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Old 11-15-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Question Purell Sanitizer for cleaning clear blocks?

Has anyone had any long-term experience with this? I just heard of this tip through Operation Write Home and wondered if it was a good idea. Thought I'd heard you shouldn't use alcohol-based products on clear blocks or photopolymers.
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:23 PM   #2
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I am curious about this as well.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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I have an acrylic block that I happened to accidentally drip hand sanitizer on one day while I was cleaning my scissors (this was back in the days when you had to cut out all the SU stamps). I wiped it off as soon as I saw it - couldn't have more than 2 or 3 minutes, but that block still has a film where the sanitizer was.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:24 PM   #4
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I just saw a tip on Pinterest to try using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean clear blocks. Haven't tried it yet though.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
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I just saw a tip on Pinterest to try using Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean clear blocks. Haven't tried it yet though.
I would not use those, they are abrasive. They can scratch the acrylic blocks. I read it somewhere, can't remember where though.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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I know that stazon will eventually leave a film on the blocks. I don't know about hand sanitizer.

I use simple green mixed with water for all my stamping clean up needs.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:31 PM   #7
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I haven't tried hand sanitizer but I use alcohol all the time. It works great! I keep a small spritzer filled with alcohol at my stamping table. I just spritz my clear blocks and then wipe with a wash rag. I've done this since SU came out with clear blocks and they are crystal clear! In fact, it cleans so much better than warm soapy water, especially when I use my 'unmounted' stamps that have tack it over and over on them, which sometimes leaves a residue.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:27 PM   #8
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I use sanitizer on mine (body shop satsuma because it smells nice BUT is clear), in part because I sometimes use unmounted rubber stamps with repositionable glue on it, and the sanitizer cleans off the stickies. I use sanitizer, then because it doesn't usually evaporate enough I wipe it off with a paper towel, and then I might buff with my microfiber cloth because it does leave some streaks.

My personal thought on "alcohol might ruin your blocks" is: unless it is going to make them melt into a pile of goo, then I do. not. care. What is the worst that will happen? It won't be totally clear? Please. It's only totally clear right after I buy it.

I also use STAZON and STAZON CLEANER on my acrylic stamps, so I guess that makes me a crafty rule scofflaw.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Magic erasers are made of finely ground formica, and "sand" the top layer of whatever you're cleaning. I wouldn't use them on acrylic blocks. I have used hand sanitizer and alcohol on my blocks with no problems.
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:05 AM   #10
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I have used Magic Clean eraser on my blocks. I don't do this for every stamping session. I have done it a couple of times when my blocks were all mucked up from a huge stamping session. No, I wouldn't clean your blocks all the time with a Magic Clean eraser. Sparingly doesn't hurt the blocks and will fix them up like they are brand new.

I usually clean my blocks with my homemade stamp cleaner.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:52 AM   #11
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Awesome! Thanks so much for the info, everyone! I think I will try it on one. I may rinse them with plain water afterwards just to be totally sure. And... not for the first time, I wish longingly for a sink in my stamp room....
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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I've always used alcohol to clean my acrylic blocks...love how clean they get after a good stamping session! And I never let my blocks get really dirty, don't like inky buildup!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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I just cleaned all my blocks today. Istarted with warm soapy water (Dawn) but that didn't do the trick, so I used Windex. That got all the sticky stuff off of them and they are now shiny and new looking. Ho DO they get bits of stickiness on them?
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:30 AM   #14
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A couple of years ago I wrote to a couple of acrylic mfg. companies about cleaning acetate blocks and the #1 no-no was using alcohol. I also wrote to StazOn about their cleaner and they said they did not know if their cleaner would hurt the blocks.

Why did I write these companies? For years I had cleaned by blocks with alcohol and or StazOn cleaner and all my blocks had spider cracks in them and some eventually cracked all the way through. So I just let my blocks get gummy and oh so ugly.

Then I discovered Zest-It. It's an all natural orange oil cleaner that is great replacement for Gamsol and it's a great cleaner. The drawback is that it's from he UK so it's a bit pricey.

To clean my blocks I put some of the Zest-It on the blocks, let it sit a couple of minutes and wipe off with paper towel. I then wipe with a non-alcohol baby wipe and dry with a paper towel. Sometimes I have to scrub a little with my fingernail to get off stubborn glue or ink, but they come out like new and no more spider cracks. In between heavier cleaning I use my SU cleaning cloth.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:49 AM   #15
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I read somewhere to use Goo Gone to clean the blocks and I tried that and it works!!!
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:40 AM   #16
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I typically don't get much on my blocks other than ink so I clean mine with an alcohol-free baby wipe and that cleans them right up.

