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Ammonia based cleaner stripped the chrome off my Passche airbrush tip

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Guys, not sure if anyone else has had this happen, but cleaning my new Paasche VL airbrush, I used an ammonia based cleaner to get rid of some tough acrylic paint residues. The trouble is, it seems to have stripped the chrome of the nozzle tip as well, revealing the brass underneath it.

I use this cleaner with a load of the cheap Chinese airbrushes and have never had this issue, so maybe it is something to do with the materials, but anyway no more non-solvent cleaner for this one! I also note that it is difficult to achieve fine lines and fine control with the Paasche, and that the needle is not central in the nozzle. Far from being better than the cheaper brushes I have, it really only seems to be useful for doing larger areas. Additionally, you have to tighten the nozzle cap really tight to stop air bubbling back into the paint cap , so tight that I fear that it will strip the threads. On the whole, not a great experience with it, and I will be getting some more cheapies to use as they seem less troublesome and work fine


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Sounds like Paasche quality has dropped—a shame, I still have my old one and it does yeoman service.

Ammonia will attack some brass alloys more rapidly than others. It sounds like there was a crack or breach in the chrome plating, and the plating in the area was not properly bonded to the brass (sloppy quality control). That allowed the ammonia cleaner to get under the chrome, destroy what little bond it had with the brass, and caused it to lift off.


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  • 2 weeks later...

"Bummer" indeed. I have had a Paasche VL for over 20 years and have not had either of the problems you have had. I always clean it with Windex and I have no problem with the seal of the nozzle. It would appear that your nozzle is the problem. As the item is new, I'd take it back to the store or contact Paasche directly. You should be able to get a new one. What you have described is not normal for Paasche at all. The brand has been around for years and is used extensively so I am sure this is just an unfortunate incident.

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