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How Do You Polish Cloudy Plastic Lenses to Make Them Clear Again?

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Old 04-16-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
Wuttin
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Default How Do You Polish Cloudy Plastic Lenses to Make Them Clear Again?

When I washed my gauge cluster and tach lenses with mild detergent and water (nothing harsh) they ended up slightly cloudy. Not enough to make them unusable, but cloudy nonetheless. They were dirty, but not cloudy before I cleaned them. I didn't scrub or use anything abrasive so I was pretty shocked. These folks sell products to correct this:

http://www.janvil.com/plastic_polish.htm

I saw on Eclker's site that Zaino also offers a plastic polish. I expect most of the big polish companies have something comparable.

Any experience with this or other reccomendations on how to make them clear again? They are in great shape otherwise so I'll just live with it if I can't fix them, but it sure would be nice...

Thanks, Steve
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:40 PM   #2
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could it just be hard water stains?

maybe try rewashing them in distilled water.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:50 PM   #3
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I've used The Wax Shop Products Safe Cut with good results.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:52 PM   #4
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Some plastic polishes can be to course. Toothpaste was popular a few decades ago. I have found the safest polish to use is Meguiars Machine Glaze #3. Use by hand with a soft Kleenex or a microfiber towel. The results depend on the depth of the scratches, so you may have to polish several times to get good results. But it will work very well without adding scratches.
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Old 04-16-2008, 12:59 PM   #5
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Mequiars Mirror Glaze 10 works good as well
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:19 PM   #6
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Thanks all...where do the clouds come from? The lenses are pretty much scratch free.
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuttin View Post
Thanks all...where do the clouds come from? The lenses are pretty much scratch free.
Only thing I can think of something in the detergent caused that...I've never used detergent on gage clusters...so that is my guess..
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:38 PM   #8
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When you clean them, use a gentle household glass cleaner and either a damp kleenex or a scrap cut from a clean damp microfiber towel. Don't use a microfiber towel that's been put in a drier, it will scratch.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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When I fueled airplanes the ONLY thing the Bell Jet Ranger ranger Chopper guys would let me use to clean the wind screen (plastic of some type) was Mirror glaze not sure on the brand but is in every little FBO (airport) or even A big Airports pilot shop . you can put it on a million Dollar Heli It s the best polish Ive ever used.Came in A little gray bottle with a squirt cap.One of the reasons plastic turns color is because the plastizer that make it plyable starts to discinagrate after long periods of time since yours did it all at once i think you should be able to polish them clear again.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:10 PM   #10
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Turtle Wax Chrome Polish works well.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon Wayne View Post
When I fueled airplanes the ONLY thing the Bell Jet Ranger ranger Chopper guys would let me use to clean the wind screen (plastic of some type) was Mirror glaze not sure on the brand but is in every little FBO (airport) or even A big Airports pilot shop . you can put it on a million Dollar Heli It s the best polish Ive ever used.Came in A little gray bottle with a squirt cap.One of the reasons plastic turns color is because the plastizer that make it plyable starts to discinagrate after long periods of time since yours did it all at once i think you should be able to polish them clear again.
http://www.meguiars.com/?pro-clear-p...lastic-Cleaner

Looks like a good place to start...
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:14 PM   #12
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Did you use any kind of abrasive pad...like Scotch-brite, etc.? That would cause your problem. To polish them properly, you need to remove the lenses. However, you can put a polymer coating on them to minimize/eliminate the haze. I like to use Nu-Vinyl on my interior panels and clear plastic lenses. It make micro-scratches invisible and protects everything from normal scuffs and abrasions. Just wipe on the 'milky' liquid and let it dry. No buffing, no mess, no peeling; lasts a long time. Great stuff.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:41 PM   #13
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that sucks, i usually just stick to windex or something for cleaning the interior, i have seen someone shoot their gauges with brake cleaner, now you want to see something that clouds plastic, hahahahahah, messed them all up so bad, they had to be replaced, good luck,
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:13 AM   #14
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Has anyone tried anything for the rear the plastic window of the vert top that has slightly clouded with any success?
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon Wayne View Post
When I fueled airplanes the ONLY thing the Bell Jet Ranger ranger Chopper guys would let me use to clean the wind screen (plastic of some type) was Mirror glaze not sure on the brand but is in every little FBO (airport) or even A big Airports pilot shop . you can put it on a million Dollar Heli It s the best polish Ive ever used.Came in A little gray bottle with a squirt cap.One of the reasons plastic turns color is because the plastizer that make it plyable starts to discinagrate after long periods of time since yours did it all at once i think you should be able to polish them clear again.
plexiglass polish at any airport was what i was going to say

windex it first to make sure its not waterstain
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:05 AM   #16
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I have used Novus plastic polish for many years with good results. I tend to use a lot more of the #2 than the others.

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Old 04-17-2008, 09:29 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wuttin View Post
When I washed my gauge cluster and tach lenses with mild detergent and water (nothing harsh) they ended up slightly cloudy. Not enough to make them unusable, but cloudy nonetheless. They were dirty, but not cloudy before I cleaned them. I didn't scrub or use anything abrasive so I was pretty shocked. These folks sell products to correct this:

http://www.janvil.com/plastic_polish.htm

I saw on Eclker's site that Zaino also offers a plastic polish. I expect most of the big polish companies have something comparable.

Any experience with this or other reccomendations on how to make them clear again? They are in great shape otherwise so I'll just live with it if I can't fix them, but it sure would be nice...

Thanks, Steve
Try Semi-Chrome, I know you can get it at a Harley Dealer. Kinda expensive for a small tube, but I used it on my old tail light lenses and they came out like Brand New.......................LT
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:45 AM   #18
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You got it thats the same stuff only the bottle was gray.
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Old 04-17-2008, 11:35 AM   #19
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I've used 3M Finesse-It II Finishing Material for many years with great results.
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahoover View Post
Don't use a microfiber towel that's been put in a drier, it will scratch.
Please explain--thats a new one for me

SEMPER FI--1970 Dave
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