FAA Requirements

Under FAA regulations F.A.R. 43 (Appendix D) scope & detail, you are required to clean your aircraft every 100-hour and Annual Inspection.

Washing, waxing & polishing are listed as preventive maintenance items under FAR part 43, appendix A, section C, paragraphs 9 & 10, and also under FAR 1.1 (preventive maintenance). Aircraft exterior cleaning is commonly mentioned as a maintenance procedure listed in US aircraft manufacturers' maintenance manuals.

The FAA recommends that you use professional A&P mechanics for all washing, waxing and polishing of your aircraft.

Federal Aviation Regulation Excerpts:

Appendix A to Part 43-Major Alterations, Major Repairs, and Preventive Maintenance

(c) Preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is limited to the following work, provided it does not involve complex assembly operations:

(9) Refinishing decorative coating of fuselage, balloon baskets, wings tail group surfaces (excluding balanced control surfaces), fairings, cowlings, landing gear, cabin, or cockpit interior when removal or disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is not required.

(10) Applying preservative or protective material to components where no disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is involved and where such coating is not prohibited or is not contrary to good practices.


Appendix D to Part 43-Scope and Detail of Items (as Applicable to the Particular Aircraft) To Be Included in Annual and 100-Hour Inspections

(a) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall, before that inspection, remove or open all necessary inspection plates, access doors, fairing, and cowling. He shall thoroughly clean the aircraft and aircraft engine.

(b) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) the following components of the fuselage and hull group:

(1) Fabric and skin-for deterioration, distortion, other evidence of failure, and defective or insecure attachment of fittings.

(c) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) the following components of the cabin and cockpit group:

(1) Generally-for uncleanliness and loose equipment that might foul the controls.

(2) Seats and safety belts-for poor condition and apparent defects.

(3) Windows and windshields-for deterioration and breakage.

(4) Instruments-for poor condition, mounting, marking, and (where practicable) improper operation.

(7) All systems-for improper installation, poor general condition, apparent and obvious defects, and insecurity of attachment.
(e) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) the following components of the landing gear group:

(1) All units-for poor condition and insecurity of attachment.

(f) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) all components of the wing and center section assembly for poor general condition, fabric or skin deterioration, distortion, evidence of failure, and insecurity of attachment.

(g) Each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect (where applicable) all components and systems that make up the complete empennage assembly for poor general condition, fabric or skin deterioration, distortion, evidence of failure, insecure attachment, improper component installation, and improper component operation.

?? 1.1 General definitions.

Preventive maintenance means simple or minor preservation operations and the replacement of small standard parts not involving complex assembly operations.

The full text regarding the Federal Aviation Regulations.