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cleaning airbrushes

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  • Member since
    November 2005
cleaning airbrushes
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 11:37 PM
Smile [:)]Does anybody know the best and the fastest way of cleaning a pashe airbrush? Thanks guys.


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 2:11 AM
Hello T-34,
that's depend on why type of paints do u use..acrylic? enamels ?
Anyway, here's are my technique i've been using for the past 2 yrs..
for acrylics:
1. Since i mainly use tamiya and gunze products, first i shoot my airbrush with isopropyl alcohol (iso-propanol) until no more color is sprayed from the nozzle. Shot it on something lighter color so u can visualise it.
2. Then i use windex glass cleaner...run it on the airbrush ( usually i run 2 times of the cup size)...
3. Then i Mix warm water with my liquid detergent....spary it for a few minutes..
4. Finally warm water...
that work for me.....
i seldomly use enamels....
glad i can help
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 10:38 PM
Hello DewaPerang! that is pretty weird!, does it really works??? Windex and Liquid Detergent??? what kind of liquid detergent?? would that work for any airbrush?? i have a Badger 150 and some times is a pain to clean it, but your suggestion looks pretty simple and easy!, and what would be your suggestion if i use a testors enmel or any other enmel??
Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Oak Harbor, WA
Posted by Kolja94 on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 10:48 PM
Yep, windex. Get it in the large "refil" jug and it'll last a while.

For enamels I use laquer thinner - run it through the airbrush a few times till it sprays clear. then use pipe cleaners and q-tips to clean the more stubborn areas again with laquer thinner. That stuff'll clean white off rice. But be carefull with it, because it can also do some damage to you too!

Karl

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 11:20 PM

WOW! that is weird, i´ll try it, but what kind of liquid detergent should i use??... i always try not to use enmels because i was told that thinner damages some internal parts of the airbrush, i guess that is a lie and with this tip, my airbrush will be much cleaner (lol..)

Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Wednesday, July 16, 2003 11:25 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by mandrake

Hello DewaPerang! that is pretty weird!, does it really works??? Windex and Liquid Detergent???


Windex, Formula 409 and Simple Green are all pretty good cleaners for acrylic paints. Here is a recipe for a good cleaner that a friend gave me:

1 part Simple Green
1 part Windex
2 parts water

You could also put a little isopropyl rubbing alcohol in it to help clean. I wouldn't use any soap though as I don't feel it would do anything that the other cleaners won't remove and it could leave a residue that could ruin your paint if it was not flushed out really good.

Mike

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 4:03 AM
Would you be able to use general purpose thinners or would it have to be laquer thinner.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Thursday, July 17, 2003 7:10 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by THE DESERT FOX

Would you be able to use general purpose thinners or would it have to be laquer thinner.


They will work but not as well as lacquer thinner does.

Mike

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 10:04 AM
So you can use lacquer thinner to clean after brushing with enamel? Does it harm the airbrush and your hand? I heard the stuff is nasty.
What about those "mineral spirits" that they sell at hardware stores?
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Oak Harbor, WA
Posted by Kolja94 on Thursday, July 17, 2003 12:42 PM
It (laquer thinner) is a bit nasty. You need good ventilation, and using an airbrush cleaning station such as the one made by Aztek also helps. Try to minimize the amount you get on yourself and wash your hands immediately after your done.

I've had inconsistent results with "mineral spirits". Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I suspect it's just not as strong.

Karl

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Lyons Colorado, USA
Posted by Ray Marotta on Thursday, July 17, 2003 1:19 PM
Laquer thinner also works beautifully to thin enamel paints. I've used it with the
old square bottle Testors enamel, Model Master enamel, and Humbrol enamels.
The paint seems to dry a little faster and sticks better, too. I've also used straight
laquer thinner sprayed over a wet coat of gloss pait to level it and give a better shine. I've never had trouble with it crazing the plastic.
Ray

 ]

 

 

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Thursday, July 17, 2003 1:40 PM
QUOTE: Windex, Formula 409 and Simple Green are all pretty good cleaners for acrylic paints. Here is a recipe for a good cleaner that a friend gave me:


hey MikeV i have never seen Formula 409 neither Simple Green, doy you think something like Orange Glo would work the same? do you know any substitute for simple green or formula 409?? Big Smile [:D]

