Clean, Disinfect & Maintain
ACRYLITE® acrylic can be used for many applications. With this versatility, there is a chance for the sheet to become susceptible to dirt, dust, and germ buildup. Although our material offers a non-porous surface, sometimes it needs to be cleaned in order to restore it back to its original quality and clarity. It's important to know how to properly clean your acrylic sheet beforehand. This will help prevent unwanted damage to the material. Below are some instructions and tips on how to properly clean, disinfect and maintain your ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet.
How to Clean ACRYLITE® Acrylic Sheet
Wipe or Wash Acrylic
Depending on the state of your acrylic sheet, you can wipe down or wash the material. To wipe down, apply enough water to lightly moisten a soft dust cloth and wipe evenly across the sheet. For heavier buildup removal, you can wash the material by using a small amount of intensive plastic cleaner, mild soap or detergent with lukewarm water and apply light pressure. Then, rinse with clean water and dry by blotting with a damp cloth or chamois.
Spray Anti-static Cleaner on Acrylic
After your acrylic sheet is dry, spray with an antistatic cleaner such as ACRIFIX® AC1010 Anti-static Cleaner. Then, you can lightly wipe the sheet with a soft cloth but avoid rubbing dry. This helps prevent future build up of dust.
You can also use 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, Isopropyl Alcohol diluted to 30% strength or Lysol Brand with Hydrogen Peroxide Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Citrus Sparkle Zest to clean your acrylic sheet.
Grease, oil, or tar may be removed with a good grade of hexane, aliphatic naphtha, or kerosene. These solvents may be obtained at a paint or hardware store and should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.
Cleaning compounds found not to be compatible with ACRYLITE® Acrylic:
- PDI Sanicloth HB Germicidal Disposable Wipe
- AF3 Sani-Cloth Germicidal Disposable Wipe
- Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner/Disinfectant Wipe
- Fantastic All-purpose Cleaner, Fresh Scent
- Microban 24 Hour Bathroom Cleaner – Citrus Scent
DO NOT USE: Window cleaning sprays, kitchen scouring compounds or solvents such as acetone, gasoline, benzene, alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, or lacquer thinner. These can scratch the sheet’s surface and/or weaken the sheet causing small surface cracks called “crazing.”
How to Disinfect Acrylic Sheet
The following solutions will not damage ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet while cleaning/disinfecting.
Diluted bleach solution:
Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
- 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
- or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water
Use a clean soft cloth (we recommend the disposable cleaning cloth – Wypall L40), applying only light pressure.
For an alternative cleaning method, use Clorox Healthcare® Bleach Germicidal Disinfectants or Optim 33 TB (EPA Registration Number 74559-3-83259).
Watch this video for more information
Tips on Maintaining Acrylic Sheet
Dust with a soft, damp cloth or chamois. Dry or gritty cloths may cause surface scratches and create a static electric charge on the surface (see section below on neutralizing static electricity).
Protect ACRYLITE® sheet and maintain its surface gloss by occasional polishing with a good plastic cleaner and polish. Apply a thin, even coat with a soft clean cloth and polish slightly with cotton flannel. Then wipe with a damp cloth to help eliminate electrostatic charges that can attract dust particles.
Neutralizing Static Electricity
A static electrical charge can develop on ACRYLITE® sheet during handling and processing. This is not unique to ACRYLITE® but is common to many materials, particularly plastics.
When the paper or film masking is stripped off the acrylic sheet, a static charge is created on the sheet surface. Static electricity attracts dust, chips, etc. floating in the air or on nearby work surfaces and holds these contaminants tightly to the surface. A compressed air gun will remove some of this surface dirt, but much of it continues to cling to the sheet. Because the sheet must be dirt-free before bending, painting or thermoforming operations, a separate step is required.
To temporarily eliminate the electrical charge on all plastic surfaces, ionizing air guns can be used. These guns provide a stream of charged particles. They effectively neutralize static charges that hold dirt to the surface. By using ionized air to clean ACRYLITE® sheet after the masking has been removed, the sheet can be directly heated, painted, or otherwise processed. Because additional cleaning is eliminated, considerable man-hours will be saved making the economic advantages obvious. The appearance of painted and/or silkscreened sheet is greatly improved by the elimination of static charges.
Several anti-static cleaners including ACRIFIX® AC1010 are also available which will reduce static electricity and dust attraction. Wiping with a soft damp cloth or chamois is all that is necessary to keep ACRYLITE® dust-free between applications of these cleaners.
Fine scratches can be removed by hand polishing. Apply a plastic scratch remover to a soft flannel pad and rub. When the scratches have disappeared, remove all residue and polish.
For deeper scratches, first sand lightly with a 400-grit “wet or dry” sandpaper, using plenty of water and rinsing the sandpaper frequently. Follow by buffing with a clean muslin wheel and a good polishing compound. For the highest gloss, use a clean-up wheel made of soft cotton or flannel sections and on which no compound is used. An electric drill with a buffing wheel is ideal.
ACRYLITE® sheet is a combustible thermoplastic. Precautions should be taken to protect this material from flames and high heat sources. ACRYLITE® sheet usually burns rapidly to completion if not extinguished. The products of combustion, if sufficient air is present, are carbon dioxide and water. However, in many fires sufficient air will not be available and toxic carbon monoxide will be formed, as it will when other common combustible materials are burned. We urge good judgement in the use of this versatile material and recommend that building codes be followed carefully to assure it is used properly.
Like other plastic materials, ACRYLITE® sheet is subject to crazing, cracking or discoloration if brought into contact with incompatible materials. These materials may include cleaners, polishes, adhesives, sealants, gasketing or packaging materials, cutting emulsions, etc. See the Tech Briefs in this series for more information, or contact your ACRYLITE® sheet Distributor for information on a specific product.
This information and all further technical advice is based on our present knowledge and experience. However, it implies no liability or other legal responsibility on our part, including with regard to existing third party intellectual property rights, especially patent rights. In particular, no warranty, whether expressed or implied, or guarantee of product properties in the legal sense is intended or implied. We reserve the right to make any changes according to technical progress or further developments. The customer is not released from the obligation to conduct careful inspection and testing of incoming goods. Performance of the product described herein should be verified by testing, which should be carried out only by qualified experts in the sole responsibility of a customer. Reference to trade names used by other companies is neither a recommendation, nor does it imply that similar products should be used.