How-to Rinse a Gravity Feed Airbrush After a Spray Session - Airbrush Guru

How-to Rinse a Gravity Feed Airbrush After a Spray Session

A ‘spray session’ ends when you leave for awhile, like lunch or day’s end.

Cleaning is the most important regular maintenance you can do to keep your airbrush running smoothly for decades to come.

This method, also known as an end of session rinse, is exactly the same as a color change rinse except you also remove the needle and wipe it down.

If you’re good about using these two cleaning methods regularly you shouldn’t have to do a thorough cleaning very often if ever.


  1. Empty the color cup’s excess paint.
    Empty any excess paint
  2. Add cleaning solution into the color cup
    Add cleaner to remove leftover paint
  3. Wipe out the cup with paper towels or cotton swabs.
    Wipe out the color cup
  4. Pour more cleaning solution into the color cup
    Add more cleaning solution
  5. Spray cleaner through the airbrush until it sprays clear.
    • Note: Spray into a filter of some kind.  This keeps excessive  overspray out of the air and your lungs.  Towels, a paper towels, filtering systems, etc. all work.
      Spray cleaner through the airbrush
  6. Dump out whatever’s left.
    Empty cleaning solution
  7. Unscrew the handle.
    Remove the handle
  8. Loosen the needle chucking nut.
    Unscrew or loosen the needle chucking nut
  9. Pull the needle out.Pull out the needle
  10. Needles really are sharpWipe down the needle
    • Warning: Needles are sharp…they hurt going in and, especially if they hit bone, they hurt even more coming back out…Don’t ask me how I know that…
      Wipe down the needle
  11. Carefully replace the needle
    Push the needle back into the airbrush
  12. Twist the needle counter-clockwise a half turn
    Twist the needle counter-clockwise
  13. Tighten the needle chucking nut
    Tighten or screw the needle chucking nut back onto the airbrush
  14. Screw the handle onto the airbrush body.
    Replace the handle
  15. Spray until dry
    Spray out the remaining cleaning solution
  16. Hang the airbrush up to dry

The Guru’s Tips

  • Use the ‘appropriate’ cleaning solution for your paint.  It’s usually the reducer or paint’s base chemical.
    Like usually dissolves like
  • The best cleaning solution removes your particular paint and doesn’t use ammonia.  Ammonia is bad for the airbrush itself.
    Ammonia isn't a good choice
  • Your speed will improve, don’t worry if the time you spend here seems long.  Your speed will improve the more familiar and habitual these methods become.
  • If you are having problems this is your second fix.
    • A Color Change Rinse comes first.
      Color change rinse for Gravity Feed airbrushes   Color change rinse for Gravity Feed airbrushes
    • Followed by a Deep Cleaning if these first two methods haven’t solved the problem.  Just make sure you choose the right set of instructions.

      Do you have a screw in nozzle?

      Screw in nozzles have 2 caps on the airbrush's front.screw in nozzle detail


      Do you have a self centering nozzle?

      Airbrushes with self-centering nozzles have "3" capsDetail of airbrushes with self centering nozzles