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July 2019

Dry washing: an eco-friendlier way of cleaning aircraft

  • Water

Of course, you knew that the cabin of an aircraft is cleaned after every flight, but you may not be aware that the exterior of the aircraft also needs a good wash from time to time.

Only cleaning an aircraft requires a lot more water than the bucketful you need to clean your kitchen windows. The companies BP-Precision, Groundlink and Aeroservices have, therefore, developed a way to minimise water usage and wash the aircraft in a more environmentally friendly way through ‘dry washing’.

The liquid cleaning detergent comes in economical, reusable flasks and is applied manually, with a sweeper, to the entire outer surface of an aircraft. After drying, the detergent and the dirt are removed, leaving the aircraft clean and polished with a protective layer to ensure that the painted surface retains its lustre for longer. All cloths are subsequently washed and reused. There is no waste or wastewater on site.

You guessed it, this method of cleaning requires more manual labour but is also much more sustainable and better for the environment. What’s more, a clean aircraft aerodynamically more efficient, making it consume less and reducing emissions.

Since dry washing cannot take place in the open air when it rains, it is also often applied in a hangar. Logically, this dry washing is often combined with aircraft maintenance. Today, BP Precision dry-washes the TUI and Brussels Airlines fleets, among others. Also, Groundlink and Aeroservices use the "dry wash" technique at Brussels Airport to make the Ryanair and DHL aircraft shine.

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