Plexiglass Cleaning Procedures
SET UP: When cleaning Plexiglass it is very important to use a clean soft terry cloth towel or cheese cloth. Do not use paper towels. Paper towel fibers are to coarse and will scratch the surface of the Plexiglass. Paper towels will also leave streaks on the surface of the Plexiglass which will restrict visibility. Microfiber cloths are also terrific to use if you have them handy. More than likely, you will also need a ladder to position yourself when cleaning the front windscreen of most corporate jets.
SPECIAL NOTE: Plexiglass has a very soft surface which can easily be scratched. When cleaning Plexiglass, always make sure that you are using a soft, clean cloth. I cannot stress this enough. If your windscreen is dusty, rinse it first with plenty of water from a hose or a trigger sprayer. If you are wet washing your aircraft, never ever wash the windscreen or any other windows with your wash brush. Scratches will be inevitable over time. Your wash brush could have metal shavings, small screws or any other items that could be on your hangar floor or cabinet if not stored properly. Always rinse out your wash brushes before wet washing just to be extra safe.
APPLICATION: Apply Plexiclear to entire windscreen or side windows holding the can about 8-12 inches away. By applying a liberal amount you are allowing for the product to dissolve and soften bugs and making it easier and faster for you to get the windscreen clean the first time. One application is usually all that is needed.
OTHER USES FOR PLEXICLEAR: Due to the safe and gentle cleaning characteristics of Plexiclear, many flight departments use it for cleaning bugs off the painted surfaces, polished aluminum leading edges and spinners, lavs, galleys, table tops, gold plating, leather seats, mirrors and instrument panels. Plexiclear is terrific as an all around wiping product too due to it being anti-static. For many, many years we have used the Plexiclear at the NBAA to wipe down aircraft in the convention centers that get so dusty during the day from all of the lights, carpet etc..
PROBLEMS WE HAVE SEEN AND WHAT TO AVOID: As noted before, always rinse your wash brush before you do any wet washing. Never scrub the windscreen or side windows with a wash brush. This is common with many customers of ours who do wash their windows when wet washing. The problem arises over time with scratches. We have had customers tell us that the first time they wet washed their brand new plane that they were unaware of not scrubbing the windows and along with the wrong type of wash brush, scratched the new Plexiglass the first time they wet washed. These are expensive items when it comes to replacing or having your windows sanded and buffed by a service. Make it easy on yourself and the plane, after washing the aircraft use the steps mentioned above. The single biggest mistake we have ever seen and still do is people using Ammonia Glass cleaning products like Windex. Never do this. Those types of products being used over a period of time can cause crazing in aircraft Plexiglass. The damage we have fixed for customers over the years because of this mistake is unbelievable and not cheap. Avoid those products at all cost or you will be the one buying a new windscreen or window. The wet sanding and polish jobs we have performed over the years for customers who have had crazing on their windscreens have been anywhere from $2000.00 to $8000.00. In extreme cases we could not help them with wet sanding and polishing due to taking to much material off the windscreen and having to scrap it. They were now facing replacing the windscreen and down time.
As always, I welcome any questions or comments you may have on this subject and it is my intention of informing the aviation community on our knowledge and know how when detailing or cleaning an aircraft.
Jet Stream Aviation Products, Inc