- Detailing Supplies & Tips
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Aircraft Prep & Wash
Preparation: If you have to move the plane for washing, use the tow bar attached to the lower bracket of the front wheel. If it has to be turned, grab the leading edge of the wing next to the fuselage.
Tools & Access: Aircraft windows are made of Plexiglass which can scratch very easily. We prefer shampooing with soft, clean wash mops or our unique Wash Glove with extension handle to avoid scratches. The fuselage may be washed with our soft, flow-thru brushes that also have extension handles.
When you are washing the upper portion of the craft, only step on the areas designated for that purpose. For larger planes you will need a 6-8 foot ladder for the top of the rear wings and fuselage. Keep your nozzles and hoses under control at all times and about 2 feet away from the surface. They can cause you to lose your balance or can easily bang into the panels.
Pre-Wash Prep: Before you begin washing, spray the leading edge and nose/props with a bug remover. This will soften the insect residue which can then be hosed-off. Degreasers are also a must. You can spray-on a degreaser and just hose-off the residue. The most difficult part of removing grease is gaining access. Most of the accumulation is under the belly. One of our creepers would certainly make that job a lot easier.
Wash & Rinse: Wet Washing will include the landing gear from the top of the gear doors down, belly, top and bottom of wings, engine nacelles, fuselage and all tail surfaces. There will be three things that are never in short supply.. bugs, carbon and oil.
Always wet-down and rinse-off aircraft with a front to back motion. Some holes are protected from moisture only in this direction. Avoid spraying water directly into static boards and pitot tube openings. When you wash moving parts such as ailerons, elevators, flaps and rudder areas, use your arm as a support.
Drying: Use 100% cotton terry towels or a commercial dryer to preserve waxes and avoid scratching the windows. Do not use fabric softener on your towels. It is a chemical that remains on the surface and causes streaking. We also recommend a water filter if you are noticing a large amount of water spots as you dry.