Fabric Aircraft / Gentle Cleaning - WashWax or Something better?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Skymac, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Skymac

    Skymac Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Justin
    In the past I’ve used Mothers Quick Detailer and WashWax to Hand wash my 78’ Decathlon in fair condition original paint. I don’t want to get too aggressive but I feel like the white would clean up a little better with slight elbow grease or maybe something that cuts it a little better. I even thought maybe some NuFinish. Seen some older threads but has any discovered anything newer?[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,848
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    I use Aero Cosmetics Wash/Wax All for regular cleaning (instead of the wash rack and buckets and all that hassle). I use Aero Cosmetics Belly Soap on difficult stains (like exhaust stains on the belly. And, I use a product called "Bug Slide" on the leading edges when the bugs are out.

    Wipe down regularly and it takes just a few minutes. I use the blue "ShopTowel" paper towels. Buy them at Costco.
     
  3. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Paint is paint, treat it like you would a new car.
    You wouldn't buff a sharp corner on your car, don't do it on your aircraft.
    Abrasive cleaners will attack the paint, it will on your car, it will on your aircraft.
     
  4. Rob58

    Rob58 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    276
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rob
    WashWax All - great stuff and works perfectly on fabric. Easy to use and the more often you use it, the better the it looks!
     
  5. Punkinhead

    Punkinhead Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2018
    Messages:
    45
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Punkinhead
    Whatever wash and wax is on sale at Wally World. Liquid dish detergent if I don't have any wash and wax on hand. Dollar Store generic lemon pledge spray for daily touch ups. Aviation specific cleaners are a scam.
     
  6. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,584
    Location:
    Brenham Tx
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    pigpen
    Sometimes you need to take it out and wash it with a water hose and soap just like you do your car. I usually hose wash my planes 1 time a year, then clean them with detailer and a microfiber the rest of the time.
     
  7. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,677
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
    Not true. Car paint is clear coated. Aircraft paint is single stage
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    19,289
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    I just use the cheap liquid carwash soap. Polish is done with Collinite 845. I like having a higher dielectric constant on my plane.
     
    Eric Stoltz likes this.
  9. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Clear coat can be buffed away just like any other paint. When it gets dull it can be polished.
     
  10. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,790
    Location:
    NorthEast Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Doc
    I struggled to find a good way to do this when I first got my ragwing Cessna. I finally started using a water fed brush on a long pole. I worry about water being trapped in a bad place, so I use this method at a time when I can fly it shortly thereafter to attempt to blow the water out.
     
  11. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,316
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    Dollar store Woolite is a very mild but effective soap...
     
  12. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Messages:
    5,638
    Location:
    A Rubber Room
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cli4ord
    Some aircraft paint has clear coat.
     
  13. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,316
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    I certainly wouldn't think that would be the case on a fabric plane... Clear Coat is not flexible, thats why boats are not clear coated, they are often gel coated but not clear coated. I have an old speedboat thats is pretty as the day is long when she is wet, dry shes dull as can be. I tried every trick in the book, I thought I had a great idea and would rattle can some clear coat on... Or maybe have a body shop do it and had one willing that said they had done it before. Luckly I did more google research and found that due to the flexing of a fiberglass boat clear coat no matter how applied will not hold up to the flexing of a fiberglass boat, so I doubt it would handle being on fabric well at all!
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Funny thing, How well rubbing compound and Carnuba wax flexes.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    very very few. it weights too much.
     
  16. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,484
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Wash and wax both blue and pink. Like to use blue coral wash and wax when using water.
     
  17. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,316
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    Once the gel coat is toast, which mine is, carnuba is of no use... I tried cutting compounds and expensive polishes with carnuba on top, looked good for a quick minute. Once the gel coat is gone-its gone... Nothing to rubbing compound into in spots or you are right into the metal flake... So I cried uncle on that shine project- I aint out chasing ladies in it and kids in a tube behind it don't care if its shiny :)
     
  18. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
    Messages:
    3,883
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Silvaire
    Nothing cleans an airplane better than a flight through a rain shower.
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  19. rwellner98

    rwellner98 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2009
    Messages:
    822
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rw2
    We make a complete line of aviation friendly products that are safe on fabric and still work effectively. Use your login name as a coupon code "skymac" and I'll give you 10% off.

    https://planeperfect.us/
     
    Skymac likes this.
  20. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    How many believe Gel-Coat is what is on Aircraft?
     
    Huckster79 likes this.
  21. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    12,614
    Location:
    DXO124009
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Light and Sporty Guy
    Me.
    It's on quite a few aircraft - in spite of the fact that it is a **** poor substitute for paint.
    I have it on parts of mine, for example.
    And. I could make a list of aircraft that have it purd near all over, but that would be work.
     
  22. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Yeah well, the fiberglass ones probably.
     
  23. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,841
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    I know it is what is on my Rolladen-Schneider LS6B.

    Brian
     
  24. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,848
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    Probably not on a '78 Decathlon though....
     
  25. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    33,973
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom-D
    Than you, folks do forget which aircraft we are talking about.
     
  26. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jesse
    I have not had that experience with gel coat. However I too wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to fix mine. Did research on the internet, tried a bunch of different waxes and products on a high speed polisher to no avail last year.

    Decided to take another swing at it this spring, and instead of looking on the internet for advice, I went to the boat store and talked to the old man who sits in the rocking chair. His advice... Get some Meguiars oxidation remover and a high speed polishing tool with a rubbing compound foam disc. It worked.

    It will cut through the oxidation like nothing and look great thereafter.

    Example from my boat, as I was doing it (had not done the top most section yet):
    3836FC33-121B-4A4C-9D5E-1179E0353B76.jpeg

    After you get all the oxidation and **** off the gel coat, apply wash wax all on a regular basis, and the damn thing will look brand new and stay that way.

    If the above plan doesn’t work, then wet sand it, more work but will do the job.

    I removed all the oxidation, painted the bottom again, and the damn thing looks like it’s brand new (it’s a late 80s model).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
    Huckster79 likes this.
  27. Skymac

    Skymac Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Justin
    Haha yea, if we were talking get-coat.. Would make life so much easier!
     
  28. djpacro

    djpacro Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Messages:
    95
    Location:
    Australia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave P
    so it is dope not paint?
     
  29. Skymac

    Skymac Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Justin
    It’s paint... It’s not gel-coat. But you care for a 40 year old paint job a little differently than a 10 year old paint job.
     
  30. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2005
    Messages:
    15,770
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jesse
    I never said it was paint, I was addressing the false idea that gelcoats shine can’t be brought back. Notice I quoted a post about gel coat ?