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How to Clean Crystal & Acrylic Awards

Congratulations on being recognized for your outstanding achievement! Now that you have received your award you will want to keep it looking just as amazing as when you received it. How do you clean crystal glass and clear acrylic? They aren't dishwasher safe.

Crystal and acrylic awards are a great way to be recognized in your organization, but keeping them looking like new requires proper cleaning and care. In this article, we'll explore the best ways to clean glass and crystal trophies to keep them in pristine condition for years to come.

Dusting your crystal and acrylic awards often is the best way to keep them looking great. Dust can accumulate on the surface of the award, making it look dull and dirty. Use a soft cloth to gently wipe away any dust that has accumulated on the surface.

Let’s dive in a bit more to explore how cleaning crystal glass awards differ from cleaning acrylic.

How to Clean Crystal Glass Awards

While they may look super clear now, eventually the dust will settle and build up over time. To clean your glass or crystal awards you will want to dust them often to prevent dust build up.

Cleaning crystal is different from acrylic, so it's important to know the difference. Crystal is a delicate material that can scratch easily, while acrylic is more durable and resistant to scratches. Regardless of the material, it's always important to use the right cleaning method to avoid damaging the award.

Similar to how you should clean crystal glasses and crystal stemware, we recommend doing so by hand with warm water and a little elbow grease.

We suggest dusting your award every other week, depending on the air quality of your home or office.

Depending on how dusty it is, you can use one or more of these various methods:

  • Feather Duster - Feather dusters are great for a light dusting, no need to use any strong chemicals.
  • Microfiber Cloth - Great for removing fingerprints and buffing to shine. This soft cloth will work wonders.
  • Lint Free Cloth - Best used on stubborn residue on dust or fingerprint marks or mineral deposits.
  • Paper Coffee Filter - Use a paper coffee filter to bring back your crystal's brilliance for a spotless shine.

Sometimes your trophies and awards will need some additional TLC (finger prints, spilled a drink on it, or just haven't had the time for dusting).

How to Keep Your Crystal Glass Awards Clean

Use a Commercial Grade Glass Cleaner and Soft Cotton Towel

We use a commercial grade glass cleaner prior to sending our awards to our customers, but you can use any ammonia based glass cleaner or make your own cleaner with diluted white vinegar solution (1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups hot water in a small plastic bowl). Remember to wear gloves.

This is only recommended for crystal glass and not for acrylic.

For stubborn mineral deposits and gunk that just won't come off, you could microwave 2 cups of white vinegar, pour into a large plastic bowl, and then submerge the affected area for a few minutes. Then, dab your finger into some baking soda and gently buff the problem spots out.

Avoid Multi-Purpose Cleaners

You may be tempted to use them, but we have found that it is best not to use a multi-purpose cleaner. They have a tendency to leave streaks that are tough to remove. We suggest that you do not spray the cleaner directly onto the award. Instead spray onto a soft cotton towel, clean rag or soft paper towel and then wipe the awards. Follow it up with a lint free cloth or microfiber cloth until dry. Make sure you wipe the entire cleaner off of the award to avoid streaks.

Take Additional Care with Clear Acrylic Awards

If you received acrylic awards you should avoid using any household cleaners at all. These cleaners often contain chemicals that can cause the acrylic to dull and haze. The best way to care for your acrylic awards is to clean them with a soft rag and some warm water with a small amount of mild dish soap. Still unsure about the difference in acrylic and crystal care? Let's dive in a bit more.

Since acrylic awards are easy to match with other materials, such as silver, we want to provide some insights on cleaning silver plated awards. For silver plated trophies and awards, use a polishing cloth to gently buff away any tarnish. Be careful not to rub too hard, as this can scratch the surface of the trophy. If you're unsure whether your trophy is silver plated or not, it's best to err on the side of caution and use a soft cloth to clean it.

You should always use a soft lint-free towel. It is possible to accidentally scratch acrylic while cleaning it, so never use scouring pads or chemical glass cleaners on your acrylic awards. You should also keep clear acrylic out of direct sunlight when possible to avoid yellowing.

Here are cleaners you should not use when cleaning clear acrylic:

  • Windex or other Glass Cleaners
  • Multipurpose Cleaner
  • Bathroom Cleaner
  • Ammonia or Chemical Sprays
  • Alcohol (methyl, ethyl, isopropanol) or denatured alcohol
  • Acetone
  • Abrasive Cleaners
  • Hot water

Instead, you should always do the following:

  • Use room temperature water or warm water when you can.
  • Apply mild dish soap to a clean cloth that has not been used to clean anything else.
  • Gently rub the award with this soapy cloth.
  • Gently wipe dry completely with a lint free cloth.

Now that you've learned how to clean clear acrylic and the best way to clean crystal awards, remember it's that easy to keep your awards looking spectacular.