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Question about cleaners

Discussion in 'Airbrush Paints' started by PaintThrower, Jan 9, 2017.


  1. PaintThrower

    PaintThrower Double Actioner

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    If this was not the right place to post this question or if I missed a thread already discussing this I apologize, I recently came across a couple of articles that the writer swears by using windshield washer fluid for a car to clean airbrushes. I searched the forums and could not find any other thread discussing this nor did the articles talk about if doing this could have a long term effect on the airbrush. What I was wondering have any of you used this or are currently using this for your airbrush and does this damage the finish or teflon seals inside the airbrush? And also is windshield washer fluid more or less effective than commercial airbrush cleaning products?

    Thank You,
  2. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    No, It is recommend that you simply use the reducer for the paint you are using. If you are using water based paint I recommend 5619 Restorer made by Createx for deep cleaning the nozzle(only the nozzle gets soaked in it)
    Windshield washer fluid has different chemicals in it that may have adverse effects on the paint the next time you use it.
    Simple cleaning solution is 25% alcohol (I use Ethyl) 75% water .
  3. PaintThrower

    PaintThrower Double Actioner

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    That was what I was assuming. I know most windshield washer fluids are made up of methanol and water with some ethylene glycol added to keep it from freezing. Also possibly a type of dye for the color which is not listed but the last stuff I used in my car was purple,so with the last half a brain cell that has been severely damaged by paint fumes I am assuming. So I will give the 25% alcohol and 75% water a try (It is close to what I use as a reducer anyway but without the glycerin that I add). It makes sense to keep the extra chemicals out of the equation.

    Thank you for your input.
  4. DaveG

    DaveG Mac-Valve Maestro! Very Likeable!

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    Just to be clear, most windshield washer fluid is actually a mix of alcohol and water ;) Usually methanol, but may also contain ethylene glycol (another type of alcohol). Ethylene glycol will break down bonds in acrylic paint, hence the theory of using it for cleaning the airbrush. I too have seen this practice talked about in countless Youtube vids, many of which I am sure were simply being repeated as what they heard, etc...

    The problem is (there are a few)... that there can also be other additives used - bug removers, anti freeze, rain repellents, detergents, etc, so that we may not know what we are actually spraying through our brushes. The other words of caution would be that especially ethylene glycol can be toxic, and methanol vapor can be harmful if inhaled...
    JackEb likes this.
  5. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Plus one for reducer. I find it works best, I try to reuse it as much as I can for cleaning.
  6. PaintThrower

    PaintThrower Double Actioner

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    for the 3 to 1
    If I were to use denatured alcohol instead of ethyl would this still work. As far as I know denatured alcohol is ethyl with impurities added to make it poisonous to consume.

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