ADA Sign Care: How to Clean Acrylic Signs
If you have ADA signs installed throughout your building (as you should), there’s a good chance they’re made from acrylic. That’s because acrylic is one of the most versatile, affordable, and durable options for ADA displays. However, signage made from this material still requires maintenance, which is why you need to know how to clean acrylic signs properly.
Whether you’ve recently purchased new ADA displays or noticed your current displays are looking a little worse for the wear, the information below can help you keep your signs in excellent condition.
But before diving into the how, let’s talk about the why—that is, why you need to make ADA sign care and maintenance a priority.
Why ADA Sign Care & Maintenance Matters
Many people assume that their work is done once they order and hang ADA signage in their building. But this isn’t the case. Just like any other feature in your building, signs need regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. And although you may think that a bit of dirt or a few minor scratches won’t have much of an impact, failing to address these issues can affect your business.
The fact is that learning how to clean acrylic signs you have installed inside your facility for ADA compliance purposes is essential.
- Signs in poor condition can be difficult to read easily.
When your displays are covered in smudges, dust, dirt, and scuff marks, reading them can become a challenge. People with visual impairments may have a tough time deciphering the information presented on a sign. And given that the purpose of ADA signs is to provide those individuals with the guidance they need to enjoy equal access to your building, you can see why this is a major problem.
- Lack of sign maintenance can give customers a negative impression of your business.
The state of your building and the features within it—including your signage—can affect the way people view your business. In fact, a FedEx Office® survey found that 68% of consumers believe signage reflects the quality of a business’s products or services. If potential customers walk into your facility and see that your signs are in bad shape, it can give them a negative impression you may not be able to change.
- By not caring for your signage, you’re not protecting your investment.
Even if you get ADA signs at a great price, you’re still making an investment—one you need to protect. After all, your organization likely has a strict budget in place, which means you can’t afford to replace your signs every year. But without the necessary upkeep, your acrylic displays wear down much faster. And as a result, you’re forced to purchase new ones more frequently.
How to Clean Acrylic Signs Properly
If you’re concerned about the time and effort required to get your ADA displays looking their best, don’t be. You’ll find that it’s not a complicated task. Although it may take a while if you have a large building with dozens of signs, the good news is you don’t have to clean your displays as often as you may think.
In learning how to clean acrylic signs properly, it all comes down to…
- Having the right materials
- Following the proper steps
- Making cleaning a regular task
- Avoiding certain practices
Let’s dive in!
What Materials You Need
To clean and care for your acrylic ADA signs correctly, you need to start with the right materials. Fortunately, most of the items on the list are cleaning supplies you should already have on hand. However, you may have to purchase a couple of specialty items for deep cleaning or scratch removal.
The materials you need are as follows:
- A soft cloth – A gentle sponge or microfiber is typically recommended.
- Mild soap or detergent – A non-citrus dish soap is generally safe.
- A container of lukewarm water – Make sure the water you use is clean.
- Acrylic-safe polish – NOVUS products are recommended by Rowmark, our go-to acrylic supplier.
- Cotton swabs – These make it easier to clean around tactile characters.
- Compressed air – This can be used to remove dust from engraved areas.
- Gloves (optional) – Although not required, it’s a good idea to protect your hands.
What Steps to Follow
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary materials, you can start cleaning your acrylic signs.
Here’s what to do:
- Use a can of compressed air to clear dust and debris from engraved areas.
- Dip your cloth into the soapy water mixture and gently clean the sign using circular motions.
- If there’s dirt in grooves or between tactile characters, use cotton swabs as needed.
- With the dry side of the cloth (or a new cloth), carefully blot the sign until completely dry.
- To keep the sign shiny, you can follow up with NOVUS No. 1 Polish.
- If the sign is scuffed, you can apply the NOVUS No. 2 Fine Scratch Remover.
How Often to Clean Signs
As mentioned above, cleaning your acrylic ADA signs isn’t something you have to do all that often. In fact, it’s usually enough to clean your signs every three months. Of course, ADA signs in high-traffic areas will probably need to be cleaned more frequently. But in most cases, you can make this aspect of sign care a seasonal task.
What Practices to Avoid
Along with knowing how to clean acrylic signs properly, you should be aware of what practices to avoid. Unfortunately, many people think they’re caring for their displays when they’re actually damaging the material. Since your goal is maintenance, it’s worth learning about common mistakes people make.
With that in mind, here are some additional tips:
- Don’t use paper towels, steel wool, tough brushes, or other abrasive tools to clean signs.
- Don’t apply cleaners that contain citrus, ammonia, or other strong chemicals to acrylic.
- Don’t attempt to scrub your acrylic signs clean; instead, use gentle circular motions.
- Don’t leave moisture on your signs once you’re done cleaning; always blot them dry.
- Don’t wipe acrylic signs with a dry cloth; use an appropriate dusting tool for light cleaning.
When you install ADA signs in your building, remember that upkeep is crucial. Maintaining your signage plays a significant role in helping customers get the information they need, providing visitors with a positive impression of your business, and making the most of your sign investment. So, review the information above to learn how to clean acrylic signs, and feel confident you’re caring for your displays properly. If you have any questions about acrylic ADA signage or want to place an order, contact us at Erie Custom Signs today!