Cleaning your Diamond Aircraft
The Aircraft Flight Manual for your DA40 or DA20 aircraft specifies silicone-free detergent and wax. Since many over-the-counter car wash soaps and waxes do contain silicone, it’s important to choose carefully.
Why no silicone?
The composite material from which your Diamond Aircraft is constructed is very tough, but sometimes there are repairs that have to be make: Hangar rash, meteors, etc, can damage the composite material. If the surface has silicone wax on it, that silicone must be removed in order to effect a quality repair. While there are silicone removers you can apply, these can actually further imbed the silicone into the surface as it is sanded – not good.
A composite or fiberglass repair is a secondary bonding – the first bonding is when the resins an carbon fiber or fiberglass materials are originally laid up. This secondary bonding is only as strong as the adhesion of the new resin, and if there is silicone on or embedded in the prepared surface, obviously the bond will not be as strong.
So… What to use for Diamond aircraft plane wash? After cleaning the dust and grit off with water and a mild dish soap or car wash (eg: Turtle Wax Car Wash) solution, we recommend Wash Wax All. This product was developed specifically for aircraft applications more than 25 years ago, and it is a biodegradable waterless wash and wax solution. It removes dirt without scratching and leaves an anti-static, non-stick UV protective coating on all surfaces including your canopy. The product meets Boeing Aircraft cleaning Specs (exterior and interior) and contains a polymer which, unlike silicone, is easily removed for composite repair, according to the manufacturer. Another excellent, silicone-free wax is Klasse car wax, available online from a variety of vendors.