Recently, I ran out of my usual Perspex cleaner, VuPlex, which I usually use before each flight to remove any distracting bugs and grime that gets in my line of sight. I went to purchase a few more cans and was a bit surprised by the cost, given it is ‘just a cleaning spray’ – at least, so I thought. For the same price, I figured I could get an entire box of an alternative to last me a while. I soon ended up down the rabbit hole online, learning a few things that I thought would be worth sharing for anyone who was thinking of using something a little cheaper.

The most common one that I see people recommending is Mr Sheen or Windex, which in their own right are decent products, but are a no-go when it comes to cleaning Perspex (acrylic).

The critical reason is that it contains a very small amount of solvents, which over time will eat away at the surface of the Perspex. Given long enough, it can cause it to go cloudy, brittle and even produce hairline fractures, reducing the structural integrity of the windscreen. Of course many people just think that is the acrylic screen breaking down over time, not connecting the dots to their cleaning product and application towel.

As it turns out, my attempt to save a few dollars on screen cleaner is not only a terrible idea, it would have proven rather costly in the long run.

To keep your Perspex windscreen in top notch condition, the easiest solution is also the best solution: good old fashioned warm water with a small amount of mild detergent. I also highly recommend cleaning after flight instead of leaving it to the next flight. This stops some of the bugs drying up and becoming scratchy. If you are looking for a good Perspex cleaner, Vuplex and Plexus have been the industry standard for a long time for a good reason. They’re also tested and tried in the boating and marine industry. However, ensure they are appropriate for your particular aircraft before use. Next time you go to the laundry cupboard before your flight, think twice!