Cleaning the Front & Rear Windows

I am going to start this section with a warning:

DO NOT USE GLASS CLEANERS ON THE FRONT & REAR WINDOWS, ammonia and vinegar based products will etch the surface and cause the windows to look fogged

The front & rear windows are made from 3/16″ or 4.5mm acrylic plastic, commonly called Plexiglas, acrylic is used for these windows because they need to bend to follow the curve of the body.  Although acrylic is very tough and durable it is also very delicate:

  • NEVER use anything abrasive, cleaners or scrubbing pads as these will scratch the surface
  • NEVER use harsh cleaners or chemicals, ammonia, bleach or vinegar based cleaners such as commercially available glass cleaners will etch the surface

So now the good news, cleaning the acrylic windows is really quite simple and easy, just follow these steps:

  1. Never wipe the windows when dry, use a mixture of ordinary dish soap and water (a few drops of soap in a litre of water) in a spray bottle, apply a liberal amount to the window
  2. Using a microfiber cloth gently wipe the window, keep applying more soap and water solution and using a clean area on the cloth as needed until the window is clean
  3. Polish dry the window using light pressure until dry
  4. Using a “dedicated” microfiber cloth apply Lemon Pledge to the surface, wiping thoroughly and polish to a shine.

Lemon Pledge is a trick used by helicopter and private place pilots to keep the expensive acrylic windows easy to clean and remove insects.

The side windows which includes all windows that open use glass window panes so any commercially available or home make window cleaner will work.


Polishing Acrylic Front and Rear Windows

I often get asked if the front and rear acrylic windows can be polished, like modern car headlights, to make them Look like new.  The answer is “it depends”, As acrylic ages it gets brittle, small cracks or crazing will start to develop within the acrylic, this type of damage WILL NOT polish out, but is just the surface has some minor scratches or has minor etching then a polish may reduce the haziness of the window.  Although there are many products out there use one that is specifically designed for use on acrylic, also always apply by hand with the recommended applicator, NEVER use a power tool like a drill or polisher to apply as these will generate too much heat and cause more damage.  I have had very good success with Novus Plastic Polish, it is a professional product that is specifically designed for acrylic.  I will add the usual disclaimer here, no matter what product you decide to use test it in a small area first.

2 Responses

  1. Candice Bowden
    | Reply

    We just bought a1972 Boler and are wanting to hang curtains. The two side window and rear window have brackets already but the front window does not. How do we go ably putting brackets without damaging the elephant skin. Also so they will hang close to the wall or do you have to affix them somehow?

    • Ian
      | Reply

      Congratulation Candice on your “new-to-you” Boler
      Originally the front and rear window curtain rod brackets were pop riveted through the body shell. This is probably the easiest method to use. Another alternative would be to epoxy wooden block directly to the inside of the fibreglass shell (you would need to cut away some small sections of the elephant skin to access the fibreglass shell) but that would eliminate any holes through the body

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