Airbrush cleaning (and too much cleaning) Q's

M

Markgman73

Guest
Okay, I am very new to airbrushing, so forgive my ignorance. Apparently I have cleaned my airbrush too much/too aggressively and ruined the bearing seal. Now I know not to use brushes....

I have been breaking my airbrush down after every session, not just rinsing and spraying. Is this too much cleaning? What do most people do to clean up and how often?

I am really looking for guidance with this question because I am out an airbrush for a few weeks and don't want this to happen again. ( I have developed quite the airbrushing addiction and not painting at night will be very tough for me to handle)

Thanks
 
Everyone cleans slightly different. I run water through the brush till it comes out clean. Then I run ammonia free Windex through it to make sure there is no residual paint the water did not break down. I will then remove the needle and check for paint residue if there is paint left I will run more Windex or just squirt some through the gun from the back to the front. then rinse with water. I will then put some lube on the needle and put it back together. But this is just how I do it. others never remove the needle I had a needle to get stuck in the brush before, that's why I remove it and lube it.
 
The only time you need to strip down your airbrush is if it fails to perform satisfactorily each time you use, even if you get a blockage you only need to clean the parts at the head.

If for example you are using water based paint, all you need to do is run cleaner through it and then clean water then you should be good to go for the next session.

If you have more than one brush and one sits for a long unused it is usually wise to strip down, clean and lube before using it for the first time.

So basically if your brush does what want it to do, you definitely don't need to strip it, every single strip down is an open invitation to harming parts due to their being exposed and therefor at their most vulnerable.
 
That makes a lot of sense. Being a newb I just assumed cleaner was better.
 
That makes a lot of sense. Being a newb I just assumed cleaner was better.

Cleaning is indeed better but over cleaning is costly, so as stated if it works it's clean, when a rigorous clean is needed your brush will inform you of it, lol
 
Thanks for the advice/guidance. It is very helpful. I was basically cleaning the brush well ( with cleaner and rinsing) and then breaking it down. I was wasting energy, time, and reducing the life of the brush. Lesson learned.
 
Thanks for the advice/guidance. It is very helpful. I was basically cleaning the brush well ( with cleaner and rinsing) and then breaking it down. I was wasting energy, time, and reducing the life of the brush. Lesson learned.

Learning is what it's all about, and it's fun, so much fun in fact even the pros continue doing it, :)
 
That makes a lot of sense. Being a newb I just assumed cleaner was better.

Like you I was guilty of this, but I was also steered in the right direction with instructions from the seasoned ABers
Being a newb is hard, there are so many things to go out of whack you never know exactly what is causing an issue... Paint not mixed properly from the bottle/not strained. Improper technique causing early tip dry and subsequent blockage.
I had issues with regular blockages which resulted in complete tear downs and I now use old fashioned pipe cleaners for the gun itself (minus nozzle obviously) but I use the same size needle from my Chinese brush to clean out the nozzle that's been soaked in water.
I think my biggest problem is caused by paint (createx illustration) settling in the cup and becoming too thick for my 2mm needle to cope with. Now I back flush regularly to mix the paint in the brush while painting and I've had to do full tear down less often
 
One thing that I have found that works is dragging the needle through the front when I disassemble the gun. The paint on the needle bearing gets spread along the needle and it cleans it. Insert it from the back again and pull out the front. Do it a few times and the part is clean. Then I only clean the nozzle with a long thin rigger brush and some cleaner. Assemble and give it a spray out with water. Takes about 3 minutes and I consider that a thorough cleaning. Between colour changes and just rinse, backflush and rinse again.
 
My son in law who has been airbrushing for many years introduced me to using injector and carby cleaner, in spray can. Dissolves paint and doesn`t seem to have any detremental effect on airbrushes. I use water based paint, so i just give them a good flush out, Remove the needle and check for paint, then spray the carby cleaner in the cup. Back flush and spray till any cleaner is out of the gun. Wipe the cup with a rag and done. Works for me.
 
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