Some of my acrylic blocks may have a permanent ink stain on here or there, but so far that has not caused any issues when stamping and it does not bother me because although I take good care of my tools, I do not expect them to remain in pristine condition as I use them.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #17
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I typically don't get much on my blocks other than ink so I clean mine with an alcohol-free baby wipe and that cleans them right up.

Some of my acrylic blocks may have a permanent ink stain on here or there, but so far that has not caused any issues when stamping and it does not bother me because although I take good care of my tools, I do not expect them to remain in pristine condition as I use them.
I also like to keep my acrylic blocks clean and clear with wear. I do not use alcohol on them. I do have on block that did "fog" up and get the spider cracks from stazon. It happens to be the most expansive and best block I have. Just bums me out that this happened.

Grant you the blocks do preform just fine even though they are foggy and spider cracked but this deform could have been prevented with the proper warning and care info from the manufacturers of the blocks from the beginning.

Especially a notation about stazon!
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #18
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A couple of years ago I wrote to a couple of acrylic mfg. companies about cleaning acetate blocks and the #1 no-no was using alcohol. I also wrote to StazOn about their cleaner and they said they did not know if their cleaner would hurt the blocks.

Why did I write these companies? For years I had cleaned by blocks with alcohol and or StazOn cleaner and all my blocks had spider cracks in them and some eventually cracked all the way through. So I just let my blocks get gummy and oh so ugly.

Then I discovered Zest-It. It's an all natural orange oil cleaner that is great replacement for Gamsol and it's a great cleaner. The drawback is that it's from he UK so it's a bit pricey.

To clean my blocks I put some of the Zest-It on the blocks, let it sit a couple of minutes and wipe off with paper towel. I then wipe with a non-alcohol baby wipe and dry with a paper towel. Sometimes I have to scrub a little with my fingernail to get off stubborn glue or ink, but they come out like new and no more spider cracks. In between heavier cleaning I use my SU cleaning cloth.
I new about this early on! I wish there was a warning about stazon cleaner from the manufacters of the acrylic blocks from the beginning!
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfInkland View Post
I typically don't get much on my blocks other than ink so I clean mine with an alcohol-free baby wipe and that cleans them right up.

Some of my acrylic blocks may have a permanent ink stain on here or there, but so far that has not caused any issues when stamping and it does not bother me because although I take good care of my tools, I do not expect them to remain in pristine condition as I use them.
I feel this way, too. I really don't care about how my tools or even stamps, look. I just care if they perform well.
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #20
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I read somewhere to use Goo Gone to clean the blocks and I tried that and it works!!!

I'd be careful about Goo Be Gone. I just read the label and it has some pretty heavy duty warnings. Seems to like it might be considered a "harsh cleaner" when it comes to blocks. The bottle says "may dull some plastics."
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #21
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I believe Cita Solv would be the same as Zest It and it is easily available in the US. It's an orange-based cleaner. I suppose it would work the same as Zest It. But I don't know for certain. You would have to compare the ingredients.

Many painters are now using Citra Solve instead of Gamsol for cleaning brushes, as a "natural" alternative.

I personally have never had to use anything but dish soap and water on my blocks. That gets them clean enough for me, given the types of inks I use.

