Windshield Cleaner

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by tfitch03, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. tfitch03

    tfitch03 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    tfitch03
    What cleaners are yall using on your plexi windows? Rain-x makes a product for plastic surfaces and it says it is safe for plexiglass. Does anyone have any experience with it?
     
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Messages:
    9,308
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Aztec Flyer
    This is what I use. I buy it at a motorsports shop (cheaper than the aviation outlets, of course). Popular with the motorcycle crowd around here.

    IMG_0337.JPG
     
    RyanB and denverpilot like this.
  3. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,206
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    murphey
    Never paper towels (I have a running argument with my CAP squadron about this - it's still using paper towels on a $half million dollar 182).
    I start with water and soak the window if there are bugs.
    Then a very wet chamois or my hand with lots more water, then dry with a soft towel.
    Finish up with Pledge and soft cotton cloth (baby diapers from target, walmart, etc).

    I'm usually not in a rush so it's not a problem to spend the time. Of course I hit the wing leading edges with the spray bottle of water so the bugs will come off easier, too. Let that soak while I do the windows. After the windows, grab a towel (now it's ok to use a paper towel!) and spray the wing edges with one hand and the other hand follows with the towel to wipe off bugs and dry.
     
  4. MickYoumans

    MickYoumans Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,284
    Location:
    2J5 / KBXG - Georgia
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MickYoumans
  5. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,746
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    Plexus is good but expensive. Prist is less than half the cost of plexus but doesn’t have the same polish. Novus is prolly as good as Plexus but much cheaper and not as convenient.

    Pledge works about like Prist, maybe a little better finish. Nice lemon smell.

    As Murphey said, always use a clean cotton cloth. I use a cloth only once then into the wash it goes. If a cloth touches the hangar floor it goes to the laundry pile. If there are a lot of bugs I’ll use a fresh cloth after the initial bug wipe.
     
  6. gkainz

    gkainz Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    8,347
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Greg Kainz
    ditto the bare hands and water for initial bug removal. One caution about rings on the wash hand ... use the other hand!
     
  7. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,995
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Plexus and paper towels. Paper towels don’t scratch my windows but the dust and dirt they pick up does. Fold the towels over to get a clean surface often.

    Plexus sheds water better than anything else I’ve ever used. Light mist while flying toward a bright sky is better with Plexus. Some other cleaners let tiny droplets cling. Not good.
     
  8. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    I'm old school, I use lemon pledge and a microfiber cloth (with the tag removed). It cleans very well and leaves a slick film that makes the next round of bugs and gunk even easier to remove.

    [​IMG]
     
    kgruber likes this.
  9. azure

    azure Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Messages:
    8,299
    Location:
    Varmint Country
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    azure
    I'm also interested in suggestions and will be following this thread. I use Markley All-Kleer with Sontara wipes. The Sontara are washable and (almost) infinitely reusable, but I'm not happy with the All-Kleer. It tends to leave a residue unless it dries completely, which is the exception rather than the rule in New England. In the winter, it's completely unusable.
     
  10. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    8,025
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
  11. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    14,708
    Location:
    mass fla
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ron keating
    Pledge or plexus
     
  12. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    4,380
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    Soap and water and car wax.
     
  13. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    751
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    No paper towels!
     
    wilkersk and dmspilot like this.
  14. wilkersk

    wilkersk Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,948
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KennyW
    Costco microfibre towels!
     
  15. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    10,181
    Location:
    Lenoir City, TN/Mineral Bluff, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fast Eddie B
    Pledge was my go to product for decades.

    But someone mentioned Turtle Wax Ice Detailer, and I tried it and it’s better.
     
  16. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    13,447
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    eman1200
    I'm trying that plane perfect stuff from that dude who flies to mexico and comes back with packages of stuff.

    'cleaning stuff', I think ;) ;)
     
    CC268 likes this.
  17. tfitch03

    tfitch03 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Dallas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    tfitch03
    interesting input. I always use microfiber towels and am glad to know of some more product options.
     
  18. idahoflier

    idahoflier Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Messages:
    1,136
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    idahoflier
    Walmart also sells cheap microfiber towels.
     
  19. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    3,020
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    SoCal RV Flyer
    Brillianize is wonderful stuff. Just takes a little spritz, wipes off without smearing. As others have said, use a good-quality microfiber towel.

    32 oz. bottle will probably last five years for me!
     
  20. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,529
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    Pledge and clean white kitten to make sure I don’t scratch the windows
     
    aggie06 and GaryV like this.
  21. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,746
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    The kittens have the sharpest little claws...
     
