How to Clean Plexiglass in 5 Easy Steps

Plexiglass is a versatile transparent plastic material that has many uses, from picture frames to aquarium walls. However, like any material, plexiglass can get dirty over time and need cleaning. Cleaning plexiglass properly is important to avoid scratching or clouding the surface. Follow these 5 easy steps to clean plexiglass and make it look crystal clear again.

Step 1: Remove Loose Debris

The first step when cleaning plexiglass is to remove any loose debris or dirt. This prevents the debris from scratching the surface when you clean.

To remove loose debris:

  • Use a soft brush, microfiber cloth or compressed air to gently brush away any dust, sand or other particles.
  • Be extremely gentle when brushing to avoid scratching the plexiglass.
  • Focus on blowing air into crevices and corners to dislodge trapped particles.

Removing loose debris prepares the plexiglass for more thorough cleaning in the following steps.

Step 2: Wash With a Mild Soap Solution

After debris is removed, the next step is washing the plexiglass with a mild soap solution. This will lift away any oily residues, sticky dirt or hard water deposits.

To wash with soap:

  • Mix a few drops of mild dish soap or hand soap into a spray bottle filled with warm water. Avoid using harsh detergents.
  • Mist the soapy solution onto the plexiglass and use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wash.
  • Rub the surface using small circular motions.
  • Take care not to press too hard or rub aggressively. This can lead to scratches.
  • Rinse away all soap residues under a gentle stream of warm water.

The soap solution helps dissolve stubborn dirt while the gentle circular scrubbing lifts it away without damaging the plexiglass.

Step 3: Disinfect With a Vinegar Solution

For extra cleaning power, the plexiglass can be disinfected using a vinegar solution after washing. The mild acidic properties of vinegar help kill germs, bacteria and hard water deposits.

To disinfect with vinegar:

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • After rinsing away soap, spray the vinegar solution onto the plexiglass.
  • Use a fresh microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface.
  • Let the vinegar solution sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping again.
  • Finally, rinse thoroughly with warm water and wipe dry with a lint-free cloth.

The vinegar disinfects the surface while helping to restore the original transparent shine.

Step 4: Polish Away Minor Scratches

Over time, small scratches can develop on plexiglass surfaces with regular use and cleaning. These can be polished away using glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth.

To polish out light scratches:

  • Spray a alcohol-free glass cleaner onto the scratched area. Avoid glass cleaners with added fragrances or colors.
  • Gently rub the scratch using a circular motion with a microfiber cloth. Apply medium pressure.
  • Check to see if the scratch has lessened after 30 seconds of polishing.
  • Repeat the process if needed until the scratch disappears.

Take care not to polish too aggressively on deep scratches. This can worsen the scratch. For deep scratches, a plastic polish product may be required.

Step 5: Apply a Protective Coating

As a final step after cleaning plexiglass, apply a thin protective coating to protect the surface. This helps repel dust, fingerprints and future scratches.

To apply a protective coating:

  • Choose a coating made specifically for plexiglass such as an acrylic sealant or polish. Avoid chemical-based products.
  • Read the product instructions carefully before applying.
  • Use a lint-free cloth to gently apply a thin uniform coating all over the cleaned surface.
  • Allow the coating to cure completely, which can take 12-24 hours.

The protective coating adds a transparent barrier that keeps the plexiglass looking pristine for longer after cleaning.

Following these 5 easy steps of cleaning, disinfecting, polishing and sealing will keep plexiglass looking its best. Be sure to avoid using abrasive cleaners or cloths during the cleaning process to prevent scratching the plexiglass. With proper care and cleaning, plexiglass can maintain its crystal clear optical properties for many years.

Tips for Effective Plexiglass Cleaning

  • Use microfiber cloths instead of paper towels, which can scratch the surface.
  • Rinse all soap residues after washing to prevent streaks.
  • Let vinegar soak 2-3 minutes before wiping for maximum disinfecting power.
  • Buff out minor scratches immediately to avoid worsening.
  • Re-apply protective coating every 1-2 months for best effectiveness.

