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

How to Rinse a Side 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.


  1. Pull the paint bottle or color cup out of the airbrush.Pull out the cup
  2. Push the paint bottle filled with the appropriate cleaning solution into the airbrush.Attach bottle of cleaning solution to the airbrush
  3. 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 cleaning solutoin through the airbrush

  1. Pull out the paint bottle of cleaning solution
    Remove cleaning solution
  2. Unscrew the handle.
    Remove the handle
  3. Loosen the needle chucking nut.
    Unscrew the needle chucking nut
  4. Pull the needle out.
    Pull out the needle
  5. Wipe 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…

      Clean the needle

  6. Carefully replace the needle
    Push in the needle
  7. Twist the needle counter-clockwise a half turn
    Twist the needle counter-clockwise
  8. Tighten the needle chucking nut
    Finger tighten the needle chucking nut
  9. Screw the handle onto the airbrush body.
    Screw the handle onto the airbrush body
  10. Spray until dry
    Spray out the leftover cleaning solution
  11. Hang the airbrush up to dry

Do you need to clean the paint bottle too?  You might not actually have to clean that bottle.  Just a thought.

If you need to clean the cup, drop it into a jar or your cleaning solution and let it stay there for a few minutes.  Then have at it with brushes.

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.
    Just say no to ammonia
  • 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.
      Do a quick color change rinse   Do a quick color change rinse
    • 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?