Author Topic: Air Brush Cleaning  (Read 602 times)

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BCR751

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Air Brush Cleaning
« on: July 10, 2014, 12:48:24 PM »
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I just received my new Badger 200 airbrush.  The one I've had for about 30 years finally packed it in.  I notice in the user manual it says that for cleaning, just run clean water through it or use a solvent, depending on the type of paint used.  I spray mostly acrylics and in the past, I have completely disassembled the airbrush after each use and cleaned it with warm water.  I would think that, unless it is taken apart and cleaned, some residual paint would/could remain inside.   How do you clean your airbrush?

Doug

Scottl

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2014, 12:56:18 PM »
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I only use acrylics to spray, and found that when I needed to clean my air brush that lacquer thinner worked very well.

engineshop

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2014, 01:42:58 PM »
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If you use the airbrush every day, it will work, wait a few weeks and you will clean it for hours 'till it works nicely again. I take mine apart, no matter how often I use it.

tom mann

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2014, 02:01:15 PM »
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Yep, if you use it frequently you don't need to clean it that much at all since the paint residue will never fully cure.

I run some Iwata airbrush cleaner through mine after each use.  Once in awhile, I'll take it apart to clean it with 91% alcohol when I notice some spatter or other signs of build up. 

I've used ZEP Orange Cleaner in the past, but it actually eats the chrome off! :o

arbomambo

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 02:07:52 PM »
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I'm one of those who cleans thoroughly after every session...I use the thinner/cleaner designed for the paint I'm spraying...acylics mostly but some enamels as needed...I've settled on lacquer thinner as my final spray and cleaner-Tamiya brand is excellent....their acrylic thinner cleans very well and the lacquer thinner cleans enamels even better-
every now and then, the airbrush is completely disassembled and given a soaking in laquer thinner.
I don't have a smidgeon of paint build up or residue in my 10 year old Crescendo.
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tom mann

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 02:13:59 PM »
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I should be clear:  you have to clean it every time, but you don't have to dissemble it every time to clean it.

LV LOU

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 05:55:35 PM »
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I should be clear:  you have to clean it every time, but you don't have to dissemble it every time to clean it.
I almost never take mine apart,I use it a lot..Just the last two days,I painted three RC car bodies.I use Latex and Floquil mostly..If I'm shooting solvent or water based based paint,I'll shoot,quickly wash out the bottle in a container of Lacquer thinner I keep handy,and with the bottle off of the gun,I run a pipe cleaner up through the tube..then I pour clean thinner in the bottle.If I'm using water based,I was it out first,then go for the thinner..
 I spray it until clean thinner comes out,then I shut the needle off while it's spraying..This keeps clean thinner in the entire spray orifice,so nothing dries out in it.I'd never leave water in it..
  I'll use it until it looks like there may be some buildup in it..Then,I have a heated medical grade ultrasonic cleaner..It has water and Purple power in it.I take it apart,throw it in,when it comes out,it's SPOTLESS..If I didn't have the ultrasound,though,I think just hot water & Purple power would clean it just as well,just takes longer..Bye the way,if you try this,don't put the anodized handle in the cleaner!!!!..The hot solution will take the anodizing right off!!!

Big Train

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 10:39:48 PM »
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I have a pail of soapy luke-warm water next to me when I paint with acrylics. When I need to change colour (working lighter to dark), or the nozzle builds up a crud layer, I submerge the entire airbrush and colour-cup into the pail and pull the trigger. If it's a double-action airbrush, pull back on the trigger several times as well. Of course, the paint in the colour-cup is decanted into an old paint bottle or 35mm film container (those things are getting rare these days) for re-application if required.

Dry with blue shop cloth paper towel becasue they shed less lint. You can further clean with acrylic thinner, just a few drops. Blow out any water into the paper towel until relatively dry.

I got my hands on a used Badger 100 gravity feed airbrush and  they make cleaning a breeze. Certainly faster than the 150 with a colour cup.

My 150 has been around for almost 35 years. I just rebuild it with new parts. They're kinda like Harleys....keep rebuilding it and they will run forever.

Hope this helps....


mmagliaro

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Re: Air Brush Cleaning
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 12:49:33 AM »
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I have a Badger Crescendo 150... It is 20 years old, and I love it.
After painting, I run thinner through it, usually a whole spray cup (the little side-hanging cup, perhaps a 1/2 oz).   For solvent-based paints, that is usually laquer thinner.  For water-based paints, I use the thinner that the paint
manufacturer recommends - but I don't use non-solvent paints much.

Like others have hinted, no matter how much thinner you spray through there, there is a little cleaning needed.
I unscrew things, pull the needle rod out, and wipe it down with a paper tower dipped in thinner.  If I don't do this,
there is always a touch of paint residue on that rod and at the needle tip, and this makes for horrid painting if
it sits for a few weeks or more (which mine usually does because I don't do a lot of airbrushing).

I also dip a fine artist brush in thinner and clean out the hole in the tip where the needle pokes through.

That's the only disassembly I find necessary.  Keep the needle and that hole clean, and it works great every time I
fire it up.