Tips for Cleaning Your Aircraft

Nov 10, 2016
A clean airplane can be a point of pride for private jet owners, glittering in the sun. The aesthetic consideration is not the only consideration, however. Dust and debris that accumulates on an airplane can cause drag and antennas and sensors can become less effective when dirty. Cleaning the airplane properly and regularly can help you to stay as safe as possible while retaining the value on the craft.

Cleaning Preparation

Static ports, sensors, pitot tubes, and possibly other areas should be taped over to keep water out before cleaning the airplane. What exactly needs to be covered may vary depending on the jet, but it is important to be thorough so that you do not cause damage. It is also very important to make sure that the covering is conspicuous or to find another way to make it stand out. Inadvertently leaving tape over a sensor could spell disaster if it is not caught during the pre-flight inspection.

Aircraft Rinsing

A pressure washer can make it much faster to rinse and clean the large surface of an airplane. The pressure should always be kept at low so that water does not get into the windows, and the windows and windshield should not be sprayed directly. The flaps can be lowered so that they are easier to clean. Wheels should not be sprayed, as water could get inside and corrode the bearings.


Washing an airplane is not much different than washing a car, save for the difference in shape and size. A soft cloth and an aircraft cleaner such as Aero Cosmetics or Simple Green should be carefully rubbed over the plane to clean off bugs and other debris. It may be necessary to use a ladder to reach high points on the plane. Special attention should be paid to the tail, as this is usually dirtiest.

Washing the Wheels

The wheels on the plane can be cleaned using the same detergent that is used to wash the rest of the plane. However, the wheels should not be sprayed afterward to rinse. The detergent can be allowed to sit on the wheels for a few minutes and a brush can be applied to remove stuck on dirt as needed. The windows and windshield of the airplane should be cleaned using a cleanser that is specifically approved for windshields and a soft cloth. If desired, wax can be applied to protect the paint after the airplane has dried completely. Keeping the airplane in a hangar will protect it from damage and help to keep it clean in between flights. To further protect your valued possession, be sure to purchase the right aircraft insurance policy to fit your needs. For help, call us today.

For informational purposes only.