FAQs

Shipping FAQs

Q:  How are shipping costs calculated?   

Q:  Can you ship items internationally?

Q:  Do you offer next day air or overnight shipping?

Q:  Can you ship to P.O. Boxes?

Q:  Can orders be retrieved from a local branch office?

 

Ordering and Payment FAQs

Q:  How can I order full size stock?

Q:  We are tax-exempt—how can I submit verification?

Q:  How do I cancel or change an order I placed online?

Q:  How can I check the status of my web order?

Q:  What should I do if I received the wrong items or only part of my order?

Q:  Are there payment options other than credit card?

Q:  What is your Return Policy?

Q:  How long will it take for me to receive my web order?

 

Further Assistance FAQs

Q:  If I would like to contact someone in sales or customer service, who do I contact?

Q:  If I can’t find what I’m looking for on your site, what should I do?

 

Customization FAQs

Q:  Do you offer custom fabrication and/or cutting?

Q:  How do I calculate the number of finished pieces I can yield out of a sheet?

 

Material Selection FAQs

Q:  What do the letters at the beginning of some item descriptions mean?

Q:  Why don’t I see the exact material thickness I’m looking for?

Q:  Why don’t I see an option for the material type I’m seeking?

Q:  What is the difference between “reprocessed” and “virgin” material?

Q:  What is the difference between “textured” and “smooth” material?

Q:  What is the difference between “homopolymer” and “copolymer” material?

Q:  What is the difference between “fluted,” “corrugated,” and “twinwall” material?

Q:  What is the difference between “cast” and “extruded” material?

Q:  What is the difference between “FM” and “PM” masking?

Q:  What do “AR,” “BR,” “FR,” and “UV” mean?

Q:  What is the difference between “translucent,” “transparent,” and “opaque” material?

Q:  What types of special features do plastics offer over other materials?

Q:  What is the difference between “thermoset” and “thermoplastic” material?

Q:  How do I find the right material for my application?

Q: What is the difference between Acrylic and Polycarbonate?

Q: What is the best way to clean acrylic?

 

 


Shipping FAQs


Q:  How are shipping costs calculated?  

A:  UPS calculates shipping based on weight, dimensions, total united inches, commercial vs. residential, distance from shipper to destination, and requested delivery date. Upon request, we can reduce material size to decrease shipping costs.

 

Q:  Can you ship items internationally?

A:  Currently we are not able to fulfill orders shipping outside of the US.

 

Q:  Do you offer next day air or overnight shipping?

A:  If an order is submitted by 2 p.m. (CST), it will typically ship same-day via UPS Ground, 3-5 business day delivery. We also offer options for 2 business day and 1 business day delivery, and can ship overnight or next day air for an additional charge. Please note your order number and send an email to websales@copeplastics.com with your requirements if options not available online. If we cannot meet your request, one of our plastics specialists will contact you. 

 

Q:  Can you ship to P.O. Boxes?

A:  Yes, via USPS, but this option is not available online. Please contact websales@copeplastics.com to complete your order.

 

Q:  Can orders be retrieved from a local branch office?

A:  When an order is placed online, there is no minimum order amount imposed, but if you wish to pick-up at a one of our branch locations, there is a $100 minimum requirement

 


Ordering and Payment FAQs


Q:  How can I order full size stock?

A:  Due to UPS shipping restrictions, packages over 166 total united inches cannot be sent, and any package over 130 total united inches incurs substantial oversize charges, so this material is not currently available through our website. If you would like to order an oversized item, please contact websales@copeplastics.com and shipment via LTL or pick-up at a branch location can be arranged.

 

Q:  We are tax-exempt—how can I submit verification?

A:  When placing an order online, please indicate in the NOTES box during check-out that tax should not be charged and submit your state tax-exemption letter to websales@copeplastics.com. This documentation will remain on your account for future purchases until expiration.

 

Q:  How do I cancel or change an order I placed online?

A:  If an order needs to be changed for any reason (i.e. additional or different material needed, change of ship-to address, etc.), please contact us at websales@copeplastics.com or 888-324-2673 as soon as possible. Cancellation of an order is subject to charge, including restocking and administrative fees. If an order has already left our warehouse, it cannot be changed or cancelled. See our Return Policy.

 

Q:  How can I check the status of my web order?

A:  If you’ve created an account, go to store.copeplastics.com and Sign In at the top of the page. Verify that your order was completed by selecting ‘Order History’ under ‘My Account’. Contact websales@copeplastics.com for a UPS tracking number if your order has not arrived in the designated shipping period.

