Airbrush, our best friend needs a good treatmet at all. Here I present, step by step, the cleaning of a common gravity feed, dual act airbrush. For example, we will clean today the Chinese made HS-30. We have to state that several components can be vary significantly according to the manufacturer. Vital part of this process is to make sure that our bench will be clean!
All airbrushes, even the cheapest, are coming with a manual, showing their parts and serving as a guide to assemblage and disassemblage.
Here, from left to right, I present our cleaning materials. Airbrush cleaner, rubbing alcohol, clean pots, cleaning brushes, nozzle wrench, screwdriver, kitchen paper towel and toothbrushes.
Before we start with the disassemblage, is mandatory to be removed both the needle and the nozzle. The spring and its case are removing first.
By the means of the screwdriver the spring stopper is removed. This part is crucial because at that place there is high accumulation of paint, making sometimes the needle to be stuck.
This is the removed stopper.
With a toothpick we remove the plastic needle guide.
All the fine parts are placed in a trace filled with cleaner for two reasons. The first is to keep them all together and safe and the second is to give time to the cleaner to act on the former paint layers.
Here are shown all the parts of the airbrush on the clean surface.
To clean the needle is good to use rubbing alcohol and testing it on a dry towel. If you trace any marks on the white towel then you have to repeat the procedure.
The nozzle can be cleaned using alcohol and fine brushes. Don’t forget to rub the surface softly. If you use enamels, then instead of alcohol you have to use white spirit, even nitro thinner.
A fine drill is handy in order to remove the dried paint
With the cleaning brushes, we can clean the bigger parts, always softly and not putting much effort.
Cotton swabs are useful for cleaning the less sensitive and bigger parts.
Moreover its good to check how clean is the part using a blank paper towel.
By the means of a soft textile we can clean the outer part of the airbrush.
To assemble the whole piece, we’re starting with the plastic guide.
Keep screwing the stopper wisely and when it ends, turn it half counterclockwise.
Placing the trigger
Among the final steps is to insert the needle, checking if it’s misshapen. Otherwise you have to replace it.
It’s good to insert it from the front to the rear, to avoid damaging the fine frontal part.
Before we insert the nozzle, withdraw a little bit the needle to the rear.
Another tip is to check the nozzle’s o-ring before we fit it. Always screwing with the hand, never using a tool because is sensitive and can be broken easily.
Checking all the o-rings, and replacing the damaged ones. We are ready to use our airbrush once again!
Text – photos: Kostas Katsikadelis
Translation: Alexandoros Ntakis