In order to keep your airbrush operating correctly it needs to be kept clean and lubricated. Plus all parts, o-rings and seals should be in working condition so use a cleaning products that wont damage your airbrush.
Glass cleaners like Windex are not recommend for cleaning your airbrush because the ammonia corrodes away at the airbrush parts, but in a pinch they will work pretty good.
Recommended Cleaning Solutions:
Water-Based Paints : Airbrush Cleaner
Solvent-Based Paints : Thinner (Reducer)
Alcohol-Based Paints : 90% Isopropyl or Denatured Alcohol
This is a soapy solution that works pretty well at cleaning your airbrush and at the same time will not cause any damage to the body or parts of the airbrush. Your safest bet when choosing an airbrush cleaner is to pick one that is designed to work with the paint you are using. Createx Airbrush Cleaner is going to work well with Createx Colors and so on.
These are a great way to remove dried clumps of paint from your airbrush. However some airbrush manufactures discourage using such cleaning brushes because they can do damage to the airbrush body. Use at your own discretion. The smaller brushes scrub out the interior of the airbrush body and nozzle while the larger brushes are for the paint cup and exterior of the airbrush. Only use the quality cleaning brushes like the Mack 1290-S because the cheap ones can leave bristles behind, causing more problems.
Nozzle Cleaning Needles
These are specially shaped tools for scooping out paint hidden deep in the nozzle. Where needle and nozzle meet is where most of the clogging happens in the airbrush. The Harder Steenbeck one on the left works best because it has a special scoop shape on it but there are some cheaper ones online that work pretty well.
A small amount of this on your needle and where the trigger stem hits the air vale will have your airbrush running smoothly. A new airbrush will come pre-lubed and therefore wont needs this treatment until it has gone through a lot of use. When you find the up and down or back and forth trigger action is a little sticky, it’s time to re-lube. Only use a tiny drop. Over oiling can cause major problems. A dab will do ya!
Examples: BADGER Needle Juice, Iwata Medea Super Lube, Paasche Airbrush Lube
Soft Jaw Pliers
You’re better off using these than regular pliers when taking apart and screwing back together your airbrush. Regular pliers can strip away at your head cap eventually making it difficult to get a tight fitting. You can find Soft Jaw Pliers online or available as part of the Iwata Professional Maintenance Tools Kit.
Spray Out Pots
Spray pots are a receptacle used to spray into between color changes and cleanings. Of course you could just spray into a rag or make your own spray pot out of an Arizona Ice Tea can with some paper towels shoved inside, but that would yeild overspray hanging around for you to breathe and possibly dingy up your project. And so spray pots are really used more to keep your work area clean and free from over-spray. You can find a cheap one online or spring for the Iwata model that has a lot of cool added features like a non-skid protective covering and little tray to keep spray parts.
When your airbrush is malfunctioning one of the trouble-shooting steps is to inspect the nozzle for any clogs, cracks etc. The problem is, nozzles are small and it’s hard to see what’s going on down there especially in poor lighting. The Iwata-Medea LED Magnifier is a great way to go because the LED light plus the magnifier solves both your problems or you could just pick up a common jewelers loop.