 

Q:  What should I do if I received the wrong items or only part of my order?

A:  If you’ve created an account, go to store.copeplastics.com and Sign In at the top of the page. Verify the items purchased by selecting the correct order under ‘Order History’. If there is a discrepancy, contact websales@copeplastics.com right away.

 

Q:  Are there payment options other than credit card?

A:  A credit card is required to complete your order online. Plastic only here!

 

Q:  What is your Return Policy?

A:  Cope Plastics, Inc. will work with our customers to achieve the highest degree of satisfaction. We take pride in and accept responsibility for our products. On orders shipped in error, we will issue full credit, including reasonable charges for freight.  Returns for other reasons will be subject to certain conditions. A Return Authorization Number must be obtained prior to any return shipments.  Some materials may not be returnable. Some materials may be subject to restocking charges.

 

Q:  How long will it take for me to receive my web order?

A:  Most material will deliver within 2-5 business days after receipt of order. For cut-to-size or custom cut orders, there may be additional time needed. A plastics specialist will contact you if necessary.

 

 

Further Assistance FAQs


Q:  If I would like to contact someone in sales or customer service, who do I contact?

A:  If you are part of a business and are interested in setting up an account to purchase full size and/or bulk sheet, rod, or tube stock and/or would like a quote for custom fabrication, fill out our Contact Us form and a local branch will be in contact as soon as possible.

 

If you would like to make a one-time or retail purchase, please email us at websales@copeplastics.com and a plastics specialist will contact you shortly.

 

Q:  If I can’t find what I’m looking for on your site, what should I do?

A:  Though we carry dozens of materials in a multitude of dimensions, there are thousands of plastics in existence, so we cannot stock them all. Our inventory does change regularly, so please check back, fill out our Contact Us form, or email us at websales@copeplastics.com.  A Cope representative will reply to you shortly.

 


Customization FAQs


Q:  Do you offer custom fabrication and/or cutting?

A:  If you need material cut-to-size, after you add the item(s) to your cart, you will have the ability to enter specific cutting instructions in the NOTES box during check-out. If you need multiple cuts, please list all requirements. Straight cuts only. Rod and tube will be rough cut. Remember, measure twice!

Cut restrictions:

Maximum Height: 2” sheet, 2”OD rod/tube

Minimum Width: 3”

Minimum/Maximum Length: 6”/ 120”

Best tolerance: +-.060”

 

If you need custom fabrication or finished fabricated parts, please fill out our Contact Us  form. A plastics specialist will contact you to discuss specifications and request your drawing.

 

Q:  How do I calculate the number of finished pieces I can yield out of a sheet?

A:  First, you must consider the saw kerf (material lost from the saw blade). Our saw blades are typically .187” wide. To calculate yield, add the width of the saw blade to the width and length of your cut piece dimensions. You can utilize the full width and length of the sheet size by letting us know that you can accept pieces being “saw cut undersized” in the cutting instructions box. If so, your finished pieces will be slightly undersized by approximately .125” - .187”. 

 

For yield, divide the width of finished pieces into the width of the material and multiply by the length of finished pieces divided into the length of material. (Add 0.187” to the length & width of each piece for saw kerf).
Example: Finished pieces are 6.5” x 15.5” and starting sheet size is 48” x 96”
48” / 6.687” = 7 pieces
96” / 15.687” = 6 pieces
7 pieces x 6 pieces = 42 total finished pieces at 6.5” x 15.5” from a 48” x 96” sheet

 


Material Selection FAQs


Q:  What do the letters at the beginning of some item descriptions mean?

A:  When possible, manufacturer codes are indicated for each item and Safety Data Sheets are available upon request. See the chart below for clarification.

 

Code

Manufacturer

 

Code

Manufacturer

A&C

A&C Plastic Products

 

KNGP

King Plastic Corp.

ALCN

Alcan Composites

 

LUCI

Lucite International Inc.

ALST

Allstate Plastics Inc.

 

NPX

Industrial Laminates/Norplex

ARTK

Artek Inc.

 

NYLT

Nylatech Inc.

ATFI

Atlas Fibre Company

 

PALR

Palram America Inc.

ATO

Arkema / Atofina Chemicals, Inc.

 

PLMF

Polymer Industries

BFPL

B&F Plastics

 

PLSK

Plaskolite Inc.

BGM

BGM International


PLYC

Spartech Polycast/Polyone Designed Structures and Solutions, LLC.

