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Aircraft Exterior Finish Maintenance Guide

August 2015

The following information is an informal guide to the maintenance of your exterior finish. It is by no means a comprehensive list of methods for cleaning.

Cure Time before Washing and Waxing:

High-quality urethane finishes require a 30-day period before washing and waxing. This time frame will give the paint time to dry and completely harden.

Be careful to see that no one spills gasoline, oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or windshield solvent on the new finish. If a spill should occur, immediately rinse it off with water. Do not wipe.

If ice or snow gathers on the finish, brush off the loose material with a soft snow brush. Do not scrape.

Bird droppings could damage a fresh paint job because of their heavy acid content. Wash them off as soon as possible, using only water or water and a soft cloth or sponge.

Washing Tips:

- Wash in the shade, if possible.
- Use cool water and mild, non-streaking car wash soap.
- Use a soft car wash mitt or clean wash sponge.
- On windows, use a professional nylon window wash brush.
- Rinse well with clean water to avoid soap streaking.
- Use a chamois cloth to avoid water spotting. Never "dry wipe;" it may scratch the finish.

Wipe Down Tips:

- For exterior wipe down and clean up we recommend wiping with towels moistened with water followed by a dry clean.
- Popular products are Spray On brand General Purpose Cleaner and Meguiar's Final Wipe Down.

Routine Treatment with Wash-and-Wax Product:

- Follow manufacturer's directions when applying products.
- Water hose applications work well.
- Some popular brands: "Tannery," "Wash-n-Wax," "RainDance," "Turtle's Zip Wax" or "Nu-Finish."
- Avoid waxes that contain silicon!

Paste Wax Coating Tips (For extra protection):

- The surface should be freshly cleaned and washed.
- Terrycloth towels or cloth diapers are excellent for hand buffing to a high gloss.
- Some popular products include: "Armor All" and "Eagle One;" both have paste wax and liquid wax in a non-scratch formula. "Meguiar's Mirror Glaze" is a high-carnauba-content wax.
- Spot-test any product before applying it to the complete finish.
- Avoid using one-step clean-polish-and-wax products. They contain abrasive cleaning agents that can scratch the surface or ultimately dull a high-gloss urethane finish.

Note: "Armor All," "Eagle One," "Meguire's," "Spies Hecker," "Spray On," "Tannery," "Wash-n-Wax," "RainDance," "Turtle Wax," "Nu-Finish," "Old English," "Carbona," "Energine" and "K2R" are registered trademarks.