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Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner - what is it?


Svedberg

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Hi,

 

I mostly use Vallejo colors when airbrushing and have been using Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner (to complement ordinary tap water which I use for the major part of the cleaning), but have come to wonder what the cleaner really consists of. Is it mostly some readily available stuff I could buy more cheaply somewhere else than at the hobby shop?  Anyone knows? What do you otherwise use for acrylic paints?

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15 hours ago, Lewis95 said:

For Vallejo, water. For Tamiya/Gunze, IPA. Not sure if IPA would "gunkify" Vallejo paints. 

Thanks @Lewis95. I already use mostly water but think something with a little more "tooth" is needed in tight areas such as inside the nozzle. I haven't tried IPA for the reason you give. But maybe I should try it.

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8 hours ago, Svedberg said:

Thanks @Lewis95. I already use mostly water but think something with a little more "tooth" is needed in tight areas such as inside the nozzle. I haven't tried IPA for the reason you give. But maybe I should try it.

You could give Ultimate Airbush Cleaner a whirl? I use that every so often when I use Vallejo acrylics. 

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I had the same problem as you and found the price of brand name thinners and airbrush cleaners far too high. For tamiya and mr hobby paints which I use the most, but also for revell and the odd airfix arcrylic, I use IPA/water/few drops glycerin mix. For airbrush cleaning the same but without the glycerin. The only ak real colour I've tried worked best with straight IPA, the water in the previous mix making it curdle.

All the above paints worked and dried perfectly with this mix on the models and have cleaned the airbrush just as well as any commercial mix ever has.

 

Now for vallejo.

IPA will make it go goey, so don't bother with that.

A very long search on the web finally revealed the data sheet for vallejo cleaner ( which to all intents and purpose is the same as their thinner)

The main ingredient is Butyl Glycol and water.

With this information I made my mix of vallejo thinner: 33% butyl glycol

                                                                                         66% distilled water

                                                                                         a dozen drops of glycerin to slow tip drying

I made a batch of 1 litre. This mixes the vallejo paint well and it goes down on the model just as well as if using their own  brand thinner.

 

As for airbrush cleaner the mix is as follows:                   30% butyl glycol

                                                                                         68% distilled water

                                                                                         2% acetone

                                                                                         few drops of glycerin

The acetone gives it that little extra oomph to clean any dried paint remaking in the brush, but not enough to harm the seals.

This will clean your airbrush the same as the branded cleaner.

 

Butyl glycol. IPA, glycerin, acetone(100%) are all available online and cheap here in Europe. 

 

Important! don't use the vallejo mix on tamiya/mr hobby acrylics as it will make mush so label it to avoid any future mix-ups.

 

Try it. You can adjust the mixtures to suit your taste but I find these work for me.

Hope this helps.

 

Here's a link to the data sheet https://www.asoa.de/images/pdf/3399-AIRBRUSH-CLEANER-ENG.pdf

 

 

Edited by Hunker
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  • 1 month later...

I hope that it's not too late to comment.

My "recipes" for Vallejo paints are:

Airbrush Cleaner: 17% butyl glycol, 8% monopropylene glycol, 75% water (distilled, reverse osmosis etc)

Flow Improver: 7% butyl glycol, 8% monopropylene glycol, 85% water

Thinners: 12% butyl glycol, 8% monopropylene glycol, 80% water

I use monopropylene glycol in place of glycerin as it dissolves more easily in water.

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