AirBrush FAQ tips for troubleshooting and cleaning your Genie Airbrush System.
Airbrush Troubleshooting by Ginny Levack
How do I take the nozzle out when it's been broken and fragments of it remain inside of the airbrush? -If the threaded part of your nozzle gets broken off from the tip and becomes stuck in your gun, here is a quick way to remove the piece so you can replace the nozzle: 1. First remove the handle of the gun and unscrew the needle chucking nut enough to loosen up the needle so you can pull it out. 2. Remove the nozzle crown and nozzle cap, so just the front part of the body of the gun is exposed. 3. Using the pointed side of the needle, insert it into the front of the body of the gun until you feel resistance. 4. Once the needle is in as far as it can go, start turning the needle counterclockwise to loosen the broken piece of the nozzle from the body of the gun. After a few turns, it should come out and you can replace with a new nozzle.
What should I do if I can’t get the needle back into the gun when I’m assembling? -If the needle does not go through all the way to the tip of the nozzle, there is probably color clogged in the nozzle. Take off the nozzle and soak in vodka for about 30 minutes then flush with water until you see an unrestricted flow coming out of the tip.
How do I unscrew the nozzle on the airbrush? 1. Using the small wrench that comes with your airbrush gun, gently twist the base of the nozzle counterclockwise to unscrew. Note: It is recommended to use the wrench to only loosen the nozzle and then remove it the rest of the way with your fingers. The wrench will not hold onto the nozzle, so using your fingers will give you better control and help you avoid dropping it. 2. To screw the nozzle back on, use your fingertips to secure the nozzle first and then finish tightening with the use of the small wrench. Remember to be very gentle when using the wrench to tighten the nozzle. This piece is extremely delicate and can break off if turned too tightly. Note: If the needle goes too far through the nozzle, it means that the nozzle has been overextended (stretched), and the nozzle will need to be replaced. Likewise, if the needle is bent or dented, the needle will need to be replaced.
Should I clean my airbrush after each use? -During the workday, it’s easy to do a quick cleaning exercise. I keep a squeeze bottle with vodka in it by my airbrush. Between colors or if my airbrush is spitting or spraying unevenly I run vodka through with my air pressure at the highest setting. Also, it's handy to place your finger over the nozzle crown cap while pulling back on the trigger for a few seconds at a time. This will cause the vodka to bubble back up into the cup. This action helps loosen any clogs. Gently hold the gun against a clean paper towel and pull back the trigger to see if your gun is spraying clear. If so, your gun should be clean enough to move on to another color or to set aside for the day. If these steps don't reduce the spitting and sputtering take apart your airbrush and deep clean it. When I press down on the trigger for air without pulling back, color shoots out of my airbrush instead of air. -The needle may not be pushed in all the way. Unscrew the back handle and loosen the needle chucking nut. Press the needle forward until there’s a slight resistance, tighten the needle chucking nut all the way and twist the handle back on. You airbrush should now function properly.
I've been using my airbrush for a while now, but it's starting to feel a bit "tight" The trigger won't press down and pull back smoothly as it did when it was brand new. -The gun may need conditioning. Apply propylene glycol to the trigger, needle, & chucking guide. This will minimize the rusty feel and keep parts conditioned. I cleaned my airbrush and assembled it accordingly, yet only air, but no color is shooting out of my airbrush when I spray it. -Make sure that the needle chucking nut is tightened completely. If these parts are even slightly loose, the airbrush will be unable to properly spray color. No color is flowing through my airbrush. How can I clear it up and get the color moving again? -Your gun is most likely clogged. This occurs when color is left overnight in the cup, or the consistency is too thick. Severe clogging is caused when product has built up a residue wall inside the nozzle. To unclog the nozzle, a more intensive cleaning is needed. Here's how First please watch my you tube video on cleaning your airbrush https://youtu.be/HMHhL6SMsLI These are the steps from the video: 1. Unscrew the handle and set it aside. Next, loosen the needle chucking nut and carefully pull the needle out about one inch and tighten the needle chucking nut to keep the trigger button in place. 2. Next, unscrew the needle crown cap and nozzle cap. If you find it difficult at first to twist these caps off by hand, try wrapping a rubber band around them to add grip. They should twist off with ease. Drop these into a small cup or bowl of vodka to soak for up to 30 minutes. You may be surprised by the color that starts drifting out of them! 3. Enclosed with each airbrush package is a mini nozzle wrench, designed to remove the nozzle. Loosen the nozzle by turning the mini nozzle wrench clockwise. Once loosened, twist the nozzle completely off with your fingertips. Be careful not to strip the metal around the nozzle with the wrench. 4. Once the nozzle is removed from the airbrush, drop it into a tiny bowl or cup of vodka to soak. It may need to soak up to thirty minutes to loosen up any dried on residue. 5. At this time, loosen the needle chucking nut and push the needle out the front of your airbrush to avoid pulling built up color through the back parts of your gun. When you do this your trigger and the auxiliary lever will no longer be secured in your gun so be careful not to lose the trigger or the tiny auxiliary lever. I always do this over a small towel lined tray to keep the parts from being misplaced. 6. Unscrew the spring guide from the back of your airbrush. You will end up with 3 pieces: a spring, the spring guide and the needle chucking guide. These pieces along with your trigger and tiny auxiliary lever do not normally need cleaning as color should not be in those areas so it is not necessary to soak them. 7. Now look at the front of the airbrush and see if the opening (where the nozzle goes) is filled with residue. Soak the "body" in the vodka in a small cup for about 30 minutes then take to sink and flush it out with warm water. You should see water streaming out of the tip unrestricted and you are ready to put the nozzle back on. 8. To re-assemble, start by screwing the nozzle back into the airbrush. Use the mini wrench to tighten the nozzle, taking care not to over tighten it. It is easy to over tighten and snap the nozzle off in the body of the gun so be very careful during this step. Once this is on you may want to go back to the sink and flush it with more water to be sure that the nozzle is cleared of all residue. You should see a tiny stream of water coming through the nozzle. 9. Next, screw on the nozzle cap and crown needle cap. These caps should go on easily by hand, but they need to be tightened securely. 10. Proceed by putting the trigger and the tiny lever back in place (be sure the scooped side of the lever is facing toward the color cup on the gun. This is THE toughest part of reassembly, The visual in the video really helps explain this) 11. Reassemble your lever guide assembly and screw it back onto your gun. Now gently insert the needle until you feel it stop. It should now be seated back in the nozzle. If your needle does not go back in place do not force it. Just pull it out and try again. 12. Place the needle chucking nut back onto the needle and tighten all the way then screw the handle on.
My airbrush is spitting large, irregular color particles when I try to spray out color. How do I fix this problem? -Before anything, carefully remove the nozzle cap to expose the needle to make sure that it’s not slightly bent or hooked. Even a tiny bend in the tip of the needle can affect your spray pattern. If the needle looks fine, then look at the needle cap and clean any residue on it, using a vodka-saturated cotton swab. If the needle cap is already clean from residue, then reassemble the gun tightly and try spraying vodka (at your compressor’s highest air pressure) onto a tissue until it runs clear. If this does not work you need to move on to a deep cleaning.