By Jim Flieler, VP of Sales Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many new trends to our indoor lives, and plexiglass is one that may be here to stay. It is common to see plexiglass in grocery stores, doctor’s offices, at restaurants, and even in schools. That’s a good thing if you’re in the plexiglass business. In fact, some plexiglass manufacturers are reporting 30-fold spikes in sales over the past year. If you’re in the business of cleaning these pesky shields, you’ve got a new set of challenges to contend with. Let’s look at some tips for keeping streaks, scratches and smudges at bay while maintaining clean, healthy plexiglass surfaces.
Plexiglass Cleaning Product
Cleaning with a good quality glass cleaner is your best bet for caring for plexiglass. Some plexiglass is more sensitive than other types of glass, so you want to choose a neutral, gentle cleanser. Never use a cream cleanser, which can be way too harsh for plexiglass. Make sure your product does not include alcohol, which can dull plexiglass. When choosing a disinfectant, look for an Ecologo or third party certified disinfectant with a safer, less aggressive active ingredient like hydrogen peroxide or a neutral pH cleaner/disinfectant.
Plexiglass Cleaning Tools
Plexiglass is very sensitive to the tools you use, which is to say it scratches easily. We’ve all seen the scratched up plexiglass shields, and that does not look good, especially if it’s in the entrance to your otherwise sparkling facility. You can get away with using nothing more than a microfiber towel and a foam trigger sprayer to clean all of your plexiglass surfaces. I always recommend a foaming trigger head for applying product, and it works very well for removing dry debris from plexiglass. The foam will dwell longer and helps to loosen buildup. Never use a scour pad on plexiglass. People use them with good intent to get rid of dried debris, and end up ruining the surface in one try.
Plexiglass Cleaning Process
First thing’s first: Make sure you clean both sides of the plexiglass. You’d be surprised how many end users forget about this seemingly obvious step! To help your team remember about caring for plexiglass, a new surface in many buildings these days, make sure all plexiglass surfaces are included in your SOP.
I have a very simple process I recommend for plexiglass cleaning. Simply dip your microfiber towel into your solution and then wipe back and forth on the surface of the plexiglass. Then, use a microfiber cloth to dry the plexiglass, buffing to a shine. If you have multiple plexiglass surfaces to care for, a squeegee or a scrub sleeve will help increase efficiency. These work well when dipped into a solution in a rectangular bucket. We’ve prepared a demo for plexiglass care on our YouTube channel that you might include in a virtual or in-person training session.
If you are in a medical or food area, you will need to check your health and safety guidelines and disinfect your plexiglass accordingly. No matter the facility type, you may want to disinfect shared plexiglass surfaces frequently, especially when the plexiglass is close to an unmasked person’s face. Remember, COVID-19 is a droplet based virus and the point of a plexiglass shield is to essentially catch those droplets.
When disinfecting plexiglass, like all surfaces, always clean the surface before using your disinfectant. Then, spray disinfectant using a foam trigger sprayer and let it sit for its listed dwell time. Treat plexiglass as a food surface, and always rinse with potable water. Disinfectants can be fairly aggressive and we don’t want to dull our plexiglass by leaving a disinfectant on for too long. Take a clean buffing cloth and give your plexiglass surface a final wipe.
Learn more or share our demo video that highlights our plexiglass safeguarding program.