Airbrush Cleaning and Triple-Action Handle

I just got the new Iwata Triple-Action handle in the post, so before installing I decided to give the airbrush, an Iwata Eclipse CS a good clean!DSC02482Here’s the airbrush, just disconnected from the hose. You should be doing a full clean on your airbrush fairly regularly. After a while you get a good feel of how your airbrush performs and you’ll notice when you’re getting more clogging or poorer flow than normal and it needs a proper clean. DSC02483 This is the end you have to be careful about. The best way to protect the needle and the nozzle is to be careful with the order you disassemble the parts in. DSC02484First take off the handle. DSC02485 Then you can undo the needle chuck and remove the needle. Use a cloth dipped in your airbrush cleaning solution to wipe the needle clean.DSC02486Now that the needle is safely out of the way, you can remove the three front pieces.  DSC02487 DSC02488 You may need the little spanner that comes with the airbrush to remove the front section that protects and holds the nozzle in place. There’s a gasket that makes this section have an airtight seal. It’s important that that seal is clean so you get that seal, and that the front section is tight enough. You’ll soon notice if it’s not as when you just press the level without pulling pack you’ll get bubbles coming back up into the paint reservoir.DSC02489 Now you can remove the needle. It should just pull out (or even fall out, so be careful). Sometimes it can be a little tight, so just gently pull….DSC02490 Now you can pull the lever out for cleaning. As the needle goes through it, you can’t remove it until the needle is fully out.DSC02491 And for a full clean you’ll want to unscrew the level spring mechanism too. I don’t do this on every clean, but this time I think it needed it.DSC02492 For the small parts, just put them in a small tray (I find the metal ends of the boxes that whisky bottles often come in make for useful trays for craft purposes) and cover with your airbrush cleaning fluid. I’m using Alclad’s which is smelly and strong and does a really good job.DSC02493 Once the nozzle has soaked a bit you can go at it with a small nozzle brush, and then I use the needle itself to push out any nasty residue left inside. Just be careful when you’re doing this as you don’t want to bend the needle point or change the shape of the nozzle hole. Just reverse the entire procedure to get your airbrush back to working operation. Once that’s done I’ll put some airbrush cleaner in the paint reservoir and back-wash a bit, and then squirt it all through checking that I’m getting no bubbles back into the paint and that the flow is strong and even.


To backwash your airbrush you can either twist the front caps (the two small bits at the front, not the large piece that covers the nozzle) half off, or put your finger over the front of the airbrush allowing no air out. Now when you depress the pull back the lever, the air will bubble back through the airbrush and backwash it.

Triple-Action HandleDSC02494  I ordered the Triple-Action Handle 4 days ago from and it has arrived remarkably quickly!DSC02496 Along with the instruction manual there are five pieces in the kit – a new handle, an Allen key, a piece that grips the end of the needle, a spring and a needle guide/chuck.DSC02497 Installation is fairly simple.DSC02498 After taking off the existing needle chuck and handle, you put the new handle on.DSC02499 Now you use the Allen key to position the new part properly and attach to the needle.DSC02500 You get to take the needle entirely out now.DSC02501 After adding in the new needle guide / chuck, you put the spring on over the needle.DSC02502Now all you have to do is press in the needle (the spring gives a little pushback) and tighten the chuck.

After all that I tried some airbrush cleaner through the brush to check it had all gone back together right. I had to tighten the part that goes over the nozzle, but other than that, all seems good.

In use

The new TAH really does make routine cleaning of the airbrush quicker and easier! Before, I’d rinse through and backwash after painting, but now there’s little barrier or fuss to giving the needle a good clean too.

The weight feels a little off compared to before, which is understandable given you’ve replaced a hefty cast metal handle with a thin metal barrel, but that doesn’t really take much getting used to.

I’ve not tried the pre-set flow yet which allows you to turn your double-action airbrush into a set single action one, but no doubt I’ll give that a go before too long and then I’ll be able to report back how that works.

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