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Ultrasonic Cleaner

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From time to time I use ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning my air brush. I use water with some detergent in it. And it sort of works... But, I am not sure how efficient it is. Could I just be kidding myself?

Also, are here any ways to improve cleaning power? Better detergents? Different loading practices?


Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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If you're using one of the "domestic" ultrasonic cleaners which have plastic parts anywhere near the tank or lid, for heaven's sake, don't put any solvents in there! We had one at work and an apprentice left some isopropyl alcohol in the tank over the weekend. It attacked the plastic, turning it into a soggy mess. It sort of worked afterwards, but was never quite the same again!


When deep-cleaning any airbrush parts, I put them into a glass jar which has a metal screw lid, then pour the solvent into that. With the lid firmly closed, I then place that into the tank and then add water to the tank. That way, the ultrasonic energy is transferred into the glass bottle, and the aggressive vapours are kept safely away from any delicate parts of the U.S. cleaner. I tend to use cellulose thinners with this method. It does a good job in shifting any dried-on paint.




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I only use these for cleaning specs. Some jewellery (wifes :rofl:).

About it. Tried using it, once, to clean airbrushes. For me a total failure.

Cleans a bit but found it easier to clean by hand, soaking for a few hours to soften paint.


To get anywhere an industrial type is needed which has a higher rating. Problem is

when I looked £80 upwards.





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I have a cheapo eBay-bought version... like Mark, I put small parts in a jar filled with solvent, then the jar in the machine which is then filled with water. I use Lysol as the solvent (don't know if it's available in the UK, though), as it will get even the most stubborn, dried deposits of Tamiya acrylic out of the brush.


Persistence pays off, too. I had an old airbrush that had been neglected for a year, but after three goes through the machine, was free of everything nasty. After that, a quick break-down, clean, and re-assemble using beeswax as a lubricant, and it was almost like new.

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I use warm water (it tends get hotter when the u.s. runs anyway) and some washing up liquid and put it on for the maximum time, mine is 5 minutes, you could do it longer as it doesn't seem to hurt the airbrush at all.

If the cleaner doesn't actually get the all the rubbish off, it does soften it, then I use those cheap teeth flossing brushes (I use Wilkos' ones) to scrub out the inside of the body and cotton buds to give it a last clean. Pipe cleaners work good too, especially for the paint pot funnel. 

I have a Badger 150 and a Chinese airbrush (cheap but really great) and cleaning them using the u.s. has done no damage to them at all.

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