How to remove light scratches from clear plastic?
Acrylic – also known as Plexiglass, Perspex, and Lucite – is an exceptionally popular type of plastic since it has many useful advantages. For example, clear acrylic sheets have exceptional optical clarity, while colored acrylic sheets are available in a spectrum of colors.
Unfortunately, when compared to stronger plastics like polycarbonate, it scratches fairly easily. This creates not only a visually unappealing appearance, but it damages the acrylic’s durability. Thankfully, it’s often much easier to repair acrylic than it is to create the scratches in the first place.
Removing surface scratches from acrylic only requires a few simple tools and a bit of determination. In this guide, we will walk through how to evaluate scratches, and provide two methods for repairing light and moderate scratches in acrylic.
Evaluate the Scratched Acrylic
Before you begin repairing scratches in acrylic, it’s important to make sure that the acrylic is actually scratched. Then, we will determine the depth of the scratch – this will help us identify the best removal technique.
Deep cracks cannot easily be fixed. If cracked acrylic must be fixed, there are a few ways to glue acrylic together. However, this won’t necessarily join the acrylic cleanly, and some glue residue may be visible. If this isn’t suitable for your acrylic’s use case, there’s not very much to be done – we would recommend purchasing a new acrylic sheet, or purchasing a stronger plastic like polycarbonate.
Next, make sure you’re not actually looking at “crazing.” Did these scratches mysteriously appear shortly after cleaning the acrylic with chemical-based cleaners? If so, this is likely an unfortunate consequence of chemical damage – not scratching. Crazing requires a lot of aggressive sanding and polishing to fix, and often never looks good as new. It’s generally advised that you purchase a new sheet if the crazing is significant.