How to Clean an Acrylic Windshield

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Motorcycles, as well as watercraft and aircraft, have acrylic windshields. Acrylic is a clear, hard plastic. While they are just as effective as glass windshields, acrylic windshields are more prone to scratches. To prevent this from happening you need to follow a specific regimen when cleaning an acrylic windshield so that it improves the appearance of the windshield instead of permanently marring it. The most important precaution, is to use appropriate cleaning solutions.

Things You'll Need

  • One-gallon bucket
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Plastic polish
  • Fill your bucket with warm water (about 75 degrees will work) and pour it over the entire windshield. Fill the bucket a second time and saturate your microfiber cloths. Without wringing them out, lay your fully unfolded microfiber cloths on the outside of the windshield until all of the acrylic is covered.

  • Let the cloths sit on the windshield for 20 minutes. They will trap the water on the windshield instead of letting it roll off. This is the equivalent of "soaking" the windshield to get that stuck on debris loose enough for you to wipe away in the next step.

  • Pull the cloths off of the windshield. Take a new, dry cloth and wipe the outside of windshield in an up and down motion once to remove the major debris. Don't wipe a second time as you don't want to completely dry it.

  • Take another microfiber cloth and apply a teaspoon of plastic polish to it. Wipe both the inside and the outside of the windshield, in an up and down motion as before, to buff the acrylic to a shine and remove any remaining dirt. If the inside of the windshield is very dirty, wipe it down with just water before using the polish.

  • Let the windshield air dry. Wiping it dry could make it streaky and encourage scratches.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your local motorcycle or marina supply should have an assortment of plastic polishes for you to choose from. One of the most popular is Plexus plastic polish. If you don't want to buy all those microfiber cloths, cut up a cotton t-shirt to make your own lint-free rags.
  • Don't clean your windshield just for the sake of cleaning it. Only tackle it when it needs it. This can help it last longer. Don't use a squeegee on your windshield and never use glass cleaners on acrylic. Never wipe your windshield horizontally or in circles. Since scratches can happen even if you are super careful, keep to vertical so they are less likely to be noticed.

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