BUNZ

Bunzl Extrusion Columbia Inc./PEXO


PPC

Polyurethane Products Corp.

CAST

Cast Nylons Ltd.

 

PRMX

Primex Plastics Corp.

CYRO

CYRO Industries

 

QUAD

Quadrant EPP

ENSG

Ensinger

 

ROEC

Roechling Engineered Plastics

FLOR

Fluoro-Plastics Inc.

 

SHEF

Covestro /Bayer Material Science/Sheffield

GEHR

Gehr Plastics Inc.

 

SIMO

Simona

GEMP

GEM Plastics

 

SPAR

Spartech Plastics

GEPL

GE PolymerShapes Division

 

TOWN

Spartech Townsend/Polyone Designed Structures and Solutions, LLC.

GLNA

Gallina USA

 

TP

Thermoplastic Processes Inc.

HARV

George Fischer LLC / Harvel Plastics Inc.


VITA

Vital Polymers LLC

INPL

Industrial Plastics and Machine

 

VYCM

Vycom

INTP

Inteplast Group LTD

 

WSLK

Westlake Plastics Co.

KLEE

Kleerdex Company

 

 


 

 

Q:  Why don’t I see the exact material thickness I’m looking for?

A:  Like the lumber industry, plastic manufacturer industry standards can be slightly different than conventional measurements. See the accompanying chart for comparison. 

 

FRACTIONAL CONVERSION FOR PLASTIC MATERIAL THICKNESS

Manufacturer Thickness

(mm)

Manufacturer Thickness

(inches)

Common Fractional Thickness

(inches)

 

 

0.030

  1/32

 

1MM

0.040

 

 

 

0.060

  1/16

 

2MM

0.080

 

 

 

0.090

  3/32

 

 

0.093

  3/32

 

 

0.100

 

 

 

0.118

  1/8

 

3MM

0.120

 1/8

 

 

0.125

 1/8

 

 

0.156

  5/32

 

4MM

0.160

  3/16

 

 

0.177

  3/16

 

 

0.187

  3/16

 

5MM

0.200

 1/5

 

 

0.220

 1/4

 

 

0.236

 1/4

 

6MM

0.240

 1/4

 

 

0.250

1/4

 

9.5MM

0.354

 3/8

 

10MM

0.375

 3/8

 

 

0.406

 

 

 

0.472

 1/2

 

13MM

0.500

 1/2

 

 

0.591

 5/8

 

 

0.625

 5/8

 

 

0.708

 3/4

 

19MM

0.750

 3/4

 

 

0.944

1.000

 

25MM

1.000

1.000

 

 

Q:  Why don’t I see an option for the material type I’m seeking?

A:  When searching, use the broadest parameters possible. Note that our items are listed by standard material type and not by trade name. See the chart below for more information.

 

Material Type

Trade Names

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)

No known trade name

Acetal

Delrin® (homopolymer), Acetron® GP (copolymer)

ACM/Aluminum Composite Material

Alucobond®, Alupanel®, Dibond®, E-panel™

Acrylic

Lucite®, Optix®, Plexiglas®, Acrylite®

CPVC (Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride)

No known trade name

HDPE (HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE)

Sanalite®,  Polystone G®

KYDEX®

KYDEX®

Laminate (CANVAS/LINEN/PAPER/GLASS)

Phenolic, G10, G11, etc. Brand names include Micarta®, Acculam®

LDPE (LOW DENSITY POLYETHYLENE)

No known trade name

MDPE (MEDIUM DENSITY POLYETHYLENE)

No known trade name

NYLON  6

Nylatron® GSM/NSM, MC901, MC907/ Nycast®

NYLON 6/6

Nylon 101, Nylatron® GS

NYLON 12

NYCAST®

PEEK

Ketron®

PET

Sustadur® PET, Ertalyte®

PETG

VIVAK®, Spectar™ (copolyester)

POLYCARBONATE

Makrolon®, Palsun®, Lexan®

POLYCARBONATE BULLET RESISTANT

Hygard®, Lexguard®

POLYPROPYLENE

Polystone P®, Proteus®

POLYPROPYLENE CORRUGATED/TWIN WALL

Coroplast®, Intepro®, Cor-X®, Bubble-X™

POLYSTYRENE/PS/HIPS (High Impact Polystyrene)

No known trade name

POLYSULFONE

PSU 1000

POLYURETHANE

Diamondback®, Rhino Hyde®, Poly Thane®

PPS (Polyphenylene Sulfide)

