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

How-to Rinse a Siphon 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. Pull the paint bottle out of the color stem
    Remove the bottle of paint you're done with.
  2. Push the paint bottle filled with the appropriate cleaning solution into the color stem.
    Attach bottle of cleaning solution
  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 cleaner through the airbrush
  4. Pull out the paint bottle of cleaning solution
    Detach bottle of cleaner
  5. Unscrew the handle.
    Remove the handle
  6. Loosen the needle chucking nut.
    Unscrew the needle chucking nut
  7. Pull the needle out.
    Remove the needle
  8. Needles are still 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…

      Clean the needle

  9. Carefully replace the needle
    Push the needle back into the airbrush
  10. Twist the needle counter-clockwise a half turn
    Give the needle a small twist
  11. Tighten the needle chucking nut
    Screw the needle chucking nut back onto the airbrush
  12. Screw the handle onto the airbrush body.
    Replace the handle
  13. Spray until dry
    Spray out the left over cleaning solution
  14. 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.
    Please keep saying 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 color change rinse for a siphon feed airbrush
    • 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" caps Detail of airbrushes with self centering nozzles