How to Clean an Acrylic Sign

Posted on February 20, 2018

Keeping your acrylic sign clean and shiny is essential to attracting customers to your business, boosting your curb appeal and giving your visitors a good first impression of your business. However, acrylic (also known as plexiglass or lucite) requires different care from glass, wooden and metal signage. Do you know how to keep your acrylic sign looking its best?

how to clean acrylic

How to clean acrylic plastic

The first thing you need to know is what to clean acrylic with. You’ll want to avoid using paper towels or any other material that could scratch the surface of the sign. The best material to use is microfiber, which will attract the dirt and grime without leaving a mark on your sign.

What about other cleaners? You don’t want to use Windex on acrylic; a good amount of soapy water is sufficient. In fact, ammonia-based cleaning products like Windex can actually damage your acrylic sign and leave it looking cloudy and dull. Other cleaning agents to avoid include any gasoline- or acetone-based agents, kitchen scouring agents and aromatics (which can leave a permanent scent in the acrylic).

Begin cleaning your sign by removing any large pieces of dirt and debris; this is best achieved by blowing lightly on the sign or using a hair dryer on a low setting. You don’t want these particulates to smudge the surface as you clean the rest of the sign. If you have an extra large sign, you could use a leaf blower on a low setting.

Next, clean the sign by lightly blotting the surface. Applying too much pressure and/or wiping the surface can result in scratches. Once the surface is clean, rinse the surface well with clean water. Then, use the dry side of the microfiber cloth to lightly buff the surface dry, using a circular motion.

Use a kerosene-based cleaning agent to remove extreme black marks that won’t come off with a regular cleaning. However, make sure to use only a small amount of the cleaning agent and to rinse the area well and quickly.

The best way to polish acrylic

Acrylic signs tend to turn hazy as they age, no matter how well you care for them. Fortunately, learning how to polish acrylic is easy.

You can erase these signs of aging by lightly sanding the surface of the sign using progressively finer grades of sandpaper, and then buffing the surface well with a good acrylic polish.

How to restore scratched plastic

If, despite your best efforts, you do end up with some scratches on your acrylic sign, don’t despair. You can nearly eliminate these blemishes, thereby restoring your sign to almost new condition. For acrylic scratch repair, a good paste car wax (polishing wax, not acrylic cleaner) can help to buff out any scratches or imperfections.

Dab a small amount of the compound on a microfiber cloth, and rub it in using a circular motion. Depending on the size of the scratch, you may need to repeat the process.

To prevent minor cracks in the acrylic from expanding, drill a tiny hole (around 1/8″) at each end of the crack and fill these holes with a silicone sealant.

Working with Houston Sign

To order a new acrylic office wall signs for your Houston area business, contact us online or give us a call at (713) 662-3123. We’ve been helping area businesses with their Houston sign needs since 1946.