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Old 11-19-2013, 01:35 PM   #22
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hmmm....lots to think about! Normally I fall into the "don't care what it looks like as long as it works" category, but not if blocks will cloud or crack over time. I wouldn't bother cleaning them up if it were just me, but I like to keep things look neater for my customer friends as some of them are more particular than I am. I guess I might designate one block my "experiment block."
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:12 PM   #23
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hmmm....lots to think about! Normally I fall into the "don't care what it looks like as long as it works" category, but not if blocks will cloud or crack over time. I wouldn't bother cleaning them up if it were just me, but I like to keep things look neater for my customer friends as some of them are more particular than I am. I guess I might designate one block my "experiment block."
I'm with you on not cleaning my blocks. I only do it once in awhile or when I have to share with customers. I find that gummy blocks hold the stamps better but if I go too long without a cleaning it's harder when I want them to be pretty.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:54 AM   #24
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I've read that regularly cleaning your tools, whether it be your broom, your stove, refrigerator, vacuum, dryer, ANY TOOL, keeps it in working order! If you want your tools TO LAST, then you need to keep them clean! I know, I finally went all out after trying to piece together a set of acrylic blocks in different sizes, still frustrated I never had the right size. I don't want to have to put out MORE $$$ for another set of GOOD ACRYLIC BLOCKS! THANK YOU for this information!!!! Makes me want to get right to cleaning my blocks!!!!!!!!!! (NO, I'm NOT a "clean freak," just ask my hubby!)
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:03 AM   #25
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I've read that regularly cleaning your tools, whether it be your broom, your stove, refrigerator, vacuum, dryer, ANY TOOL, keeps it in working order! If you want your tools TO LAST, then you need to keep them clean! I know, I finally went all out after trying to piece together a set of acrylic blocks in different sizes, still frustrated I never had the right size. I don't want to have to put out MORE $$$ for another set of GOOD ACRYLIC BLOCKS! THANK YOU for this information!!!! Makes me want to get right to cleaning my blocks!!!!!!!!!! (NO, I'm NOT a "clean freak," just ask my hubby!)
Come clean mine while you're at it I am not a clean freak either. Gracious, don't anybody come look at my house right now. I've been swamped and it's a certified disaster area. I have like an 8x8 space cleared in the rubble to stamp, and that's it!
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:19 AM   #26
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I don't know if any of you follow thefrugalcrafter, but I highly recommend it. She uses the Simple Green that is easily found here in the states. She says she has used it for cleaning her stamps and blocks for years with no issues. I think she might dilute a little, but she also had other great tips and ideas.
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:25 AM   #27
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I don't know if any of you follow thefrugalcrafter, but I highly recommend it. She uses the Simple Green that is easily found here in the states. She says she has used it for cleaning her stamps and blocks for years with no issues. I think she might dilute a little, but she also had other great tips and ideas.
That is what I posted in post #6 that I use

That is all that I use to clean my stamps. Saves on expansive stamp cleaner and does just as good a job cleaning if not better!

Got the tip here on SCS some time ago too!
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #28
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Simple Green was made as a RUBBER CLEANER!!! It CONDITIONS the rubber too! Here is the dilution I use: 2 1/2 c. Distilled Water, 1 1/4 c. Simple Green, pour into a squirt bottle for easy use!
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #29
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I'm lazy , so I usually just put my blocks in the dishwasher when they need spiffed up! I do NOT use the heated dry on my dishwasher which may be important....

Anything that's still stuck on the blocks usually comes right off with a little Goo Gone, but then I rewash with hand or dish soap so there's no long term exposure to the solvents.
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:32 PM   #30
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Magic erasers are made of finely ground formica, and "sand" the top layer of whatever you're cleaning. I wouldn't use them on acrylic blocks. I have used hand sanitizer and alcohol on my blocks with no problems.
Im not trying to be a Miss Smarty Pants, so please don't take it that way. Your comment about ground Formica made me smile....I pictured the manufacturer taking bits and pieces of leftover countertop material and grinding it up to make the magic erasers. .
I read some time ago that Magic Erasers are actually made from melamine, the same product that was put in some dog food products by the Chinese a few years back that killed a bunch of dogs after they ingested it. They also added it to milk products, as I recall, with similar bad outcome. Melamine IS abrasive, so I agree that if it used on the blocks it should be done with a very light hand so as not to damage the surface.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:10 AM   #31
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What I found with using magic erasers on the blocks is that such a light swipe with them removes ink so quickly that you are not rubbing hard enough to do any damage whatsoever. I would avoid the citrus solvents on stamps or blocks...it may be natural but that is some strong stuff.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:15 AM   #32
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Wow, dishwashers, solvents, Magic Erasers... I'd be too timid to do most of these, I think! My blocks aren't THAT bad : )
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:39 PM   #33
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I'm for Goo Gone. I work in a scrapbook store and have a lot of blocks to keep clean. If we use unmounted stamps, Goo Gone is my go to product. Takes glue right off and makes the block shine. One thing though, I wash them after using the Goo Gone just to make sure they are really clean. For inks on the block we use Stewart Superior's stamp cleaner. It's fast, easy and leaves the blocks clean and shiny.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:55 AM   #34
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I'm for Goo Gone. I work in a scrapbook store and have a lot of blocks to keep clean. If we use unmounted stamps, Goo Gone is my go to product. Takes glue right off and makes the block shine. One thing though, I wash them after using the Goo Gone just to make sure they are really clean. For inks on the block we use Stewart Superior's stamp cleaner. It's fast, easy and leaves the blocks clean and shiny.
I think that's probably the key, rinsing them afterwards. Best to get the chemicals off your hands right away, too.