  22. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    5,529
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    You have to put them on their back so that the claws don’t touch the windows
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  23. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Twin_Flyer
    :yikes:



    :goofy:
     
    flyingcheesehead and CC268 like this.
  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    20,321
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Actually, my current favorite product is (boardie) Plane Perfect's Eyes Outside stuff.
     
  25. comancheflyer30

    comancheflyer30 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2017
    Messages:
    69
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dsc45shooter
    Has to be Lemon Pledge only. No brand x or cheapo brand. Pledge and newspaper is what my cfi used many moons ago.
     
  26. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    3,621
    Location:
    Colorado
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    coloradobluesky
    I have seen paper towels scratch plexiglass. Some might not. I use cotton T shirts myself.
     
  27. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    17,746
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Display name:
    Newsprint is an old trick from car washing days. Was told that it was the ink that left the shine on the windows. Considering the quality of newsprint I wouldn't use it on plexiglass. I've found too many chunks embedded in the paper.
     
    CC268 likes this.
  28. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    Messages:
    4,595
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skywag
  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    20,321
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Agreed. There's a far cry between glass and acrylic. Even without "chunks" in the newspaper, you're likely scratching the windshield. I won't even use paper towels.
     
  30. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    2,027
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kevin
    Plexus and those fancy disposable towels they sell for our windows.
     
  31. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    4,200
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    17
    The key idea is not to rub the windshield with anything that could contain a grain of dust. I think that’s the same idea of using bare hands and water, or Plexus and a clean microfiber towel. Lots of ways to accomplish the same thing. Just make sure there’s no gritty grains, of any size, getting rubbed on the plexiglas.

    I wash the windshield along with the rest of the plane after flying. The only thing that distinguishes the windshield is that it is done first, so that the water is still clean and so is the freshly laundered microfiber towel.

    My 14-year-old windshield still looks great.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  32. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    55,363
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    Having seen microfiber not get as clean as it should have when laundered, we’re using those DuPont made fancy paper towels and the Prist or the Nexus or whatever we happened to order. Pledge is fine too, but usually I use that on the leading edges.

    Another couple of comments...

    If bugs are really bad I just absolutely soak a regular beach towel and drape it on the plexi without rubbing or moving it... just a water transfer device... and let it sit for ten minutes. That will almost always loosen everything right up. Works on plexi and wing leading edges both.

    I won’t rub in circles ever on plexi. Top to bottom, straight, and switch to a clean section of the fancy towel or cloth or whatever if there was ANY crud picked up for the next vertical pass. Circles and crud caught in the cloth will be a fast way to circular swirls and destroying the visibility through the plexi in low sun angles, forever.
     
  33. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2014
    Messages:
    751
    Location:
    Naples fl
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    paulie
    When getting my ppl I didn't realize how crazed the schools windshields were until I did a night flight. The flood lights on the ramp really illustrated it.
     
  34. retpd2001

    retpd2001 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    651
    Location:
    Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    retpd2001
    50/50 mix of water and isopropyl alcohol, learned it from a line guy, works great for about $1 a bottle. Just cleaned bugs off an old airplane that had been sitting for years. The owner tried several products, this mix made it clean in just a couple of strokes.
     
  35. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    403
    Location:
    Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PropWash
    I have used Lemon Pledge based on recommendations from this board. I've used it a bunch with a microfiber cloth, and I gotta be honest i'm not crazy about it. It leaves a film, almost foggy, visible layer behind. Maybe I am using to much....
     
  36. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    10,181
    Location:
    Lenoir City, TN/Mineral Bluff, GA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fast Eddie B
    That’s what keeps Pledge from being perfect - it can be a little hard to get off. That foggy, visible layer might be fine for a leading edge, let’s say, but can be somewhat difficult to buff off plexiglass.

    Seriously, try the Turtle Wax Ice Spray Detailer.

    [​IMG]

    If you hate it I’ll buy it from you!
     
    hotprops likes this.
  37. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    2,156
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    cgrab
    WATER!!!!! I squirt water on my plexiglass after each flight and rub it with my bare hands in the direction of flight. No rings, watches or ID bracelets. After it is clean I wipe it down with a microfiber cloth again in the direction of flight. I have no scratches across my view to produce glare.
     
  38. adam fett

    adam fett Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Adam
    I hear either Pledge or Water
     
  39. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,310
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    Youre smearing it around, best to use dryish microfiber to wipe it off almost in a buffing like manner.
     
    MtnMarcus likes this.
  40. MtnMarcus

    MtnMarcus Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    403
    Location:
    Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PropWash
    I'll give it a try