Thanks!
Hector.Cool [8D]
Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 2:04 PM
From reading this, it seems that acrylics are easier to clean than enamels... I wouldn't mind using acrylics but all the hobby shops I go to don't have the acrylic paints with the FS numbers. I've been stocking up on enamels but if I can find acrylics with the federal designations, I'll dump enamels.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 2:26 PM
We should trade
Because I've stocked tons of Tamiya's acrylics but now I want enamels. Acrylics aren't as durable for my taste. Maybe I'll use acrylics and paint the same details, but for large body finishes, I'll never use acrylics. It comes off too easily.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 2:32 PM
I hate cleaning the airbrush, it's the biggest hassel of the hobby. How do you guys clean it after each brushing session? Do you guys just flush it with tons of thinner until it comes out clear? Or do you guys take it apart and soak it....whatever your method is, tell me an efficient way.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 3:12 PM
Hi guys,
I've asked the question and I could see tht there are a lot of different ways to clean the airbrush. I don't know about windex or detergents, but I know that I won't use laquer thiner. I tried it before and I didn't mind the smells or any other features that it has, but what laquer thiner does to your airbrush is ruin it. In an airbrush or spesificly in the needle there is a nilon thing that keeps the paint flow stabelized. Laquer thiner weirs away the little thing and your airbrush might splatter paint all over the model unevenly. I use Mineral Spirits (paint thinner). You can thin the paint with it , you can wash the brush with it. You can wash your hands with it if you have enamel paint on your hands. I don't really like acrylics because they come off really easyly just buy putting a little bit of water on them. I've asked this question because I wanted to know what other people use to clean their airbrush. One more thing in United States the enamel paint will dissapear off the market, so I would sugest to get as much enamel paint as you can. They will dissapear because the government says that the fumes that enamels release are not safe.
Thaks Guys
Good luck in modeling.
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Thursday, July 17, 2003 4:22 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by stangfanatic

From reading this, it seems that acrylics are easier to clean than enamels... I wouldn't mind using acrylics but all the hobby shops I go to don't have the acrylic paints with the FS numbers. I've been stocking up on enamels but if I can find acrylics with the federal designations, I'll dump enamels.


Cool [8D] Hey Stangfanatic i dont like to use enmels either, thats why i got a table where there are the equivalent tones from for example a Federal Standard into a Gunze Sangyo, some shades may need a little "adjustment",(like adding a drop of white or things like that...) its been helpful for me, if you want i can send it to you via e-mailApprove [^]...

Big Smile [:D]

My best regards
Hector ReymundoSmile [:)]
Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 5:11 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by mandrake

QUOTE: Originally posted by stangfanatic

From reading this, it seems that acrylics are easier to clean than enamels... I wouldn't mind using acrylics but all the hobby shops I go to don't have the acrylic paints with the FS numbers. I've been stocking up on enamels but if I can find acrylics with the federal designations, I'll dump enamels.


Cool [8D] Hey Stangfanatic i dont like to use enmels either, thats why i got a table where there are the equivalent tones from for example a Federal Standard into a Gunze Sangyo, some shades may need a little "adjustment",(like adding a drop of white or things like that...) its been helpful for me, if you want i can send it to you via e-mailApprove [^]...

Big Smile [:D]

My best regards
Hector ReymundoSmile [:)]


that would be excelent if you could. Really appreciate it. Smile [:)]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 6:27 PM
Hi mandrake can you send me the table too. thanks. I will appreciate it. My address is alexdenisenko@hotmail.com
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 17, 2003 7:35 PM
and me too mandrake...bobilo223@hotmail.com
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Thursday, July 17, 2003 8:11 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by T-34

Hi guys,
I've asked the question and I could see tht there are a lot of different ways to clean the airbrush. I don't know about windex or detergents, but I know that I won't use laquer thiner. I tried it before and I didn't mind the smells or any other features that it has, but what laquer thiner does to your airbrush is ruin it. In an airbrush or spesificly in the needle there is a nilon thing that keeps the paint flow stabelized. Laquer thiner weirs away the little thing and your airbrush might splatter paint all over the model unevenly.


The "thing" you are talking about is the needle bearing.
Some airbrushes have solvent proof needle bearings in them and some don't. The thing to remember is NEVER soak your airbrush body in lacquer thinner!!!!
It will indeed eat the needle bearing up.
What you do is spray lacquer thinner through the airbrush until it comes out fairly clean. Remove the cup and clean it, run a lacquer soaked Q-tip (airbrush brushes are better) into the siphon feed tube and clean it. Pull off the air cap of the airbrush and remove the tip and clean it along with the air cap. Pull the needle out and wipe it with a paper towel soaked with lacquer thinner until clean. Then put the tip and air cap back on, put some Superlube on the front-half of the needle and insert it into the airbrush. Put the handle back on the airbrush and you are done. It's not really that difficult Big Smile [:D]

Mike

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Thursday, July 17, 2003 8:16 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by mandrake

QUOTE: Windex, Formula 409 and Simple Green are all pretty good cleaners for acrylic paints. Here is a recipe for a good cleaner that a friend gave me:


hey MikeV i have never seen Formula 409 neither Simple Green, doy you think something like Orange Glo would work the same? do you know any substitute for simple green or formula 409?? Big Smile [:D]

Thanks!
Hector.Cool [8D]


Hector,

Where are you located? They sell Formula 409 and Simple Green all over the country I think, unless you are in a foreign country where they do not have it. If you can't find these products then just use some Windex if you have that. You could use Windex and rubbing alcohol if you want as they both clean fairly well.

Mike

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, July 18, 2003 7:11 AM
Hey there MikeV

I finally broke down and got an Iwata Eclipse HP-BS although I have not used it yet.

After talking to one of the helpful guys at Coast Airbrush I was kind of thinking of switching over to acrylics although I really never liked the way they airbrushed. Reason being is he said both laquer thinner and mineral spirits would eat away at the needle bearing. I could send the brush in to them and they would replace the bearing with a solvent proof one for around $15.00 plus return shipping but I don't know if I want to do that.

