Jane asked: How do I clean both acrylic window panes and acrylic picture frame glass without making them cloudy? I’ve used regular window cleaners, etc. and have basically ruined the “clear” nature of the panes and the picture glass. Should I possibly use a vinegar solution and/or baking soda in water? Thanks!
Acrylic glass can easily become scratched on the surface from harsh cleaners and scrubbers. These cleaners produce small scratches on the surface of the glass, resulting in a cloudy look. Once the damage has been done, it is difficult to undo it. However, it is possible to prevent if from worsening. Here are the proper cleaning techniques for acrylic glass.
You Will Need:
- Clean non-abrasive cloth
- Mild, non-abrasive cleaner
Steps to Clean Acrylic Glass:
- Begin by determining how strong of a cleaning solution is needed by observing the amount of dirt present.
- If there is just a small amount of dust, then water is sufficient. If there is more significant dirt build up, such as outside-facing windows, then you may wish to mix in a mild, non-abrasive detergent with the water. Some good choices are castile soap, baby shampoo, or mild laundry detergent like Woolite or Dreft. If you are unsure if a cleaner is safe, test it on a small hidden area first.
- If the surface has just a small amount of dirt, use a soft cloth moistened with water to gently wipe it away. A soft cotton cloth like an old t-shirt or a microfiber cloth would work well. Turn the cloth often to keep a clean side on the glass. It’s important to avoid rubbing the dirt on the surface because it can cause more scratching.
- For more significant amounts of dirt, use a cloth that is very wet with water. Gently swab the cloth on the surface and allow the water to lift the dirt and “rinse” it away.
- Once most of the dirt has been removed with the water, use a second cloth to clean the glass using the same technique described in step 3.
Additional Tips and Ideas
- Avoid any cleaning products with ammonia as it will eat through the surface and leave it looking cloudy.
- Other cleaners that should be avoided include ketones, halogens, window cleaners, kitchen scouring compounds, aromatics and solvents such as thinners, acetone, gasoline, benzene and tetrachloride. Any cleaner that is abrasive or strong enough to eat through the surface should be avoided.
- If the surface of acrylic glass is scratched, use a car wax or other buffing compound to remove them. Apply the wax and use the supplied buffer to buff until the scratches are removed.
Definitely do not use baking soda.
Never use paper towels, only soft cloth.
20/20 and Novus #1 are the most readily available products designed for cleaning Plexiglas and both work well. Look at a craft store like AC Moore or Michael’s if you can’t find it.
Never use Windex or anything containing ammonia or bleach.
Thank you very much.
I tried full strength vinegar on acrylic glass windows that were stained with reclaimed water. Rinsed with water, then reapplied vinegar. Works for me.
I like to go as simple as I can. I have some makeup wipes in my cabinet, so I pulled them out and tried them on my acrylic picture over my fireplace. It worked like a charm. You have to go over it several times. I used up a whole pack of makeup cloths, but it works great and I’m happy with it.
How do I remove stains possibly caused by chemical spray on the acrylic glass of a car radio or air condition display?
Without knowing what caused the stains (what was in the chemical spray), it is difficult to say what might work to remove them. In general, you could just try cleaning the glass several times with a common clean, however, even that can be dangerous because you never want to mix chemicals (whatever was in the chemical spray with whatever cleaning chemicals); many combinations of chemicals can be dangerous. So be sure that whatever you try, wear good gloves (chemical gloves) and be sure the area is ventilated well (move the car outside and open all windows/doors). Other than trying random cleaners, you can try using a scratch removal kit. This might allow you to remove the portion of the glass that is stained (as in the top layer of it). You can learn more about that idea on the guide How to Remove Scratches from Plexiglas. If nothing works though, you can always have them replaced. Good luck!