Some items feel like a no-brainer to get clean: You wash your dishes with dish soap, you wipe your mirror with a glass cleaner, and you clean your clothes with detergent. But some items—like acrylic and lucite furniture—might be a touch more difficult to clean than you’d think.
How to Use Dish Soap to Clean Lucite Furniture
Developed in the ’20s and popularized in the ‘60s and ‘70s, acrylic or lucite furniture is made from transparent thermoplastic, which is also known as methyl methacrylate, and is a great solution for small spaces that won’t block your sightline through an otherwise crowded space. But it’s pretty impossible to hide dirt or grime on see-through furniture. Here’s how to give your acrylic, lucite, or otherwise translucent furniture a good thorough cleaning:
First things first: It’s important to dust acrylic chairs, tables, or even shower doors regularly so they can maintain their shine and translucence. Dust or fingerprints may not seem like a big deal, but each speck or dirt is just a tiny piece of dirt or grime that may have sharp edges that can scratch acrylics.
To be sure I’m not accidentally rubbing dirt into the surface of my furniture, I like to use my blow-dryer once per week to blow any loose dirt or crumbs off. I set it to cool and hold it at a 45-degree angle just a few inches away, making sure to keep it moving throughout the piece from top to bottom. Then, once I’ve blow-dried any surface dirt off the furniture, I spritz a clean microfiber cloth with Glass Cleaner and give it a good wipe-down. (Never use a cloth or towel that produces lint or dust, as it can scratch the surface.)
Here’s where you need to be careful: Ammonia, often found in commercial window glass cleaners, leaves the acrylic surface cloudy and can cause permanent damage. We never use toxic chemicals like Ammonia in our Glass Cleaner; instead, we rely on natural ingredients to buff away dirt and grime gently.
Once per month, it’s usually time for a deep clean. When I do that, I treat these pieces like I would any piece of patio furniture: While All-Purpose Cleaner can definitely do the trick, I love to use a solution of Dishwashing Liquid and warm water to wipe down each side. (Just a few drops in a medium-size bowl works like a charm.)
I dip a clean microfiber cloth in the soapy water and wring it out until it’s damp, then wipe down each section from top to bottom. You shouldn’t need to rinse it with water unless you overdid it on the soap, but there’s no shame in that. Let it air-dry, then go over it again with Glass Cleaner if you’d like an extra-shiny finish.
Et voila! Now, if only you could teach the kids not to slide their cereal bowls across the lucite coffee table!