How Much Does Airplane Detailing Cost?
February 16, 2021
What are you actually paying for when you hire a professional detailer to clean your airplane? Aircraft detailing prices vary from one detailer to another. Therefore, it is wise to take into account the various factors that influence the total cost of airplane detailing. As a guide, base aircraft detailing prices range from $200-$600. However, add-on services will bump up the price. It also depends on the pricing strategies of the individual detailing businesses and the experience of their team. Overall, though, your preferences and the type of aircraft will largely dictate pricing. The final amount depends on the following factors:
Factors That Affect Aircraft Detailing Cost
The Size of the Aircraft
Cleaning an aircraft is no small job, regardless of the size, make and model of the aircraft. It is specialist work that requires the professional touch. The specialist use aviation-grade cleaning supplies and special equipment. However, more than anything else, airplane detailing cost is influenced by the physical size of the aircraft. In general, detailing a large aircraft is more labor-intensive and time-consuming than detailing a small jet simply because there is more of everything to clean.
For example, it costs around $150 to wet wash the exterior of a Cessna light aircraft model that seats a maximum of 4 passengers. Expect to pay around $1000 to wet wash the exterior of a large business jet, such as a Gulfstream G650 that carries between 11 and 18 passengers. Airplane detailing costs will typically rise to around $2,500 for a larger commercial aircraft.
Type of Exterior Wash
There are also different types of exterior cleaning to take into consideration when working out airplane detailing cost. For example, aircraft dry washing involves using aviation-approved chemicals and microfiber towels to “dry” wash the exterior. Wet washing involves using high-pressure water jets and specialist soaps to wash the exterior surface, although extreme care must be taken to protect the landing gear components and electrical connectors from the pressurized water.
Another more effective method is aircraft exterior steam detailing. This is an excellent option if you want a “green” option that adheres to the environmental rules and regulations within the aviation industry. This trusted steam method uses the minimal amount of water and the high temperature of steam to remove dirt, grease and grime from the aircraft exterior. Note, prices can vary from $50-$100 between different types of exterior aircraft cleaning methods, so it is wise to ask detailers for a bespoke quote.
Additional Airplane Detailing Cost for Aircraft Boots
Exterior surface washing will cost from $150-$600 for small to medium jets. However, expect to pay extra for additional exterior detailing such as a de-ice boot treatment. Typically, you could pay an additional $75-$300. However, keeping the boots clean is an essential part of aircraft detailing as it helps to extend the lifespan of essential pieces of equipment.
The Amount and the Quality of Aircraft Cleaning Products
Professional detailers will use more cleaning supplies on a larger jet than, say, a small single engine aircraft. The amount used will be calculated and factored into aircraft detailing prices. You will also pay more for high-quality cleaning products. For example, the cost of environmentally-friendly cleaning products is usually slighter higher than standard soaps and detergents but trends show that customers are willing to pay a little extra to help protect the environment.
The Brand of Aircraft
Aircraft detailing prices are also determined by the brand of aircraft. For example, a luxury brand of aircraft, such as Embraer or Gulfstream private jets, may require specialist detailing work. Some private jet detailing packages will devote hours to taking care of your aircraft cleaning needs. Bear in mind, you are also paying for the detailer’s expertise to carefully maintain the sheen and style of custom interior fittings.
Interior Aircraft Detailing Prices
Detailers may offer complimentary interior vacuuming with an aircraft exterior wash. However, additional aircraft interior cleaning services such as cleaning lavatories, seat belts, tray tables, sanitizing the galley, cleaning the cockpit and so on will incur additional charges. For example, if you pay $275 to have a small private jet washed, additional interior detailing will be charged at around $125. For a medium jet wash at $375, expect to add on $225 for interior cleaning. A larger jet with a $600 exterior wash could incur an extra $350 for an interior clean.