Ok, today's the day! I'll post back if I find any fabulous new trick
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:25 PM   #35
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I clean mine with water or my stamp cleaner (homemade with baby wash) most of the time and they stay pretty clean. I occasionally clean them with alcohol rarely, maybe every 6 weeks and I've not ha a problem but that's probably to do with how rarely I use the alcohol. Mostly after heavy use of pigment ink which gets on the block. I'm pretty neat stamping once but after repeated stamping on such soft ink pads, I have a lot of over inking on the block. Water and stamp cleaner just doesn't cut it. I wonder how a glass cleaner would work like Windex?
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:56 PM   #36
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I agree that the cleaning off of any chemicals afterwards probably is the very best idea. As for what Staz-on cleaner does to your blocks:
img_8588-w.jpg
This has happened over the years before I knew what Staz-on cleaner did to them. Yes, the blocks do the job, but I keep them now for putting any stamp on the needs Staz-on cleaner. It completely ruined the plate from my stamp positioner though- not much use if you can't see clearly where you are putting the image!
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:45 AM   #37
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[QUOTE=Rebecca Ednie;20437281]I clean mine with water or my stamp cleaner (homemade with baby wash) most of the time and they stay pretty clean. I occasionally clean them with alcohol rarely, maybe every 6 weeks and I've not ha a problem but that's probably to do with how rarely I use the alcohol. Mostly after heavy use of pigment ink which gets on the block. I'm pretty neat stamping once but after repeated stamping on such soft ink pads, I have a lot of over inking on the block. Water and stamp cleaner just doesn't cut it. I wonder how a glass cleaner would work like Windex?[/QUOTE]

Windex has alcohol so I wouldn't think it would be good
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:46 AM   #38
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I still maintain that Windex is safe to use on our blocks. When I first became a demo, I asked my dh (mechanical engineer) about using it on our clear blocks. He said to read the label and the MSDS for the product. I did and according to what I read:
"Works on:
Glass
Sealed Marble
Sealed Granite
UV-protected windows
Factory-installed low-E coated windows
Mirrors
Bathroom fixtures like those made of chrome
Lead or flint glass
Lucite
Tile
Plastic
Vinyl
Aluminum
And more"

I have been using it on my blocks for 2 years and they are clean and healthy
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #39
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Magnolia - glad you've had good results but I'm going to stand by not using Windex. I've listed a couple sites below and could list a lot more. It takes some time before I saw the cracks in my blocks and then it was too late.

Cleaning Acrylic
The best way to clean acrylic is with a specialty cleaning product such as Novus No.1 or Brillianize. NEVER use window cleaning fluids with ammonia (such as Windex or Formula 409), gasoline, denatured alcohol, carbon tetrachloride, or acetone, which will cause the acrylic to craze with minute cracks. A mild solution of soap or detergent and water can also be used safely.

Another:

CAUTION: Never use window cleaner, ammonia products, or other chemical sprays on acrylic!

The Number 1 Problem with caring for acrylic is the use of incorrect cleaners. Yes, we said "cleaners". Please... never, ever, use cleaners containing ammonia. Cleaners such as Windex or 409 will harm your new piece of acrylic. Use only products specifically recommended for cleaning acrylic such as Novus #1, or Brillianize, and a soft cloth.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:12 AM   #40
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I assume your linking to those articles has mainly to do with the warnings against using alcohol and Windex and the like.

But they advocate the use of some other cleaners and I would wonder whether these products like Brillianize and Novis #1 would be unsuitable for acrylic blocks? The articles are not geared to stampers, they seem to be geared to caring for surfaces where you want a shine, and they claim to leave a "glaze" which I would bet would affect the way cling foam sticks to it - not to mention those glazes might be actually bad for cling foam. I don't know anything about those cleaners. Maybe someone else does.

I love that so much intense discussion can be had about caring for acrylic blocks. We are obsessed, ladies! And we love it! As we should do! !
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