Modelling in a hard water area

I live in a hard water area. In fact, it is *very* hard water!
I fight a constant battle with limescale. It builds up on sinks, baths,
taps, in the toilet... I spend a fortune on strong cleaners to get rid of
it and additives to put in the washing machine to stop it getting clogged
Sadly, I never considered the effect that hard water was having on my
airbrush. I use mostly acrylic paints, which are water soluble. After
spraying, I clean the brush by spraying through with water. Then I spray
surgical spirit (rubbing alcohol) through it. I then strip the brush down
and soak the components in surgical spirit for half an hour or so. After
that it is back into a water bath and then they are air-dried.
I've never consdered that fact that water which dries on taps leaving
limescale will be doing exactly the same thing to the airbrush components.
I was happily spraying a model today. I took my finger off the airbrush
trigger and it just carried on spraying! Nothing I could do would stop it!
Luckily I was only misting a matt varnish coat, so no problems were caused
on the model.
I stripped the brush down and found that the air valve has seized in the
open position. It seemed to be clogged with limescale! I put the valve in a
bath of Viakal limescale remover but there's no joy. The valve is seized
I've ordered a replacement valve. However, I think I need to reconsider my
airbrush cleaning strategy. I think that in future, the final rinse will
have to be in demineralised water from my local Auto shop.
Has anyone else experienced similar problems?
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
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Enzo ... I don't know if this would help or not ... but for example ... to clean out a coffee maker in a ' hard water ' area ... your supposed to run a mixture of 1 part distilled vinegar and 1 part water ( as if you were making a regular pot of coffee ... letting the thing heat up as normal ) ... and then run regular water through the thing to clean out the vinegar.
This might help solve your problem.
Matter of fact ... you might just let the airbrush soak in the mixture as well.
Reply to
I mIstakenly posted this to a totally unrelated group. Oddly enough I got a similar response there. It's an excellent idea. I think I'll give it a go, although using regular water *after* the vinegar seems to be defeating the object as it will just leave limescale deposits as it dries. I'll try the vinegar followed by demin water as a rinse.
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
I just use bottled water. The cheap stuff, about $1 from the grocery store. The water in my area is just plain nasty.
Reply to
Instead of a water rinse, how about using windshield washer fluid. It costs about a dollar a gallon (locally) and is, to my understanding, distilled water mixed with alcohol. Don't worry about the blue tint, it doesn't show up when spraying.
Reply to
The Old Man
i use distilled water. where i used to live had your kind of water and after replacing airbrush parts, i wised up. i continue now. one trick i used for my area brush was to buy 20 of them from a salvage. they are the cheapo imitation badger 200-300 type. i paid about a buck fifty each and just grabbed a case. look up building 19 and you'll see the kind of store i mean. it was the same place that around 1980 had all the 1/72 lindberg aircraft kits i love to play with. they were a dollar each and i bought all they had, well over 100. that's how i was able to do the first 15 versuchs model ar 234's. anyway, distilled water works best. i also have one brush for acrylics and one for enamels. it was cheaper in the long run than constantly wearing out brushes drom taking them apart. i can now use 4-5 colors during a paint session before taking one apart. and the enamel one cleans much faster. the acrylic stuff takes much more attention to removing all paint. did you soak the valve in distilled water? try it with a drop of dish detergent. there's stuff sold in this area for lime buildup. i forget the name but i can check it out of you want.
Reply to
Hey ... just keep the vinegar away from your toothbrush ... we don't want a repeat of the Future mouthwash fiasco.
Reply to
I think the problem arises when I let the brush components air-dry. There isn't a quick buildup of limescale on the brush - his has occured over a period of six years. I think the reason that I haven't noticed it is because it is inside the valve. However, now hat I'm aware of the problem, I shall be taking steps to ensure it doesn't recur.
Reply to
Enzo Matrix
on 8/31/2008 2:11 PM Enzo Matrix said the following:
Do you own your home? If so, how about a water softener? That might solve your bathroom lime scale problems too.
Reply to
Many people use rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) as a thinner and cleaning agent for acrylics. It is actually a water/alcohol mix. I would guess that the water used in that mix is probably "soft", with few dissolved minerals.
Reply to
Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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