Just as the maintenance of your car projects an image of you and determines the length of its life, the importance of a clean, well-cared for sign cannot be understated. Not only is it easier to read, but a clean sign ensures the longevity of your investment, and it projects a positive image of your company to your current and future customers.

The following is a general signage care and maintenance guide. Building signage—both interior and exterior—can be made from a plethora of substrates and finishes, which means a different cleaning process for different custom signs. Should any questions arise, please be sure to speak with our experts about the best care method for each element of your custom sign.


Interior Signage

Interior signage can include ADA signs with or without braille, lobby signs, office directories, window and wall graphics, front desk signs, wayfinding signs, and other signage installed indoors. These sign types are often made with acrylic, resin, and vinyl. Find more of our interior sign projects HERE.


  • Dust and clean seasonally – a deep cleaning to remove any dirt and residue is vital to keeping your sign healthy. This should be done 4 times per year, at minimum.
  • Remove paper inserts and ensure the cleaning cloth is damp, but not soaking wet. This will keep interchangeable name dry and prevent deterioration.
  • Use a clean, non-abrasive cotton cloth or air duster to remove dust from crevices, particularly if the sign has dimensional letters (wall signs, reception signs).
  • Use mild soap mixture (detergents such as Dawn or Palmolive are recommended) diluted with lukewarm water to wipe down any residue build-up.
  • Work in small areas, one section at a time.
  • Blot detergent away with a soft fabric.
  • Keep signs dry and clean more often if your office is in a humid area.



  • Air dry or leave moisture on the sign.
  • Scrub areas with letters, numbers, symbols, or raised braille lettering.
  • Use rubbing alcohol or industrial strength cleaning detergents.
  • Use scrub brushes or steel wool.
  • Scrub hard with abrasive paper towels or rags.
  • Over-use globs of detergent all over the sign.
  • Use squeegees or razor blades to remove residue.
  • Allow cleaning solutions to dry on the surface of the sign.



Exterior signage includes channel letters, building signs, property directories, monuments, and other signs installed outdoors. These signs are usually made of high density urethane, aluminum, fiberglass, and stainless steel. Find more of our exterior sign projects HERE.



  • Wash seasonally.
  • Use clean water and car shampoo, as this type of detergent contains a protective wax. (Protective wax should only be used on specific materials. Please see one of our sign experts if you’re not sure whether or not your exterior sign falls into this category.)
  • Remove excess parts, such as hardware, frames, and panels, to get the deepest clean.
  • Thoroughly read detergent ingredients to avoid damage to the substrate.
  • Take extra caution with the edges of dimensional letters and other raised surfaces.



  • Use abrasive cloths, sponges, scrubbing brushes or detergents.
  • Use cleaning cloths that have been used for other surfaces, as this could cause unintended chemical reactions.
  • Pressure wash or steam clean signs.



Elements to Watch For

The location of your sign may affect its maintenance schedule. In larger cities and industrial areas, it may be necessary to clean signage more often, as corrosive particles run rampant, and pollutants can adversely affect paint and other surfaces.


Coastal areas have higher salt concentrations, which may negatively affect the color of your sign. Tree resins, animal droppings, and pollen should be removed as soon as possible to avoid general scratches and corrosion.  Paint and plastics are susceptible to sun damage, and colors will fade over time from everyday exposure. A wax-based car detergent, acting as a shield against pollution and UV radiation, can help extend the life of your sign.



We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—signage is the number one most cost-effective form of advertising for your business. A quick cleaning a few times per year keeps your investment around for the long haul, shows you take pride in the details of your establishment, and speaks volumes to your personnel and customers.


Have questions? In the market for a new custom sign tailored for your space? Check out some of our previous projects HERE, and give us a call at (253) 243-7777.