How to Handle and Clean Plastics

2nd August 2018

Whist plastic may look like glass in appearance, it’s physical properties are very different. An un-coated sheet of plastic is incredibly easy to damage and scratch, with even the nail on your finger able to cause damage if not handled correctly.

How to Hold and Move Plastics

The first thing you must remember when handling plastics, always leave on the protective laminate for as long as possible (assuming there is one). Whilst this won’t protect from marks and scratches, it will give a level of protection and stop finger prints appearing everywhere.

The next thing to think about is where to hold the material. Just like if you were holding a picture, always try to hold material around the edges when moving or viewing. Of course, this will depend on the size and weight of the plastic. The main issue you will face with larger sheets is unlikely to be weight but often the flex which can make them very difficult to hold. A suction cup lifter is often the best way to move and transport larger and heavier items. If the flex is still too much, a properly protected A frame will likely be needed.

A few top level tips on handling plastics:

  • Always wear gloves
  • Leave the protective film applied if possible
  • Always grip round the edges
  • Use suction cup holders on larger, heavier sheets

How to Clean Plastics

There are times when it’s unavoidable but to clean plastic. That could be from finger marks, dust or any number of other issues. The problem with an un-coated piece of clear plastic is that it will show all manner of marks.

Just remember, you could make the issue worse with cleaning as you can very easily scuff and mark the original material which will cause hazing (a white cloudy effect). However if you need need to clean un-coated plastic there are a few key rules:

  • Use the softest cloth possible
  • Use cold water (with a small amount of mild detergent if needed)
  • Never use a solvent or cleaning product (unless you are using our hard coated plastic)

Whilst a plastic with a protective coating applied will withstand cleaning with solvents, standard un-treated plastics will not. The cleaning product is likely to eat away at the material and cause future issues as well as immediate clouding.

Of course, there is a solution to all of your plastic cleaning and handling problems – apply a protective coat to sheets and products like our Peeraguard Clear.