Cleaning an IC Bus

Applies to the following models:

  • IC Bus BE Bus CE Bus FE Bus HC Bus LC Bus RE Bus

Chemicals used to clean or disinfect your IC Bus can adversely affect materials used to build the vehicle. Many common cleaning chemicals can damage or ruin the appearance of materials like ABS plastic, vinyl, rubber, aluminum, glass and painted surfaces. As with the cleaning chemicals used, the cleaning process (or the lack of a cleaning process), can also affect the life and appearance of the vehicle. 

Chemicals used in premixed or aerosol disinfectant solutions can damage or affect the appearance of many interior surfaces. 

The following information should be used to determine an acceptable method to clean your vehicle while maintaining the appearance and integrity of the components to be cleaned. 

Interior

The best method to preserve the appearance and extend the life of the interior components of your IC bus is frequent and thorough cleaning of the components. A cleaning schedule and the cleaning requirements should be determined based on the type of service conditions in which the unit is operated.

General Cleaning All Surface Types

Use a soft dry cloth on hard surfaces and a whisk broom or vacuum cleaner on flooring and upholstery to remove loose dirt and debris. Surfaces can then be washed with a damp cloth and a warm water and mild soap solution. Use a clear water damp cloth rinse to remove soap residue, then wipe dry.

Caution: When using isopropyl alcohol as a disinfectant, the following precautions must be followed. 

  • Do not use a 70% isopropyl solution as a wash solution.
  • Do not use a 70% isopropyl solution wipe on seats that are hot from day time heat.
  • Vapors can accumulate quickly when using a 70% isopropyl solution wipe. Maintain adequate ventilation by opening windows and doors.
  • The effectiveness of the 70% isopropyl solution can be diminished when used in high heat conditions due to evaporation. 

A 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol can be used as a disinfectant wipe. A 70% isopropyl solution is readily available from local sources. 

Flooring

Caution: Some buses are built with an insulating wooden sub-floor under the floor covering. Do not use a hose to clean the interior floor of the bus. Standing water may damage the wood sub-floor.

Use a damp mop with warm water and mild soap solution. Use a clear water damp mop rinse to remove soap residue. Remove any excess water remaining on the flooring after the rinse process. 

Floor mounted wheelchair track should be clean of dirt, debris and cleaning solution residue when completed. Many chemicals used to maintain roads and walkways are tracked into the bus and may react with the cleaning solution. Failure to properly clean the floor track can result in track deterioration. 

ABS/Plastic

Plastic (ABS, Thermal Plastic, Plastic) material should only be cleaned with a warm water and mild soap solution. 

Seat Belts

Warning: Do not bleach or re-dye seat belt webbing. Bleaching or re-dying may cause premature deterioration of the webbing, resulting in personal injury or death. 

Warning: Disinfectant products can contain solvent based chemicals that can adversely affect seat belt components which may cause premature failure, resulting in personal injury or death.

Clean the seat belts occasionally with a mild soap solution. Do not use cleaning chemicals or abrasives. 

A 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol can be used as a disinfectant wipe. A 70% isopropyl solution is readily available from local sources. 

Seats, Passenger, Driver

Caution: Disinfectant products can contain solvent based chemicals that can adversely affect seat belt components which may cause premature failure, resulting in personal injury or death. 

Use a whisk broom or vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and debris from upholstery. Surfaces can then be washed with warm water and mild soap solution. Remove soap residue and wipe dry. 

A 70% solution of isopropyl alcohol can be used as a disinfectant wipe. A 70% isopropyl solution is readily available from local sources. 

Glass

Caution: Use of abrasive cleaners can scratch or damage glass. 

Use a soft cloth and glass cleaner only.

Exterior

Caution: Certain cleaners contain chemicals that can damage emblems and decals. If the cleaning product label states that it should not be used on plastic parts, do not use the product to clean the unit or damage may occur that would not be covered by warranty. 

The best way to preserve painted surface finish is to keep it clean by washing it often. Frequent and regular washing will lengthen the life of the vehicle's painted finish. 

Wash the vehicle often with warm or cold water to remove dirt and preserve the original luster of the paint. 

  • Never wash the vehicle in the direct rays of the sun or when the sheet metal is hot to the touch as this may cause streaks in the finish.
  • Do not use hot water, strong soaps or detergents.
  • Never wipe dirt off a dry surface as the dirt will scratch the paint. 

Always make certain that steps, and grab handles, or any external accessories or components attached to the body exterior, are clean and free of road grime, salt, grease, ice and other debris. 

To maintain optimum vehicle preservation, wash the vehicle thoroughly as soon as possible after operating it in the presence of road salts. Many municipalities are now using magnesium chloride and calcium chloride salts in the winter time. In some areas of the country, magnesium chloride is being used for dust control on unpaved roads exposing your unit to this corrosive material year-round. These salts are much more corrosive than typical sodium chloride salt and must be brushed-off in addition to spraying with high-pressure water. Merely rinsing surfaces exposed to these chemicals will not remove them. 

In addition to the body, it is highly recommended, because of the various road chemicals used in harsh winter weather, that under chassis and wheel ends be pressure washed during the winter and spring breaks. Adverse weather and road conditions may require more frequent washing. When exposed to heavier amounts of road chemicals, clean the vehicle as soon as possible. 

Download the Cleaning an IC Bus Guidelines