Techtron®, Ryton®

PPSU (Polyphenylsulfone)

Radel®

PVC (POLYVINYL CHLORIDE)

No known trade name

PVC EXPANDED/FOAM SHEET

Celtec®, Sintra®, e-pvc®, Palight®

PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride)

Kynar®

PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)

TEFLON® (DuPont), SEMITRON® (static-dissipative), FLUOROSINT® (mica-filled)

PAI

Torlon® PAI, Duraton® PAI

PEI

ULTEM®, Duraton® PEI

UHMW (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene)

Tivar®, Polystone M

VESPEL® SP1

Trade name belonging to DuPont

 

Q:  What is the difference between “reprocessed” and “virgin” material?

A:  Virgin plastic is material that has not undergone any processing other than that required to prepare it for manufacturing parts, while reprocessed (“repro”) plastic is material derived from the recovery of scrap plastic, which is converted into reusable stock.

 

Q:  What is the difference between “textured” and “smooth” material?

A:  Used to describe the various surface finishes available on materials like HDPE and ABS, texture can be haircell, hammered, gloss, matte, smooth, etc. and is both visible and touchable.

 

Q:  What is the difference between “homopolymer” and “copolymer” material?

A:  Both grades of polypropylene, homopolymer describes a polymer that consists of only one monomer unit, while copolymer results when two monomers join. Homopolymer is stronger and stiffer, and though copolymer is softer, it is more durable. 

 

Q:  What is the difference between “fluted,” “corrugated,” and “twinwall” material?

A:  Similar to corrugated cardboard, all three words are interchangeable and describe lightweight, durable material where a ribbed center appears to be sandwiched between two sheets. With a variety of uses from signage to structural, its often offered in polypropylene and polycarbonate in an assortment of colors.

 

Q:  What is the difference between “cast” and “extruded” material??

A:  Casting is a manufacturing process where plastic is formed by pouring a fluid monomer-polymer solution into an open mold, by pouring liquid resin onto a moving belt, or by precipitation in a chemical bath.

Extrusion is a manufacturing process where plastic material is shaped by forcing it under pressure through a die.

 

Q:  What is the difference between “FM” and “PM” masking?

A:  Masking is a paper (PM) and/or plastic (FM) removable protective film often found on graphics material like acrylic, polycarbonate, and PETG. IT prevents scratching during transit and fabrication.

 

Q:  What do “AR,” “BR,” “FR,” and “UV” mean?

A:  AR stands for Abrasion Resistant, which is a coating added to materials giving them the ability to withstand the effects of repeated wearing, rubbing, scraping, etc., that tend to remove visible material from its surface.

BR stands for Bullet Resistant, (also called ballistic or anti-ballistic), which describes rigid, heavy-duty material capable of stopping a bullet or similar high velocity projectile to a certain degree. Few, if any, practical materials provide complete protection against all types of bullets or multiple hits in the same location.

FR stands for Flame Resistant/Retardant or Fire Resistant/Retardant, which is material designed to resist burning and withstand heat due to its high ignition point.

UV stands for UV Stabilized/Resistant, where a compound has been added that selectively absorbs UV rays and minimizes chemical and/or physical changes that may be produced by UV exposure.

 

Q:  What is the difference between “translucent,” “transparent,” and “opaque” material?

A:  Translucent material permits the passage of light, but diffuses it so that objects beyond cannot be clearly distinguished.

Transparent material is capable of transmitting light so that objects or images can be seen as if there were no intervening material.

Opaque material which will not transmit any light.

 

Q:  What types of special features do plastics offer over other materials?

A:  Chemical Resistance – The degree to which a given plastic will resist degradation due to contact with certain chemicals. This characteristic will usually vary with chemical concentration and temperature.

Impact Resistance – Relative susceptibility of material to fracture by stress at high speeds.

Impact Strength – The degree to which a plastic will withstand the sudden application of a load.

Ease of Fabrication – Method of forming a plastic into a finished article by machining via lathe, mill, router, drill, etc., drawing, and similar operations.

Thermoforming – The process of heating a thermoplastic sheet to a working temperature and then forming it into a finished shape by means of heat or pressure.

Vacuum forming – Method of sheet forming in which the plastic sheet is clamped in a stationary frame, heated, and drawn down by a vacuum into a mold.

Weather Resistance – Ability of plastic to retain its original physical properties and appearance upon prolonged exposure to outdoor weather.

 


Q:  What is the difference between “thermoset” and “thermoplastic” material?

