Smooth Aviation’s Aero Wash and Wax Rinse claims to be the first dedicated soap-spray aircraft wash.
You can use the ‘wash’ on its own, but for the best results it’s suggested to use the two together. Leave the bucket at home, as you’ll just need a hose pipe. The concentrated wash uses a supplied mixer sprayer to automatically dilute the product as it’s applied.
As we didn’t have an aircraft dirty enough for a thorough test, we borrowed the farmstrip operator’s black car, which was a countryside shade of light brown in some places.
Connect the mixer sprayer to the hose pipe with one of the common quick-release connectors. Switches control the water and cleaner flow, and before you know it you’re applying a light foam. Once everything is covered, for best results the manufacturer recommends wiping over the surfaces using a sponge, brush or wash mitt. If you’re short on time you can also just leave it to stand for a few minutes. I’d recommend the latter, but only if you’re dealing with very light dirt.
Rinse off with water, then connect the wax rinse solution in place of the wash to the sprayer and apply just like before. Unlike the foam, the wax is tricky to see, so make sure you give it a thorough soaking. Turn everything off and let the solution sit for two to three minutes, before giving it a final water rinse. You can either leave to dry (but only out of direct sunlight), or for the best results wipe over with a microfibre towel or a chamois. We went with wiping with microfibre.
The final result was clean and felt like a well-waxed surface. As with anything just washed, it rained half-an-hour later… For something never previously polished, the rain drops beaded up nicely.
If you don’t want to stop there, Smooth offer an Aero Polish to finish with, although at £24 for 500ml,that’s not quite as good value as £36 for the two bottles of the wash and rinse products.
We were pretty generous washing a mid-size hatchback – and that used a quarter of both bottles. If you have access to a hose near your aircraft and don’t mind soaking it completely, this is an effective way to get a smooth, waxy finish without too much effort.