How to safely clean the inside of nozzles?

Nessus

Needle-chuck Ninja
I have one of those wee nylon brush sets, but the nozzle opening (on the business end) is smaller than the wire core of even the smallest brush. I'm always worried about scraping the inside of the nozzle at the very tip with the ends of the brush's wire core. In addition, with an Iwata Eclipse self-centering nozzle, it's impossible to actually see inside the nozzle to examine how clean it is because the shape prevents any light from entering.

My .35 tip has started to leak a tiny amount of color even when the needle is fully closed/seated, and I can't see any cracks or noticeable flaring under magnification, so I'm thinking something may be stuck to the inside of the tip. However can't see in there to be sure, and I can't clean in a way that I'm really confident in other than flushing with a "hot" solvent at high-pressure.

Anyone have any tips?
 
I will never take those wire brushes anywhere near the inside of any of my airbrushes. I manage to clean my 0.15 nozzles with a nylon "rigger" paintbrush that I narrowed to fit in. I dip it in cleaner and ram it in and twist as I go. If the gunk is small enough it will push it out, if not, it will pull it out as you twist. The brush gets deformed quite quickly so I buy the cheapest I can get. Over here that is about $0.60c. Lasts about 2 months.
 
I personally use a baby bottle brush cleaner, its the same nylon style brush as the sets you buy for an airbrush but the brush parts are a lot longer so no danger of going near any wire or metal, I seperate a small bunch of and twist it in like Andre mentioned, then will seperate one or two of and push them right through the nozzle, has never damaged any nozzle yet..If its real bad I'll use an old needle to gently work the edges but wouldnt recommend that, takes a bit of practice not to damage things but have been doing that for years and probably a bad habit but am so used to the feel that I'm pretty confident doing so....
 
I have one of those wee nylon brush sets, but the nozzle opening (on the business end) is smaller than the wire core of even the smallest brush. I'm always worried about scraping the inside of the nozzle at the very tip with the ends of the brush's wire core. In addition, with an Iwata Eclipse self-centering nozzle, it's impossible to actually see inside the nozzle to examine how clean it is because the shape prevents any light from entering.

My .35 tip has started to leak a tiny amount of color even when the needle is fully closed/seated, and I can't see any cracks or noticeable flaring under magnification, so I'm thinking something may be stuck to the inside of the tip. However can't see in there to be sure, and I can't clean in a way that I'm really confident in other than flushing with a "hot" solvent at high-pressure.

Anyone have any tips?

As Andre said keep those little mini bottle washer type brushes away from your nozzle, they do more damage than good, I only use these these during a total strip down when the nozzle is off, they are good for cleaning the nozzle reservoir and the air reservoir behind the nozzle cap but for your nozzle they are dangerous.

I have recently started using these:
20141114_085242.jpg
You can use these without removing the nozzle, with your needle removed and the nozzle cap removed you put a little cellulose type thinners in to your cup and push one these into the nozzle reservoir from behind in the cup, move it backwards and forwards and it acts like a a little pump breaking down any dried paint in your nozzle, while you do this you should be holding your brush at angle with the nozzle pointing down over a paper towel, pour in a couple of drops of the thinners at intervals, when you have everything cleaned out the thinners will run free, clean and colourless onto your paper towel, then you are good to go.

Note that before anyone jumps in and says these will damage your nozzle, they will not, they are designed to stop at the back opening of the nozzle and it is the pumping action that does the cleaning, you would have be ridiculously before they would do any damage , also despite the appearance of the head they do not break up while in use however they are intended for one time use so once your nozzle is clean throw it away and use a new one for next session.

Note, the front end of this tool will bend to suit your brush.

These cost around $3 - $4 per pack you get 12 cleaning sessions per pack but if you compare that $40 for a new nozzle, well worth it.

Once you are satisfied your nozzle is clean, run a little of your standard cleaner through before using your brush.

