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Author Topic: Cleaning airbrushes  (Read 1051 times)


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Cleaning airbrushes
« on: December 06, 2017, 10:25:49 pm »

Hiya, before I plunge into the airbrushing world with my new to me Badger 200 and compressor, I have read Old Iron's thread and others and many videos on youtube about cleaning them, and the one using windscreen fluid 50%, distilled water 40% and rubbing alcohol 10% seems a reasonable method. I was seeking opinions if others had used this method and the success they may have had, if a 10 year old boy can do it seems a fair method. Mind you kids these days can weasel their way around the internet but have difficulty with the grocery store, but thats a whole other topic. So any comments are welcome before I blow up my shed. %%


Bob K

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Re: Cleaning airbrushes
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 10:33:17 pm »

Robert.  I have always used the thinners for the paint I am using, or plain water for acrylics, giving it plenty of time and air pressure.  After that I dismantle the airbrush and give that a thorough cleaning too.  I find the top-can airbrushes work best for me, although you have to top them up more often.  Must be done immediately after use, before paint has a chance to dry.  Still using the same airbrush after five years so must be OK.
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Re: Cleaning airbrushes
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 10:40:49 pm »

I use white spirit with enamels (not so much now) Water and air brush cleaner with acrylics. The Deluxe Materials brush cleaner seems to remove paint from anything no matter how old the paint is.  :-)) But I don't let paint dry in the brush. For small jobs it seems to take longer to clean the brush than spray the part.  <:(
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Re: Cleaning airbrushes
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 07:53:38 am »

I use either white spirit or humbrol enamel thinner if I have been using enamels. If its acrylics I first flush through with water and then use a specific (in my case Vallejo) airbrush cleaner. The reason for this is that it also contains a lubricant of sorts that keeps the micro 'o' ring from perishing or degrading.

My process....

Empty paint from the cup, wipe it out with toilet tissue, its finer than kitchen roll, you could also use normal soft tissue for noses, but toilet tissue is cheaper.

Operate airbrush into an empty jamjar, make a cup shape over the top with your spare hand and insert the airbrush between thumb and forefinger, this keeps paint in the jar. Once excess paint has been removed, I then put cleaner (either white spirit, water for whatever medium I have been used) and repeat this process, after 10-20 seconds remove from cup and cover the spray nozzle with a finger or paper, be careful of needle point! Pull trigger to back flush air into the cup, this removes any residual paint. Repeat the jamjar process. Empty any residual from the cup into the jar.

Put fresh cleaner into cup and give a 10 second burst into the jar, what is left in the cup empty on to soft cloth or wad of tissue and wipe over the outside of the brush.

It sounds like a long process, but takes about 90 seconds in total.

Finally I have 3 brushes, one I keep for acyrlics, one for enamels and one for priming. The primer and enamel brushes have 0.3mm needles and tips, the acrylic a 0.2mm tip and needle. Some people will say don't use enamels as the solvents damage the brush, this might be true, but I've never encountered it

Finally, once a week or so I strip the airbrush down into its component parts for a thorough clean - again some people go overboard and use one of those high frequency jewellery cleaners, I don't because I haven't got one %% but checking the needle for dried spots and the tip and its cover is good enough.

Finally can I give a shout out to this company has always given me good service and only 2 weeks ago supplied me with free stuff! I had sent them an email asking if they did a replacement needle and tip for my enamel brush, I had carelessly knocked it off the bench during a strip clean, It landed on the blunt end of the needle and punched the pointy end through the tip damaging them both beyond repair. They no longer stocked my make of airbrush but searched out their storeroom, found some old stock and sent me a brand new needle and tip set free of charge, you can't get better service than that.
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