a scratch-removing polish for plastics and a soft cloth.
  • Avoid not only ammonia, but also abrasive cleaners or solvent cleaners (dry-cleaning fluid or acetone, for example) on plexiglass. According to Housekeeping Channel, these cleaners may damage acrylic.

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