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  • Clearing cloudy plastic lens

    Hey All, I thought I knew the answer but google isn't helping to confirm. I have a decorative lightpost in front of my house that has 4 plastic "panes".

    they're all a bit foggy and I thought that acetone could be used to either bathe them in or it could be used with some other technique to restore them.

    Please let me know if I'm remembering something from a dream or maybe misremembering which chemical I would use.

    Thanks guys!

    John

  • #2
    don't know about chemicals, I've had good luck with abrasives, if really scratched start with 200 and finish with something like brasso. you can restore indicator, caliper or watch crystals this way....not sure how comparable your plastic is. If just foggy, I'd try some brasso
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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    • #3
      Use a car headlight cleaning kit.

      Solvent will destroy the lenses.

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      • #4
        Nothing will fix internal clouding. Polishing will fix surface clouding.

        Solvents will probably make the surface much worse....depends on the solvent and the material.... don't do that.
        CNC machines only go through the motions

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        • #5
          Most likely oxidation on the surface esp. the outer surface,

          I go with 800 grit wet sandpaper to start to totally remove all oxidation, then bump it up to 1200, then 2000

          then polishing compound - then wax.

          don't buy the headlight kits unless you cannot find the sandpaper, they are a rip off, you can put your own kit together for about 10 bucks and use it for all kinds of other things when needed...

          do not use solvents.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ZINOM View Post
            ... they're all a bit foggy and I thought that acetone could be used to either bathe them in or it could be used with some other technique to restore them. ...
            Chemicals can make a mess of it if you don't know what you are doing. I used Micro Mesh pads to clean up a dial indicator and a ships compass.
            Both were badly scratched/fogged and turned out really nice. Pictures can be seen here:
            http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/thr...-and-a-compass
            Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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            • #7
              If the panes are flat with no engraved decorations, why not just replace them with UV stable polycarbonate or glass ?

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              • #8
                You’re probably thinking of Methylene Chloride (Dicloromethane). Some plastics can be smoothed by placing them in an MC vapor. We had some in a metal stamping shop I worked at. A customer required their parts be packed and shipped in a bath of MC.
                What I nightmare today huh ?
                I’ve used it to help reduced machining fog on plexiglass pieces.
                I wouldn’t think this would work in your sun damage application as the effect is more than skin deep.
                Auto stores have very effective Plastic polishes that would be far safer and you’d find other uses for them as well.
                Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
                9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                  Nothing will fix internal clouding. Polishing will fix surface clouding.

                  Solvents will probably make the surface much worse....depends on the solvent and the material.... don't do that.
                  That's right. You might polish it up with some automotive hand glaze but my past experience with reviving cloudy acrylics is they will cloud up even faster the next time. If it we're me I would replace them with glass.

                  JL......

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                  • #10
                    The head light kit I bought for my wife's toyota worked perfectly. Toyota plastic headlights fog up a lot. The kit uses sanding and a solvent and a UV protective coating. And its A LOT of work and not recommended for large windows. But headlights?? Yes.. JR

                    I didnt get a before pic of the fogged plastic but it was about 50% of the after sanding stage.








                    https://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-HRK-.../dp/B00429NKWK

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                    • #11
                      I've had some good results with NOVUS polish. Cleared up a plastic model windshield that solvent accidentally crazed. I bought a small kit with all 3 parts in it for something like $20 from Amazon.

                      I don't have a lot of experience with it beyond that, so be forewarned.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JRouche View Post
                        The head light kit I bought for my wife's toyota worked perfectly. Toyota plastic headlights fog up a lot. The kit uses sanding and a solvent and a UV protective coating. And its A LOT of work and not recommended for large windows. But headlights?? Yes.. JR

                        I didnt get a before pic of the fogged plastic but it was about 50% of the after sanding stage.








                        https://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-HRK-.../dp/B00429NKWK

                        JR nice job and will readily admit that's right up there with my best effort maybe more cuz that looks flawless/brand new

                        good work - how much for that kit?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                          JR nice job and will readily admit that's right up there with my best effort maybe more cuz that looks flawless/brand new

                          good work - how much for that kit?
                          Thanks. Amazon has it delivered for 15 bucks. Warning. It does take some sanding. What I liked was the final UV protection because that is what fogs them originally I think. Polycarb? JR

                          https://www.amazon.com/Sylvania-HRK-.../dp/B00429NKWK

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                          • #14
                            Damn good price the kit's around here at the autoparts stores cost about 40 bucks, way too much

                            they will all take some elbow grease that's for sure does not happen easily but who cares if you get good results,

                            many a aftermarket headlight might be cheap but are crap - they do not have to meet the standards of the OEM and they can suck bad for lighting at night...

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                            • #15
                              Back in the 60s we used Johnson's glow coat a floor wax on our jeep and boat plastic windows. Later on motorcycle googles. Clean the crud off the plastic and using a lint free cloth apply the glow coat. When dry buff lightly. I have used a similar product on my pickup headlights 2008 model.

                              Bob

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