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Airbrush Cleaning-Ultrasonic Cleaner


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I was wondering if anyone was using an  Ultrasonic Cleaner to DEEP clean their airbrush. If so what has been your experience.  What is the best    non-combustible cleaning solution that will clear lacquer/acrylic/enamel paints out of your gun. Any tips or insights are welcome. Thanks in advance for looking at this post.

Ps: I was think about using Super Clean because its non-combustible but I`m not sure if it is safe to used on airbrushes chrome plating and internal metals etc.   And, if its safe to use on gun should it be used at full strength or diluted.

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Edited by 69NovaYenko
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I have cleaned my Master airbrush in an ultrasonic cleaner. It had dried up Stynylrez primer that I couldn't clean off of the needle and other parts. I used deionized water and after 30 minutes everything was clean.

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5 hours ago, 69NovaYenko said:

I was wondering if anyone was using an  Ultrasonic Cleaner to DEEP clean their airbrush. If so what has been your experience.  What is the best    non-combustible cleaning solution that will clear lacquer/acrylic/enamel paints out of your gun. Any tips or insights are welcome. Thanks in advance for looking at this post.

Ps: I was think about using Super Clean because its non-combustible but I`m not sure if it is safe to used on airbrushes chrome plating and internal metals etc.   And, if its safe to use on gun should it be used at full strength or diluted.

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If you want to use super clean i would dilute it pretty good.  Simple green could work but probably would need diluted too.  I'm wanting to know what would be good to use too. I have some ultrasonic cleaning liquid from micro mark that's suppose to be safe on everything but it can clean oil etc off stuff.  I haven't used it yet so I'm not sure.  Dawn and water may work good too or even straight distilled water.  

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51 minutes ago, Dpate said:

If you want to use super clean i would dilute it pretty good.  Simple green could work but probably would need diluted too.  I'm wanting to know what would be good to use too. I have some ultrasonic cleaning liquid from micro mark that's suppose to be safe on everything but it can clean oil etc off stuff.  I haven't used it yet so I'm not sure.  Dawn and water may work good too or even straight distilled water.  

Off the cuff if you're shooting  lacquers or enamels I`m not sure if Dawn & plain tap water will remove any residue. I did have someone (who exclusively shoots acrylics) tell me they use Windex "WITHOUT" ammonia in their sonic cleaner. Supposedly, the ammonia will start to eat away at the guns chrome plating with prolonged baths.

As for using Super Clean I I first want to inquire  if it will remove lacquer & enamel paints. Then secondly if it does what's the best dilution ratio. Because I have concerns about damaging thee guns seal.

Edited by 69NovaYenko
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1 hour ago, 69NovaYenko said:

Off the cuff if you're shooting  lacquers or enamels I`m not sure if Dawn & plain tap water will remove any residue.

No, those need stronger paint solvents (like lacquer thinner).

1 hour ago, 69NovaYenko said:

I did have someone (who exclusively shoots acrylics) tell me they use Windex "WITHOUT" ammonia in their sonic cleaner. Supposedly, the ammonia will start to eat away at the guns chrome plating with prolonged baths.

Chromium is resistant to most chemicals.  Ammonia will attach the brass parts.  Windex has a rather low percentage of ammonia.  Ammonia can be used for cleaning up water-based acrylic enamels.

 

As for Super Clean, I would not get that stuff anywhere near delicate airbrush parts (or even in the ultrasonic tub).  Super Clean contains lye and other caustic chemicals.  I would not use it on metal parts.  If it splashes out, it can also attack your clothing and skin.  Read the warnings on the Super Clean container.

As for airbrush cleaning, IMO the best way to do that (and how I do it) is to disassemble the airbrush then use lacquer thinner and pipe cleaners to get all the passages clean.  I flush the airbrush really well (with lacquer thinner) after each spraying session, so it basically stays very clean. I do the complete disassembly/cleaning only about once a year. 

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There is a guy either here or in FSM that puts his parts in a mason jar and the jar in the ultra sonic cleaning machine. Uses whatever chemical he wants but usually mek or acetone in the jar..

I just soak my parts twice a year or so in lacquer thinner. Otherwise it's a flush and back flush day to day. Me airbrushes work fine. But I don't use ultrasonic equipment for the bigger cleaning just a plain overnight soaking. a quick brush /poke at things, blow off , done.

Edited by Dave G.
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2 hours ago, Dave G. said:

There is a guy either here or in FSM that puts his parts in a mason jar and the jar in the ultra sonic cleaning machine. Uses whatever chemical he wants but usually mek or acetone in the jar..

 

Putting the internal parts that come in direct contact with paint (not the entire airbrush body..because of the internal seal) in a mason jar and the jar in the ultra sonic cleaning machine sounds like an interesting approach. I wonder if the does that with the lid on or off the jar. And, I wonder would an empty baby food jars work .

 

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23 hours ago, 69NovaYenko said:

Putting the internal parts that come in direct contact with paint (not the entire airbrush body..because of the internal seal) in a mason jar and the jar in the ultra sonic cleaning machine sounds like an interesting approach. I wonder if the does that with the lid on or off the jar. And, I wonder would an empty baby food jars work .

