Sign Maintenance Australia


What can I use to clean signs?

What Can I Use to Clean Signs?


Signs play a crucial role in communication, whether they are used for advertising, wayfinding, or conveying important information. Over time, signs can accumulate dirt, dust, and grime, which can hinder their visibility and effectiveness. Cleaning signs regularly is essential to maintain their appearance and legibility. However, not all cleaning agents are suitable for all types of signs. In this article, we will explore various cleaning methods and products that you can use to clean signs effectively and safely. What can I use to clean signs?

1. Understanding Sign Materials

Before diving into cleaning methods, it’s important to understand the materials commonly used in sign manufacturing. Signs can be made from a variety of materials, including:

1.1. Metal Signs

Metal signs, such as aluminum or stainless steel, are durable and commonly used for outdoor signage. They are resistant to weather conditions and can withstand exposure to sunlight and rain. When cleaning metal signs, avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads that could scratch the surface.

1.2. Plastic Signs

Plastic signs are lightweight and versatile. They come in various forms, including PVC, acrylic, and polycarbonate. These signs are often used indoors and outdoors. When cleaning plastic signs, it’s important to avoid harsh chemicals that can cause discoloration or damage the surface. Use mild, non-abrasive cleaners instead.

1.3. Glass Signs

Glass signs are commonly seen in high-end establishments and offices. They add a touch of sophistication and elegance to any environment. When cleaning glass signs, use a glass cleaner that is specifically formulated for streak-free cleaning. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch the glass surface.

What can I use to clean signs?
What can I use to clean signs?

1.4. Vinyl Signs

Vinyl signs are widely used for advertising and outdoor promotions. They are weather-resistant and often have a glossy finish. When cleaning vinyl signs, avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the print or vinyl surface. Use mild soap and water or a specialized vinyl cleaner.

2. Cleaning Methods and Products

Now that we have a better understanding of different sign materials, let’s explore some effective cleaning methods and products you can use:

2.1. Gentle Soap and Water

For most signs, a gentle cleaning solution of mild soap and water will do the job. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap or a sign-specific cleaner with warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the sign’s surface. Gently wipe the sign, removing any dirt or grime. Rinse with clean water and pat dry with a soft cloth.

2.2. Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be effective for removing tough stains, fingerprints, or adhesive residue from signs. Dilute the alcohol with water, creating a solution with a 1:1 ratio. Dampen a cloth or sponge with the solution and gently rub the affected areas. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

2.3. Glass Cleaners

Glass cleaners are specifically formulated to provide streak-free cleaning for glass surfaces. They are ideal for glass signs or signs with glass components. Spray the glass cleaner onto the sign’s surface and use a lint-free cloth to wipe away dirt and smudges. Ensure that the cloth is clean and free of any abrasive particles.

2.4. Non-Abrasive Cleaners

When dealing with sensitive sign materials like plastic or vinyl, it’s crucial to use non-abrasive cleaners. Look for cleaners specifically designed for plastic or vinyl surfaces. These cleaners are formulated to remove dirt and grime without causing damage or discoloration. Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s packaging and use a soft cloth or sponge to gently clean the sign. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly to prevent water spots or streaks.

use to clean signs

2.5. Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths are highly effective for cleaning signs as they are soft, lint-free, and gentle on surfaces. These cloths have tiny fibers that can trap and remove dirt particles without scratching or damaging the sign. When using a cleaning solution, dampen the microfiber cloth and gently wipe the sign’s surface in a circular motion. Rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading dirt or residue. For sign maintenance adelaide read on.

2.6. Soft Bristle Brushes

For signs with textured surfaces or hard-to-reach areas, a soft bristle brush can be useful. Choose a brush with gentle bristles to avoid scratching the sign’s surface. Dip the brush in a cleaning solution, such as mild soap and water, and lightly scrub the sign, paying attention to crevices and corners. Rinse thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.

3. General Cleaning Tips

To ensure effective and safe cleaning of signs, here are some general tips to keep in mind:

3.1. Test in a Small Area

Before applying any cleaning solution or method to the entire sign, it’s wise to test it in a small, inconspicuous area first. This way, you can ensure that the cleaner does not cause any adverse effects or damage the sign’s surface.

3.2. Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals, solvents, or abrasive cleaners on signs unless specifically recommended by the manufacturer. These substances can cause discoloration, fading, or even irreversible damage to the sign.

3.3. Follow Manufacturer’s Guidelines

Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines or recommendations for cleaning the specific type of sign you have. Different materials may require different cleaning approaches, and following the guidelines will help you maintain the sign’s integrity.

3.4. Regular Maintenance

To prevent heavy build-up of dirt and grime, it’s essential to incorporate regular cleaning and maintenance of signs into your routine. This will help preserve their appearance and ensure their longevity.

3.5. Safety Precautions

When using cleaning solutions or chemicals, ensure proper ventilation and wear protective gloves if necessary. Read and follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.


Cleaning signs is a vital aspect of their maintenance, ensuring they remain visible, legible, and aesthetically pleasing. By understanding the materials used in signs and employing appropriate cleaning methods and products, you can effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains without damaging the sign’s surface. Regular cleaning, using gentle solutions and non-abrasive tools, will help extend the lifespan of your signs and maintain their visual impact for years to come.

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