Many offices, commercial establishments, schools, and forms of transportation are making the investment in acrylic shield panels. Cleaning and sanitizing your acrylic shields will become important for your staff, your customers, and other stakeholders. If you run a restaurant, retail, or customer-oriented operation, the cleanliness and appearance of your acrylic shields become part of the overall experience.
Caring for your acrylic shield product is not difficult. We’d like to offer you some tips on how to protect your ready made or customized acrylic shields from dirt, scratches, and clouding.
Basic Cleaning is best
The best way to extend the life of your acrylic shield panels is to apply the least amount of chemicals onto the surface as possible.
If the concern is just light dust and debris, dry cleaning is enough to remove these particles. Wet cleaning to remove stains is best done with gentle dish washing liquid or hand soap.
Let’s elaborate on that a little further.
- Dry method cleaning. The simplest way to keep your acrylic panels clean is to remove light dirt and debris with a feather duster or by blasting air onto the acrylic surface.
- Use microfiber towels (or chamois. If you notice spots or stains and need to wet the acrylic surface to clean it, the best materials are microfiber – or chamois (which is as nice as microfiber, but more expensive). Acrylic is not like glass and is quite sensitive to scratches. Paper towels and napkin cloths are too abrasive. Old-fashioned damp newspaper should also be avoided.
- Simple water is best, followed by diluted gentle dishwashing liquid or handsoap. Spray your water or dishwasher solution onto the acrylic surface, then blot or wipe the area dry with your clean (and not dusty) microfiber.
- Be gentle with the acrylic surface. If you’re doing a full cleaning of the acrylic panel or shield, spray water or cleaning solution onto the acrylic, then gently wipe surfaces in straight lines, up to down or down to up, left to right or right to left. Do not rub hard or use brisk circular motions, which might eventually show up as circular scratches.
Cleaning agents you should avoid
To prevent, clouding, cracking, streaking and other forms of damage to your acrylic shield, please avoid using any cleaning agents that contain the following:
- Full-strength Ethyl Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol
- Full-strength bleach
- Lacquer thinner or turpentine
- Powder cleaning agents that have to be wet before cleaning
In the case of alcohol, most formulations that are on the market today have an alcohol strength of 60-70%. If these are sprayed on directly onto acrylic surfaces, they will eventually cause hairline streaks, tiny cracks. Repeated spraying on of alcohol could eventually crack and even shatter your shield into many pieces.
Other cleaning agents such as acetone or turpentine will create a permanent clouding effect that cannot be removed. Heavy chlorine-based agents can cause similar damage and give the acrylic panel surface a yellowish, discolored appearance.
Safely Disinfecting your Ready-Made or Customized Acrylic Shield
That is not to say that using alcohol, bleach, or even hydrogen peroxide aren’t allowed. In diluted amounts, they are.
For DIY solutions, the following are recommended:
- Isopropyl alcohol solutions, diluted to 30% strength (ethyl alcohol is discouraged)
- Hydrogen peroxide, with a maximum strength of 3%
- Four tablespoons (or ¼ cup) of household bleach per liter of water.
To know more about caring for acrylic shield products, give us a call. We’ll discuss any customized acrylic shield solution in the Philippines that you require.