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Cleaning cloth type, polishing MOTION direction

  1. Cleaning Cloth

Both current US commercial aircraft and federal specifications used to qualify aircraft plastic window cleaners and polishes require a specific grade of cloth to be used in qualification testing of these products.  That cloth specification is “CCC-C-458; Cloth, Flannel, Cotton”.

The original Military Specification for aircraft plastic window cleaners and polishes, that all current specs are based on (Mil-C-18767B), specified cloth type “CCF-456; Flannel; Outing” that has been superseded by CCC-C-458.

Result is that as far as testing and qualification of any aircraft plastic window cleaner and polish is concerned; only this grade of cotton flannel cloth is to be used on the test samples.

The reason for this is twofold; there is a statistical value of zero that the cloth will contribute to any mechanically induced damaging abrasion of the test sample and that there will be no contamination of the test due to residual chemicals in the cloth that the chemical cleaning agent of the cleaner/polish may leach out of the cloth onto the test sample.

K-200-C Cotton Polishing Cloths

For Best Results Only Use
100% Cotton Polishing Cloths
Available in 2 pack (P/N K-200-C2)
&100 pack (P/N K-200-C100)

In real world applications, contaminating chemicals in the cloth is a common problem and is usually seen on a ‘cleaned’ window as steaks, haze or color.  The best results are realized when using two (2) new, clean and dry 100% cotton polishing cloths.  One is used for the application and cleaning step, another one is used for polishing step.  Re-using the cleaning cloth for polishing increases the chance of re-depositing the dirt and grime just removed from the transparency as a film on the just cleaned surface.

A more practical and economic approach to this is to start with new cloths dedicated for use on aircraft plastic transparencies only.  Preferably to the same material specs used in the qualification testing or white, uncolored, cotton at the least.  Dyes and old grease stains will be pulled out of the colored or used cloth by the cleaning agents in the cleaner/polish and can be left as a film on the transparency.  Once used, these cloths should be washed using unscented, non-fabric softener, no-additive detergent soap in hot water. There are several detergent soap products of this type available in both liquid and granular form.  After washing, a second full washing in hot water without detergent and a second rinse cycle will normally clean the cloth well enough to be used again with good success.  If drying in a machine dryer, do not use fabric softener cloths or balls.  This will contaminate the cloth.

Keep these cloths in a separate storage area and mark their bin ‘For aircraft plastic window cleaning and polishing only’.

Recently, many operators have started using micromesh fabric cloth with good results when cleaning aircraft plastic windows.  Although not part of the industry test specs for aircraft plastic window cleaners and polishes, they are a popular alternative to the standard cotton polishing cloth and may be suitable to some operator's standards.



  1. Polishing Motion Direction

Final wiping cycle and polishing-out direction should only be vertical or longitudinal (top to bottom and bottom to top or front to back and back to front) on the windscreen or transparency including bubble and convex geometries.  An ovaloid shaped wiping cycle and polishing-out direction will result in halo shaped diffractions of light on the windscreen visually obvious to the pilot.

No-Oval Wiping

No circular or ovaloid polishing direction.

Fighter Canopy

Helicopter Windscreen

Example of longitudinal front-to-back and back-to-front polishing direction.

Example of vertical top-to-bottom bottom-to-top polishing direction.

Polishing cloths are available from KPC in packs of two (2) (P/N K-200-C2) and packs of 100 (P/N K-200-C100)
Best results are obtained when one cloth is used for cleaning and one for polishing.