Airbrush makeup schemes are tarnished for clogging, specially if the incorrect type of foundation or moisturizer is used. For those new to airbrushing, it may seem a bit difficult to take seriously, but if you follow a few simple steps, you can keep your stylus and compressor in great condition for years to come.
A good place to start is definitely the manual that came with your system. You’ve just spent a considerable amount of money on a unit, and now it’s time to decide to keep it as good as new. Always follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and don’t cut corners. For example, several systems will warn you to use only distilled or filtered water instead of tap water. Standard water from your tap contains minerals that include scale, which can block the stylus wand over time. If you’ve ever lived in a hard water area and looked at the underside of your bathroom faucet, you’ll know what we mean. You don’t want that in your airbrush!
Airbrush make-up consists of two types and 2 methods of cleaning: silicone-based and water-based. Silicone is naturally more difficult to clean.
Water-based makeup can be effortlessly detached with clarified or distilled water and rubbing alcohol.
There is a product now available on the market which is an enzyme concentrate, but it will work on both types. It’s actually non-toxic, pH balanced, and made with food-grade ingredients, so it’s safe to use in your airbrush. Simply search for “Nurturing Force NF” to find out where you can purchase it.
Basically, you want to focus on keeping your airbrush stylus or wand particularly clean. The wand contains a needle and a mist nozzle that are constantly exposed to the makeup, as well as a cup that holds the droplets. Use a small cleansing brush or Q-tip to wipe off any makeup residue from the cup. Rinse with distilled water or a cleaner using a process known as back-bubbling.
This is a technique used to blend makeup where the trigger is partially depressed, causing air to seep back into the cup. If you do this with just water, the bubble effect will wash out the airbrush and have a cleaning result. Simply plug the mist nozzle of the stylus with your finger and squeeze the trigger, which causes air to be introduced through the cup rather than the nozzle.
Once you’ve done this a few times, go ahead and unblock the nozzle and spray the rest of the liquid through the nozzle. Repeat as needed. This will completely ensure that any kind of residual makeup is removed.
Next, you will need to attention to the needle. Remove it as directed and use your enzyme cleaner or just distilled water and liquid soap. Work with a soft, lint-free material to prevent thread remnants from sticking to the needle. For this reason, too, do not use tissues. You can use a Q-tip dipped in a cleaning solution and carefully twist each side of the needle.
Another good idea is to soak your airbrush regularly as you will continue to avoid tap water. Simply place the stylus in a nice, clean container and fill with filtered water. Leave it on overnight and any remaining makeup will dissolve. Occasionally, you may want to take the stylus apart for a thorough cleaning, but be careful to adjust the needle properly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Keeping your airbrush clean and free of clogs will ensure you get the perfect spray and the finest coverage. You don’t need to deep clean your needle after each use, but getting into the habit of taking care of your investment will save you disappointment later.