How to Clean Plexiglass in 5 Easy Steps

How to clean plexiglass

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 10 - 30 mins
  • Total Time: 10 - 30 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5-10

Plexiglass was invented in the 1930s as a shatter-proof alternative to glass, and, despite its namesake, is actually made of a specific type of plastic (polymethyl methacrylate), not glass. It has many commercial uses, and it's frequently used in picture frames and shower doors in the home.

But despite its relative durability when compared to glass, cleaning plexiglass can seem to be a finicky task thanks to its tendency to easily scratch. But don't worry—once you've got the basics of cleaning plexiglass down, it will soon be a no-sweat task.

How Often to Clean Plexiglass

Plexiglass is known for its longevity, so it doesn't need to be cleaned very often. However, like any other surface in the home, it can collect dust, dirt, and grime, so it should be cleaned whenever these things start to build up. This will depend on where it is in the home and its usage—a plexiglass surface that's tucked away and barely used may only need a yearly cleaning, while a frequently used plexiglass shower door may need a monthly cleaning.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloths
  • Hairdryer (optional)


  • Plexiglass cleaner
  • Toothpaste
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap (optional)


  1. Blow Away Dust and Dirt

    Before you dive into cleaning your plexiglass, you'll first need to rid it of any surface-level dust and dirt. But don't grab your duster just yet—plexiglass scratches extremely easily, so gently wipe away dust with a microfiber cloth or blow on the plexiglass surface to remove dirt. You can also use a hairdryer on the low heat setting if you're wary of running out of breath.

  2. Select Your Cleaner

    Next, it's time to properly clean your plexiglass. There are a number of cleaning options—you can go the ready-made route and look for cleaners that have been specifically made for plexiglass like Plexi-Clean or PlexiSafe. You can also DIY a plexiglass cleaner by mixing 1 cup of water with a 1/2 tsp of dish detergent in a spray bottle. Either way, avoid using multipurpose cleaners on plexiglass, as they are too harsh.

  3. Apply Your Cleaner

    Once your cleaner has been prepared and selected, spray it onto the plexiglass in small one-to-two foot sections, gently wiping the cleaner away as you go with a clean microfiber cloth. Work slowly, and don't wet the whole surface at once.

  4. Deal With Scratches

    After you've finished your initial round of cleaning, it's time to tackle any large scratches on the surface. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste (any brand will work, but avoid using gel-based toothpastes) onto your finger. Then, using your finger, gently rub the toothpaste onto the scratch in circular motions for 1-2 minutes.

    This will slowly and gently buff away the plexiglass scratch. Once you've finished buffing, spray your plexiglass cleaner onto the toothpaste-covered area and wipe both away with a clean, soft cloth.

  5. Give It a Gentle Rinse

    There's one more step left in cleaning plexiglass that will make it really shine—rinsing. Wet a clean cloth with warm water and gently wipe down the plexiglass surface to finish. If you're working with a large plexiglass surface, like a shower door, you can instead spray the surface with warm water on low pressure (this is key—high pressure water can damage your plexiglass) to rinse. Once the surface has been rinsed clean, get ready to enjoy your sparkly-clean plexiglass surface!

Tips to Keep Plexiglass Clean Longer

Plexiglass is a durable and affordable surface, but it can scratch and retain unwanted scents easily. With that in mind, follow these three tips to keep your plexiglass clean longer.

  • Don't use scented cleaners on plexiglass. Plexiglass absorbs odor much more than other surfaces do, so using a cloyingly sweet cleaner means your plexiglass will smell like it for months to come.
  • Never wipe your plexiglass with a dry cloth (or even a dry hand), as plexiglass scratches easily. Instead, only wipe it down when either your cloth or the surface of the plexiglass is damp.
  • Only use cleaners specifcally formulated for plexiglass, whether they're DIY or storebought. A multipurpose cleaner can be far too harsh for plexiglass and cause it to scratch or cloud.