The Best Ways To Clean an Airplane (Inside & Out!)

Posted by Isaac Wilke on Jun 2nd 2023

Big or small, cleaning an airplane can be a difficult job. It’s easy to clean a four-seat Cessna with a spray bottle of Release and a handful of microfibers but the same can’t be said about a Boeing 777. The materials and tactics you use to clean a small airplane versus a big one differ significantly but one thing stays the same. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the best ways to clean an aircraft and how to clean the carpet, seats, windows, cockpit, and of course the plane's exterior.

Let’s start with the interior, the materials you will need are

  1. Couple of soft microfiber cloths
  2. 1:40 concentrate-to-water ratio of Release Ultra
  3. Clean water if removing stains
  4. Vacuum

Optional items include 

  1. Gloves
  2. Headlamp, or bright light
  3. Step stool

Now that you’re ready to clean, let’s go over some of the areas that get dirty. One of the best ways to get started is getting a Release Large Introductory Kit, it's packed with ready to use and concentrated products gearing up your cleaning arsenal. 

The number one area that absorbs the most dirt and debris is your floors. Whether you have carpet or rubber floors vacuum out any debris and prepare the area. Then saturate the area with Release. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes as it associates with the dirt and other soils on the surface. Agitating Release into the soiled areas helps it associate with and remove the soil. After agitating, take a clean microfiber cloth and dampen it with clean water. Apply to the saturated area, this will help remove Release and the soil from the surface. Then follow up with a dry microfiber to dry.

Seats can easily get dirty by dust and debris from a passenger's clothing or even that morning's breakfast. Nonetheless, Release is here to help. Simply spray Release onto the surface and let it sit for 1-2 minutes and wipe off completely. For cloth seats, use the same method as cleaning the carpet above. Some agitation may be required for soils that are deep in the surface.

If you are a student or a seasoned pilot, enjoying the view out the window is one of the best parts of flying. Pictures and trips just aren’t the same when that window is covered with fingerprints or bug guts. Cleaning windows with Release is safe and effective. We recommend a 1:100 concentrate-to-water ratio of Release Ultra but you can use any ratio to clean windscreens and windows without damaging them. First, spray Release onto the glass or plexiglass and let sit for 1-3 minutes depending on how heavy the soils are. Then agitate and wipe off completely with a dry microfiber. Now you can see clearly that the bugs and fingerprints are gone! For windscreens that have treatments on them, consult the manufacturer for best cleaning practices.

Cleaning the cockpit of an airplane may seem like a daunting task. Finding out what products are safe to use and being careful not to accidentally hit a button are important items that come to mind. You don’t have to worry about damaging any surface when cleaning with Release as it has no harmful chemicals, no dyes, no fragrance, and can be used to clean all surfaces because of its next-generation associative technology. It’s truly the latest and greatest when it comes to cleaning technology. Wipe down dashes, controls, and panels with a 1:40 concentrate-to-water ratio. Clean avionics with a 1:100 concentrate-to-water ratio by lightly spraying onto a soft microfiber cloth and gently applying it to the screen. Use the other side or a new dry microfiber cloth to dry the remaining liquid (if any) on the avionics screen. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning avionics screens that have protective films on them.

Cleaning the exterior of an airplane is a big job but can be made easier and quicker with the help of Release. We recommend a couple of different ratios specific to cleaning scenarios that will remove the soil and be user-friendly. A simple rule of thumb is the heavier the soil the more Release Ultra Concentrate you want in your mixture. Our strongest recommended concentration is a 1:20 ratio. Using Release stronger than a 1:20 will not damage any surface, there will just be a lot of soap on the surface. You can always find a chart to help mix the ratio you need on our FAQs page.

For surfaces that have light dust or dirt, like the majority of the fuselage, use a 1:40 ratio. For tricky soils, stains, built-up grease, oil, exhaust, and bugs use a 1:20 ratio. For exterior windows or shiny surfaces, use a 1:100 ratio. These ratios are starting points and what works best for me but you can experiment and find out what works best for you. Release is a time/association cleaner meaning the longer Release has to sit and associate with the soil, the easier it will come off. I typically recommend 3-5 minutes of sit time for heavy soils, 1-2 minutes for moderate soils, and 30 seconds to 1 minute for light soils.

Have a question? Check out our FAQ’s page. The Release team is always happy to assist and answer any questions about the product or help with a cleaning scenario. A couple of ways to reach them is by filling out a Contact Us Formemailing them, or by giving them a call at (920)-339-5775.