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How to Make Clear Plastic Clear Again [3 Trouble-Free Methods]

This article is for informational purposes. Always seek the advice of qualified professionals.

Clear plastic should be clear, whether in eyeglass lenses or display cases. The plastic can become dulled and chipped over time. 

It’s just that cleaning them might be a bit of a pain at times. Well, if you follow the right step then it is simple.

How to make clear plastic clear again?

To restore the clarity of your plastic, you have a choice of three alternative methods. You may want to use household or handmade cleaners as a first step. You can try wet sanding cloudy plastic if the first way is unsuccessful. There are commercial cleaners and protectants you can use as well.

A peek of today’s issue is provided here. Need more info? So let’s go through the article until the end.

There we go!

3 Trouble-Free Methods of Clearing Plastic

It’s never good to see clear plastic turning yellow or murky with age. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to clean with a bit of elbow grease. You’ll learn about three distinct methods to restore the clarity of your plastic here. 

Check the methods for avoiding the dingy appearance of clear plastic altogether-

Method 1: Using DIY or Store-Bought Cleaning Products

With the correct tools and techniques, cleaning clear plastic can be simple. Cleaning goods sold in stores might be costly and ineffective. 

Instead, create a powerful DIY cleaning solution. Let’s go through the steps below-

Step 1: Use a Mild Soap and a Soft Cloth to Wipe Out the Item’s Surface

Clean any transparent plastic object by first wiping off debris, grime, or oil. Non-abrasive cleaning should be used to keep the plastic from becoming scratched.

Add some mild detergent to warm water and rinse thoroughly (such as dish soap). You can use a clean microfiber or cotton rag (like an old t-shirt).

Paper towels are too harsh. Using a clean cloth, gently scrub the surface with soapy water.

Rinse the plastic entirely in lukewarm water and air dry it to remove any residue.

Step 2: Use Spray Cleansers to Remove Surface Grime

Commercial window and multi-surface cleaners can also be used to clean clear plastic. Sometimes, they can generate further cloudiness and streaks. Get started with a tiny area and work your way up.

A microfiber or cotton cloth, for example, is ideal for cleaning. A spray bottle filled with a solution of equal parts vinegar, water, and essential oils is another option.

Step 3: Use a Little Bit of Grit to Get a Deeper Clean

A bare surface clean won’t clear up or decrease yellowing in plastic. You can use a mild abrasive cleaner to eliminate UV-induced surface damage.

Some people prefer pure white toothpaste, while others prefer a frothy cleanser. The frothy cleaner should be with abrasiveness created by baking soda and vinegar.

We’ve recommended two of the most popular vinegars on the market for you to try. Let’s look at them down:

Product-1
Product-2

These vinegars will come in handy. They’re also reasonably priced.

Step 4: Apply a Moderate Abrasive on the Clear Plastic

You can still use a microfiber or cotton cloth here. A woven scouring pad works better on non-stick or coated pans (not steel wool).

Rinse and clean the surface. Circular cleaning with light pressure is recommended. 

Remove the cleaner entirely with cool, clean water. Dry the plastic carefully with a cloth (with no abrasion this time).

Step 5: Consider Using a UV Clear-Coat Spray to Protect

Removal of surface cloudiness may increase future UV damage. Surface protection may be required depending on the item’s value and purpose.

UV protectants for plastics are available as sprays or wipes. Follow the product’s precise directions to the letter if you want the best results!

Method 2: Sanding Clouded Plastic using Wet Sandpaper

If you can’t clear your plastic using the first method, you can go with sanding. Remember, finishing a drywall does not always require sanding

But, in this method, you can use sandpaper to clean cloudy plastic surfaces. So, go through the steps below-

Step 1: Use a dampened piece of wet sandpaper on plastic.

Wet-sanding is used to scuff and buff a cloudy plastic surface. You can clean your car’s headlamp covers in a variety of methods. But oxidation can cause clouding that diminishes brightness.

Wash the plastic’s outside with mild soap, a gentle cloth, and clean water. Painter’s tape or even plastic sheeting taped down can protect nearby surfaces.

Step 2: Scrub with Increasingly Finer Sandpaper Grades in a Circular Motion

Before used, wet the sandpaper or spray it with water. Keep the plastic moist. Then, press slowly and gently. 

Lastly, rinse the surface and check for even abrasion.

Step 3: Smooth up the Plastic by Using an Abrasive Polishing Solution

After cleaning and drying the object, apply a commercial polishing product. Using this will fine-tune the abrasion process. Keep moving gently and carefully. 

Remove dirt and grime from your plastic object by wiping it down with rubbing alcohol. It can remove dust, oils, and residue.

Step 4: Apply a UV-protective coating to prevent further clouding.

After all that work, your plastic will start fading and clouding again. Apply UV protection to the plastic object to extend between wet sanding sessions.

You can use paste wax to protect automotive headlight covers from the sun.

You can also use a UV-protective clear-coat spray.

Method 3: Using Commercial Cleaning staff and Substances 

This method is not an optional one. If your second approach works but you need a quick task done, use this one. This method is time-consuming with taking proper steps. So check the steps below-

Step 1: Clean and Dry the Plastic Object

A non-abrasive, lint-free cloth and mild soap are all you’ll need to execute the job. First, make sure the plastic item is completely dried up before moving on.

Step 2: Before Using a Commercial Cleaner, Check the Manufacturer’s Instructions

Use apparent plastic cleaner/restorer caution while using expensive transparent plastic components. Using different plastics may void the warranty or cause permanent damage.

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting any DIY techniques.

Step 3: Clean and Restore Clear Plastic with a Commercial Restorer and Cleaner

This substance is used on boat windscreens and other clear plastic components. Follow the product’s usage recommendations. Generally, you’ll need to use a foam applicator and buff with clean microfiber towels.

Step 4: Apply a Commercial Clear Window Wax and Wipe It Off

Reread the product’s instructions. Clean plastics using a clean, soft cloth and a gentle, even spray suffices.

Thus, this cream will prevent future plastic surface clouding or yellowing. If you mess up while waxing, you can easily  wipe out wax from wooden floors

These methods are suitable for your plastic cleaning process. Just remember, don’t rub anything harshly. If you face extreme difficulties, consult a specialist.

FAQs

Question: Is hydrogen peroxide bad for plastic?

Answer: Hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic disinfectant to use around the house. They can be used on non-living materials, including metal, glass, and plastic.

Question: Is it safe to clean plastic using rubbing alcohol?

Answer: Scuff marks on plastic can be removed by rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can shatter and discolor acrylic. As a result, bacteria can thrive in products that have cracks and holes.

Question: Can vinegar be used to soak plastic?

Answer: A 16-ounce solution can be made by mixing 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup of water. Spray the solution on the plastic. Apply a generous amount of vinegar solution to the plastic and make sure it’s completely submerged.

Conclusion

You’ve just read all about how to make clear plastic clear again. When dealing with discolored plastic, a solution of water and bleach works wonders. Keep one spoonful of bleach for every one cup of water.

This brings an end to the topic. Sincerely, thank you for being here.

Wishing you a wonderful day!