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DougE

Full Aribrush Cleaning

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When it comes time to do a full break down and give your airbrush a good full cleaning, what's a good cleaner to use?

Is an ultrasonic cleaner a good idea?

Thanks,

Doug

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I bought one and it's pretty worthless in my opinion. Of course, I use lacquers and enamels, so that ultrasonic liquid and/or water isn't going to work. They are actually made to use that or water, and aren't as effective with other cleaners, and even if they were I wouldn't put lacquer in it...which is what you need for the types of paint I use.

I just do a manual cleaning with dental brushes and an airbrush cleaning kit I got from Harder and Steenbeck. I use lacquer thinner myself. I'm not sure what kind of airbrush you're using, but you generally don't want to use any cleaners where you don't get paint flow or you'll cause lubrication problems.

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I use an ultrasonic cleaner and it's been great. I shoot lacquers, enamels and Gunze/Tamiya Acrylics. I do put the airbrush parts in a jar of lacquer thinners and put that in the tank.

All that said I haven't cleaned my airbrush like that in 18 months as I haven't had to. At the end of each session I now clean it buy running through thinners and then I spray a drop of CRC 5.56 or WD 40 on the needle before reinserting it. The CRC stops paint sticking to needle and it coats the channel in the airbrush the needle goes through, stopping paint sticking there as well. Hence you get no paint build up and therefore have no real reason to strip the airbrush down and clean it out.

Edited by a4s4eva

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I picked an ultrasonic cleaner up from Harbor Freight last year after being on the fence for quite awhile. It was definitely one of those "Why did I wait so long to get this thing?" moments. It really is awesome. I shoot Enamels and Lacquers only and I don't have any problems removing dried up paint using the cleaner. After all, the machine works based on the ultrasonic movement, not which cleaning solvent you use...

I use a ratio of 50% water and 50% LA Awesome cleaning solution. Mostly because that's what I have in hand.

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...At the end of each session I now clean it buy running through thinners and then I spray a drop of CRC 5.56 or WD 40 on the needle before reinserting it. The CRC stops paint sticking to needle and it coats the channel in the airbrush the needle goes through, stopping paint sticking there as well. Hence you get no paint build up and therefore have no real reason to strip the airbrush down and clean it out.

There's no worry about the CRC or WD-40 contaminating the paint job? I mostly use acrylics and I don't want to goop up the airbrush or mess with paint adhesion by putting some kind of oil or lube into the paint stream.

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I've got a Iwata M1 & a M2. For the few times that I've needed to tear the air brushes down, I cleaned all the various parts with Lacquer cleaner. I don't run Lacquer cleaner through either AB. For that process I use Iwata air brush cleaner which does a pretty good job.

Joel

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Thanks for the info guys. I appreciate it.

Question though. Would using CRC or WD40 cause any issues with painting though?

Edited by DougE

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Once I ran out of the Iwata lub, I've been using one small drop of 3 in 1 machine oil rubbed on the needle without any issues. Right or wrong, it works well for me.

Joel

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There's no worry about the CRC or WD-40 contaminating the paint job? I mostly use acrylics and I don't want to goop up the airbrush or mess with paint adhesion by putting some kind of oil or lube into the paint stream.

It's never happened to me. I usually squirt the first squirt on my garage door, but often forget. And I don't put much on it, a squirt for a fraction of a second just a enough to oil the needle. I've had no issues with Tamiya and Gunze acrylics

The only things that goop up my airbrush are true water based acrylics like Lifecolour or Vallejo, those things are terrible to clean.

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I've got a Iwata M1 & a M2. For the few times that I've needed to tear the air brushes down, I cleaned all the various parts with Lacquer cleaner. I don't run Lacquer cleaner through either AB. For that process I use Iwata air brush cleaner which does a pretty good job.

Joel

Joel, what is lacquer cleaner? Another term for lacquer thinner, or something else entirely?

Stacey

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Joel, what is lacquer cleaner? Another term for lacquer thinner, or something else entirely?

Stacey

Stacey,

Sorry for the miss phraseology. It is indeed Lacquer Thinner.

Joel

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