How to Clean Your Aircraft – 5 Top Tips

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There are a lot of reasons why you should clean your aircraft regularly. Not only will it keep your aircraft in good condition, but it will also prevent corrosion. Health and safety are of the ultimate importance when mixing people with airplanes, so daily cleaning will help prevent accidents, particularly when people enter or leave the plane.

Thorough cleaning is also the perfect opportunity for the aircraft to have a great inspection, so regular cleaning should make sure that all possibly dangerous problems are discovered before it is too late. Washing an aircraft is not as simple as washing a car or a motorcycle. There are several sections that must be washed with great care and attention, and there are other factors to be considered as well. Here are five things to keep in mind before you start cleaning your aircraft:

Cleaning Solution

Several chemical cleaning solutions can have an adverse reaction on the metal of the aircraft since most of the aircraft is made of aluminum. Special care ought to be taken when using alkaline solutions, as they are more likely to cause damage. The fluid used to clean aircraft contains contaminants like detergents, traces of hydrocarbons and must not be drained into storm water drains.

Be Careful With Plexiglas

Avoid using high-pressure washers in Plexiglas. Plexiglas must be cleaned in stages with plenty of water, then dried and polished with a flannel cloth with a Plexiglas cleaner.

High-Pressure Washing

The aircraft can be washed initially without water with a high-pressure hose to remove dirt and debris from the aircraft body. You can also use water mixed with a detergent designed to clean aircraft. Wastewater may contain contaminants, so they must be collected and disposed of in accordance with the SA Water Trade Waste General Policy.

Never Use Solvents

These can remove the grease or break the seals on the components, so they should be avoided at all expenses.

Expect To Put In Some Effort

Regardless of what the manufacturers of aircraft cleaning products say, all the products suitable for aircraft cleaning will just require some physical effort to clean very dirty areas. When you are using a product that does not need any effort, it is often to be too aggressive and could damage the plane and your health if it is consumed by chance. There are many other things that should be taken into thought when it comes to cleaning planes. Whether in doubt, you can consult an experienced professional.


The right cleaning equipment will just depend on the rules of the airport for the washing of aircraft and their NPDES permits but assumes shock absorbers, pressure washers, recovery devices, water tanks on a trailer of some kind, or on the back of a small platform truck with a turning radius. As for cleaning supplies, you have to use supplies that do not cause corrosion on the aluminum or that damage the paint or composite components of the aircraft. You must research and use what works and what is best for the aircraft cleaning.


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