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Ultrasonic Cleaner


efrick
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Morning all,

 

After noticing a gradual deterioration in airbrush performance (even after total disassembly/cleaning) I decided to give an ultrasonic cleaner a whirl. A couple of very good videos on Youtube helped convince me that this was the best way to truly "deep-clean" an airbrush.

 

I ordered the "Magnasonic" cleaner from Amazon (quite a deal at $39.99) and it arrived yesterday. I mixed a 50/50 solution of Windex and warm water, disassembled my Iwata HP-CS, and threw it all in for an 8 minute high-frequency bath.

 

Even though the airbrush was "clean" (I thought), I was astonished at the result. A couple of minutes in, numerous "mounds" of fine, sedimentary debris began gathering on the floor of the tank. A good deal of this appeared to have come from the nozzle (which, again, I thought was squeaky clean to begin with).

 

After rinsing the airbrush parts in water, I lubed up the needle and reassembled the airbrush. The whole "feel" of the trigger is noticably different; it's no longer "mushy" and "sticky" but instead smooth. I haven't actually tried running paint through it yet but I am pretty certain there will be a noticeable improvement.

 

I then threw my old single-action Paasche in the tank. I'm not sure where it was all hiding, but a big clump of gunk and sediment came out of it's nozzle as well.

 

The model that I purchased is shown. A cheaper version (which doesn't have time settings) is also available, and likely works just as well.

 

If you don't have one of these babies, GET ONE!!! A00Y_1_2014082713232692_zpsfb9550f6.jpg

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I was told by a rep at an airbrush company that using Windex will etch the plating and void the warranty. Due to the ammonia in it. It's what destroyed the bowl on my HP-C Plus.

Hmmm...I'll rethink using Windex. Perhaps just a water/alcohol mix...or just warm soapy water.

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After a further bit of research/Googling it does indeed seem the general consensus is that soaking an airbrush in an ammonia-based cleaner of any sort is NOT a good idea, as Paulster pointed out.

 

It seems something such as Medea airbrush cleaner concentrate would be a better choice.

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I use tickopur r33, is a universal cleaner for ultrasonic cleaners. Works fantastic, you only need a mixture of 5% cleaner and 95% water. Works fantastic after each painting session i put my Harder & Steenbeck evolution nozzle and body in my ultrasonic cleaner, and like efric said, you won't believe the stuff that still comes out of your airbrush even after you THINK you have cleaned it. after that a quick  rinse with water and a bit of lube on the needle, and your airbrush is as good as new.

 

The cleaner that i use is a concentrated mixture so you only need a little each time and a 1 liter bottle will last for ages.

 

IMG_2881_zpsvtbhwjzd.jpg

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efrick I ordered one like you suggested and should get tomorrow I've already have Altra-Sonic cleaner it's a big one that I use for cleaning my brass for reloading and I didn't want to use it for that. This will be the first time that I'll be cleaning my airbrushes this way I just usually just clean them with lacquer thinner. Lately I've been using some stuff that I got at SAM'S club it's called PROFORCE HEAVY DUTY DEGREASER I've been using it to clean out my old paint bottles both acrylics and enamels it works on both of them and it's a lot cheaper then lacquer thinner it will even de-solve dried acrylic and enamel paint if you let it soak overnight then just rinse with hot water I use it full strength for the bottle cleaning. Anyhow I'm going to give it a try cleaning my brushes will let you know how it works out. OBTW what type of lube do you use on your airbrushes after they get their bath.

 

Paul   

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Hey Paul!

 

Let me know how the Magnasonic cleaner works out for you! I'll try the degreaser you mentioned!

 

I always use the Iwata lube after cleaning. I tried another brand called "RegDab" (I think) but I didn't care for it; it tended to get sticky and "gunky" after application.

 

Regards,

Ed

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Well I got my sonic cleaner today and gave all of my A/B a good bath, efrick that degreaser I told y0ou about worked like a charm, I mixed about 1 oz to 1 cup 16 ozs hot water run all parts for ten cycles cleaned everything even some dried enamel paint that I didn't know was on one of my brushes costs a little over $ 6.00 at Sams club.

 

Paul

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Well I got my sonic cleaner today and gave all of my A/B a good bath, efrick that degreaPaulser I told y0ou about worked like a charm, I mixed about 1 oz to 1 cup 16 ozs hot water run all parts for ten cycles cleaned everything even some dried enamel paint that I didn't know was on one of my brushes costs a little over $ 6.00 at Sams club.

 

Paul

Thanks Paul! I'll give the degreaser a try.

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And if you do buy the Iwata Lube, which I do, get the small little tube. Unless you use and clean 4 airbrushes a day the bottle will go bad long before you run out. I only do a tear down cleaning after a build is complete. I'll do "quickies" during a build. Lacquer thinner blown through at 65 psi, pull the needle and wipe down. If I'm done for the day, a quick squirt of WD40, blow it through at 65 psi. Before I start spraying again, lacquer thinner at 65 psi and rock n' roll. It's a process but with the money I have invested in airbrushes it's well worth it.

 

IMG_1064.jpg

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