How to Clean Neon Lights

Cleaning neon lights maintains their aesthetic appeal.
Cleaning neon lights maintains their aesthetic appeal. (Image: Blue Neon Clock image by Edward Stephens from Fotolia.com)

Neon lights are popular for their bright colors, customized shapes and glowing visibility. They are commonly used in establishment windows to promote services and attract customers. As with all lights, neon tubes accumulate dust, dirt and grime from airborne particles and other debris. Dirty neon signs and lights on display appear dingy. Periodically cleaning them enhances their colors and allows them to last longer. Since neon lights are fragile, they require certain cleaning techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft bristle nylon brush
  • 1/2-cup household ammonia
  • 1/2-cup water
  • Plastic container
  • Microfiber cloth

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Unplug the neon light or sign. Allow the tubes to completely cool.

Brush the neon tubes with a soft bristle nylon brush to remove surface dust. Apply only light pressure to the brush to prevent breaking or damaging the light.

Inspect the neon tubes for stubborn residue, such as nicotine stains. If residue or stains remain on the light, mix 1/2 cup of household ammonia with 1/2 cup of water in a plastic container.

Dip a microfiber cloth in the ammonia solution. Wring out the cloth to remove excess liquid.

Wipe the neon tubes gently with the damp cloth to remove sticky stains and stubborn residue. Allow the tubes to air-dry completely.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can substitute a soft sock for the soft bristle nylon brush.
  • Never clean a neon sign without first unplugging; the high voltage can cause serious injuries.
  • Do not soak the sign with the solution; the block-out paint on the neon tubes can crack and peel off.

References

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