What Cleaners to Avoid on Plexiglass

  • Abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads
  • Ammonia-based products
  • Alkaline cleaners like bleach
  • Solvents like acetone
  • Alcohol-based glass cleaners
  • Furniture polish or cleaners

Using the wrong cleaners can scratch, pit or cloud plexiglass. Always test cleaners in a small area first. Stick to mild dish soaps, vinegar and plastic-safe products.

Signs Your Plexiglass Needs Cleaning

Some signs that your plexiglass surface needs a good cleaning include:

  • Visible dust, debris or water spots
  • Foggy or hazy-looking areas
  • Noticeable scratches on the surface
  • Smudges and fingerprints that don’t wipe away
  • Soap scum or hard water buildup
  • Condensation accumulating between panes

Catching plexiglass cleaning early prevents lasting damage. Schedule regular cleanings every few weeks for high traffic areas.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cleaning Plexiglass

Cleaning plexiglass properly often raises questions for first-time users. Here are some of the most common FAQs:

Can I use Windex or Glass Cleaner on Plexiglass?

No, avoid using Windex, Glass Plus and similar glass cleaners formulated with ammonia or alcohol. These chemicals can damage and cloud plexiglass over time. Use a mild soap and water solution instead.

How do I Remove Scratches from Plexiglass?

For light surface scratches, use a glass cleaner and microfiber cloth to gently buff in a circular motion. Deep gouges require a plastic polish compound or professional resurfacing. Avoid abrasive scrubbing which worsens scratches.

What is the Best Way to Dry Plexiglass?

Always dry plexiglass with a lint-free microfiber cloth or chamois. Avoid paper towels, which can leave fibrous scratches. Letting plexiglass air dry also leads to spotting.

Should I Clean Plexiglass Daily?

No, frequent cleaning can damage plexiglass over time. Clean every 2-4 weeks in low traffic areas, or weekly to biweekly in busy locations. Use a damp microfiber cloth for quick daily dust removal.

How do I Remove Hard Water Stains from Plexiglass?

Hard water spots can be removed with a 50/50 white vinegar and water solution. Spray on the stain, let soak 2-3 minutes, then wipe clean. Repeat as needed for tough buildup. Avoid harsh alkaline cleaners.

What’s the Best Way to Clean Plexiglass Shower Doors?

Mix a spray bottle with 2 cups warm water, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1-2 drops dish soap. Spray on shower door, let soak briefly, then wipe clean with a soft cloth. Rinse well. Repeat weekly or when buildup occurs.

Can I Polish Away Deep Scratches in Plexiglass?

No, deeper scratches in plexiglass require professional resurfacing rather than home polishing. Buffing too aggressively can worsen the scratch. For light surface scratches, polish gently with an acrylic-safe plastic polish.

How Should I Clean Frosted or Etched Plexiglass?

Frosted and etched plexiglass needs extra gentle care. Use a soft brush instead of cloths, mild soap only, and avoid vinegar or alcohol cleaners. Buff very lightly. Overcleaning can damage the frosted texture.

Cleaning plexiglass does not require harsh chemicals or a lot of effort. By following these simple guidelines, you can keep plexiglass surfaces pristine for years to come.


Plexiglass is a versatile material used for everything from aquarium walls to tabletops. While durable, plexiglass still requires proper care and cleaning to prevent scratches and clouding over time. By following these 5 easy steps, anyone can clean plexiglass surfaces safely and effectively:

  1. Remove Loose Debris
  2. Wash With a Mild Soap Solution
  3. Disinfect with a Vinegar Solution
  4. Polish Away Minor Scratches
  5. Apply a Protective Coating

Avoid using abrasive cleaners, scrub pads and alcohol-based products which can damage plexiglass. With the right techniques and products, plexiglass can be restored to its clear, pristine condition.

Regular cleaning every few weeks will help prolong the life of plexiglass and maintain its optical clarity. Remember to re-apply protective sealants after cleaning for extended scratch resistance. With proper care and maintenance, plexiglass surfaces will provide lasting beauty and transparency for years of use.