Veranda, pergola, greenhouse, swimming pool enclosure maintenance: How to clean polycarbonate sheets?

Written by Kremena Ruseva

Over time, polycarbonate becomes stained and yellow. This is often due to sun damage, as well as dirt and oil buildup. Indeed, polycarbonate sheets are more difficult to clean than other plastic surfaces, because they absorb moisture and bind dust. Whether you want to whiten the yellowed roof of your veranda or your pergola, or bring back the translucency of your greenhouse, here are the good methods to try! Let’s see how to clean polycarbonate sheets!

How to clean polycarbonate sheets for pergola, greenhouse, veranda roof, swimming pool enclosure?

how to clean polycarbonate greenhouse


Start by removing the debris

Whether you are cleaning a roof, a greenhouse, a swimming pool enclosure or other polycarbonate elements, you must start by removing all debris from the plastic. These can be leaves, twigs, rocks, and large deposits of mud or dirt. By removing these large particles, you ensure that nothing remains that can scratch the material.

Rinse with lukewarm water

Whenever you start cleaning plastic, we recommend doing a quick rinse first. This helps to make sure that all visible dirt has been removed, making the cleaning process easier in the long run.

Wash the polycarbonate sheets with lukewarm water and mild soap

Mix soap and water in a bucket and wash the polycarbonate sheets with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to avoid damaging the material. Also, make sure your detergent doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that could damage plastic, such as heavy naphtha. Unlike acrylic, ammonia does not destroy polycarbonate.

Change your water/sponge and rinse thoroughly

Remove all soap and rinse polycarbonate with warm water. You may need to repeat these steps if the surface has not been washed for a while.

Dry the polycarbonate plates with a soft cloth

To prevent water spots and streaks from forming on the polycarbonate, be sure to dry the plastic with another soft cloth. (That’s why it’s not a good idea to clean it if it’s raining outside).

Check your gutter

This only applies if you’re cleaning polycarbonate roofing, but don’t forget to check the gutters after you’ve finished cleaning. You may have caused a blockage by removing all the debris, and you’ll probably need to clear the gutter to prevent overflow.

How to cleaning yellowed polycarbonate sheets with isopropyl alcohol

how to clean yellowed polycarbonate pergola


Alcohol solutions (isopropyl alcohol / purified water) or wipes containing at least 70% alcohol are effective for disinfecting most hard surfaces. First, clean with soap and water. Then apply the alcohol solution and let it work for at least 30 seconds. Wipe with a clean cloth.

How to whiten yellowed polycarbonate sheets with hydrogen peroxide?

how to clean polycarbonate pool enclosure

Household hydrogen peroxide (3%) is effective for cleaning yellowed polycarbonate. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be treated. Leave it on for 8 minutes and wipe off with a clean cloth.

How to bleach polycarbonate: Mistakes to avoid

  1. Never use abrasive or strong alkaline cleaners on polycarbonate products.
  2. Do not leave cleaners on polycarbonate for long periods of time. Rinse thoroughly with cold, clean water.
  3. Do not apply cleansers during the hottest hours of the day, as well as in direct sunlight.
  4. Never use sharp objects, squeegees or razors on polycarbonate.
  5. Always test cleaners on a small, inconspicuous area before cleaning polycarbonate sheets to avoid negative results.
  6. Avoid dry cleaning, as sand and dust particles clinging to the outside of the plates can scratch the surface.

Why does polycarbonate turn yellow?

how to clean polycarbonate veranda

In most cases, polycarbonate sheets are exposed to the sun. In this way, they are constantly attacked by UV rays. Although the latter do not penetrate the sheets, they compromise their outer layer. Over time, their protective layer is therefore destroyed. As a result, their initial color changes, making them yellow.

Another reason why polycarbonate changes color is as a result of oxidation. As the rate of oxidation accelerates, the material changes color at a much faster rate.

If you want to know how to whiten yellowed PVC, check out our article on the subject!

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