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Old 09-18-2017, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,412

3 recommended cloths are Microfiber, cotton Terry cloth, and Cheese Cloth.
I use Cheese cloth on plexiglas, it's open weave takes the grit and dead bugs and reduces scratching.
I buy Cheese cloth at Walmart and cut it to size. I wash it in the clothes washer and re-use it.
I buy Terry Cloth bar towels at Costco in a bundle. When they look too gross for use in the house, they go to the hangar for bug removal and any other job as they get worse until I throw them out.
I start removing bugs with water, right now I'm using Lemon Pledge, but I also use McGuires spray cleaner detail-er, car wash soap etc.
I try to avoid caustic cleaners which are hard on aluminum.
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
(with apologies to Ratty)
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:38 AM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,916
Default But the BIG secret is timing!

Bugs are fairly easy to remove with plain (plane) water if removed immediately.

NEVER let a dead bug spent the night on your airplane!
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:44 PM
ReidVaitor ReidVaitor is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 179
Default bug cleaner

Windshield- Plexus- terry cloth to wipe it down after 30sec-1 min
leading edge- I used water, soap, wash and wax and pledge, in the end sure they work but Turtle wax "bug and tar" remover works so much faster and a whole lot easier. I painted my plane with California worthy paint (aka water based paint that doesnt cause cancer in the state of California) I figured 2 years and I would need to repaint, going on 6 and the home latex still looks great- my point- even with lousy paint the bug and tar remover doesnt effect the paint in any way. Oh and I use paper towels to wipe it all down, THAN use a cloth to put a layer of pledge on the leading edge.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:11 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 1,532

Bounce or similar dryer sheets in a spray bottle of water - spray the mixture onto the bugs, let it sit a bit then wipe clean with wet towel. The stuff than softens clothes softens the bugs. I've done enough A/B comparisons with this vs other methods to be convinced it works. The sheets themselves can be used (very wet) to remove stubborn bugs.
Turner Billingsley

RV-14A built/sold N14VB
RV-12iS in progress as of October 2020
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:24 PM
Robert Anglin Robert Anglin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: houston, texas
Posts: 900
Default Yep.

Have used the McGuires #8 plastic clean and shine with a soft blue shop roll towel to clean the canopy. Every couple of months, I will use the McGuires clean and wax to coat the wind-screen and canopy so the bugs come off and the plastic has a little wax coat on it. The wings, VS, HS, and wheel pants, soap and water or a aluminum safe spray cleaner. I find that a half gallon of water and a small squirt of Joy soap in it and a soft towel will do 90% of all clean-up jobs. Just what we do. Yours, R.E.A. III #80888
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:43 PM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 645
Default Small World?

Originally Posted by bkilby View Post
The best product I have found for getting the bugs off is Simple Green Aviation. Doesn't need to be full strength either. I usually just top off the spray bottle with water when half the bottle is used. I spray down the leading edge of both wings, then go back and wipe down with a microfiber cloth. Bugs come right off. Plexus or Brillianize or similar for canopy with an old t-shirt.
Killer Bee is that you? I thought you were in Defuniak Springs.

I buy Aviation Simple Green by the 5 gallon jug. Only downside for use on wings is it strips the Rejex or Zaino polish off. So I generally don't use it for bugs unless they are really stubborn.

Go Jackets!
Krea Ellis

Locust Grove, GA
DA20-A1 "Princess Amelia" - gone home to Amelia Island
RV-7A Phase 2 (Honored to be Van's "Miss July" 2021)
RV-10 under construction at Synergy Air South
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:57 PM
Dubuque RV Dubuque RV is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Dubuque, IA
Posts: 11
Default Bug removal

I apply Rejex once or twice a year to the whole plane. When back from flying i walk once around the plane spraying(I use a pump up sprayer) water on the leading edges, wheel pants, nose, spinner and windshield to soften bugs. Then on second trip around I use a bug sponge(soft mesh wrapped about sponge) to wipe off bugs and dry with an old clean towel. The windshield I use Plexus with a clean microfiber cloth.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:24 PM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,074
Default Wet dryer sheet

I think I read it here on VAF 4-5 years ago, came from a Helicopter guy; Use water and a dryer sheet (Bounce, etc.) This will take off the worst of of the worst. This was the ONLY thing that would work for taking dried, hard, cooked bugs off the paint and chrome of my Harley. I have not, would not try it on plexi, stick to plexus for that and I have not tried it on my plane yet because its never got that bad but this did not touch the paint or chrome on the Harley. The dryer sheet turns soapy when it gets wet so you will need to wipe or rinse afterward.
Derek Hoeschen
EAA Tech Counselor
RV-9A #92103 - N803DK
G3X, Superior XO-320, Dual Pmags, Catto 3B

1974 Bellanca Super Viking - N16AW - Flying
RV-8 #83565 - N184DK - building
1968 Mooney M20C - N6801N - Sold
1956 C-182 - N744W - Sold
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:12 AM
Zero4Zulu Zero4Zulu is online now
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scio,Oregon
Posts: 272

I recently heard of using an old microwave to heat a wet towel. Just water. Bugs come right off.
Steve S.
Rebuilding RV6A
Scio, OR
EAA Ch. 292
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:53 AM
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RicoB RicoB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Glendale, CA
Posts: 267

I use pledge before and after flights and they come off very easily! I even use pledge on my car when I travel on areas with a lot of bugs.
Rico Burgos
2018- RV9a at KWHP
1959- C-150 at KMOD
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