How to Clean Cloudy Acrylic

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Acrylic is a plastic used in place of glass when weight and breakage could be an issue, as in safety rails, mirrors and large picture frames.

Acrylic is a useful safety product that can be used in place of large pieces of glass or where the glass would be easily broken. Although more resistant to breakage, acrylic is easier to scratch than glass so it needs to be cared for quite differently. Harsh or abrasive chemicals should be avoided when cleaning acrylic. Use clean lukewarm water, mild detergent and a soft microfiber cloth to clean acrylic or fine surface scratches could appear, causing the acrylic to become cloudy. Prevention is key to this problem because once your acrylic becomes cloudy a simple cleaning will not fix it; you will need to re-buff the acrylic to restore the smooth and clear surface.


Step 1

Clean the piece of acrylic with a microfiber cloth and clean warm water. Wipe the acrylic in a gentle circular motion, continually adjusting and rinsing the cloth to avoid wiping dirt onto the acrylic. Not keeping the cloth rinsed could result in more scratches on the surface.

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Step 2

Assess your piece of acrylic to determine whether it needs more cleaning. If there is still dirt on the surface, use your mild non-abrasive cleaner and your microfiber cloth to clean the acrylic as in Step 1. Rewash the acrylic with only clean warm water to remove any residual cleaner.


Step 3

Blot dry your acrylic using the second microfiber cloth. Allow the acrylic to dry completely before continuing.

Step 4

Prepare your buffing wheel by attaching it to your drill.

Step 5

Turn on the drill and touch the tallow stick to the rotating buffing wheel to transfer a small amount of tallow. Quickly add some of the car-polish to the buffing wheel.


Step 6

Buff your piece of acrylic, starting in the center. Keep constant light pressure and continuously move the buffing wheel back and forth to avoid heat buildup, which could melt the acrylic.

Step 7

Continue in the manner described in Step 6, adding more car polish when necessary, until the cloudy surface of your acrylic has been buffed clear.

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