How to: Airbrush Maintenance
Cleaning the Airbrush
Replace the color bottle with a bottle containing cleaning solution and spray until the solution is clear and clean. Use the cutaway handle (#19) during this process (refer to cutaway handle section). Replace the color bottle and spray the next color; when finished, repeat the cleaning procedure.
Before ending an airbrush session or any time the airbrush becomes clogged, increase the air pressure and spray cleaning solution through the airbrush for a short period of time. Store the airbrush in a dustless area or continue using after decreasing the air pressure to the desired working pressure. Pressure cleaning by this method will thoroughly clean the paint passage, nozzle, and needle.
To Clean the Needle
Loosen the needle chucking nut (#18) and slowly pull the needle straight out. Wipe the residue off the needle by gently rotating it in a soft cloth folded over the needle. Carefully re-insert the needle into the airbrush near the back and push gently until it seats against the nozzle. Caution: The most probable time to damage the needle is when the needle passes through the trigger mechanism and needle packaging screw. If the needle stops abruptly, retract and examine the trigger mechanism for proper assembly and re-insert the needle again. Tighten the needle-chucking nut (#18).
To insure smooth trigger action, lubricate the needle and trigger mechanism regularly. Remove the needle and coat it with a high-quality grease (like Medea Super Lube); then wipe the needle with a soft, clean cloth, leaving on a light coat of grease. Re-insert the needle into the airbrush and re-tighten the needle-chucking nut (#18). Note: DO NOT over-grease the needle packing, since it is possible to transfer the excess grease into the nozzle, causing severe paint flow problems. DO NOT use light machine oil for lubrication. This will cause the needle to stick slightly as it moves though the needle packing.
If it becomes absolutely necessary to dismantle the airbrush, please note the following: DO NOT use pliers to assemble or disassemble the airbrush. The parts are to be hand tightened only.
Always remove the needle before replacing the nozzle. Once the nozzle is in place and secure, then replace the needle. This will prevent the nozzle from splitting when tightening the nozzle head cap (#3).
Reprinted with permission of ARTtalk.com