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Airbrush cleaning kits

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  • Member since
    November 2020
  • From: Blaine ,MN
Airbrush cleaning kits
Posted by BootBoyx2 on Saturday, May 29, 2021 5:49 PM

I've been looking on amazon for a cleaning kit for my airbrush. Most have an assortment of small brushes and what looks like some small (picks). I do have Q- tips and pipe cleaners,cleaning fluid. I also would like to know about a lubricant for it. What kind and where to use?I have an Iwata TRN1 with .35 and .5 needles. Not looking to spend much, just some basics. Thanks for any advice.

Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Saturday, May 29, 2021 6:48 PM

I have just put together my own useing coton buds (Q-tips i think you call them) a reaming tool and those smal brushes for cleaning between the teeth. The only tool i have thats designed for  airbrush cleaning is a set of fine wire brushes.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/72nd Typhoon FGR.4/Airfix 1/72nd Victor K.2

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Saturday, May 29, 2021 7:08 PM

Bish

I have just put together my own useing coton buds (Q-tips i think you call them) a reaming tool and those smal brushes for cleaning between the teeth. The only tool i have thats designed for  airbrush cleaning is a set of fine wire brushes.

 

Very similar to my approach, many of the same supplies.

I bought an airbrush cleaning kit or two back during the excitement of re-starting airbrushing. To this day I have no idea what some of the 'tools' would be used for.

About the only thing I'd add to Bish's list is an old hairy toothbrush and a can of lacquer thinner. (and plenty of ventilation) I do use one thing from the cleaning kit, various size pipe-cleaner-looking things which I use to clean out the back end of the brush where the rear seal is meant to prevent paint from ever getting to, but it does anyway.

I'd second Bish's suggestion of a proper airbrush reamer. Note that 'reamer' is a misnomer, and I wish they wouldn't do that. A reamer is designed to remove metal, and we certainly don't want that to happen on the inside of our nozzles! Don't worry, they don't.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, May 29, 2021 7:18 PM

BootBoyx2
an assortment of small brushes and what looks like some small (picks).

I have one of these kits, but all of the brushes are too large to usefully clean any small spaces in my airbrushes, and the metal cores of the brushes might damage polished surfaces.  Since I use tissue paper & cotton buds to clean the inside of my paint cups, these brushes are redundant & have never been used.

  When I've removed the nozzle cap, nozzle, and needle, I use cheap interdental brushes to clean the (now empty) paint canal at the front of the brush.  The nozzle cap & the nozzle itself are immersed for a few minutes in the appropriate solvent (usually IPA, since I mostly use acrylics) and then the apertures carefully cleaned using a bristle from an old shaving brush.  So, cotton buds (Q-tips), tissues, an old shaving (or decorating) brush and cheap dental brushes - we're talking pennies.

For lube, I have a small tube of Iwata airbrush lubricant, which I apply lightly to the needles about every third cleaning session (I read somewhere overuse could damage seals in the brush).

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Saturday, May 29, 2021 7:52 PM

Hutch,

Have you ever experienced the Iwata lube turing to a sticky gel?  Don Wheeler wrote about it on his website.  I tried it with my Iwata lube and found the same.

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, May 29, 2021 7:59 PM

This is good stuff

Badger Regdab Needle Juice

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Saturday, May 29, 2021 8:02 PM

Watchmann
Hutch, Have you ever experienced the Iwata lube turing to a sticky gel?

No, not so far.  It's kept in a cool, dark place with a steady temperature, not subject to any major changes in conditions.  It does have a gel-like consistency out of the tube - if it was a thin liquid they'd have to put it in a tin or a bottle, I suppose - but it hasn't turned sticky yet.  I'll look out for that, thanks for the warning.

Don says he applied the lube to all working parts, I only lightly coat the front half of the needle, maybe that's a factor?

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Cave City, KY
Posted by Watchmann on Saturday, May 29, 2021 9:06 PM

Hutch6390

Don says he applied the lube to all working parts, I only lightly coat the front half of the needle, maybe that's a factor?

 
I'm not sure if it's an issue either.  If it's water soluable, I can't image it would be a problem.  I used it the same way as you do and never had issues with the needle sticking or trouble shooting paint.
  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: NEVER USE PHOTO BUCKET - IT'S A THREAD WRECKER.
Posted by disastermaster on Sunday, May 30, 2021 1:35 AM
A cleaning kit?
Save your money.
 
Here's how I go about it.
 
Spray/clean out with laquer thinner as needed and using a pipe cleaner;
   Blow it out with 91% alcohol... maybe twice.
 

Rinse and blow out a few times w/distilled water on a folded ('bout six layers) old newspaper until nothing comes out but air.
   

Wipe it all down with a paper towel and alcohol.

THEN ~ I pull out the needle, add a drop of clp on my .2 needle and re-assemble.

