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How to Clean and Troubleshoot Your Airbrush Gun

How to Clean and Troubleshoot Your Airbrush Gun

The most important rule to owning an airbrush system is... *cue clouds parting and a choir of angels* CLEAN IT! By flushing the gun with water after every use, you will prevent clogs and damage, keeping your airbrush running smoother, longer.

Clogs and issues can still happen even if you do clean it. The top culprits:

  • Using color that's too thick.
  • Dust or debris in your airbrush gun.
  • The needle coming loose from repeated uses.

These things happen, and when they do -- don't panic. We'll walk you through the steps of cleaning and fixing your airbrush system.

TIP: The first time you take your airbrush guns apart, you may be nervous that you're going to break it, but in fact airbrush guns are intended to be taken apart and cleaned. Trust us, we make airbrush machines, we know the insider secrets.

Cleaning an Airbrush Gun: The Basics

cleaning and airbrush with water

These are the steps you should take after every airbrush session. It will only take a few minutes and will protect your investment.

1. After each airbrushing session, fully spray out any remaining color from the gun (you can do this into a sink or trash bin). Fill the gun well with warm water and continue to spray out until the spray runs clear.

2. To remove stubborn residue and/or debris, fill the gun well with hot water and place your finger over the gun nozzle while pulling the trigger. This will force the water flow back into the gun well, cleaning the interior of the gun. Dump this water into a sink or trash bin and repeat as needed.

3. Use a paper towel to wipe down the inside of the gun well and needle cap to remove any remaining color residue.

4. Set the airbrush gun aside to dry, and then carefully pack it away with your machine. Don't store the gun in a place where dust may settle into the gun well.

That's it! By following these steps and not letting color dry in your gun, you will prevent the majority of issues.

parts of an airbrush system

How to Deep Clean an Airbrush Gun

If you are getting uneven spray, blotchy color, or no spray at all - you may have a clog and need to deep clean your airbrush gun.

TIP: Before you begin, clean a spot by the sink and grab a plate or paper towel that you can place the parts on, so you don't lose them while cleaning.

If you are comfortable dismantling the gun for cleaning, you can remove the gun tail, needle and nozzle cap, needle nut, and needle and soak in filtered, warm water for up to 12 hours. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW.

Make sure the gun is dry before carefully reassembling.

Our Airbrush Cleaning Kits are available here. It's less than $10 and ships fast!

Solved: Airbrush Gun Sprays Constantly without Pulling the Trigger

This is very common and probably means you use the machine a lot - great! It's an easy fix.

TIP: You can use this technique with .4mm and .5mm single action airbrush guns.

1. Unscrew the tail of your gun and loosen the needle chucking nut.

2. Gentle push the needle forward as far as it can go. You won't need much pressure to do this.

3. Tighten the needle chucking nut (do not over tighten, just use your fingers with medium pressure).

4. Replace the gun tail. Done!

With this guide, you should be able to solve the majority of issues with your Airbrush System.

If you need assistance with your Cookie Countess brand Airbrush System, please contact us.

Previous article Live tutorial replay! Quick and simple airbrushing techniques that have a big impact!


Mara Stone - March 27, 2023

I just got my Max air sprayer and it worked fine the first day. I was thrilled. I cleaned it all out with water after I used it. Today it will not spray paint or water, just air. I am panicky.

The Cookie Countess replied:
Hi Mara! Don’t panic – if you reach out to us at<> we’ll be able to help you figure out where the issue is!

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