Lucite purses entered the market in the 1950s when plastics were all the rage. Lucite purses came in all sorts of creative shapes, colors and textures. The vintage accessory can be found in antique shops, vintage clothing stores and flea markets. Over time, your Lucite purse collects dust and scuff marks, but you can restore your purse to its near original luster by washing it with soap and water, and polishing it with car-paste wax or plastic polish.
Things You'll Need
Wet a clean dishcloth and squirt a nickel-sized amount of mild, liquid hand soap onto the wet cloth. Wipe the Lucite purse in a back and forth movement, cleaning all Lucite surfaces. Do not use abrasive cleaners or ammonia-based products. According to Imbedding in Lucite, you should never use “window-cleaning fluids, scouring compounds, gritty cloths, or strong solvents such as alcohol, acetone” or carbon tetrachloride. These will scratch and break down the chemical compounds in the plastic. Rinse with a clean dishcloth wet with water only.
Use wet, soapy cotton swabs to clean hard to reach places such as under the hinges of the handles, etc. Wipe away any soapy residue with the clean dishcloth wet with water only.
Dry the Lucite purse with a clean dishtowel using a blotting method and a back-and-forth movement, ensuring the purse is completely dry.
Spray the purse with a plastic polish and gently rub in a circular motion all over the Lucite to remove scuffs and create a crisp, sparkling luster. Or according to Imbedding in Lucite, “to maintain the brilliant luster of Lucite, wax occasionally with a good grade of automobile paste wax.” Don’t use a cleaner-wax. Use a flannel cloth to apply a coat of paste wax, rubbing it in a circular motion with the cloth to buff.
Wipe the polish or wax residue away with a slightly dampened dishcloth.
Clean purse embellishments such as flocked fruit or bows and other decorative additions by placing the foot of a pair of clean pantyhose over the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Secure with a rubberband around the end of the hose.
Vacuum the bows, fruit, etc with the pantyhose-covered hose attachment of the vacuum cleaner. The hose keeps your purse’s decorations from being sucked into the hose, but allows the dust and grime to be lifted away by the suction.
References and ResourcesBag Lady Emporium: Lucite Information
Imbedding in Lucite: Cleaning Lucite