Solvent Cleaners for Spray Guns

Be careful, or these strong solvents will eat your seals. December 9, 2008

I have used carburetor cleaner to soak tips and air caps for several years with good results. The cleaner I used was dark and when stirred it turned white, cloudy looking. The last carb cleaner I bought was almost clear, and no good at all. I was just wondering if anyone uses the good cleaner and what brand it is, so I can find it again. We use CV and always clean up with lacquer thinner. The carb cleaner was just used periodically, mainly for the dried stuff.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor M:
Carb cleaner is close... The stuff that really works is (go figure) Spray Gun Kleener. It's available in singles (shake first), a 5 with a basket in it, or for the hardcore, 5 gallon cans. If you use it, make sure that soft seals are removed first and set aside. Do not soak soft seals that might be needed later. Teflon or any profluorocarbons will be fine. After soaking, rinse your stuff off with lacquer thinner and blow parts out with compressed air. You will be really happy with this product. I get it at automotive paint jobbers around the Detroit area.

From contributor J:
We used to do the regular overnight soak of our tips with acetone. But then we switched all our cleaners to a product called Acrastrip. It's basically a paint stripper that is water reducible. We dilute it 1 to 1 with water and we use it everywhere. We also purchased an ultrasonic cleaner like they use to clean jewelry and we can clean clogged tips in about 20 minutes.

From contributor D:
Paint stripper is basically what spray gun clearer is: methylene chloride. Kleen Strips Naked Gun is an example of such a product. Any methylene chloride stripper works great, but no parts made of plastic or rubber can be exposed to this stuff. Iwata guns use a plastic washer in their aircaps and these are not happy when exposed to methylene chloride, so look at everything very closely. If it's not purely metal you can't use anything other than normal solvents such as acetone.