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Cleaning the Windscreen


ironranger
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I was wondering what tricks everyone uses to get a crystal clear view out the windscreen. On the exterior I start by wetting with the garden hose then washing with dish soap and water, dry by blotting with a soft cotton bath towel, and then using Plexus with the special 3M wipes. On the inside i just use Plexus and the 3M wipes. The windscreen seems to get fairly clean but there always seems to be some smudges that drive me crazy because i can't get rid of them. I was told Plexus is the ultimate and doesn't smudge but I don't know if I can agree. Looking for any suggestions.

 

Thank you

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I was wondering what tricks everyone uses to get a crystal clear view out the windscreen.

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

One thought might be to wetsand the windscreen with 1200 grit sandpaper, then buff it with a fine buffing compound and polish with... aw crap, I don't remember the name of the stuff, but I think car detailers use something like that. Anyhow, use a degreaser like 3M's M-600, scuff the plexiglass, buff the plexiglass, then polish the whole shebang.

 

I've done this for a few small plexiglass window parts used on test light panels. It works, but you have to put a lot of time into it.

 

On the other hand, think aboot it because the windscreen might be a different kind of plexiglass and might not be compatable with this kind of procedure. If you can find the manufacturer, they might be able to suggest something, or if sanding and buffing might work.

 

Other than that, I ain't got nuthin.

 

Later

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210 Plastic Cleaner works great on any window type, even glass. Really good at getting bug guts off the window.

 

Prist brand Acrylic, Plastic and Glass Cleaner works really well too, but for really baked on gunk I use the 210 stuff.

 

For a cloth I use Wypall X60 rags. Good and tough and won't scrath plastic windows like paper towel can. Always wipe in an up and down motion so if you do scratch it, it's a vertical one and not a horizonal scratch that may resemble wires in the sky later on!

 

I used to put a ton of time into getting clean windows, but now I just get the major gunk off. Five minutes into the flight it looks like crap all over again anyways lol. Once hit a Junebug and thought someone was firing paintballs at me!

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210 Plastic Cleaner works great on any window type, even glass. Really good at getting bug guts off the window.

 

Prist brand Acrylic, Plastic and Glass Cleaner works really well too, but for really baked on gunk I use the 210 stuff.

 

X2

We used 210 in Alaska and it worked GREAT! It also works like rain-x when moisture hits it but you have to re-apply often.

Its a plastic polish so it should remove any fine scratches you may have as well.

 

Here we use pledge and it works good too. Another thing is that if you can always use an up-down motion when cleaning, avoid circular (wax on wax off) and it'll reduce the "spiderweb effect."

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You're doing most of it right (rinsing first, Plexus, etc.). Use a good soft CLEAN terry cloth all the time. The nap minimizes grit scoring the window, even fine dust degrades the bubble. After you've done the cleaning bit, back over it with a damp cloth, followed by a dry one.

The windows can be plexiglass, Lexan, or other material, be careful what you use.

Edited by Wally
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Pledge. The stuff you use for wood tables. Repels dust and leaves a *very* thin layer of wax that makes getting rid of bugs easy. Just need to wash it with plexus or something else once in a while to remove the wax. I prefer those soft non scratching shop towels for cleaning, but a clean microfiber cloth or terry cloth towel works well too. If there is a serious layer of dust (visible in normal light) then spray it with the hose, wipe it clean with lots more water with your bare clean hand, then blot dry and apply pledge.

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It takes some elbow grease. Use cheesecloth, a soft cotton cloth like an old t-shirt, or something similar. Whatever soap and water or plastic cleaner you have will do. I use Flight Jacket once in awhile, but mostly I just clean it and use cheesecloth to polish it. Using a squeegee won't get the job done, you have to use a cloth for awhile. RainX also works well, and makes cleaning bugs easier. I'm not sure I would use Pledge on plexi-glass, because it contains mineral solvents and stuff. It might work, never tried it, but windshields are very expensive, and owners don't like having to replace them.

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i'm with photoflier here. I've used pledge for 5-6 years now and it works great. Its easy to find, cheap, smudge free and easy to use. Don't get cheap and buy the wal-mart/off brand stuff. We tried that and the particular stuff we got left a film. We also tried the fancy "helicopter window cleaner" stuff that costs 12$ a can...pledge at 3$ worked much better.

 

We also use simple papertowels...but again get the good ones. Something along the lines of extra soft, whatever the brand wants to call it. If you use the crap ones like what you find in a public bathroom you are obviously asking for scratches. This also avoids having to re-use a dirty cloth as you just throw them away after each use.

 

One other tip. If there is dust, use a hose first. If you don't have one or are doing the inside make sure you use enough pledge/whatever to ensure all the dust is moist before wiping. Otherwise the dust acts like abrasive when you wipe no matter what cloth you use.

Edited by wulfman76
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Pledge is great the wax fills the fine scratches we also use RainX .

Clean screen with lots of water & mild soap first, then 2\3 coats of preferred polish

I also use both on my glasses.

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There's an article about this in this month's AOPA Pilot (I couldn't find a digital link to the particular article). It basically agrees with what's been said here, with a little skepticism regarding the Pledge, except they're pretty explicit that any paper towels can scratch the windscreen and you should stick with cloth.

 

HVG

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Thanks alot for all the good advice. I just read the article in AOPA (thanks Hovergirl) and it covered alot of what was discussed. I also agree with the article that this is something rarely taught in flight training. Maybe it should be added to the training sylabus.

 

Thanks again

 

ironranger

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