Hope this helps
 
I play the dangerous game of using my needle to run around the inside of my nozzle if after using a hairy brush like Andre had mentioned hasnt done the trick, but most of the time the hairy brush works
 
I play the dangerous game of using my needle to run around the inside of my nozzle if after using a hairy brush like Andre had mentioned hasnt done the trick, but most of the time the hairy brush works

Bloody well stop that with the needle, you risk scratching the inside of your very very expensive nozzle and this will affect performance, show your stuff the respect it deserves and it will will respect you, if you continue with this sacrilegious behaviour I will pop round and slap your leg;)
 
Bloody well stop that with the needle, you risk scratching the inside of your very very expensive nozzle and this will affect performance, show your stuff the respect it deserves and it will will respect you, if you continue with this sacrilegious behaviour I will pop round and slap your leg;)

I know its a dangerous game and one which i dont play to often, i have done it with my Neo but not my micron, and after the threat of a slapped leg by a butch scot i dont think i will be doing it again [emoji51], i had some serious build up in the nozzle that i couldnt shift any other way tried with the hairy brush tried steeping it but to no avail, so it was a last resort. Hope we can still be friends lol
 
I know its a dangerous game and one which i dont play to often, i have done it with my Neo but not my micron, and after the threat of a slapped leg by a butch scot i dont think i will be doing it again [emoji51], i had some serious build up in the nozzle that i couldnt shift any other way tried with the hairy brush tried steeping it but to no avail, so it was a last resort. Hope we can still be friends lol

Well in light of your honesty I will let it go this time, but remember such activities could be likened to mugging pensioners, something else which is commonly frowned upon and some of us took airbrushing in the first place to avoid this anti-social pass time:)
 
I use these little brushes that I think are called inter dental brushes, used for cleaning dentures. They are really soft and pliable.I got the idea from Don's airbrushing.com. I can find them at my local dollar store.
 
Well in light of your honesty I will let it go this time, but remember such activities could be likened to mugging pensioners, something else which is commonly frowned upon and some of us took airbrushing in the first place to avoid this anti-social pass time:)

lol mugging pensioners and scraping a nozzle with your needle, never seen them as similar crimes
 
lol mugging pensioners and scraping a nozzle with your needle, never seen them as similar crimes

Well it's incredible what you miss when you ride your bicycle the wrong way round, I've tried that my self once and the only thing I didn't miss was the tree, but I quickly learned how silly that can be and haven't done it since, lol

And the crimes may not be the same, but the severity of the resulting frowns is;)
 
Have used those micro brushes and never really liked em, The little fibres kept coming of em and getting stuck in places where I'd least expect em, and if done right there isn't any real harm in using a needle to ream out your nozzle if careful, 5 years or so doing it to the same nozzle over and over has never bothered mine but it is a real finess and feel type thing and not likely something I would do as a first resort, sometimes is the only thing to really remove some stubborn arsed paint you may occasionally get and when its all said and done you don't ream it right through but stop stort of the business end of the nozzle..but as I only breakdown my brush once in a blue moon, I certainly would suggest doing it every 5 minutes, but it is a method many use with success after some experience..but yes a crime I am guilty off that have never been caught out on LOL
 
Well it's incredible what you miss when you ride your bicycle the wrong way round, I've tried that my self once and the only thing I didn't miss was the tree, but I quickly learned how silly that can be and haven't done it since, lol

And the crimes may not be the same, but the severity of the resulting frowns is;)
lol the bike ride the drugs and the hookers, what a day
 
I don't know where I learned it... maybe on this forum... but I shave down a splinter of wood. I think the original person I got the idea from, said they shaved down toothpicks until the the end was small enough to fit through the nozzle, but I never seem to have any toothpicks lying around the house, so I just slice off a chunk from the scrap lying around the garage and then whittle it down with the a razor. Its no more than a few hairs thickness, but has a little more body to it, and won't scratch anything inside the nozzle.
 
Thermo nuclear explosion, seems to get rid of the odd bit of dried paint. A bit OTT you say....naaaah!
 
I have been using interdental brushes, fairly soft, and small. These are the same that Iwata is now packaging in their new cleaning kit. Been using them over a year. Something like $4 for 25. Other than that I also use a cheap art brush to swab the cup and Q tips/cotton buds. If it's too stubborn I will remove the needle, submerge the front of my brush only, or in the case of my Microns or Eclipse's drop in the whole head assembly, into my ultrasonic cleaner with a mix of water and denatured alcohol and run it 5-10 minutes.
 
I dont use any tools cause its not worth the risk. What i do is i use this stuff called naked gun from kleen strip. This stuff works awesome! I use it to clean out my big guns after shooting yachts and it melts even dried poltyurethanes with ease. I use my airbrushes at work quite constantly so i use it on them too. Just make sure you have solvent proof o rings and youre good to go! It comes in an aerosol so i just break my airbrush down spray the parts, wipe and done. Then i will reassemble my brush and squirt a little in the cup and shoot it out. Nozzle comes out clean as a whistle!
 
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