DONE.

Sometimes, if needed I'll leave the cap and cone in a labeled plastic film container to soak in alcohol or laquer thinner 'till the next time. No scrubbing ever needed there.

To use next time, pull the needle out and give it a quick wipe then reinsert and shoot a drop or two of alcohol to clean off any of the clp that might still be in the main body.

   BREAK FREE clp

   cleaner*lubricant
    *preservative*
#1 in gun maintenance.
Always works great for me.
     

             BREAK FREE® gun oil

   

https://i.imgur.com/Gcc59Dk.png

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:45 AM

Greg, i am not sure why they use the term reamer either. I also use a an airbrush cleaner which is called a liquid reamer.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/72nd Typhoon FGR.4/Airfix 1/72nd Victor K.2

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:48 AM

Watchmann

Hutch,

Have you ever experienced the Iwata lube turing to a sticky gel?  Don Wheeler wrote about it on his website.  I tried it with my Iwata lube and found the same.

 

 

I use the Iwata stuff as well and have never had any problems with it.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/72nd Typhoon FGR.4/Airfix 1/72nd Victor K.2

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:52 AM

Huthc, is this the set of brushes you mean. I do find these very useful, i just don't use the very largest one. I mainly use it on the spout on the paint cup and on the threads where the head assembly screws into the body of the airbrush.

I am a Norfolk man and i glory in being so

 

On the bench: Hasegawa 1/72nd Typhoon FGR.4/Airfix 1/72nd Victor K.2

  • Member since
    August 2005
  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Sunday, May 30, 2021 6:36 AM

Ken S at Badger Airbrush cautions you against using those spiral 'bottle brush' type cleaners.   The wire can scratch the interior brass surfaces

I use some inter-dental toothpicks with rubber projections on the pick.  Less likely to scratch.  

  • Member since
    April 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Sunday, May 30, 2021 6:44 AM

You could spend a fortune on the eye-wateringly expensive Iwata airbrush cleaning kit. Top-line kit, but... Link included as it has tutorial.

Or....

These are the usefull tools I have, and USE. (examples only, other vendors available).

Harder & Steenbeck Cleaning Brush Set, small & fine brushes that won't scratch.

Airbrush Spray Gun Wash Cleaning Tools Needle Nozzle Brush Glass Cleaning Pot Holder
I use the pot ALL the Time, obs.

The 'pick' is sometimes usefull, (be gentle), & only the smallest brush is usable on my Iwata CH or Badger Omni.

 

Needle Packing Screw Drivers, (bottom) essential to replace/tighten the teflon needle packing seal & air valve spring (top), but not used often though.

Link here

 

East Mids Model Club 29th Annual Show 19th MAY 2019

 http://www.eastmidsmodelclub.co.uk/

Don't feed the CM!

 

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:28 PM

Bish
Huthc, is this the set of brushes you mean.

Yes, that' looks like the one I've got (somewhere!) - maybe I'll cautiously give the smaller ones a try.

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, May 30, 2021 2:35 PM

Tojo72

This is good stuff

Badger Regdab Needle Juice

 

I'd like to second that.

And I have had trouble with the Iwata lube turning to goo. I think I tossed mine. No such issues with the Badger Regdab.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2021
Posted by Ken B. on Monday, May 31, 2021 1:48 PM

I also use pipe cleaners. Not the "craft sticks" they sell at the dollar store, but the real thing that I get at a smoke shop.

Pick a card, any card ...

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, May 31, 2021 5:00 PM

Just a NOTE;

      This from an old guy that has used both Professional and Hobby level Airbrush gear. As told me by my old De-Vilbiss dealer. NEVER !! use spiral WIRE brushes of ANY size on an airbrush unit! You just don't wanna know how much damage can be done in four or five cleanings. Stick to nylon or even the teensy rubber ones made for computer work.

      Next-Question Time: If Acrylics are so great then why all the B.S. with Air -Brushes? The stuff should just flush and wash up with warm water and Dawn. Also, And I have asked this before. If it's so simple to use, then why all the different Cleaners ,Thinners, Retarders and Equipment cleaning products! I thought it was simple cleanup and thinning with plain old water!  

  • Member since
    April 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 3:42 AM

Greg

 Tojo72

This is good stuff  Badger Regdab Needle Juice

And I have had trouble with the Iwata lube turning to goo. I think I tossed mine. No such issues with the Badger Regdab.

 

 
I binned the Iwata blue goo, rarely use the Badger REGDAB, & prefer to use Berts' Bees Lip salve (HIGH BEESWAX content) on threads & needle, not the air valve.
 
Minty Fresh as well!  Stick out tongue

East Mids Model Club 29th Annual Show 19th MAY 2019

 http://www.eastmidsmodelclub.co.uk/

Don't feed the CM!

