Knowing how to clean a used airplane will ensure a fine looking aircraft. When cleaning an airplane, you can get rid of dirt, grime, oil and bugs to leave a sparkling exterior. You can also detail the inside so it looks fresh and inviting. Polished well, your detailed used airplane can look as sharp as a new one.
To clean a used airplane you will need:
- Bright orange surveyor’s tape
- Electric pressure washer
- Spay cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Several soft cleaning cloths
- Cotton swabs
- Portable vacuum cleaner
- Check with the airport personnel about any rules that pertain to washing planes on the tarmac. Then read the owner’s manual for the plane about washing it.
- Cover the pitot-static system ports with bright orange surveyors tape. This is to keep water out of these systems.
- Spray clean the interior plastic and vinyl parts of the plane. Avoid the instrument panel. Never spray the instrument panel directly, as you may short out the controls.
- Clean the instrument panel carefully with a damp cloth and cotton swabs to clean crevices. Use a powerful portable vacuum cleaner to clean the floor and seats of the airplane.
- Use glass cleaner and a soft cloth to polish the interior windows.
- Clean the exterior of the plane from the ground. Use an electric pressure washer to clean the exterior of the craft with soapy water. Start with the tail. Then move to the fuselage, starting from the bottom up. Spray the front of the plane. Finally, suds up the wings.
- Avoid directly spraying the specially treated, delicate windows of the airplane. It is fine if they get wet. Just don’t apply high pressure to them. Rinse the plane thoroughly with clean water. Dry the exterior windows with a cleaning cloth. Then clean them with glass cleaner.
- Remove the orange surveyors tape. Congratulations! Your used plane is clean and polished to near perfection. Fly it with pride.
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