by Lee Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2011)
One of the most versatile items used around the home is plexiglass. Whether we know it or not, this stuff is used in everything from the home entertainment centers that are in our living rooms, to our laundry rooms and kitchens or the windows throughout our homes. This material is used because of the inexpensive cost, durability and versatility that is inherent in such materials. Unfortunately when the material gets damaged or scratched, then it becomes cloudy and difficult to see out of.
When this happens, many people think that when this happens all that a person can do is throw out the damaged glass and replace it with a new piece. What many people may not have realized is that it is entirely possible to clean and repair the damaged plexiglass, therefore saving some money for better use elsewhere.
To begin your reclamation project, you are going to need to gather a few items and supplies. You should gather together a rotary polisher (which can be rented from any hardware store), foam pads for buffing a fine clear coat as well as some type of a protectant/cleaner. Some examples of such a cleaner/protectant would be 303 Aerospace Protectant or Plexi-Clear. Once you have gathered all of your materials and equipment you now need to choose where you are going to conduct the cleaning process. If possible, then you want to work in an area that is well ventilated, while also making sure that there is an adequate power source for your buffer.
Begin the actual process of reclamation by applying some of the cleaner/protectant to the damaged area. Use only enough of the cleaning material as you are going to need, you are going to want to immediately begin the polishing process. Do not let the cleaner dry first, as this creates a hazing effect, and makes it more difficult to se through.
As you are polishing the material, you are initially going to want to use a lower setting on the initial pass. Using the lower settings is going to allow the protectant to be evenly and properly distributed where it needs to go. After you have done this, you are ready to begin buffing it out. You can buff the area by simply changing the pad and switching to a higher RPM setting. If the pads that you are using are double sided or reversible, then simply use that other side. In the case that they are not, then just use a new pad. When you are finished, you should be able to see through the plexiglass with little or no discoloration or evidence that there was any problem to begin with.
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