Cleaning and Disinfecting
There’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting.
Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Effects of Chemicals on Acrylic
It’s important to remember that prolonged exposure to cleaning products can cause your acrylic panels to change color, stiffen or crack. Over time, you may find that the acrylic panels may become hazy.
Note: It’s best to AVOID using alcohol to clean any type of plastic or acrylic product — including plexiglass. While plexiglass panels are more resilient, they are still a plastic, and therefore, alcohol might cause crazing and cracking, sometimes even severely. This is because alcohol is a good solvent, and as such, has the ability to attack the surface of acrylics and dissolve the polymer chains.
Best practices are to first clean to remove debris, then disinfect with an approved disinfectant, and then immediately following the use of disinfectant, spray your acrylic with a cleaning product specifically designed for acrylic.
- Use of microfiber cloths cleans 50% better than comparable cotton towels and reduces the risk of scratching acrylic panels.
- Allow enough contact time after applying the disinfectant. If the contact time is too brief, the surface will not be thoroughly disinfected.
- CDC guidelines are at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html
- EPA List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-coronavirus-covid-19
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each use.
Vigilance is Key
The chemical resistance of acrylic products depends on the concentration of the cleaner/ disinfectant, contact time, temperature of the solution and plastic, and stress level of the part. Repeated and/or extended chemical exposures, heat, elevated stress or any combination of these conditions could degrade the plastic or its chemical resistance. Therefore, it is imperative that the plastic be inspected routinely for chemical attack and overall degradation, and replaced as needed, similar to other forms of protective equipment such as masks, gloves, safety shields and barriers.
The statements, technical information and recommendations contained herein are believed to be accurate as of the date hereof. Since the conditions and methods of use of the product and of the information referred to herein are beyond our control, Smart Spacer, Xplain Corporation and Tech Minded expressly disclaims any and all liability as to any results obtained or arising from any use of the product or reliance on such information; NO WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WARRANTY OR MERCHANTABILITY OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IS MADE CONCERNING THE GOODS DESCRIBED OR THE INFORMATION PROVIDED HEREIN. The information provided herein relates only to the specific product designated and may not be applicable when such product is used in combination with other materials or in any process. The user should thoroughly test any cleaning or disinfectant solution and application before using on acrylic panels in Smart Spacers.