Airplane Detailing Cost for Add-On Services
If you choose add-on airplane services, airplane detailing cost will naturally go up. Not all of these are essential detailing procedures but they will help to extend the lifespan and maintain the resale value of your aircraft. Take a look at the following:
Aircraft Exterior Full Wax
An aircraft exterior wax treatment will increase airplane detailing cost. You don’t have to request this add-on each time you schedule aircraft detailing. However, if you love the extra shine that enhances the luxurious look of your jet, it is a recommended add-on. It also helps to protect the exterior paintwork. As a rough guide, double the airplane detailing cost of your base exterior wash to get an idea of a wash-and-wax detailing package. For example, if washing a small twin engine jet costs $200-$250. Expect to pay around $500 for a wash and wax treatment. For a mid-range business jet aircraft like a Learjet 60, a wash is $500 while a wash and wax treatment is $1000.
Brightwork Metal Polishing
Aircraft metal polishing is a specialist process that results in an immaculate mirror-like finish. If you take pride in the appearance of your aircraft, you will probably want to spend extra money to make sure your brightwork dazzles beautifully. This includes polishing the spinner, engine inlet and exhaust, window surrounds and leading edges. If you need corrosion removal on brightwork, the extra time and attention required will also increase aircraft detailing prices. Polishing brightwork is not just for cosmetic purposes. It also protects against oxidation. This treatment ranges from $275 (single engine aircraft) to $850 for a medium jet and $2500 for a larger jet.
Deep Interior Clean and Sanitization
If you want a deep interior clean, costs of specialist disinfecting solutions will be factored on top of the base interior detailing price. This can account for an additional $100. Alternatively, seek out aircraft detailers that use steam cleaning technology. Killing viruses with steam eliminates the need to pay for extra aviation disinfectants and associated labor costs.
Seat Restoration and Repairs
If you want to keep the interior of your plane looking immaculate, it is advisable to pay a little extra for periodic conditioning to maintain the luxurious look and feel of the seats. This includes paying extra attention to leather, vinyl and fabric seat coverings, especially on high-wear areas such as armrests and upper-back cushions. It should really be done every 3-6 months. Although it raises aircraft detailing prices over and above a base detailing package, it is more cost-effective in the long-term than having to replace or re-upholster seats. Upholstery care and repair of leather or fabric seats costs from $130 per seat.
The Condition of the Aircraft
Take into consideration the condition of your aircraft when calculating airplane detailing costs. If you pay for detailing your aircraft regularly, it will help to make future detailing jobs more time-efficient and cost-effective. You’ll find that many detailers offer special price plans and discounted rates to regular customers. However, aircraft that are not regularly maintained will require more work to achieve a satisfactory level of cleanliness. This will add to your outlay. For instance, you’ll find that many detailers offer price quotes upon viewing the aircraft. Excessively dirty interiors will incur additional charges if you want to restore it to like-new condition.
The Aircraft Detailing Company’s Brand
Your aircraft is a considerable investment. Understandably, you will be attracted to a company that has a solid reputation in the aviation industry. Research shows that consumers tend to prioritize a great service from a trustworthy detailing brand even if this means paying a little more. If you are handing over your possession for cleaning, you want to hire someone who knows what they are doing, see Detailer’s Experience, below.
Detailer’s Experience Affects Airplane Detailing Cost
The responsibilities and experience that are associated with the aircraft detailer job are а factor into the detailing costs. Aircraft detailing is more than simply wiping down the aircraft exterior and vacuuming the cabin. You are paying for the detailer’s knowledge and experience. The correct aviation-grade cleaning supplies and techniques will be used to protect the aircraft.
As you can see, a number of factors affect how much aircraft detailing costs. How much you pay typically depends on the aircraft size that can range from single engines to jumbo jets. The detailer will add the detailing add-ons to the final price. The condition of the aircraft, the detailer’s experience and even the equipment and cleaning supplies will affect these prices when hiring a professional detailer to clean your plane.
For your peace of mind, choose a trusted brand that will always offer great value while ensuring an aviation-approved clean. Professional detailers will be able to provide you with a quote based on the size and condition of your aircraft. Looking for that exceptional clean? Schedule an appointment with DetailXPerts to have your airplane professionally detailed.
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