A:  Thermoset – A term that refers to the family of materials that can be melted only once during the original processing and cannot be reprocessed after the original part is made.

Thermoplastic – Any material, such as polyethylene and ABS, which can be re-melted and reprocessed without considerable loss of properties or scrap loss.

 

Q: How do I find the right material for my application?


A: Below are charts to help guide you to proper material selection.


WHAT IS THE PRIMARY FUNCTION OF THE PLASTIC?

BEARING & WEAR

STRUCTURAL

Celazole® PBI

650°F

Celazole® PBI

650°F

Duratron® PI

580°F

Duratron® PI

580°F

Fluorosint® filled PTFE’s

500°F

Torlon® PAI Grades

500°F

Torlon® PAI

(4301, 4501, 4540, 4347, 7130)

500°F

Fluorosint® filled PTFE’s

500°F

Ketron® PEEK

480°F

Semitron® ESd 500HR

500°F

Ketron® PEEK HPV

480°F

PTFE

500°F

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

480°F

Ketron® PEEK

480°F

Quadrant Bearing Grade PPS

450°F

Ketron® 30% GF or 30% CF PEEK

480°F

Techtron® HPV

430°F

Quadrant 40% GF PPS

450°F

MC® 901 Nylon

260°F

Techtron® PPS

425°F

Ertalyte® PET-P / Ertalyte® TX

210°F

Quadrant CM PPS

425°F

Nylon 101

210°F

Semitron® ESd 410C

410°F

Nylatron® GS Nylon

210°F

Ultem™ 1000 PEI, Ultem™ 2300 PEI

340°F

Nylatron® NSM Nylon

200°F

Radel® R PPSU

300°F

Nylatron® GSM Blue Nylon

200°F

PSU 1000 Polysulfone

300°F

Nylatron® GSM Nylon

200°F

Polycarbonate

250°F

MC® 907 Nylon

200°F

Ertalyte® PET-P

210°F

Acetron® GP Acetal / Delrin® 150

180°F

30% GF Nylon

210°F

Delrin® AF Blend

180°F

Nylon 101 / Nylatron® GS Nylon

210°F

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

160°F

MC® 901 / MC® 907 Nylons

210°F

 

 

Semitron° ESd 225

180°F

 

 

Acetron® GP Acetal / Delrin® 150

180°F

 

 

UHMW-PE

160°F

 

IS FDA/USDA/NSF/3A DAIRY COMPLIANCE REQUIRED?

BEARING & WEAR

FDA Compliant Materials

STRUCTURAL


FDA Compliant Materials

Fluorosint® 207 filled PTFE

Fluorosint® 207 filled PTFE

Ertalyte® TX

Ultem™ 1000 PEI

Ertalyte® PET-P (Natural & Black)

PSU 1000 Polysulfone

Nylon 101

PC 1000 Polycarbonate

MC® 907 Nylon

Ertalyte® PET-P (Black & Natural)

Acetron® GP Acetal

(Natural, Black & Colors)

Nylon 101 (Natural)

Delrin® 150 Acetal (Natural)

MC® 907 Nylon

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Acetron® GP Acetal / Delrin® 150 (Natural)

Nylatron® LFG

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

 

Radel®

 

 

WHAT CHEMICALS WILL BE ENCOUNTERED DURING SERVICE OR CLEANING?

** The plastics listed at the top of each list are better in that particular environment

BEARING & WEAR

For Chemical Environment

STRUCTURAL


For Chemical Environment

Strong Acids

Strong Alkalies

Strong Acids

Strong Alkalies

Fluorosint®

Fluorosint®

PTFE

PTFE

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Fluorosint®

Fluorosint®

Ketron® PEEK

Ketron® PEEK

UHMW-PE

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

Ketron® PEEK

Ketron® PEEK

Ketron® PEEK HPV

Ketron® PEEK HPV

Techtron® PPS

PPS Products

Techtron® HPV

Techtron® HPV

Quadrant 40% GF PPS

Radel® R PPSU

Quadrant BG PPS

Quadrant BG PPS

Radel® R PPSU

Polysulfone

 

 

Ultem™ 1000 PEI

 

 

 

PC 1000 Polycarbonate

 

 

 

PSU 1000 Polysulfone

 

Steam

Chlorine

Steam

Chlorine

Fluorosint®

Fluorosint®

PTFE

PTFE

Ketron® PEEK

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Fluorosint® 500

Fluorosint® 500

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

Ketron® PEEK

Ketron® PEEK

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Techtron® HPV

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

Techtron® PPS

Ketron® PEEK

Quadrant BG PPS

Ketron® PEEK HPV

Radel® R PPSU

PPS Products

Ketron® PEEK HPV

Ertalyte® PET-P

Ultem™ 1000 PEI

Ertalyte® PET-P

Acetron® GP Acetal

Ertalyte® TX

PSU 1000 Polysulfone

Radel® R PPSU

 

 

 

Ultem™ 1000 PEI

 

IS TOUGHNESS OR IMPACT RESISTANCE CRITICAL IN USE?

