SXDFC
Topic Author
Posts: 1804
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:07 pm

How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Wed May 09, 2018 6:06 pm

Hello All:

I am curious as to when airliners take down and thoroughly clean out the sidewalls, panels, and lavatories. I am even curious as to if the flight deck gets any sort of a cleaning as well. After being a cabin crew member for two years, I am amazed but not surprised at how quick these planes get filthy..
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
DFW17L
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:53 am

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Wed May 09, 2018 7:37 pm

I'm pretty sure they get a good sand blasting and UV treatment (when they end up in the desert at end-of-life).

Seriously, I try not to touch my eyes/nose/mouth/ears until I can get off the plane and wash my hands.

I had the pleasure to fly on an AA 789 that was one month old. Judging from how things looks and smell on a brand-new aircraft, you know planes never get a thorough cleaning until they are parked in the desert.
 
mmo
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 5:04 am

despite what DFW17L, aircraft are deep cleaned on a regular basis. However, it's really up to each individual airline. I worked for SQ for a number of years and the aircraft were deep cleaned on a rotating basis which was about every 6 weeks. That included things such as carpet cleaning/shampoo, cabin walls cleaned. The seat covers were changed on an as needed basis or every 2 years. The cockpits were cleaned after every flight and in my time there couldn't really complain of the condition of the cockpit. Sme outstations did better than others but when the aircraft came back to SIN it was cleaned to the SQ standard before the next flight.
If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane!
 
battlegroup62
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:05 am

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 9:13 am

DFW17L wrote:
I'm pretty sure they get a good sand blasting and UV treatment (when they end up in the desert at end-of-life).

I had the pleasure to fly on an AA 789 that was one month old. Judging from how things looks and smell on a brand-new aircraft, you know planes never get a thorough cleaning until they are parked in the desert.


I think the cleanest is when its gets melted back down to aluminum, because all the crud embedded in the CPC gets burned off.
But seriously, I work heavy checks and even we don't clean them out spotless. The closest we get to wiping down a sidewall or interior of a lav is if there is a stain we need to remove, we don't have orders to wipe don't the entire interior we just remove fingerprints etc. Same for cockpits and floors if you can see the crud it gets cleaned, if not its staying there. If I went and swept up behind the rudder pedals on one of ours birds I'd fill a sandwich bag with dusty peanuts, m&ms and other fuzzy bits as well as a few pens. In the cabin you could get a gallon bucket worth of the same plus about 75 cents, random pills, and a bunch of toenail clippings. As for carpet we don't even bother cleaning it because it is so worn, we put in a new ship set and trash the old one.
We have to keep planes airworthy. That doesn't mean they have to fly.
 
gregorygoodwin
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:01 pm

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 5:05 pm

I do hangar maintenance on freighters. When the ship comes in for a B check, we have a vendor crew that cleans the cargo decks (upper and lower), the entry ways, lavatory, and flight deck. This is mostly vacuuming and removing trash bags and wiping down the lavs. Surprisingly, the areas behind the sidewall panels are not as dirty as you would think. If a panel is removed for some type of maintenance, we (the AMT's) will use a shop vac to remove any debris before putting the panel back in place. The most dusty places are behind the flight deck panels and areas such as under the center console or the desk where the F.O's station used to be. Also, the tracks that secure the cargo locks (same as a seat track) can become clogged with debris. Sometimes you must scrub them out with a wire brush to get the locks back in place. Years ago, we had a MD10 come in that had a container of perfume that leaked on the main deck. This got onto the floor panels and, even though the panels are sealed, it managed to get under them and onto the ceiling panels of the lower decks. You could smell this perfume as you walked up to the hangar front door, it was that strong! This caused a lot of work removing panels that had to be replaced and cleaning everything up.

Gregory
 
CRJ900
Posts: 2197
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:48 am

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 5:12 pm

Where I work, our aircraft are deep cleaned every three months - galleys, lavs, walls, ceiling, carpet and seats are cleaned properly. Cleaning crews use the whole night and the aircraft cabin looks and smells nice for a few days after it. They are not allowed in the flightdeck, our MX dept only cleans the flightdeck.

After about a week, the aircraft cabin feels grubby again...
Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 2702
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 5:14 pm

SXDFC wrote:
Hello All:

I am curious as to when airliners take down and thoroughly clean out the sidewalls, panels, and lavatories. I am even curious as to if the flight deck gets any sort of a cleaning as well. After being a cabin crew member for two years, I am amazed but not surprised at how quick these planes get filthy..

The side walls only get removed about once every eight years for a structural airframe check. It used to be called 'D' check. I know at every 18 month check the side wall air return grills get removed and cleaned, and I've seen a recent addition to do a air duct clean out at the same check.
 
alasizon
Posts: 1265
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Thu May 10, 2018 6:09 pm

With the implement of more complete turn cleaning and a stronger RON clean, the need for a deeper clean is less.

For instance, our new RON clean requires the following for each cabin:
-Spot Clean Seat Covers
-Vaccuum Floor
-Clean Sidewalls (obvious stains)
-Clean Tray Tables
-Clean Seat Frames
-Clean out seatback pockets
-Clean PSUs
-Clean exteriors of overhead bins and dust inside

If while in a hub we notice a bunch of gunk behind the air grill, if Line MX is free we will sometimes ask them to remove it so we can clean it.
Manager on Duty & Tower Planner
 
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seahawk
Posts: 6539
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

Re: How Often Do Airliner Interiors Get A “Deep Clean?”

Fri May 11, 2018 5:59 am

Depends on the airline. Side panels are removed during the larger checks, but they should be cleaned much more often. Regularly when the cabin is getting a complete cleaning.

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