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777funk 06-05-2012 03:20 PM

Best way to clean paint guns?
I use brushes (mostly the cheap junk that came with low price guns over the years and a few muzzle/bore brushes).

It seems like there's a better way out there.

Curious how you guys clean your guns?

Usually takes me around 20-30 minutes to get a gun spotless after a spray session.

Are there certain brushes for cleaning that work better than others?

mr4speed 06-05-2012 07:57 PM

Have been cleaning my guns for years with carb cleaner, takes me no more than 5 minutes to clean inside and out. I go through one full can per cleaning, using the high tech brand from wal mart. Do not use gum out it is full of oil.

novafreek6872 06-05-2012 08:36 PM


Originally Posted by mr4speed
Have been cleaning my guns for years with carb cleaner, takes me no more than 5 minutes to clean inside and out. I go through one full can per cleaning, using the high tech brand from wal mart. Do not use gum out it is full of oil.

excellent tip. gonna try that one!!


777funk 06-05-2012 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by novafreek6872
excellent tip. gonna try that one!!


+1 on that. I'm tired of scrubbing with brushes and trying to get into the threads etc. Just bought an Iwata for color again and it's nicer for cleaning than my cheap guns. But still cleaning is always a little bit of a hassle with threads etc.

At first I thought... man, waste a can of carb cleaner every time I clean a gun... that sounds like it'd get expensive. But then I realized I probably use about 6-8 ounces of thinner and a half hour. The carb cleaner idea just got a whole lot more appealing. I need to make a Walmart trip next time I head to town.

One thing I've liked is the DeVilbiss EZ Liner baggy system for the cups. I never spill paint when I'm spraying (Iwata lids are useless-lots of spilling paint), I can spray upside down if I need to, and when I'm done I just unzip the bag dump the paint back into the can (I don't use catalyzed color) and toss the baggy. Very cheap system and I rarely have to clean more than a drip or two off the inside of the guns cup with these liners. Freezer bags also work great. I have this on ALL of my color guns.

hp246 06-05-2012 09:47 PM

Been using SEM spray gun cleaner. Run thinner through the gun first then use the gun cleaner to finish up. Probably use a third of a can per cleaning. Don't know the difference between the SEM and carb cleaner, but if the carb cleaner doesn't damage the seals, and does as well as the SEM, its sounds like its worth a try.

DanielC 06-06-2012 10:11 AM

After I am done spraying, I pour a little of the reducer, or thinner i used in the paint. I take a small natural bristle brush, and clean the inside of the cup, to get the paint off the inside of the cup. Pull the trigger on the gun, let some of the reducer run out. Dump the cup, if necessary.

Pour more reducer in the cup, and brush the inside of the cup again. Connect the gun to air, and spray the second batch of reducer through the gun. While spraying, take a rag and cover the tip of the gun, and seal the tip enough to "back flush" thinner and paint backwards back into the cup. Remove the rag from the tip, and spray normally. Do this several times. The back and forward motion of the reducer and thinner helps to dislodge any paint left in the gun.

I will then take the cup off, and wipe out the interior, and exterior of the cup with paper towels, and thinner or reducer, or general purpose solvent. Sometimes I use a filter in the bottom of the cup, in the throat of the gun. Pull it out, and brush it off with solvent, and blow compressed air backward through it. Brush the inside of the throat of the gun, where the cup attaches.

Put the cup back on the gun. Pour a little more solvent in the gun, and hook up air, and spray again, again using a clean rag, or paper towel to cover the air cap, back flushing the gun again. If you see ANY trace of the color or primer you were spraying, Repeat above steps again.

If you are seeing no trace of color in the cup of the gun, and no trace of color on the rag, or paper towel, use the damp paper towel to wipe off the exterior parts of the gun. Use the brush to reach small areas you cannot wipe with a rag.

mr4speed 06-06-2012 08:53 PM

The best part of cleaning with the carb cleaner is that you can use that straw it comes with to get in all those small passages and it dissolves any paint , clear, or primer pretty quickly. No need to get out all those tiny brushes, I clean my guns probably once or twice a year with a full breakdown. That is how good the carb cleaner really works.