BEARING & WEAR

Toughness or Impact Resistance

STRUCTURAL


Toughness or Impact Resistance

Tough Materials

Notch Sensitive Materials

Tough Materials

Notch Sensitive Materials

MC® 901 / MC® 907 Nylon

Nylatron® GS Nylon

MC® 901 / MC® 907 Nylon

Nylatron® GS Nylon

Nylatron® GSM Nylon

Ertalyte® PET-P

Radel® R PPSU

Ertalyte® PET-P

Nylatron® GSM Blue Nylon

Ketron® PEEK HPV

PC 1000 Polycarbonate

30% GF Nylon

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Techtron® HPV

PTFE

Semitron® ESd 410C

Avg Toughness

Ketron® PEEK HPV

UHMW-PE TIVAR®

Ultem™ 2300 PEI

Nylon 101

Ketron® 30% CF PEEK

Avg Toughness

Ketron® 30% GF or CF PEEK

Nylatron® NSM Nylon

Techtron® HPV

Nylon 101

Quadrant 40% GF PPS

Acetron® GP Acetal

Quadrant BG PPS

Semitron® ESd 225

Duratron® PI

Delrin® 150 Acetal

Duratron® PI

Acetron® GP Acetal / Delrin® 150

Celazole® PBI

Delrin® AF Blend

Celazole® PBI

Fluorisint® filled PTFEs

 

Ertalyte® TX

 

Torlon® PAI Grades

 

Fluorisint® filled PTFE

 

Ketron® PEEK

 

Ketron® PEEK

 

Ultem™ 1000 PEI

 

Torlon® PAI

 

Techtron® PPS

 

 

 

PSU 1000 Polysulfone

 

 

 

Techtron® CM PPS

 

 

 

Semitron® ESd 500HR

 

 

 

Q: What is the difference between Acrylic and Polycarbonate?

A: Acrylic is often compare to Polycarbonate, which has some similar characteristics but is used when impact-resistance is required.


Q: What is the best way to clean acrylic?

A:  Step 1 – Begin by removing excess dust or dirt from the surface of the material, but not with your usual duster. Making direct, dry contact with surface particles using your hand or a cloth can actually grind them into the material itself.

Instead, use air to clear the surface, either by blowing across the pane or briefly using a blow dryer set to its coolest, lowest setting--never heat plastics unless you want to reshape them. If you choose to go with the latter method, hold the blow dryer at a 45-degree angle several inches away and run side to side down the surface.

Step 2 – Once excess grime has been removed, spray a nonabrasive acrylic cleaner, such as Brillianize or Novus No.1, onto a one or two-foot square section of the acrylic. For an on-hand alternative, a solution of mild dish soap and water works well too.

Once the cleaner has been applied, use a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth – or, in a pinch, a disposable diaper – to gently wipe the surface down, again being careful to make contact only with the portion of the surface that already has cleanser on it. Continue applying the cleaner and wiping it off in small sections until you’ve finished the entire surface.

Step 3 – For a thorough clean, you can rinse out the cloth, soak it in plain water, and go back over the material once more to clean anything that may have been missed. If it’s possible to simply run water over the surface without causing a slip hazard – for example, by spraying a shower nozzle on a low setting on the inside of a shower enclosure – you’ll ensure a brighter shine. Always remember: the less pressure, the better.

Above all, as you care for your acrylic, be sure to avoid the three A’s: ammonia, abrasives, and aromatics. Acrylic can be a sensitive material. It’s prone to scratching and tends to hang on to scented solutions used on its surface. Skip all-purpose cleansers when you clean, which can do more harm than good, for something even milder or specialized. And, as already mentioned, never wipe with a dry cloth, or brush over it with a bare, dry hand. So long as you keep these restrictions in mind and maintain a simple, straightforward cleaning regimen, you should be able to keep your acrylic windows and shower enclosures scratch-free and spotless for years to come.