Queen Beez Buzz: Cleaning & Repairing Acrylic

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cleaning & Repairing Acrylic

The most important thing to remember is NOT to use terry cloth rags or towels because they are abrasive and over time you will notice tiny scratches all over your pretty clear acrylic. I recommend a microfiber or other non abrasive cleaning cloth. Also, NEVER use window cleaning fluids with ammonia (Windex or Formula 409), gasoline, denatured alcohol or acetone, which will cause the acrylic to craze with minute cracks. A mild solution of soap or detergent and water can also be used safely.

Cleaning Acrylic
Begin by gently blowing away any loose dust or dirt from the acrylic’s surface.
Apply the specialty cleaning product (or soap and water solution) with a dampened non-abrasive/non-contaminating/lint-free soft cloth, microfiber cloth or cellulose sponge.
Rinse well with clear, clean water.
Blot dry with a chamois, damp cellulose sponge or microfiber cloth to prevent water spotting.

Note: Grease, oil and tar may be removed with a good grade of hexane, naptha or kerosene. Be sure to wash these solvents off quickly to prevent damage to the acrylic.

Repairing Acrylic
It’s possible to remove minor scratches and abrasions from acrylic. One technique is to apply a thin, even coat of automobile polish (not cleaner polish) or floor or automobile wax with a clean, soft cloth. Follow by buffing lightly with a clean, damp cloth to remove static electricity, which attracts dirt.
Another way to remove fine scratches and haziness from acrylic is to use a mild abrasive polish such as Novus No. 2. To remove heavier scratches and abrasions, try Novus No. 3.
Haziness, which is caused by age, exposure to the sun or cleaning with the wrong products, can be minimized or eliminated by careful sanding with a series of grits followed by buffing with a plastic polish.
Cracks in an acrylic sheet can be kept from lengthening by drilling a 1/8-inch diameter hole at each end of the crack and fill the holes with silicone sealant.
If these methods aren’t successful, contact a knowledgeable professional to repair and restore the luster to your acrylic.

Protecting Acrylic
If you are working with a new sheet of acrylic, leave the thin protective masking film on for as long as possible.
For a lustrous shine that resists fogging, repels dust and eliminates static, apply a thin, even coat Novus No. 1 with a clean, soft cloth.
Avoid dropping your acrylic item. Dropping is the primary cause of cracking and chipping.
Never use sharp tools, such as a razor blades or putty knifes, to remove dirt or foreign material from an acrylic surface.
And always remember to never use abrasive cleansers, abrasive pads, or gritty cloths when you clean acrylic. 

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