Mineral Spirits and Microfiber Towels

When polishing the Spartan, I use these versatile products at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the overall polishing process. I do this for two very specific reasons. First, I want to eliminate the possibility of any dirt or polish being present on the metal surface at the beginning of any of the overall polishing process steps. Second, I want to eliminate the possibility of having black rings form around the rivet heads.

The actual process is quite simple; but it does require the use of a large number of microfiber towels. I begin with a standard 16 x 16 yellow towel. It should be noted that a light colored towel is really necessary. First I remove the tag to prevent the possibility of scratching and then fold the towel into quarters, which gives you eight surfaces per towel.

Spritz a section of the airplane (about two square feet) with mineral spirits, then gently wipe the area to remove any dirt of polish. Select another section of the towel and go over the surface to assure it is completely dry. Repeat the process with a clean section of towel and see if any dirt or polish residue is transferred to the towel. If no, they you are done with that area. If yes, regardless of how little appears, repeat the process until no dirt or polish residue can be detected.

The spritzing and wiping described above is first done prior to performing any of the polishing steps. The purpose is to assure you begin the overall polishing process with a “clean” surface.

The process is repeated after each step in the polishing process. If you have begun the polishing steps with a coarse grade of polish, you want to be certain none of the coarse material remains on the surface prior to moving to a finer grade of polish.

After the final stage of polishing, which is normally done with a Cyclo buffer and a special polishing cloth, I do a final procedure of spritzing and wiping until no polish appears on a clean section of the microfiber towel. While this final step removes any possible protective qualities associated with the particular polish product you have used, it also eliminates the likelihood of having new black rings form around the rivet heads. For me, this is an essential step.