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Removing scratches from acrylic

I have three card shelves that I use to display our notecards for events. There’s a pic below so you can see what I’m talking about. They’re easy to set up and take back down, compact to store, and the front of each shelf has an acrylic piece so you can see the entire card. The biggest problem with them though, is that the acrylic inevitably gets scratched up during transit. 

Now I know most people aren’t toting around product display shelves like I am, but there are a ton of people out there who have some kind of acrylic something in their houses, drawer dividers, acrylic pins, even a phone case maybe. So who knows, maybe this little tidbit will give you an idea of how to get rid of some of those annoying dents and dings in your acrylic whatevers.

Vim & Vigor card displays with acrylic fronts that are mentioned in the blog post

I don’t remember where I saw this trick – honestly it was probably from a Google search because I Google absolutely every question that pops into my head. But it said smaller, more ‘cosmetic’ scratches, if you will, can be buffed out using toothpaste, because it’s mildly abrasive. Although it did make me question what that means for my teeth, I decided to give it a go to clean up the acrylic pieces of the card shelves.

Of course I forgot to take a before and after picture, but I did record the little experiment over on our TikTok, so check that video out if you don’t believe me.

The toothpaste didn’t get rid of every scratch on the acrylic, the deeper ones are still there. But the majority of dings were those smaller more cosmetic scratches I mentioned earlier, and I was pleasantly surprised that the toothpaste did in fact clean most of those up. It actually cleaned them up to the point I spent a solid 45 minutes buffing toothpaste into the other 8 acrylic pieces I have.

Pro tip! (if I can call myself a pro at this?) Wear gloves if you try this cause that toothpaste will get pretty gross and sticky and you buff it in. Also, don’t do what I did and toothpaste all the acrylic at once, then go back and try to wipe it off. Turns out toothpaste dries faster than you’d think. Buff it in, then wipe it off as soon as you’re done.

I know it’s a weird trick! But what do you think? Is this something you’d try at home?

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