 

I would think a baby food jar would be fine. Good question on the lid, I never asked. I think I would use a lid if not put on too tight even. I know he says the parts are clean in about 30 minutes though. He has brought this up two or three times but I don't remember which forum hes in, it may be the FSM airbrush and paint forum.

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30 minutes in solvent in an ultrasonic cleaner?!?!?  Holy crapolla!  How long did the airbrush sit uncleaned? 10 years?!?  I don't get it.

I said it earlier, like Mike, I give my airbrush a good flushing (lacquer thinner) after ever paint job.  I have not timed myself, but it has to be less than 7 minutes.  Probably more like 3.  That gets the airbrush really clean.  But I on;t use "stinky" paints. I have no experience with water-based paints, but I have heard that  they can clog up airbrushes.

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If you do an immediate flush/back flush after every color you will rarely need to pull it apart to clean it. Just use the appropriate solvent based on the the paint you just sprayed. Stay away from soaking it in ANYTHING that can attack metal.

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19 hours ago, peteski said:

30 minutes in solvent in an ultrasonic cleaner?!?!?  Holy crapolla!  How long did the airbrush sit uncleaned? 10 years?!?  I don't get it.

I said it earlier, like Mike, I give my airbrush a good flushing (lacquer thinner) after ever paint job.  I have not timed myself, but it has to be less than 7 minutes.  Probably more like 3.  That gets the airbrush really clean.  But I on;t use "stinky" paints. I have no experience with water-based paints, but I have heard that  they can clog up airbrushes.

Lets have an Airbrush cleaning  shoot out at the OK Coral. I left out a couple of steps. I use   jewelry bead reamer to smooth out the inside of  the  tip, the part that the needle slides through, and the trigger. Anything that I can clean with a micro brush or old paint brush. A drop of oil where the trigger hits the air release valve. I  use the 6,000 8,000 and 12,000 polishing  sheets on the needle. It sprays better than new.

Mike 1017

 

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10 hours ago, Mike 1017 said:

 I use   jewelry bead reamer to smooth out the inside of  the  tip, the part that the needle slides through, and the trigger. Anything that I can clean with a micro brush or old paint brush.

I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER,  NEVER insert any hard objects into the very delicate brass tip!!!!  Microbrush - yes. Reamer - NOOOOOOOO!!

Besides, since I flush the airbrush with lacquer thinner after every paint job (right after painting, not few hours or days later), the tip of my airbrush (Badger model 200) doesn't clog.  Plus, the needle itself (when closed) fits tightly into the nozzle and shouldn't allow paint to accumulate.  I am still cringing about what you mentioned!

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On 4/17/2022 at 2:51 PM, peteski said:

30 minutes in solvent in an ultrasonic cleaner?!?!?  Holy crapolla!  How long did the airbrush sit uncleaned? 10 years?!?  I don't get it.

I said it earlier, like Mike, I give my airbrush a good flushing (lacquer thinner) after ever paint job.  I have not timed myself, but it has to be less than 7 minutes.  Probably more like 3.  That gets the airbrush really clean.  But I on;t use "stinky" paints. I have no experience with water-based paints, but I have heard that  they can clog up airbrushes.

I know that if you get dried Stynylrez or some acrylic colors in the air cap of the Paasche H that it can be tough to get out/. So he has two identical nozzle and air cap setups and just swaps them out. The dirty parts goes in the cleaner. He uses many different paints and is an avid participant ( pretty sure it was FSM where I saw this). Best I can tell you.

 Hey maybe the parts are clean in 10 minutes but I get the sense he is in no rush since he is still up and running either way. And the ultra sonic cleaning method is hands off, he's free to walk away and do his thing. 30 minutes is a mole hill I have no need to level, he's happy with his results. Nuff said.

 

 

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11 hours ago, peteski said:

I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER,  NEVER insert any hard objects into the very delicate brass tip!!!!  Microbrush - yes. Reamer - NOOOOOOOO!!

Besides, since I flush the airbrush with lacquer thinner after every paint job (right after painting, not few hours or days later), the tip of my airbrush (Badger model 200) doesn't clog.  Plus, the needle itself (when closed) fits tightly into the nozzle and shouldn't allow paint to accumulate.  I am still cringing about what you mentioned!

The reamer is very fine and narrow. Sometimes it will push dried paint through the tip. I don't put any pressure on the reamer just lightly spin the tip on top. Until it feels smooth The first time I did this I could really feel the imperfections in the tip. There is a U Tube video about tuning up an airbrush

Mike 1017

 

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Well Mike, that is just not something I would do to the nozzle.  Besides, I never had paint clogging the tip enough that it would require reaming.

I will repeat what I said few more times:  I flush the airbrush immediately after every paint session.  No paint remains in the passages. It is all clean.  However I only shoot "stinky" paints through my airbrush. But even with water-based acrylics, I would think that if you flush the airbrush right after a painting session, you should be able to prevent any paint clots.

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