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Aircraft Boot Detaiing

Aircraft Boot Detaiing
Aircraft Boot Detaiing Article from "The Aviation Consumer" March 1994

For decades, owners have been using all sorts of household cleaners and waxes to try and make their deice boots shine. Shiny boots add a certain cache to any airplane, and some believe that the smooth and shiny finish lets them work better.

Nearly every previous concoction owners have tried has fallen short in some way. Some tried a variety of floor waxes, only to discover that they yellow in a short time. Worse, they build up. The result is a set of boots that look like hell. Others have tried furniture waxes, with about equal results.

Some have tried Armor All and like substances. This may leave the boots looking good, but will eventually destroy them. According to Goodrich, these applications allow static to build up, eventually causing pinholes. It does no good to beautify and destroy at the same time.

Goodrich came out with the Shinemaster treatment not long ago. Shinemaster works fairly well, but it’s pretty expensive (around $140.00 for the cleaner and sealer together). Also, the cleaner is pretty noxious, and takes quite a bit of elbow grease to get grungy boots clean enough to apply the sealer.

Now comes Pbs Professional Boot Sealant. The cleaner solution is very effective at removing old buildups and grunge, while at the same time not assaulting your nose with ammonia stench. The company does recommend that you wear rubber gloves during application.

We tried Pbs on a set of boots that were suffering from terrible floor wax buildup. The boots had yellowed in streaks, and the old buildup was bad so bad you could feel it with your fingers. We ordered the cleaning solution with a rag (the company recommends a sponge or a spray bottle and rag). It removed the old wax, handily.

In the most badly built-up areas, it took two passes to get complete cleaning. But for most of the booted area, one scrubbing pass with the rag and a blast with the hose was all that was needed to clean the boots right down to the rubber.

Then we applied the sealant. The directions tell you to apply it with a clean, lint-free rag and be sure to wipe only in one direction. Apply two or three coats if needed or desired. We simply poured the sealant onto a rag, placed it on the inboard end of the boot and walked out to the tip, wiping as we went.

The resulting shine was nothing short of dazzling. We applied two more coats with no noticeable improvement. Indeed, we’re not sure any improvement was possible. We've had never seen boots shine like they did after one pass with the Pbs sealant!

After the application had dried, one passerby commented that the boots looked “exquisite.” Another wanted to know what we used and where he could get it. But what really told the story was when the owner of a nearby aircraft sales outfit came by. He has been a confirmed user of the Goodrich Shinemaster for years. He was invited to see the treated boots at our request.

He sauntered over and remarked, "That looks really nice. But I wonder what it will look like when it’s dry?" With that, he reached out and touched the boot. "It is dry!" he exclaimed in surprise. He then asked if we would treat some of the aircraft he has for sale on the line.

Even the owner of a local maintenance shop was so impressed (despite having bottles of Shinemaster sitting on the shelf) he immediately ordered some Pbs. Several customers, who saw the results, asked us to order the system for them.

Make no mistake: the Pbs Boot System is, without qualification, the best boot treatment we’ve seen. Follow the directions and your plane's boots, no matter how old, grungy, yellowed, waxed-over or dull, will come out looking better than new. The results are nothing short of stunning.

After years of hearing overblown claims for all sorts of products, it’s a pleasant change to have a company, like Jet Stream Aviation, producing products that far outperform their advertising claims, as well as the competition.

If you own a set of de-ice boots, buy this stuff!