Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cleaning n Protecting Lexan and Isinglass

Our retrofit ports ... looking great after 9 months with no attention

When Ken installed our retrofit windows on Nirvana and replaced the Lexan on our hatches, we stressed about how we were going to keep them looking great.  After all, Lexan can scratch so easily.  We wondered what product to use to keep our ports and hatches clean without scratching them.

I searched online and went to the local automotive store, only to find stuff to clean cloudy headlights.  That stuff may do the trick, but I wasn't ready to buy it until I searched a little longer.  Then, when Ken and I were at the local hardware store I found something that sounded like what I was looking for.  It didn't have a catchy name, and the can was pretty dull but I liked what it said.   It's called 210 Plastic Cleaner & Polish.  You just spray it on and wipe off in a circular motion with a soft cloth.  The Lexan will be clean, with a protective coating left behind.

We bought a can of the 210, but it took me about a week to get the nerve to try it.  What if I scratched our brand new ports?!  I grabbed a new micro-fiber cloth and went for it.  I held my breath while I sprayed the port, knowing that Ken was also nervous about this product I decided to buy.  After rubbing the cleaner/polish off the port, I was relieved to see that this stuff seemed to actually work!  I cleaned all the ports and hatches, then went inside the boat and cleaned the other sides.  That's when I knew I made the right choice.  The ports and hatches looked great from both sides, and I could feel the protective coating being left behind.  The exterior of the ports and hatches were clean and shiny.

After all this stress about keeping our ports and hatches clean, I didn't touch them again for about 9 months.   When Ken and I finally got around to cleaning our "dirty ass" boat a couple of weeks ago, I again cleaned the ports and hatches with the 210 Plastic Cleaner/Polish.  After all that time sitting in the sun with bird droppings, rain, leaves, etc. they still look great.  I really think the protective coating helped all that time.

I still have over half a can left, but I figured I'd see if West Marine carries this stuff.  I couldn't find it on their web site, but I did find it on Amazon's site here.  When looking for the 210 online, I noticed that it also removes marks from crayons and magic markers, paint over-spray, and residue from adhesive backings and masking tape.  It also states that it seals the plastic's pores, and the protective coating has UV inhibitors.  I came across a lot of great reviews on this stuff from other boaters as well.  

If you have Lexan that needs cleaning, I highly recommend this cleaner!  It's also supposed to be great for Isinglass and other types of plastic as well (not sure about Strataglass since they claim you must use their cleaner).  I no longer hold my breath when cleaning our ports and hatches.  Let me know if you try it and what you think.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

Thanks for the tip. It's hard to find a good cleaner at times.

Have a fabulous day. :)

Latitude 43 said...

Good tip. I have been using a plain old plastic cleaner from WM. I think the stuff is two boats old. Can't tell u what it is as the label faded. It cleans them OK, but never leaves them shiny. One day while waxing I applied some Fleet Wax on a small hatch and was impressed with how it looked. It holds up for months! So, if you have a can of Fleetwax paste, give that a try.


Drew Frye said...

I'm starting a bunch of long-term vinyl window (Strataglass and Regalite) protectant tests for Practical Sailor; it will run for years. What is coming out soon is a lit of the things that will RUIN the windows in quick time:
* Many canvass treatments. Over spray is deadly.
* Many anti-mildew treatments.
* DEET bug juice is DEADLY. Melts them.
* Sunscreen, of course.

As for Lexan ports, any plastic paste wax is good. I have used 3M marine cleaner wax for many years.

I also like keeping them covered; faster than cleaning the bird poop and keeps out the heat.

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