Detailing company doing interior and exterior of 414

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    I’ve been talking to a detailing company about doing my plane inside and out. They use a steam unit to clean the leather then wipe down with a leather treatment. They also use Steam for sidewalls, small areas of seats, doors, etc.

    My question is this. Is steam an ok thing inside the cabin? He said he does not use steam on any electrical, but did say about 1 quart of water is run thru it to do carpets, seats and sidewalls.

    I’m concerned of what is required or allowed to detail and clean a pressurized twin. Chemicals, waters, etc.. The plane has an odor I think will go away if we clean it but don’t want to cause myself more issues.

    I’m also trying to get references from the detailer of any other twin or single pressurized planes they have done.

    I’d dive into this myself but I’m not an expert either.. I’d like it clean, sterilized and conditioned.



    We have a steam cleaner that we’ve never used on the plane, but use on the house and on the cars. Water goes in but also gets sucked back out. The end result is a surface that is damp rather than wet, and dries up on its own before too long. Leave the door open and it would probably dry out pretty quickly. For the carpets I don’t think I’d worry too much. That said, we never have steam cleaned the carpets (even though we probably would have more cause to). Sprinkling some baking soda onto the carpets and then vacuuming it up seems to do the job.

    I’ve never heard of steam cleaning leather. That doesn’t mean it’s not done, it just means I haven’t heard of it. I’ve always just cleaned the leather with leather cleaner and had good results.


    The interior shops that I have worked with have always recommended mild soap to clean leather. The objective is to clean the surface without drying or removing the oils from the leather. Two soap recommendations from the shops are saddle soap and Dove hand soap. Saddle soap has moisturizers and, I believe, some light oils; Dove has moisturizers. In all cases you need to treat the leather with two or more coats of a good quality leather conditioner. If you are looking for good quality supplies to do your own work check with Adam’s Polishes.

    Regarding the carpet, I take mine out occasionally and send it off to the carpet cleaners. They steam or dry clean it then treat it with something like Scotchguard. If you do that you are more likely to get all of the dirt and odors out. More work but better results.


    At annual all of the flooring comes out. This is the best time to clean the carpets as you can take them away.

    If you want to do it in the plane with steam I think that would be fine too -just don’t put excess water on or let it stay wet. I would put a box fan in for sure until dry, you don’t want the moisture to settle in the avionics. Underneath the carpet is Al sheet (or in some areas honeycomb). It is easier to do if you move the seats out of the way (or out)

    Steaming the leather seems unusual unless there was a specific spill. Also check the evaporator cores for mold, etc or standing water (drain issue). Make sure not to damage them as they are not easily replaced.

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