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DJ Todd B

What's the best Washing Solution to wash the plane with?

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I use Composiclean products @ composiclean.com. They make a wash product, a spray cleaner product which is mainly what I use, and a product called Haze Glaze. I also use oil eater on the belly about once a year followed with the spray cleaner.

Dish soap will strip off any wax that may be on the surface. I have never used dish soap on any car or plane I have ever owned.

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I too have had good luck with Composiclean Products.  I primarily use their bucket wash and spray wax with good results.  It is pH neutral, which is (typically) a must for composite aircraft.

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In the hangar I keep a bucket of water with Composiclean bucket wash mixed in.  For bugs I just dunk a cloth in the bucket and rub the bugs off, then dry with another cloth.  Easy and works well.  I change the bucket water about every 3 months or so.

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OK, looks like everyone is using some pretty expensive solutions out there.  Is there anything "over the counter" "Walmart style" that will do the job safely?

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3 hours ago, DJ Todd B said:

OK, looks like everyone is using some pretty expensive solutions out there.  Is there anything "over the counter" "Walmart style" that will do the job safely?

The problem is that most cheap "over the counter" solutions are not Ph-neutral.  Higher or lower Ph can attack the foam cores under the carbon fiber if it gets in there, and cause delamination and sagging of structures.  It has happened on several CTs. 

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50 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

The problem is that most cheap "over the counter" solutions are not Ph-neutral.  Higher or lower Ph can attack the foam cores under the carbon fiber if it gets in there, and cause delamination and sagging of structures.  It has happened on several CTs. 

Agreed, having seen deformed structure due to the foam dissolving it is not worth trying to save a few buck over.

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My Aircraft Maintenance Manual just mentions to use the following (without getting into any specifics about ph or similar matters ....):

Lukewarm water, Cleansing agents used for cleaning and protecting automobiles

Ps. And of course, it is just like FD planes, 85% carbon fiber with a sandwich of fb and foam core glued with epoxy + fiberglass in all other, non-structural parts...

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3 hours ago, Warmi said:

My Aircraft Maintenance Manual just mentions to use the following (without getting into any specifics about ph or similar matters ....):

Lukewarm water, Cleansing agents used for cleaning and protecting automobiles

Ps. And of course, it is just like FD planes, 85% carbon fiber with a sandwich of fb and foam core glued with epoxy + fiberglass in all other, non-structural parts...

While the construction method is the same, it might use a different foam core material.

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Indeed they are different - FD is using Rohacell foam ( Polymethacrylimide) vs Divinycell H60 ( PVC) for the Sting.

FD manual actually does explicitly state to avoid certain cleaning products - these are very explicit warnings, and as  you said, it is not worth saving a few bucks given how expensive can structural composite repairs be ...

 

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I use just ordinary furniture polish to clean the bugs off, after a while it becomes very slick and the bugs don't stick

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Been using Plane Perfects waterless wash but the bugs don't seem to want to easily come off the wings. Any other ideas? I was thinking maybe a wash mitt w an abrasive surface on it? Thanks!

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Best thing I started doing is wiping down leading edges right after the flight. Bugs come right off with a spray bottle of water when they are fresh.  Can’t get any cheaper than that. Use pledge or plexus on windscreen. 
 

 

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I use “Simple green” towelettes... on the wings and other painted surfaces only... never the glass.  they work great.  
 

I then reapply “210 spray wax” on all Painted surfaces.  The same spray wax is also used to remove the bugs on the glass.

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Once you get it clean a coat of wax will help for future cleanings. I have used Nufinish before with good results. If you are going to be flying when you know it is going to be real buggy, a quick layer of Nufinish before you fly without wiping it off will make bugs come off easy. Another trick if you have a bunch of dried on bugs is a Bounce dryer sheet and water. They come off like butter.

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There was a pilot in this airpark whose wife met the plane after every flight and cleaned the bugs off. He passed on before I ever learned his secret. If any of you have this figured out, please post.

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2 hours ago, sandpiper said:

There was a pilot in this airpark whose wife met the plane after every flight and cleaned the bugs off. He passed on before I ever learned his secret. If any of you have this figured out, please post.

I knew a guy with a natural aluminum polished Luscombe. His wife cleaned the airplane regularly, and polished it twice a year. He worked and brought home the money, and she was a stay at home house wife.

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