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Old 09-18-2017, 09:38 AM
JackinMichigan's Avatar
JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 237
Default Bug cleaning

Cleaning the dead bugs off the windscreen and leading edges is a common after-flight ritual for most people, particularly in the summer months. It seems everyone has a different method and cleaning agent, so I'm creating this post because I want to see how everyone else does this. I've seen it as simple as straight water and a paper towel, to elaborate detergents and freshly laundered soft towels. What do you use?
Jack and Dave Groat, father and son
RV-10 N1861G
Build #41389, started Oct 2012
Current status: 1st Flight 11/10/17
50 hour oil change: 8/29/19
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:40 AM
bkervaski's Avatar
bkervaski bkervaski is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 1,756

Main tactic to getting bugs off of anything .. wet them and let them soak for a few .. their dehydrated/hardened juices will remove paint/clear coat.

I'm sure there are tons of similar products but the Harley Davidson bug remover does an awesome job.
RV-14A #140376
N196 (Flying)
2019 Bronze Lindy

Last edited by bkervaski : 09-18-2017 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:43 AM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 2,905

Generally I lay a water soaked microfiber cloth on the windshield/leading edges/spinner/wheel pants/etc for a minute or so to loosen things up then use the same cloth to wipe if off. I then dry with a clean microfiber cloth. I don't let paper towels get anywhere close to anything on my plane except the engine.
Todd "I drink and know things" Stovall
RV-10 N728TT - Flying!

Last edited by Auburntsts : 09-18-2017 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 09:58 AM
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bkilby bkilby is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Newnan, GA
Posts: 318
Default Simple Green Aviation for getting the bugs off

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.
Brian Kilby
flying RV-6A, previously flying RV-9A
based at KCTJ, Carrollton, GA
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:21 AM
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mike newall mike newall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Yorkshire, England
Posts: 2,094

Reilly's or W*lm*rt

They sell snot green or puce pink bug remover. Cheap and very easy.

#1 goes round squirt, squirt, #2 goes round with a wet microfiber cloth - done.

If you want to be CDO (it's OCD but the letters are in correct order) then follow up with a chamois leather.
"I add a little excitement, a little spice to your lives, and all you do is complain!" - Q

Donated in 2020
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:24 AM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 10,011

Simply use water and an auto "bug sponge".

But, it the work is greatly reduced if you use this every so often and build up a slick layer on the leading edges -

If Texas sized bugs happen to get baked on, then these pads work well -
Gil Alexander
EAA Technical Counselor, Airframe Mechanic
Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
RV-6A N61GX - finally flying
Grumman Tiger N12GA - flying
La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson AZ
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:53 AM
n816kc n816kc is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 273
Default in buggy florida

a spray bottle of water and a soft cloth. works great without a lot of effort. spray, give it a couple of minutes and wipe off.
Kevin Crews
Bartow, FL
RV-6 'Woo hoo!'
2021 =VAF= donor
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:53 AM
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flytoboat flytoboat is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Collinsville, IL
Posts: 620
Default bug removal

For the windshield, I use plain water and a clean microfiber cloth. For the rest of the plane, I use Carbonex mixture (20:1) and microfiber cloth. As said before, never a paper towel which will scratch your windshield.
VAF #1100, EAA864
-6A bought flying
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:02 AM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
Moderator, Asst. Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 1,542

KELLI GIRL is vinyl-wrapped. Scott Farnsworth at has me using a roughly 3-1 mix of clean water and rubbing alcohol. I spray it on the entire wing leading edge, then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. Like others said: Never ever use paper towel, but the blue automotive lint-style towels are permissible if a microfiber towel isn't available.

I use plexis on the canopy. I used to use lemon pledge, which works great on bugs, but the citric acid causes the vinyl to release. Plexis is better.

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.
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Old 09-18-2017, 11:07 AM
TimO TimO is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 633

For general windshield cleaning, the best I've found is AvLabs foaming cleaner, and I also then use their plexi protectant. I buy it at OSH every year and it's a great bargain and works well.

For bug removal, Jungle Jake is what I use. I buy it at the local Fleet Farm store:

It's very inexpensive at about $8/gal and a gallon will probably last you nearly 10 years or more. You can water it down very very far until the water is just a very light tint of green...probably an ounce or two per squirt bottle with the balance water. I spray it on, let it sit a half minute or so, and then they wipe off. I use the same stuff on the wing leading edges. It looks similar to Simple Green but is not chemically the same. Jungle Jake is non-toxic and not corrosive.

For belly grease, it's Simple Green Aviation formula. That stuff works miracles. Regular simple green is corrosive and has no business being by airplanes, as it's corrosive, but the Aviation formula is great stuff.
Tim Olson - CFI
RV-10 N104CD - Flying 2/2006 - 1400+ hours
RV-14 N14YT - Flying 6/2016 - 350+ hours
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