But I just read your post about cleaning with laquer thinner and figured if you haven't had any problems I'd just clean it the way you described and continue with enamels. Either that or I may just use the Iwata for acrylics and when I have to shoot something non-acrylic like Alclad II or something I would just use my old Paasche H or (egads) --Aztek

What do you normally use, enamels or acrylics?

I'll bet those Omnis and Vegas have solvent- proof bearings in em, don't they?Big Smile [:D]

Merlin
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Hayward, CA
Posted by MikeV on Friday, July 18, 2003 7:20 AM
Merlin,

Actually the Vega and the Omni do not have solvent proof needle bearings so I try not to let any lacquer thinner get in there if possible. Actually I have never sprayed anything but acrylics through the Omni as it is one of my T-shirt airbrushes.
I use my Vega 1000 for models and it has only had Model Master enamels sprayed through it, although it hasn't been used that much in the past few years. Big Smile [:D]

I would take the advice of Dave at Coast Airbrush over my advice as he is far more knowledgable about airbrushes than I am, and a great deal of what I have learned I have learned from him.
You could just use that Eclipse like it is for now and down the road if you suspect the needle bearing going out then send it in for a replacement Teflon needle bearing that is solvent proof.

Did you buy the Eclipse from Coast or somewhere else?

Mike

Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom. " Charles Spurgeon
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Friday, July 18, 2003 12:16 PM
QUOTE: Where are you located? They sell Formula 409 and Simple Green all over the country I think, unless you are in a foreign country where they do not have it. If you can't find these products then just use some Windex if you have that. You could use Windex and rubbing alcohol if you want as they both clean fairly well.


Smile [:)]Hi Mike V, i live in Mexico City, and here i havent seen those products, yesterday i went to Sam´s and Walmart but they only have something called Pinol ( that is from what i read made with lemon..), Orange Glo and stuff like that, there´s a lot of products but nothing like Simple Green or Formula 409 Disapprove [V] so i dont want to use any kind of product cos i am affraid do damage my airbrush... as you may understand those products are kindda new here, almost nobody knows them....Dead [xx(] I will try the rubbing alcohol and windex, thanks for the tip! Big Smile [:D]

Take care and thanks a lot!!
My best regards
Hector Reymundo

Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: Mexico
Posted by mandrake on Friday, July 18, 2003 12:29 PM
QUOTE: Originally posted by stangfanatic

QUOTE: Originally posted by mandrake

QUOTE: Originally posted by stangfanatic

From reading this, it seems that acrylics are easier to clean than enamels... I wouldn't mind using acrylics but all the hobby shops I go to don't have the acrylic paints with the FS numbers. I've been stocking up on enamels but if I can find acrylics with the federal designations, I'll dump enamels.


Cool [8D] Hey Stangfanatic i dont like to use enmels either, thats why i got a table where there are the equivalent tones from for example a Federal Standard into a Gunze Sangyo, some shades may need a little "adjustment",(like adding a drop of white or things like that...) its been helpful for me, if you want i can send it to you via e-mailApprove [^]...

Big Smile [:D]

My best regards
Hector ReymundoSmile [:)]


that would be excelent if you could. Really appreciate it. Smile [:)]


Stangfanatic i will be glad to do so, could you give me your e-mail address??
Thanks! My Best Regards Hector Reymundo
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, July 18, 2003 10:41 PM
QUOTE: [i]
Stangfanatic i will be glad to do so, could you give me your e-mail address??



oops I guess i forgot... taralhoco15@aol.com once again, thank you. Cool [8D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 19, 2003 8:14 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by MikeV

,


You could just use that Eclipse like it is for now and down the road if you suspect the needle bearing going out then send it in for a replacement Teflon needle bearing that is solvent proof.




Yeah,Mike, I think that's exactly what I'm going to do.
It'll give me an excuse to send some business that way as I ended up getting the Eclipse thru DixieArt.
Awfully hard to beat their prices especially when you throw in the free shipping but I want to give some patronage to Coast since they were so helpful during my "research". Maybe I'll order a couple of needles from them so that I'll be all ready as soon as I drop this one on the floor. (I better call them right nowBig Smile [:D])

checked out your website......Nice, very nice. wish i could do that.

thanks for your input as always.

merlin
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: NE Georgia
Posted by Keyworth on Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:25 AM
MikeV is right. Never soak the airbrush body. I usually just run lacquer thinner through the brush until it runs clear, then remove and clean the cap, let it dry and reattach. The cups I clean immediately with lacquer thinner and let air dry. Used spairngly after painting with enamels, you won't cause any damage to your airbrush. For acrylics, I just run either isopropryl alcohol or distilled water through the brush until clean, then follow the same dissambly routine for enamels, except I use hot soapy water followed by a clean water rinse. Use that for both the airbrush components and the color cup.. I've been using this technique for years with good results (and no parts replacement !) Hope this helps. - Ed :)
"There's no problem that can't be solved with a suitable application of high explosives"
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, July 19, 2003 7:00 PM
thanks, Ed
Which brush(es) are you using?

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