Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

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How do I clean the plastic glass or plexiglass of my Ready-Made picture frames?

Many of our Ready-Made frames are glazed not with clear glass but with what's known as 'plastic glass' or acrylic (clear plastic) sheeting. This is common in the picture framing industry when shipping to customers larger frames so as to minimize transit damage or breakages. The notes below should help customers wishing to know more on how to store, treat and clean this .. practical, lightweight glazing material. HEAT: Acrylic sheets tend to deform if heated up to 100C. and should be stored in ambient temperature not greater than 80C. SCRATCHING: Acrylic sheets have a relatively high surface hardness, however care should be taken to avoid surface scratches during handling. The sheets are factory-protected with masking film or paper and should not be removed until necessary. CLEANING: Acrylic sheets can be cleaned with a solution of mild soap or household... detergent and lukewarm water. Use a clean, soft rag or cloth applying only light pressure. Rinse with clean water and dry by blotting (not by vigorously rubbing) with a damp cloth or chamois. Oil, grease or tar may be removed with a good grade of hexane, aliphatic naphtha or kerosene. These solvent can be bought at a paint or hardware store and should be used according to the manufacturers' instructions. DO NOT USE: Abrasives, scouring pads, grit cloths, window cleaning sprays, ammonia-based cleaners, kitchen scouring compounds or solvents such as acetone, gasoline, petrol, benzene, alcohol carbon tetrachloride or lacquer thinners. These can scratch or mark the sheets, weaken the sheet by causing small surface cracks called "grazing" or haze, mark, melt or deface the surface of the acrylic. REPAIRS: It's actually worthwhile trying to smooth or polish out minor scratches , scuffs and abrasions. Some have succeeded in doing so by applying a small, light coat of car polish ( but not the kind used for cleaning ) or wax with a soft woolskin or wool cloth. This should be followed up by gently buffing the intended area until the offending mark or scratched disappears or at least, has become less visible. Some users have also successfully used the milder Novus plastic car polishes to this end. If instead of scratches the problem is haziness ( caused by time, age, sun exposure, etc. ) this can be lessened by buffing with good quality plastic polishes. Small fractures or cracks may be stopped from lengthening by drilling small holes at either end of the flaw and filling it with neutral cure sealant. PROTECTION: If working or handling new acrylic, leave the protective film or mask until you've finished working. And if you want your acrylic to shine and protect from ( maybe unlikely ) fogging and static electricity you might try Novus no: 1. Try not to bump, hit or drop your new acrylic item since dropping is the principal cause of damages and breakages. Importantly, do not use any sharp tool like razor blades, carton cutters or needles to pick, clean or remove dirt or spatter from the acrylic.

Comments

Locally supplied plexiglass for picture framing is prohibitively expensive. We stopped offering it as an alternative to picture frames clear glass last year. Our local plastic fabricator got a new saw and advised us that there would be a new, $45 cutting charge just to cut one plastic panel. On top of that he put up all prices by 15%. That meant that even for an average size 16"x20" photo frame there would be an extra $102 retail add-on for the plexiglass sheet. None of our customers would want to pay for that.
Roberta Y. - 20 Feb 2016 02:11 pm
One comment I have is that it's difficult to remove the plexiglass or acrylic from the picture frame, clean it and then put it back without scratching or scuffing the surfaces. I have to do this cleaning every now and then to some display frames I have in my store and it's always an issue.
Peter F. - 19 Mar 2014 08:15 pm

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