With proper due care and attention, your AcryliCo windshields and windows should afford you many years of trouble-free service, can keep your boat transparencies looking and performing like new.
Through a basic understanding of acrylic and its properties, and by using the proper care products and techniques your AcryliCo products should afford you trouble-free service.
First, most windshields are acrylic plastic, as opposed to “Lexan” or polycarbonate, and therefore regardless of hardening treatments and protection, acrylic is a scratchable material. Therefore proper care involves avoiding scratches which are preventable by taking due care and attention with those which are not. Thus when cleaning a window, always remove as much (abrasive) dirt as possible without touching the surface. Ideally this would involve flushing the surface with clean water and allowing the accumulated residue to soak. You may find by adding a little dish washing liquid to the water, the soaking process is improved. If a little rubbing is required, do this lightly with your bare hand. After a final flushing with clean water, carefully dry with a clean lint-free soft cloth. This should be followed by the use a good grade cleaner/polish specifically intended for acrylic windows, following the manufacturers directions.
There are many different brands for cleaners and polishes, and everybody seems to have a favorite; from the most adequate offering excellent results, to those which are very poor or even dangerous. The best ones, which are specifically designed and formulated to be safely used on acrylic plastics, tend to be the commercial ones, and will always not only offer the best results, but more importantly be free from solvents, abrasives or other chemicals which could affect the longevity of your windshield and windows. The bad ones, include those which are highly aggressive
to acrylic and formulated with chemicals for glass windows or furniture polish. Glass cleaners invariably contain ammonia, an absolute killer on acrylic. Therefore, DO NOT use anything containing ammonia on acrylic plastics since it will cause ‘crazing’ — an effect causing thousands of microscopic cracks — in short order.
Furniture polish appears to be safer, but its long term use is undocumented and reports indicate it builds up and produces smears which can be hard to polish off. Besides, furniture polish is intended for indoor use on furniture, not boat windows. Furthermore, it’s not much less expensive than many acrylic window cleaning products, so we would strongly advise focusing on products only intended for use on acrylics.
MICRO ABRASIONS TREATMENT:
Good and safe care products vary in their properties and ease of use, so if you are not satisfied with the results of one, try a different brand. We recommend you talk with other boaters about what they are using, or check boating blogs on-line. Whatever your choice, the safest route is to choose a product intended for use acrylic windows.
Other products we recommend you never use, include any aromatic solvent, such as MEK, acetone, lacquer thinner, gasoline — a minor fuel spill should do no harm — and, least of all paint stripper. For the removal of masking tape residue or other sticky or greasy stuff, the safest solvents are 100% mineral spirits or kerosene. Some alcohols are safe, such as isopropyl alcohol, but not all, so please check the labels for warnings.
Concerning polishing cloths, we recommend use the softest cotton cloth available. One hundred percent cotton flannel is ideal and available in good hardware stores. Old washed-out 100% cotton T-shirts are an excellent alternative. We at AcryliCo have never found a paper product which did not scratch or cause swirl marks; even those as advertised for cleaning plastics. Besides, one additional benefit of cotton cloth is that it can be washed, thereby effectively recycling the material. Recently micro-fiber cloths have become a popular alternative to cotton and we have found them to be safe and achieving a good result.
Your choice of cleaner/polish should also be based upon what is required. In essence, determine what type of care is needed, and then pick the best products to do the job. Before commencing treatment, it is best to understand what types of products are available, and they can be loosely grouped into these three categories:
1. Non-abrasive liquid sprays, in pumps or aerosols, with or without scratch filling properties.
2. Non-abrasive creams with scratch filling properties.
3. Mildly-abrasive creams with scratch removing properties.
DEEP VISIBLE SCRATCH TREATMENT:
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