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How to clean a spray gun

Date: 31 August 2022 | Category: How to...

In order to achieve that perfect paint finish, you’ll want to ensure that you are adequately equipped. A high-performance spray gun is the ideal tool for the job, but to ensure the most consistent finish quality, what you also really need is an effective and efficient way to clean and maintain your spray gun.

Safetykleen’s parts cleaning services could be exactly what you need. It could cut your cleaning times by up to 70%, eliminate risk of expensive re-work and reduce your environmental impact by minimising VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds).

Why should you clean your paint spray guns?

Safetykleen recommends cleaning spray guns immediately after every use, or at the very least between colour changes, to maintain efficient paint delivery and peak performance.

If you don’t clean your spray gun regularly, the accumulation of dried paint and clear coats can quickly reduce painting efficiency and finish quality, and since both dry very quickly, it is better to address this sooner rather than later.

Too much accumulated trace paint in your spray gun, will clog the air cap and fluid nozzle, causing it to become inefficient in its job, making the spray pattern inconsistent, and potentially even causing the gun to break. Frequent cleaning and servicing saves you the expense of component replacement and a great deal of time.

How do you clean a paint spray gun effectively?

The process many businesses follow when cleaning their paint spray guns after use is fiddly, labour intensive, and can be surprisingly wasteful:

  • Manually cleaning out the paint cup
  • Disassembling the body of the paint spray gun
  • Having to submerge the parts in a paint thinner
  • Taking the time to wipe down everything thoroughly
  • Reassembling the paint spray gun, and flushing it through

And regardless of how rigorously you follow that procedure each time, you can never guarantee optimal results.

There is a much easier way.

Safetykleen spray gun cleaning solutions

Safetykleen’s all-in-one parts cleaning service provides you with a spray gun cleaning alternative, our range of automatic Paintkleen machines revolutionise your approach to cleaning spray gun equipment.

The process you follow is the same every time:

  1. Connect the dirty spray gun equipment to the machine
  2. Select the cleaning cycle that you would like
  3. And press go

While cleaning takes place, you’ll be free for other tasks. and once the cleaning cycle is complete, all that remains is a manual inspection and clean rinse before the paint spray gun is ready for reuse.

Our Paintkleen range supplies you with everything you need to deliver the productivity and quality demanded by leading paint shops everywhere, including the machines and the cleaning fluid, as well as training, machine repair and waste removal and recycling.

Machines to fit your requirements

Choose one of our paint gun cleaning solutions, and you’ll have a choice of manual and automatic machines that can clean HVLP, gravity- and suction-fed spray guns, as well as solvent or water-based paints and varnishes.

Precision cleaning

Our machines’ automatic wash functions remove the bulk of the the paint to save you time and energy, you can then inspect the cleaned guns manually and finish off with a clean rinse.

Efficiency and safety

Our machines minimise waste and help to reduce your VOCs with low-volume fluid use, which means more cleaning cycles can be completed before the fluid needs to be replaced and waste thinners used are removed and recycled.

Speed and accuracy

Speed up your processes and save yourself the time, energy and money long term. Our machines can help to improve your business efficiency.

Ready to save time and money? Get a FREE consultation

Paint spray gun cleaning FAQs

What types of spray gun are there?

There are 3 main types of Paint Spray Guns and they consist of airless, compressed air and HVLP. What you will often find is that air spray guns make use of concetrated high-pressure air, which atomizes fluids with precision, HVLP spray guns don’t have that power and so make up for this difference with more air and apply a softer spray with with the reduced air pressure, this ranges between 0.05 to 0.1 MPa (7–14 psi). There are also suction and gravity fed paint spray guns, the difference here is in the atomisation of the paint with the process automatised in a suction fed gun, this is the one most commonly known and used. Gravity fed guns feature the paint container on top of the gun and uses the natural force of gravity to feed the gun, offering a degree of control you don’t get with the suction fed gun.

What types of paint are spray guns used for?

Latex paint is most often used because of its shelf life, cost and quality longevity. You’ll find that modern latex paint can be used in a variety of different environments, contains a series of new synthetic resins that are compatible with water and can be found in a mutitude of different colours. You can also oil-based enamels with a compressed air sprayer, as well as acrylic paints. Thinned to the correct consistency, you can make use of a variety of other indoor paints as well.

What are spray guns used for apart from paint?

Spray guns have a multitude of different uses besides paint. You can use them for lacquering, weatherproofing, varnishing, top coats, and finishing jobs. Paint Spray Guns are truly a multipurpose tool.

How do you choose the right paint cleaning solution?

Choosing the right paint cleaning solution can be difficult, but here are a few things to consider to at least guide you in the right decision-making direction.

  • How many paint guns do you need to clean? Cost and quality of the solution will determine how you choose.
  • How often do you need to clean them? A better quality cleaning solution will make for better cleaning results and less cleaning overall.
  • How many different colours and types of paint you use in each gun? The more paints you need to use will determine how often you need to clean and the strength of the solution.
  • How much space do you have on site for the machine and also for any cleaning fluids you may need to store? Practicality vs performance will factor into the decision-making process, you will want the best equipment for the space you have available.
  • How will you dispose of any used paint thinners and spray gun cleaning solutions? Consider waste management and the most cost effective, eco-friendly and time saving way to deal with that.