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How to Clean Your Etched Nameplates Effectively

Updated on July 9, 2015
Cleaning Etched Nameplates
Cleaning Etched Nameplates

Etching is a great marking method to use when making nameplates for any purpose. Whether these plates are used by personnel on their clothing to show people who they are, or are placed on office doors to show people what a room is for (or who is occupying it), keeping these clean is imperative. This is because of the fact that these tags have recessed parts that can gather dirt, which can make these look grimy and very dirty.

Cleaning etched nameplates is not as easy as it should be, however it is not that difficult either. For you to be able to do this effectively, the first thing you need to determine is the kind of material your nameplate is made of. This is to ensure that when you clean these nameplates, you do not damage them with the cleaning materials that you use. This is to also enable you to use the right kind of cleaning substances on them.

Nameplates that are etched are made using a wide variety of materials. These include the lower costing ones like plastic, and the more expensive ones like brass and stainless steel. Since some of these may tarnish, get scratched, or melt when specific cleaning agents are used, it is but natural for you to find out first what these nameplates are made of before cleaning them. This will help you effectively remove the dirt from them and to avoid damaging them as well.

Etched Metal Plates
Etched Metal Plates

Different Etched Nameplates, Different Cleaning Methods

To start off on the right foot, let us start with the lightest material used for these nameplates and work our way to the heaviest ones. Here are the many kinds of nameplate materials you can have etched and what you should do to clean them:

Plastic nameplates – usually, when it comes to etching, the usual material used is metal, and the next possible material for this is glass. Plastic is often engraved, but with the latest technology being used nowadays to make signs, nameplates and the like, plastic can now be etched as well. Etched plastic plates are marked with the use of a chemical that can handle such a material. The usual chemical used for these is chromic-sulfuric acid.

These etched plastic plates are easy enough to clean since these do not scratch easily, and can be cleaned using plain warm water with dishwashing liquid. If these plastic plates do not have any metal attachments that may rust when these get wet, you can simply soak these in the water/dishwashing soap solution, and scrubbed with a soft bristled brush. To remove the dirt from inside the recessed parts, you can use a cuticle stick to do this.

Glass nameplates – etched glass nameplates can be cleaned with the use of the same cleaning mixture as plastic, however you should take care when you clean these since these can slip due to the soapy water and can break when it happens. You should also take care when choosing the kind of material to scrub these with since glass surfaces can get scratched easily. Do not use brushes that have hard bristles, and definitely avoid sponges with scouring sides on these.

For glass, you should choose a soft sponge to clean these with, or a soft, microfiber rag that won’t create scratches on the surface. As with plastic plates, you can clean the recessed parts of these items with the use of the pointy end of a wooden cuticle stick. If you do not want to scratch these recessed parts with this stick, you can wrap the pointy end with a thin sheet of cotton or use the microfiber cloth over the tip of this stick when gouging out dirt from your nameplates.

Metal Nameplates – while etched metal nameplates are rather durable and can withstand rough conditions, there are specific metals that can get scratched easily. To ensure that these do not get scratched when you clean them, use a microfiber cloth to wipe them down and do not use any hard bristled brushes to remove any tough dirt and stains on them. Since the metals used in creating these tags are oftentimes tarnish and rust proof, it is safe to use the same cleaning agents as the two previous materials on these as well.

When scrubbing the surface of your metal plates, make sure that you do not do so with a heavy hand. Also, make sure that you wipe these following the grain of the metal to prevent abrasion marks from appearing. The same method used to gouge out dirt from recessed parts of the nameplate (using a wooden cuticle stick) can also be used here.

Cleaning Materials for Cleaning Nameplates
Cleaning Materials for Cleaning Nameplates

When Should You Clean Your Etched Nameplates?

There is no set schedule for when these nameplates need to be cleaned. You should go with how they look to you and clean them as often or as sparsely as you like. If these get dirty quicker, you should clean more often. If these do not gather dirt that fast, once every few months may be enough.

Simply be careful when you clean these name tags and you will find that not only will these look good all the time, but these will also last longer. Regularly cleaning these nameplates will help keep grime and dirt from accumulating and even hardening, making these easier to clean and won’t require too much effort for you to remove the dirt from them.


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