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What is the best way to clean an airbrush?

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  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Bicester, England
What is the best way to clean an airbrush?
Posted by KJ200 on Monday, October 27, 2003 8:07 AM
What is the best way to clean an airbrush, bearing mind I only use acrylics?

Currently I spray through a strong solution of windscreen washer fluid and water, for around 30 seconds or so.

Then I spray clean water another 30 seconds or so, until the water runs clear.

If I am leaving the airbrush for any period of time, I dump it in a solution of windscreen washer fluid and water, often leaving it overnight, before dissembling and rinsing in clean water.

Any paint that may have accumulated on the needle I remove with an ink rubber as reccomended by Badger.

Is there anything else I should be doing?

Thanks

Karl

Currently on the bench: AZ Models 1/72 Mig 17PF

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Sandusky Ohio, USA
Posted by Swanny on Monday, October 27, 2003 8:32 AM
Sounds like you pretty much got it there.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, October 27, 2003 12:35 PM
The best way to clean an airbrush is over and over and over. Hopefully your brush has no plastic parts to "bind" with acrylics-I prefer oil-based paints. Keep up the patience and if you have a real stubborn mess use some household cleaning ammonia-with ventilation!! Also, a reamer can keep that acrylic gunk out of the tip.
  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: The Hoosier State
Posted by plasticmod992 on Thursday, October 30, 2003 12:19 AM
In addition to what your already doing, I also shoot Windex through my airbrush. Windex is a good commercial cleaner with amonia in it- an ideal solvent for acrylic. It is pretty fast acting, smells nice and it works great for cleaning up after using Future too! I recomment good ventilation as with any paints and cleaners.
Greg Williams Owner/ Manager Modern Hobbies LLC Indianapolis, IN. IPMS #44084
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, November 3, 2003 10:18 AM
Hi I pretty much only shoot acrylics has well and have mostly stuck to Tamiya paints so far. I have found that "simple green" is very effective on Tamiya. It works well on MM acry if left soaking overnight. Actually this stuff is so effective when using Tamiya that it makes me want to shoot it almost exclusively because of how much easier cleaning is
  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Central USA
Posted by qmiester on Tuesday, November 4, 2003 7:08 PM
You want to be very careful if you "ream" out the orfice in the tip of your airbruch - it is very easy to damage and I don't know of anyway to repair it except to replace it and that can get expensive. I would recommend that if your tip becomes clogged, disassemble the tip and soak it in laquer thinner, acetone or MEK (enamels) or ammonia (acrylics) and then blow it out with high pressure air (90-125 psi). You will probably have to replace the gaskets in the tip after removing enamels in this manner.
I use enamels and when I paint I keep an addition bottle with laquer thinner in it for airbrush cleanning. When I finish with a color, I immediatly swap the paint jar with the thinner jar and then spray about 1/4 to 1/2 of the jar of thinner through the air brush. I then cover the tip of the air brush with a thick cloth and blow air through the brush. This will blow any paint/thinner remaining back into the jar. Then I remove the thinner jar, take a pipe cleaner soaked in clean thinner and swab out the tube where the paint jar attaches. Then I carefully close the tip, wipe off the airbrush and store it. About once a month, I totally disassemble the airbrush and clean it. I try to clean out the pickup tubes (in the bottles) immediatle after use (if you let them set, it can be a real bear to clean). Pipe cleaners work great for this.
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Quincy
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, November 5, 2003 10:27 AM
qmeister-Oops! I shoulda mentioned only using a reamer designed for the size/maker tip you're using.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Bicester, England
Posted by KJ200 on Friday, November 7, 2003 7:28 AM
Thanks for the feedback guys.

I haven't tried a reamer, but have seen ads for liquid reamers, which I think I would be more inclined to try.

Not sure If I can get Windex here in the UK, but have been spraying normal windscreen washer solution through the brush directly after spraying the paint, which seams to work, followed by immersing the brush in a solution of windscreen solution for 24 hours followed by a strip down and a rinse.

So far so good.

Only I managed to drop the spray nozzle down the drain on the sink.

Spent 30 minutes taking the U-bend to peices to reclaim the lost part.

I'm not doing that again!!!

Thanks

Karl

Currently on the bench: AZ Models 1/72 Mig 17PF

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