Aircraft Operators - Be Wary of These Chemicals

Homeowners face various challenges in choosing their desired cleaning agents. The fact that there are hundreds of chemicals on the market complicates decision making. People often choose their cleaner based on cost, health and environmental impacts, brands, and effectiveness. However, using the wrong chemical or combination of chemicals can impede safety standards. With all of this in mind, it’s easy to imagine how tough choosing the right products to clean an aircraft can be.

The first step in choosing the right chemicals is to refer to the original operating manufacturer’s (OEM’s) maintenance manual. Here, you can find approved and proven methods for cleaning, along with a list of pre-approved chemicals for the airframe. In addition to pre-approved chemicals, the maintenance manual will also typically include a list of chemicals to avoid, such as ammonia-based window cleaners, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, chlorine bleach, and dish soaps.

  • Ammonia-based window cleaners can cause micro-sized cracks on the windscreen. This is dangerous because it can impair the pilot’s sightlines and cause light refractions.
  • Rain repellents or cleaning products that contain acetone can cause long-term damage to the windshield. Using a cleaner with acetone or ammonia would result in the need to replace the windshield much quicker.
  • Methyl ethyl ketone is a dependable cleaner but can put the user’s health at risk, so should be avoided.
  • Chlorine bleach is great for killing bacteria in the lavatories; however, it can cause damage to seals. If it’s mixed with other cleaners used in the restroom, it can also create noxious fumes.
  • Dish soaps may be used on different parts of aircraft but should be avoided on the underbelly because they create a filmy residue— making extra work for the cleaners.
  • Wood care products can leave layers of wax that trap dirt and oil under them.

It can be a bit of a hassle, but doing the research to find out what should and shouldn’t be used to clean your aircraft is a good idea. If you use the wrong cleaning agents, you run the risk of prematurely damaging your aircraft. But, if you use the right cleaning agents and cleaning methods, you can promote the longevity of your aircraft.

At Cogent Purchasing, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the aircraft chemicals you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we’re always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365. For a quick and competitive quote, email us at or call us at  +1-714-705-4780.


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