How to Clean, Disinfect and Maintain ACRYLITE® Acrylic Sheet

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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 Acrylic Sheet


Step 1. Wipe or Wash Acrylic

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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.

Step 2. Spray Anti-static Cleaner on Acrylic

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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).

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Watch this video by our Technical Team for more on how to clean and disinfect ACRYLITE® acrylic sheet




Tips on Maintaining Acrylic Sheet


Dusting

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).

Polishing

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.

Scratches

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.

Fire Precautions

ACRYLITE® is a combustible thermoplastic. Precautions used to protect combustibles from flames and high heat sources should also be observed with this material. It 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 from other common combustible materials. We urge good judgment in the use of this versatile material.



Want to learn more about working with ACRYLITE® Acrylic sheet? Check out our Fabrication Manuals!