Coronavirus is ubiquitous in 2020. Plexiglass is too as a result. It's an integral health and safety measure adopted by corporations, schools and government. A CBS News report from June estimated that plexiglass sales were up 30-fold as businesses install cough guards, sneeze guards and cubicle extenders in record numbers. Individual face shields are also in high demand, further placing heavy burdens on plexiglass manufacturers and retailers.
Plexiglass, or Polymethyl methacrylate, is a shatter-resistant thermoplastic that is a common alternative to much-heavier glass. German chemist Otto Röhm is typically given credit for inventing plexiglass in 1901. But it took until 1933 for Röhm and colleague Walter Bauer to make plexiglass commercially-available. "Plexiglas" was trademarked by Röhm and Haas AG (now Evonik Industries) and its U.S.-based division, Rohm and Haas Company, that year. Today plexiglass is commonly used for building aquariums, automobile lights, police riot-control shields, and as spectator protection at hockey games.
It's virtually impossible to enter a business in the Bay Area 2020 and not see plexiglass. Whether its used for cubicle shields, sneeze guards for cashiers, or for social distancing at poker tables, plexiglass is everywhere. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing small businesses to add plexiglass shields to their spaces to ensure proper social distancing and, in some cases, comply with government mandates. But plexiglass is only as effective as it is sanitary.
These three tips will help you keep plexiglass clean, safe and able to serve its purpose.
Plexiglass needs a cleaning schedule based on the application. Children's desks and play areas need multiple cleanings per day since there's likely a lot of touching and even putting mouths on it. Cubicles and customer-facing plexiglass should be cleaned once every night. It should also be cleaned at least once during the day in busy places where multiple people come in contact with the plexiglass.
Use a microfiber cloth and soapy water. Blot the surface of the plexiglass with the soap and water solution. Wipe the area clean without scrubbing to aggressively. This prevents any potential scratches to the plexiglass. The soap not only kills germs, but also leave the surface greaseless and streak-free.
High-traffic plexiglass can and likely will endure scratches over time. Granted you cannot do much about deep scratches that are done deliberately. But you can at least minimize the appearance of small nicks and marks.
Rub car wax in the area of the scratches using the buffing tool that comes with it. Keep rubbing the scratches until they disappear. After several minutes, the scratches will disappear or at least be less visible.
Plexiglass is not glass. The traditional blue window cleaners and other ammonia-based products will damage plexiglass by making it cloudy and less transparent. Acetone and any polish with a gritty texture should also be avoided. Regular soap (like Dawn or some other dish soap) and water is best. If you must use a cleaning product, Brillianize and Novus are the two choices.
Eco Office has installed thousands of plexiglass units in schools, businesses, and government building all across the Bay Area. This essential service provides customers, students and/or employees peace of mind and ensures you're in compliance with all social distancing requirements. Turnaround times range from 5-7 days depending on the size and scope of the job. Give us a call today at 408-437-1700 to discuss your plexiglass and other office design needs.