Finalizing everything on the plane for the final trip to the airport in a week or two.  I'm keeping it bare aluminum for now and only painting the fiberglass (doors, wing tips, etc) parts, probably at least 2 years until I get my amphib floats built and installed then I'll paint the entire thing. 

I don't want to go as far as polishing it, but would like to keep it fairly clean but insane gleaming is not necessary! :)  Wiping everything down with acetone to remove the sharpie writings and markings leaves a lot of streaks.  Worse thing I've found it some bird crap on the wing tops from a stupid humming bird that always winds up in my garage and that sh!t is a bear to get off if it sits for a while!  It etches right in!!! :(

Anybody got tips for cleaning the bare aluminum?  I've got some heavy duty aircraft cleaner from the old days that is a great degreaser but anybody have any tips on removing streaks and such?  Waxing it is probably a bad idea since any that remains will screw up a future paint job, but maybe not.  I've used some great wax removers in the past so I might still consider it.

Any tips appreciated...



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What about this?

"P-D-680 contains .05 percent ethyl benzene, a known carcinogen and one of only a very few risk factors specifically noted in the medical literature written about acute myelogenous leukemia. A French medical journal first noted a causal relationship between exposure to benzene fumes and leukemia in 1928, and subsequent studies during the past 60 years have affirmed the link. Benzene is known to cause several types of leukemia, and a person's risk of developing leukemia increases significantly after short periods of exposure to small amounts of the chemical."



This is pretty old, but it appears that at least two solvents "met" the standards for MilSpec PD-680 that may not be as "bad" as whatever benzene-loaded stuff was used in the last century. I'm not sure I trust this report, as it is pretty mealy-mouthed. SNAFU. The Air Farce was full of ass-covering bureaucrats when I was in (more than 50 years back) and if government today is any indication, it is probably even more so now. I hope to be corrected with evidence to the contrary.


The Alumiprep worked better than expected.  I don't think I'd want to use it constantly, even diluted but maybe once a year?  Thinking of using a high end cleaner like "Spray 9" for the odd cleaning.  Won't have a water supply at my little airport so it would be nice to have something simple I can spray on and wipe off.

The Alumiprep....

Scary when it goes on!  I thought it was going to eat through the fuse!!! :0

Here's a shot of the rudder after one application!  Pretty impressive.  Ordered one gallon, used about 200 mm mixed 5:1 with water to do the entire fuselage and tail!  I figure another 200 ml per wing.  The gallon I have should last several years for once a year deep cleanings.

Impressive, but after reading this I'm not so sure I want to use it, as I don't know exactly what the acid does to the aluminum. I'm not planning to pain or polish.


I have heard that "Pledge(R)" is good for cleaning the windscreen (gets bug guts off easily) and renders it hydrophobic so that water sheds quickly. I wonder about cleaning the leading edges with that also. What other products are best for this purpose? Regular use . . .


I've used "Pledge" on Cessna products for years - windscreens and leading edges.

It works well, but does have one drawback - it attracts dust.



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