Lizer 06-06-2012 09:41 PM

It takes me about 15 minutes to do a complete tear down clean out, and that's even cleaning the cup (not disposable) and the paint can pour spout.

I dump about an ounce of lacquer thinner in the cup, put the lid on, and shake it for about 10 seconds. Then I pull the trigger and let it drain out the gun.

I dump about another ounce of lacquer thinner in the cup, shake again, then hook the gun up to air and spray it out. Now 90% of the paint is out.

At this point I dump another ounce or two into a plastic bowl (like a clean cottage cheese container), break down the gun and toss the air cap and tip in there. I brush down the outside and stick a little brush on the insides real quick just to make sure there's nothing inside. Then I dip a paper towel into that lacquer thinner and do a final wipe out of the cup, just to ensure it's clean, and also wipe down the gun. I also wipe the needle and add more lube if necessary.

Then I put the gun back together, spray some air through it to blow out any trace lacquer thinner and dry it out and it's completely clean for the next time.

Because I'm cheap, I reuse my lacquer thinner by straining it through a paint strainer into another container. This is what I'll use for the first initial clean out of the gun right after it's been used.

novafreek6872 06-07-2012 06:07 AM

I know alot of people do it, but I just cant bring myself to use any kind of lube any where near a paint gun. Scary!


Lizer 06-07-2012 06:43 AM

This is lubricant that is formulated for paint guns and it goes about halfway down the needle shaft where it contacts a boss inside the gun. If this is not lubricated the trigger/needle may not operate properly and it sticks which results in not closing when you release the trigger. It's happened to me once.

deadbodyman 06-08-2012 05:09 AM

It happens a lot as the gun gets older and the seal wears out a little and you have to keep tightening the nut to keep the needle seal from leaking,you need gun lube but just on the needle, it wont get inside the gun. I'm a little lazy when it comes to gun cleaning but I need a clean gun so I swish some thinner around in the cup and pull the trigger running the thinner through the gun I do this twice.then drop the gun in a 5 gal bucket of carb cleaner (put a wooden wedge in to hold the trigger all the way back)so the cleaner goes into the gun, then cover the bucket back up and forget about dont waste anything...its almost as good and ez as a gun cleaning machine....If you want to get fancy put some of that diamond mesh in the bottom of the bucket about 2-4" off the bottom so paint can settle at the bottom and it keeps the gun out of the goo that settles at the bottom...when the goo gets a little thick just run the old carb cleaner through a strainer into another bucket and reuse it....Your guns will be clean as a whistle all the time and you hardly ever have to take them apart,most times I take them apart they dont need any cleaning but I just like to be sure....Everyone thinks I'm anal but cleaning my guns because they look so clean but the truth is I rarly get a brush out and basicly just dry them off with a paper shop towel,the carb cleaner does all the work....

cyclopsblown34 06-08-2012 10:51 AM

I usually clean them as soon as I'm done using them or between coats. A little swish of reducer or thinner run through a couple of times, disassemble it and hit the innards with air from an air gun and they're clean and good to go. The trick is catching the material while it's fluid and it makes clean up way easier. I like Michel's method of the carb tip, unfortunately my guns have them plastic seals of fluid tip to the body and it doesn't hold up well to any aggressive solvents.

mitmaks 06-09-2012 06:31 PM

I used Naked Gun, works pretty good. You can leave your gun soaking in it overnight and then just brush and wipe it off. It won't damage packings

rusthater89 06-09-2012 09:05 PM

I don't know if this is recommended but I just use acetone.

DanielC 06-09-2012 11:33 PM

If there are any "rubber" "O" rings in the gun, acetone is very hard on them.

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