We can find plexiglass almost everywhere in our day-to-day lives. We can find it in windows, aquariums, police riot shields, etc. But they become hazy very easily. When that happens you might feel like cleaning it.
How to make plexiglass clear again?
To make your plexiglass clear again, your first job is to clean your Plexiglass. You can rub it with a clean piece of cloth. To clean smudges and blemishes, use detergent or soap water. Then sand the plexiglass to clear out scratches. To finish up, polish the plexiglass with a buffing polish.
Well, that’s just a summary of a more detailed process. I’ve prepared that just for people like you.
Interested in learning about them? Just scroll down and read the article!
4 Steps to Cleaning Plexiglass
The uses of Plexiglass in the present world are endless. The best part about it is, it looks like glass even though it’s not glass.
They can be made to withstand around 18,000 psi of pressure. And they are usually 6-18 times stronger than any normal glass.
Enough talk about Plexiglass, you’re here to learn how to clean it. Therefore, without any further ado let’s get down straight to business-
Step 1 of 4: Cleaning The Plexiglass
Plexiglass is bound to get dirty over time. You can’t really do anything about it. All you can do is clean it when it gets dirty.
This dirt is not like normal dust that you can wipe away with a cloth. They’ve built up over time. They’re not ready to go this easily.
You’re gonna have to rub harder on them. But don’t put so much pressure that you scratch it.
If your plan is to glue the plexiglass on wood then you definitely need to clean it. Without proper cleaning, it’s just going to look
Once you think it can’t get any cleaner from that, you can move to using soap. You have quite a few options if you don’t want to use soap.
You can use detergent, dishwasher, and even kerosene. But there are a few things that you must avoid using.
They are ammonia, isopropyl alcohol, and acetone. These elements have a ph level higher than plexiglass can take. They’ll actually do more damage than good.
They’ll get rid of the smudges and blemishes for sure. But they’ll burn the plexiglass and make it hazy in the process.
You can spray soap water on the plexiglass or you can apply it on a cloth. It’ll be wise for you to know how to clean spilled detergent in case you spill any. I recommend microfiber clothing.
It’s easier to clean dirt and smudges with them. Apply them on a cloth and then dab on the whole plexiglass.
We didn’t tell you to rub it because dabbing has proven to give better results. Also, you can scratch the surface if you rub. Or existing scratches might broaden if you rub.
Once you’re done cleaning, use a dry cloth to clean all the water. You can let it stay in the open-air and let it dry on its own. But that can leave watermarks on the plexiglass.
And that ruins the whole idea of cleaning. You’ll have to repeat the whole cleaning process if that happens.
Once you’re done with cleaning, you can start fixing the scratches.
Step 2 of 4: Sanding The Plexiglass
To fix the plexiglass, you need to start by sanding it. You have to sand the plexiglass using three types of sandpapers.
First, use sandpaper of 150 grit. Then you have to use a 400 grit and a 600 grit sandpaper respectively.
Don’t sand your plexiglass like you’re sanding plywood. I don’t have to tell you this but plexiglass is obviously pretty delicate.
If you apply too much pressure you’ll start to graze the plexiglass. Which again, ruins the point of you doing all this to fix it.
Don’t sand over the whole plexiglass at once. Instead, divide the whole plexiglass into small sections and sand away.
A lot of dust will come out because of the sanding. It’s better if you put on goggles. You can even wear a face mask as an extra precautionary step.
Once you’re done, you can start buffing.
Step 3 of 4: Buffing The Plexiglass
Buffing is a process very similar to polishing, but they’re not the same. So be sure to not mix them in the process.
Buffing is used to bring shine to finished works. Sounds like polishing? Polishing is basically a much more aggressive method that can damage the product.
You can find buffing polishes that are made for polishing plastics. If you’re lucky, you might just find a buffing polish made for plexiglass.
But here’s a list of buffing polish that works best with plexiglass-
Use any of these buffing polishes to get the best result.
You can use a handheld buffer or a buffing wheel to buff the plexiglass. Just apply the polish on the plexiglass first then use the buffer.
You should keep in mind that deep scratches won’t go away from buffing. Specially scratches that you can feel with fingernails.
Once you’re done buffing, your work is pretty much done. You just have to clean the plexiglass next.
Step 4 of 4: Finishing Touches
I know that you’ve already cleaned your plexiglass before. But you need to do some finishing touches after sanding and buffing it.
After using buffing polish, there’ll be some extra solution on the plexiglass. Wipe it off using a clean piece of cloth.
Then let it dry for a day. If you notice any scratches remaining, then repeat the whole process. If you still see scratches after that, then repeat the whole process a third time.
If the scratches don’t go after all that then those scratches can’t be removed. They’re permanent now.
But if they all go away, your work is done now. You can do whatever you want with it now. You can even glue your plexiglass to wood if you want.
Question: Are Plexiglass and Acrylic the same thing?
Answer: No, they’re not the same thing. Acrylic is made from a bunch of elements including acrylic acid, ethylene, and other chemicals.
Question: Is it safe to use Rubbing Alcohol to clean Plexiglass?
Answer: No, it’s actually not that safe to use rubbing alcohol to clean plexiglass. Just like Ammonia or Acetone, rubbing alcohol can ruin the plexiglass.
Question: Can I use toothpaste to polish Plexiglass?
Answer: Yes, you can actually polish your Plexiglass using toothpaste. But make sure it’s a white toothpaste and not a gel one.
This is just about everything you need to know on how to make plexiglass clear again. Follow the steps thoroughly and your plexiglass will be clear again.
Remember not to use strong acids like Ammonia.
Best of Luck!