It’s important for your business to show your customers that you take COVID-19 safety measures seriously and implement the necessary precautions such as social distancing, putting sneeze guards, brochure holders to post safety, reminders, and other protective barriers in your store or office. So, when you do install barriers, part of its maintenance is to clean and disinfect as often as needed.
Acrylic or plexiglass has become one of the most favored materials for sneeze guards and displays. The clear plastic is easy-to-use, transparent, shatterproof, and highly versatile. But even super low-maintenance materials such as acrylics do have to be cleaned, although the upkeep is significantly less compared to other surfaces.
It’s important to give your acrylics some TLC to keep the plastic from looking dull and dirty, which is a no-no for sneeze guards and displays.
Cleaning your sneeze guards regularly helps keep them clear and durable, which allows the material to remain shiny and transparent. You need no special tools to keep your guards clean so the workload should be very light.
What to Use in Cleaning Your Sneeze Guards
After you’ve cleared the surrounding area of any objects that may obstruct your working space, it’s time to clean your acrylic or plexiglass sneeze guards and remove dust, dirt, and fingerprints from them.
Set aside those paper towels and use a microfiber cloth instead, which is gentler on surfaces. Paper towels are rougher and can create micro-scratches on your guards.
Spray the cloth with soapy water or a recommended cleaning solution and then lightly blot the acrylic. Spread the solution gently on the entire surface of your sneeze guard. Using the dry side of the cloth, buff the area and remove remaining liquids or suds. Don’t rub the surface too much to avoid getting scratches on it.
Buffing or polishing acrylic surfaces not only cleans your guards on the spot but also reduces the risk of future stains. If there are any remaining streams, just wet the cloth again, wipe, and then dry.
Using the wrong cleaning items or products can damage your sneeze guards. Aside from paper towels, avoid ammonia-based products as well, such as home glass cleaners.
These contain harmful chemicals that can actually damage your acrylic surfaces and leave them looking cloudy. Soapy water is the safest and most affordable cleaner you can use, especially for materials such as acrylic.
Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting
There are key differences between cleaning and disinfecting acrylic or plexiglass sneeze guards, and other COVID-19 precautionary signages like a brochure holder and protective barriers.
Cleaning is when you remove germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs completely, but it helps in lowering their numbers and the risk of contamination and spreading infection.
Disinfecting involves using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces, but it lowers infection or contamination by killing the germs.
How to Sanitize Your Screen Guards Properly
Sneeze guards and other fixtures in your shop or office have to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent germs and bacteria to fester and keep your business as safe as possible from COVID-19. Here’s how to clean your acrylic or plexiglass sneeze guards properly:
- Wipe your screen guards as often as possible, or at least between shifts. Cleaning multiple times throughout the day using wipes is ideal with at least 70% of the following: isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol, bleach, hydrogen peroxide solution, or other acrylic-approved disinfectants.
- Use a microfiber cloth. Studies show that this fabric eliminates 99% of harmful bacteria, microbes, and spores.
Microfiber cloth is gentle on surfaces, which means no scratches that can serve as hiding places for harmful bacteria. Visibly dirty surfaces can be cleaned gently with a mixture of warm water and dishwashing soap before you apply your disinfectant.
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning the surfaces. Not only will this protect your skin from harsh chemicals, but also prevent being contaminated by viruses or bacteria. Make sure to discard your gloves properly after use.
- Wipe and dry sneeze guards after each cleaning. You want to avoid cleaning materials remaining on your surfaces too long because this can cause the clear acrylic to become stiff, which makes it prone to cracking or becoming hazy.
Wipe and dry thoroughly each time you clean to maintain the quality of your surfaces.
- Don’t use windows and other ammonia-based disinfectants. The chemicals will damage your acrylics in the long run.
Advanced Cleaning of Your Screen Guards
Just like other materials, your acrylic or plexiglass guards and brochure holders will get some wear and tear. For this, your usual cleaning methods may not be enough to make your barriers look good as new.
You may need to do advanced cleaning methods such as scraping, sanding, buffing, or flame polishing to restore the shine and transparency of the plastic. Whether you choose to do the cleaning yourself or let a professional handle it, you need to know at least how these methods work.
- Scraping - this involves using a razor blade or another type of sharp scraping tool to scrape off scratched and excess acrylic. This method is great for smoothing uneven or jagged edges.
- Sanding - this method is effective for producing a matte finish for your acrylic surface. Sander tools that you can use include hand, belt, disc, or drum. The right tool to use will depend on the size and surface area of your acrylic.
- Buffing - after sanding your acrylic, you can restore its nice and clear finish by using stationary polishing wheels on it. The finished quality will depend on the kind of polish compound that was used. A glossy finish can be achieved using a medium-cutting compound. The longer the buffing process, the better the finish would be.
- Flame polishing - this provides a smooth glossy edge to the edges of your acrylic after sanding or buffing. This requires using a hydrogen-oxygen torch to heat the edges. This produces a clean and shiny finish that will make your surfaces stand out.
Find the Right Sneeze Guards for Your Business
Ensure that you get the right screen guards, displays, brochure holders, and other barriers for your shop or office. We have ready-made and custom displays to suit whatever setup you have in your business environment.
Keep your customers protected without disrupting your operations. Let us help you choose the right barriers for your business, contact us at Displays and Holders today.