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How to remove scratch marks from clear plastic

Updated February 21, 2017

There are many different types and styles of plastic. It can be formed to make many different materials. Some of the different types of clear plastic include acrylic, polycarbonate and styrene. These plastics are used as a replacement for glass and many other household applications. Over time, these plastics can become scratched and damaged. It may be necessary to repair the scratches on your clear plastic in order for it to look brand new again. No matter what type of clear plastic you have, scratch marks can all be removed by following the same basic procedure.

Locate the scratch on the surface of the clear plastic. Sand down the surface of the clear plastic with an orbital sander. Attach a piece of 320-grit sandpaper to the orbital sander and plug the sander into the closest outlet.

Lay the clear plastic on a flat surface with the scratch facing up and polish it with the sander. Turn on the orbital sander and move it back and forth over the surface of the clear plastic where the scratch is located in a circular motion. Continue until the scratch has been smoothed down to the surface.

Turn off the orbital sander and wipe away any grit left over from the sander with a clean rag. Inspect the clear plastic and check if the scratch mark is still there underneath the surface. If it is, move on to the next step.

Position a can of MAPP (methylacetylene-propadiene propane) gas over the clear plastic where the scratch is located. This will polish the scratch from the surface and work better than propane because it produces more heat.

Hold the can a few inches from the surface of the scratch and press the trigger to ignite the flame. Move the flame back and forth over the area where the scratch is located until it is polished away and disappears. Turn off the can and set it aside.

Tip

If the scratch is too deep that it catches your fingernail when you run your hand over it, then it is too deep to be repaired.

Warning

Always wear gloves and safety goggles when you are working with a MAPP can. It lets out extreme heat and all precautions must be taken.

Things You'll Need

  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • Orbital sander
  • Clean rag
  • MAPP can
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
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About the Author

Alexander Callos began writing in 2005 for "The Lantern" at The Ohio State University and has written for various websites, including Bleacher Report, Top Ten Real Estate Deals and Columbus Sports. He has published articles for CBS Sports, SI.com and other websites. He graduated in 2007 from The Ohio State University with a bachelor's degree in public affairs journalism.