This $23 Cleaning Polish Kit Is Absolute Magic for Restoring Acrylic and Lucite Furniture

published Oct 10, 2022
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Credit: Erin Derby

I love acrylic accessories and furniture as much as anyone. These pieces recede into space visually and are total style chameleons. My first acrylic piece was a vintage tulip chair gifted to me by my godmother’s husband (as shown above), which was quickly followed up by my purchase of CB2’s legendary Peekaboo Acrylic Coffee Table and a trio of nesting tables from Zara Home. I’m not saying I’m not hard on furniture, but let’s just say that these pieces starting looking a little worse for wear a couple years in, and that started to bother me.

What people don’t tell you about this visually light, magical material is that it can scratch fairly easily. I’m not talking really super-deep, long scratches (though those can and do happen, too). It’s the little superficial nicks and dings that were bumming me out, and while I realize in the grand scheme of problems, this is small potatoes, I still went in search of a solution and found it (with a little bit of trial and error, and asking some key questions at the checkout in my local The Container Store): Novus’ trio of plastic-specific products, Plastic Clean & Shine #1, Fine Scratch Remover #2, Heavy Scratch Remover #3.

Let me preface this by saying I’ve only had to purchase this three-pack once because a few spritzes (and dabs, in terms of the scratch removers) go along way. Together, this system has breathed new life into my tables and chair as well as a vintage acrylic wine rack I ordered from The Modern Republic and an old acrylic shelf that literally was my only form of towel storage for almost ten years. For fine scratch removal, all you have to do is put a bit of the #2 on a clean, soft cloth rag (don’t use paper towels or sponges — they can create more scratches) then work the product in circles into the surface of the scratches to buff marks out. I noticed lifting of those little lines and small dings right away, but you’ll have to work at anything deeper a bit more and start with the #3 solution as your prep. A huge, very long scratch probably isn’t going to go away completely, but these solutions will make just about any markings look considerably better.

The spray cleaner, or the #1 product in the set, is also fantastic. You’ve probably been using glass cleaner or maybe an all-purpose solution to wipe away dirt and smudges on your acrylic and lucite, which is totally fine. Trust me though when I say, for anything that’s essentially plastic, this product is far superior, especially if cloudy, foggy acrylic or streaky lucite irks you. The formula even claims to be a natural dust repellant, too, though I’m not sure if that’s actually the case. I just know that if I use it periodically on my pieces — or if I bring a new-old acrylic item into my home — some TLC with this kit will make the item look fresher.

If you want to try before you fully buy into this system, The Container Store offers a smaller sized set for just $13. Anyone who is an acrylic furniture fan though, I think, should have some version of this trio in their at-home cleaning kit. It’s great for furniture flipping, too, if you are into restoring old plastic items.