 

  • Member since
    November 2020
  • From: Blaine ,MN
Posted by BootBoyx2 on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 1:34 PM

Thanks so much for all the replies. Sorry it took a little while. Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend.I keep forgetting about these little brushes I got from Scalehobbiest from Flex-I-File. Getting older I guess. Regular size to extra fine,all would work great. Also, somewhere I saw said you can use glycerin on the needle. Is that o.k.? Again thanks for all the replies.

Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it.

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 6:24 AM

 

I have been airbrushing since the mid 1970s and experience has taught me to put together this state of the art sophisticated cleaning set:

these brushes from Harbor Freight running on sale under a buck

Got this to hold the ab while painting and for cleaning

And these dental cleaning mini brushes that are fantastic at reaming and removing pain up front. 

 

And plenty of Q Tips and lacquer thinner to clean all types of paints in my airbrush.

I have the Badger Needle Juice that I use once in a while. Very simple and effective setup.

 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 8:36 AM

plasticjunkie
 

I have been airbrushing since the mid 1970s and experience has taught me to put together this state of the art sophisticated cleaning set:

these brushes from Harbor Freight running on sale under a buck

 ...

I got a set of similar brushes years ago at a show, from one of those vendors who sells tools in bulk from close-outs, bankruptcies, etc.  The ones I have have soft brass bristles.

That's a great tip about the dental brushes, PJ!  My dentist will put packs of those in goodie bags to give to his patients.  I found they weren't that great for their intended purpose; they bend too easily.  I never thought of using them on my airbrush, but I will now.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, June 2, 2021 9:16 AM

Baron

I use those mini brushes specially just cuz they bend easy and can be inserted from the cup into the throat of the airbrush into the nozzle chamber. I turn it or brush in and out then dip in LT to clean then re insert then blow out the cleaning set at 40 psi. Wor every time and no need for a complete tear down for most of the time.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 3, 2021 10:18 AM

plasticjunkie

Baron

I use those mini brushes specially just cuz they bend easy... 

Right, that's what I mean about their intended use.  I found them too flexible to use for tooth-cleaning; a toothpick works better for me.  From your description, they sound ideal for cleaning the airbrush, so I'm eager to try.

I also thought about using them in sci-fi scratchbuilds, because they look like some kind of strange sensor antenna.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2016
Posted by lowfly on Thursday, June 3, 2021 1:45 PM

BootBoyx2

I've been looking on amazon for a cleaning kit for my airbrush. Most have an assortment of small brushes and what looks like some small (picks). I do have Q- tips and pipe cleaners,cleaning fluid. I also would like to know about a lubricant for it. What kind and where to use?I have an Iwata TRN1 with .35 and .5 needles. Not looking to spend much, just some basics. Thanks for any advice.

 

 

I too use the TRN1 airbrush and my cleaning kit consists of Q-tips, paper towels, pipe cleaners, Micro brushes, 91%-99% Alchohl, Medea AB cleaner and time.  I did purchase the Iwata nozzle wrench (The red one not the flat wrench) but thats about it.  Cleaning the AB is not rocket science it just takes time and regular maintenance and the AB will last almost forever. 

 

  • Member since
    November 2020
  • From: Blaine ,MN
Posted by BootBoyx2 on Thursday, June 3, 2021 5:48 PM

lowfly

 

 
BootBoyx2

I've been looking on amazon for a cleaning kit for my airbrush. Most have an assortment of small brushes and what looks like some small (picks). I do have Q- tips and pipe cleaners,cleaning fluid. I also would like to know about a lubricant for it. What kind and where to use?I have an Iwata TRN1 with .35 and .5 needles. Not looking to spend much, just some basics. Thanks for any advice.

 

 

 

 

I too use the TRN1 airbrush and my cleaning kit consists of Q-tips, paper towels, pipe cleaners, Micro brushes, 91%-99% Alchohl, Medea AB cleaner and time.  I did purchase the Iwata nozzle wrench (The red one not the flat wrench) but thats about it.  Cleaning the AB is not rocket science it just takes time and regular maintenance and the AB will last almost forever. 

 

 

Thanks Lowfly, nice to know someone who uses the same AB. FYI you can get parts to convert to .5 mm nozzel from The Merri Artist.com for about 30 bucks. Nice to have the option. Thanks again.

Be careful of what you ask for, you just might get it.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Atlanta
Posted by xedos on Thursday, June 3, 2021 6:41 PM

C.L.P would be the last thing I'd use on my airbrushes.  

 

The gun guys can't even agree on whether it's any good. And it seems pretty oxymoronic that something that is good at cleaning could also be good at lubrication and protection. 

 

At any rate, petrolleum distillates and canola oil are not something I want in my airbrush , especially with waterborne finishes. 

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