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Airbrush Cleaning

Sep 15, 2020

For Gravity Feed Airbrushes:

1a. Remove cup lid (if present) and dump out excess paint from color cup.

1b. Alternate between using the Iwata Washing Brush with Medea Airbrush Cleaner (or appropriate cleaner) and wiping the cup out with the Artool Studio Wipes.

1c. Spray the cleaner or water through the airbrush until it sprays clear. Spray into a spray out pot or paper towel.

For Siphon Feed Airbrushes:

1a. Remove paint bottle from bottom of airbrush.

1b. Fill a clean bottle (not included) with Medea Airbrush Cleaner (or appropriate cleaner) and attach it to the airbrush.

1c. Spray the cleaner or water through the airbrush until it sprays clear. Spray into a Spray Out Pot or paper towel.

For a quick paint flush use the Medea Airbrush Cleaner With 360 Nozzle (not included).

Continue airbrushing with a new color. If ending an airbrush session, move on to step 2.


Disconnect the airbrush from the air source.

2a. Unscrew and remove the back handle. Place your handle on a safe surface such as the Iwata Airbrush Cleaning Mat with its raised ridge which keeps parts from rolling away.

2b. Loosen the needle chucking nut by hand.

2c. Pull the needle out. Needles are extremely sharp and delicate. Be careful not to drop or damage your needle while cleaning.

2d. Clean the needle with the Artool Studio Wipes by wiping only towards the sharp needle point. Only wipe the needle in a back to front direction so as not to puncture yourself.

If your airbrush is clogged, spraying unevenly or to prevent paint build-up:

Leave the airbrush disassembled. Place the needle on a safe surface like the Iwata Airbrush Cleaning Mat and continue on to steps 3-8.

If you are ending an airbrush session:

Gently push the needle back into place. The needle is fully seated when it comes to a complete stop. Tighten the needle chucking nut. Reassemble the airbrush and connect your air source. To make sure your needle is fully seated, fill the color cup or a bottle with water and push the main lever down only to test for air. If water sprays out your needle is not fully seated. Water should only spray when you pull the trigger back (turn the fluid adjustment knob if single-action airbrush). Tighten the needle chucking nut if no water sprays. If not working properly, check assembly and go through all of the cleaning instructions.


To reveal the nozzle (4), unscrew the needle cap (1) and nozzle cap (2) by hand. For the Iwata Eclipse airbrushes, remove the nozzle head cap (3) with the nozzle head cap wrench (included with the airbrush).

For Iwata Eclipse airbrushes (compression fit nozzle):

The nozzle (4) for the Eclipse BS, SBS and CS is a set and SHOULD NEVER BE SEPARATED.

DO NOT USE the Iwata Nozzle Wrench on compression fit nozzles.

3a. The nozzle is compression fit into the airbrush body. To remove, press against body of nozzle at an angle. Check inside the nozzle head cap if nozzle appears to be missing. Use the blunt end of the needle to remove.

For airbrushes with a threaded nozzle:

3a. Place the Iwata Nozzle Wrench* over the flat sides of the threaded nozzle base and turn left to unscrew.

*The Iwata Nozzle Wrench fits all Iwata and NEO airbrushes excluding the Iwata Eclipse Series and the NEO TRN2 Side-Feed Trigger Airbrush.


4a. To loosen paint, soak your nozzle, needle cap, nozzle head cap (if compression nozzle) and nozzle cap in Medea Airbrush Cleaner (or solvent) for NO MORE than 10 minutes.

NEVER soak your entire airbrush in liquid. Never store your airbrush with spray medium or cleaning agents in the fluid cup.

4b. Using an extra small cleaning brush dipped in Medea Airbrush Cleaner, scrub your nozzle, needle cap, nozzle head cap (if compression nozzle) and nozzle cap.