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Author Topic: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.  (Read 249 times)

Offline Spencer

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Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« on: January 07, 2018, 10:54:53 pm »
Okay, I'm sure this has been asked somewhere before on the forum, but I couldn't find it.

For those of you who spray Vallejo, what do you use to clean up your airbrush?

Vallejo's thinner & cleaner and Medea are recommended the most in places I've read, but that stuff would
be pretty pricey since I've made a habit of stripping down my AB and cleaning thoroughly
after each session.

For alternatives, I've seen so many contradictory answers online that I was almost banging my
head on the desk.

Windex (ammonia) and alcohol supposedly curdle the paint.
Would Simple Green work? I'd assume good old lacquer thinner would work.

Just want to be sure before I make a literal mess of things.
- Spock, what are the odds in getting a Royal Fizzbin ...?

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Offline Tonimus

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 11:07:50 pm »
I just use Iwata airbrush cleaner. Bought a quart. Lasts me quite a while. I shoot it through between colors and after I'm done. Finish off by teardown and brushing with the cleaner.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003TJA0SQ/

Offline Decoman

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 04:51:54 am »
Vallejo have their own bottles of airbrush cleaner. It should work perfectly well for acrylic stuff.

Note: This stuff will give you a headache if you don't have proper ventilation.

200 ml bottle:
(random choice of image off an image search)

If you ever try enamels or other nasty paints, you will probably have to reconsider the choice of cleaning liquid, as you don't want the stuff to gunk up your airbrush. So, obviously, you have to first be prepared before starting to use other types of paints.

I don't currently know if Vallejo's Airbrush Cleaner product will bite into enamels, though I wouldn't expect it to do so.



As for cleaning your airbrush, normally after being finished using your airbrush for the day, you would get away with just cleaning the cup, nozzle, and front side of the airbrush + the needle.
For switching colors, you would get away with cleaning the cup with a lint free paper, and then the bottom, by spraying a mix of cleaning liquid and water into your cleaning 'pot'. Make sure you don't delay the cleaning, or the paint might start to dry.

Best to always use the protective needle cap guard, or whatever that thing at the very front of the airbrush gun is called.

I like keeping some bits of paper towel inside this pot, to soak up the fluids.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 09:25:10 am by Decoman »

Offline Spencer

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 06:06:13 am »
I always use mineral spirits, followed by soapy water to clean enamels out of my brush.
Acrylic thinner would likely just make a mess.

For Tamiya, MM Acryl and even Future, I've used either 91% IPA, Windex (or Ammonia diluted to 10%)
or Simple Green. If none of those work for whatever reason, lacquer thinner has never failed.

The only way I can get Vallejo or Iwata cleaner is online or a 90 minute drive to Hobby Lobby, which mine sells the smaller
bottles of Vallejo. Dollar per ounce (or mL), the stuff is expensive, but will use it if there are no good alternatives.

I guess my biggest issue is that all the things I would suspect to work on Vallejo, (IPA, Windex etc.) are claimed
to make a congealed gunk. I seriously doubt it could stand up to lacquer thinner and I haven't heard much
opinion on Simple Green.

I have a homemade spray pot BTW.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 06:11:17 am by Spencer »
- Spock, what are the odds in getting a Royal Fizzbin ...?

- I have never computed them Captain.

Offline scottminium

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2018, 06:35:20 pm »
I use a mixture of 70% alcohol and 30% pure water for airbrush thinner and cleaning.  Of course, I just spray thinner until clean, then disassemble and clean by hand.  After reassembly I spray the thinner again and let dry.  My Iwata is happy, so I'm happy.  :)
"I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again."

Offline Spencer

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 09:59:14 pm »
Well, because I'm almost never happy unless I'm testing the crap out of things ...

I got some Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner and the Iwata Medea stuff too and decided to try everything I had on some dried Vallejo
for an ultimate test.

I put a drop of some red into a metal palette I got for washes and let it dry for 90 minutes.

Here's a pic of what happens after a few minutes of soaking in different solutions.



The Simple Green turned into a slippery skin. The same with the Vallejo and Iwata cleaners.
Testors Airbrush cleaner turned the paint into a clump of flakey congealed crap.
Isopropyl Alcohol actually dissolved the paint back into solution, the exact opposite of what I expected.
10% Ammonia (about the same as windex) made another skin.
100% Acetone and Denatured Alcohol dissolved the paint a bit, but made more flakey congealed stuff.
Lacquer thinner did something similar, but not nearly as much and dissolved a good bit of it.
Testors Acryl Dried Paint Solvent behaved sort of like a mix of the Lacquer Thinner and IPA.


I'm scratching my head a bit and wondering about how much (dis-)information I've been reading online.

I guess my question for a good cleaner is for those who have used Vallejo specifically.
Anyone else have any thoughts on all this??

Spencer


« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 10:03:04 pm by Spencer »
- Spock, what are the odds in getting a Royal Fizzbin ...?

- I have never computed them Captain.

Offline Decoman

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2018, 01:20:19 am »
I think it is probably a good idea to not allow the paint to dry in ones airbrush. I mean, I can't imagine anyone would want to recommend letting the paint dry in your airbrush ever, only for doing the cleaning afterwards.

I suppose, it might be a fun and a good idea to find a replacement for the Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner liquid if to save money. I just haven't bothered yet. I am not sure myself what stuff would be equal to the Vallejo cleaning liquid.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 01:22:39 am by Decoman »

Offline Spencer

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 08:30:45 am »
I think it is probably a good idea to not allow the paint to dry in ones airbrush. I mean, I can't imagine anyone would want to recommend letting the paint dry in your airbrush ever, only for doing the cleaning afterwards.

I suppose, it might be a fun and a good idea to find a replacement for the Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner liquid if to save money. I just haven't bothered yet. I am not sure myself what stuff would be equal to the Vallejo cleaning liquid.

I completely agree, was just wondering what to do in the worst case (you're forced to walk away for an hour or so).
Anyway, I think Lacquer thinner or paint solvent is best for that. A bit harsh, but worked for me. IPA worked well, but seems
to go against a lot of other people's experiences.


For wet Vallejo (both Model Color and Model Air), their cleaner, as well as the Iwata cleaner seem to work well in the palette.

I also stumbled across a home-brew mix on youtube here
It a 50/50 mix of windshield washer fluid and distilled water, plus about 10% IPA and several drops of glycerin. I found it to work on
wet Vallejo very well and wasn't that bad as a thinner for Model Color.

I'll play around with all of this when I actually get to spraying and see what happens.
- Spock, what are the odds in getting a Royal Fizzbin ...?

- I have never computed them Captain.

Offline scottminium

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Re: Cleaning Vallejo out of your airbrush.
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 01:27:55 pm »
ammonia dissolves the acrylics, while alcohol thins it.  I used to use ammonia to clean, now its alcohol/water mix and a slight bit of mechanical help.
"I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment... because they'll never come again."

 




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