Cleaning Airbrush Between Colors?
39 replies to this topic
Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:35 PM
What do you guys use to clean, between colors? I have been using water then back fush, water again and backflush. Black is darn near impossible to get out. Rob
Posted 18 December 2011 - 08:51 PM
I use a shot of Windex multi-purpose cleaner. Water, backflush, Windex, water and my brush is usually good to go.
Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:13 PM
I use a big spray bottle full of water. I spray the paint cup out a few times, then fill about half full and backflush. I fully clean my airbrushes at the end of the night of painting.
Posted 18 December 2011 - 11:16 PM
Depends on what kind of paint I use. Water with a little dna with water based paints. For hydrcarbon based paints I use some reducer for that paint.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 12:29 AM
Fist I fill the bowl with water and backflush. I then pour in a small amount of acetone and backflush with that. You'd be amazed at how much paint it will knock out even after backflushing with water. Some might think this is going to the extreme as far as cleaning goes, but I can only tell you that clogs are nonexistent since I started doing it this way.
For you guys using Windex you need to make sure it isn't the kind with ammonia in it as I have read on multiple sites that the ammonia will eat the chrome off of your brush.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 03:20 AM
I use "Monoject" syringes...you can get them from your dentist. I rotate 3 airbrushes (3 different tip sizes) all the time. I also use Createx 2 oz. bottles with adapters. Remove the bottle, invert the airbrush, spray residual paint into a towel (hanging at my bench into a bucket). Fill the syringe with clean water and simply squirt it into the airbrush as you spray. Squirt until water sprays and overflows clean. The tip of the syringe reaches down inside the airbrush to flush out residual paint quickly. I also have an old "Mean Green" bottle filled with a mixture of 2 parts water and 1 part cleaning solution. An old airbrush bottle cap with nipple, screws on perfectly...you will just need to find a piece of tubing to reach the bottom of the bottle. I use this after 3 or 4 color changes. Place the airbrush on the bottle with the bottle between your legs. Loosen the needle in your airbrush, and gently move the needle in and out, and rotate it with one hand while you spray with the other hand. I will always use the bottle method on a gun when I am finished with it for a while - NOTE: leave the last shot of water/cleaner in the gun during storage. This may sound silly, but it works well for me.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 09:08 AM
I use these wash bottles filled with water or cleaning solution, http://www.carolina....tby=bestMatches
squeeze water from the bottle into the opening where the paint cup was, then operate the airbrush until it sprays clear water. Next I remove the needle and squeeze water into that opening while operating the airbrush. It takes only a few seconds to clean it.
Posted 19 December 2011 - 11:28 PM
I clean with water between colors and windex and water at the end of the night i put the water into a bottle from my wifes contact cleaning sulition as it has a small hole and i can spray a high pressure stream of water to help get the paint out and off the inside of the bowl
Posted 20 December 2011 - 12:26 AM
I use old createx bottle filled with water and acetone 50/50 works well. And give the brushes a good bath dismantled in the same solution every once and a while.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 05:16 AM
Thanks for the tips, I have an Iwata Neo. It is a top feed gravity style brush. I can see paint in the bottom of the bowl even after I back flush and run acetone through it. Is this normal?
Posted 20 December 2011 - 08:38 AM
From what you say yes you will likely have to backflush several times to get rid of all the paint. You have not said what brand or kind of paint. Acetone may not be the best reducer. Look at the Neo owner's manual or parts list. It will give recommendations. Also the parts list and exploded view will help you when you take apart the brush to really clean it out good. It is a good practice to take the brush apart fully and give it a good cleaning at the end of a painting session. Will make the next painting session go easier. There are all kinds of places for paint to remain and dry up in an airbrush. Also look on the web for airbrush cleaning tips. Also watch out for what you use for cleaning solvents. There are o-rings in that brush and the solvent will slowly attack them over time if you don't follow a good cleaning and rinsing procedure. Teflon o-rings are provided in some of the more expensive brushes which hold up better to more agressive solvents but a lot of brushes have rubber or neoprene o-rings.
Try taking some of you paint and put some in a small container other than your airbrush, dump it out to leave a residual in the bottom corner. Then try different solvents or reducers to see which one works best at removing the kind of paint you are using. This can save you some time by reducing the number of rinses and backflushes to get rid of the residue color.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 09:39 AM
If you still see paint in the cup after you're done cleaning your brush, put a little acetone in the cup, let it soak for a couple of minutes, and then use an artists bristle brush to clean out the paint. Pulling the needle out, or back far enough to expose the entire cup, will help. Just cover the tip with your finger so the acetone doesn't drip out until you're done.
I also loosen up both pieces of the nozzle assembly, and back flush a cup full of acetone, to get at the paint that dries in the tiny air holes in the nozzle assembly.
Be sure to run some clean water, or airbrush cleaning solution, through the brush once you've finished with the acetone.
Back flushing with that will get all the acetone out, and help keep the brush ready for painting next time.
Edited by mark poulson, 20 December 2011 - 09:40 AM.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 06:18 PM
I use Windex in the cup and flush with water
Back flush also
Posted 20 December 2011 - 07:33 PM
I am using creatix, anitas, and folk art water based paints. Rob
Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:28 PM
If your using acrylic paint then get some some of the Airbrush Restorer that Createx makes. Take your brush apart and soak the front end of the brush as well as the nozzle for a few hours and it will loosen any dried out or gummy paint. Then rinse everything off, re-assemble it and spray water through it while backflushing as well.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 10:55 PM
Try and develop a cleaning routine that's quick and simple, so it becomes second nature to you between colors. There's not substitute for cleaning your brush often and well.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:47 PM
What Mark said. An airbrush is like any other tool Keep it clean and well maintained and it will provide you with many years of service.
Posted 21 December 2011 - 06:25 PM
With all water based paints i now use alcohol and water. Mix 3-1. Three parts water and one part alcohol. I used to use windex multi purpose cleaner and it worked good as well but gets expensive after a while.