Clear acrylic has many advantages over glass as a covering for framed pictures or as a window. It is more optically pure than most types of glass, which often have a noticeable greenish tint. It can be manufactured with additives to make it UV-resistant and to reduce glare, and perhaps most importantly, it does not shatter like glass. Acrylic does have a disadvantage, however. It is a good electrical insulator with a high surface resistivity and develops a static charge on the surface that attracts lint and other small particles. You can reduce static build-up with simple techniques.
Things You'll Need
- Damp rag
- Antistatic cleaner
- Chamois cloth
Cut acrylic sheeting to the size you need before you remove the paper coating. Cutting agitates the plastic, causing static build-up, and produces fine particles of plastic called "swarf." If you remove the paper before you cut, swarf will collect on the surface.
Rub the paper down with a damp rag before you pull it off. Pulling off the paper, like cutting, agitates the plastic and creates static build-up, but this won't happen if the paper is wet.
Clean both surfaces with an antistatic cleaner before you install the acrylic in a picture or window frame. Use a real or microfiber chamois cloth to apply the cleaner. It will leave an antistatic coating on the surface that in some cases may actually repel dust. Some products clean and polish at the same time.
Clean exposed surfaces every month with an antistatic cleaner to prevent static build-up.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't clean acrylic with paper towels. This will increase static build-up and may scratch the surface.
- If you don't have an antistatic cleaner, clean acrylic with a damp cloth rather than a dry one. A dry cloth creates static build-up in the same way that rubbing your shoes on a carpet charges your body.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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