How to clean Trotec plastic and acrylic products after laser engraving

If smoke residue develops on the product during laser processing, you can clean it off with clean water, or if necessary, mild cleaners that do not affect acrylics. First wipe off with a damp cloth, followed by a wipe with a clean, dry cloth. Nano sponges (often referred to as dirt erasers) or erasers can also be very helpful when removing resistant residue.


cleaning after laser engraving
Tips for cleaning after laser engraving

Pay attention to when cleaning

  • Caution on glossy surface: Please first carry out a test on a sample piece, to determine whether the surface is affected by the cleaner. For example, if it turns matte.
  • Please avoid using alcohol and other aggressive cleaners. Using them can bleach the colors and/or making the material brittle.
  • It is important to always wipe away from the engraved areas, to avoid carrying dust or dirt on the fresh engraving.

You can also use an oil (for example, a penetrating oil or eucalyptus oil) for cleaning. This method can highlight darker engravings nicely. Use these sprays sparingly, as the surface can become too oily.  
As an alternative, you can also use a window cleaner or a thin cloth with rinsing soap (the soap should be diluted).

improve engraving results
How to reduce the cleaning requirement

In general, the cleaning process can be significantly reduced by minimizing the smoke and residue produced during the engraving or cutting process. Consider the following points to improve the engraving result and to reduce the cleaning effort.

Pay attention to when laser processing

  • Engrave only as deep as needed for the result required. This results in a clearer, more detailed engraved image and also reduces smoke residue significantly. You can do so by reducing the laser power and/or increasing laser speed settings as needed.
  • Engrave from bottom to top, so the smoke is pulled away from the engraved area, rather than over it. This reduces the amount of residue that can settle on the (hot) engraved area.
  • Cutting in one pass while using a vacuum table allows residue to be vacuumed off rather than settling on the laminate.
  • When only cutting, you can leave the protective masking on the sheet or apply masking tape beforehand. This will result in a clean edge after removing the tape.