What airbrush cleaner to purchase?

Greetings all,

I’ve spent some time with practicing with my airbrush, testing and trying my new paints.
The AK Interactive 3rd gen acrylic paints and the MIG One Shot primer, color gray.
And as a result of the cleanings which I had to do, even more then actually spraying with the airbrush.
Because, paints were to thick and I was looking for the right dillution ratio.
And trying the primer, which might even need some thinning but I’m not entirely sure about this.
I’m running out of airbrush cleaner fast.

This brings me to the question, which airbrush cleaner to purchase?
Currently I’m using Tamiya airbrush cleaner, but I’m also interested in picking up AK Interactive’s own cleaner.
Because it has a very fine tip on the bottle and it is shown in the photo as well that it has a fine tip.
And it’s advertised for ease of use, I’m interested in purchasing one and trying it out.
But, I’m also using MIG OneShot primer.
And I don’t know if it would be a good idea to use that cleaner to clean the primer as well.
Since they are two different brands.

Because the Tamiya airbrush cleaner smells so strong and bad, it would be nice to get one that isn’t as harmful.
Should I go for it?
Or is there a cleaner I can use for both the MIG and AK paints?
Should I buy the brands own cleaners?
What about cost?
Because I also don’t want to get to expensive with my spendings on this, life is expensive enough allready.
And if I can keep some costs down to only what is necessary.
That would be great.

Did take a quick look with a search query on exisitng topics, but I didn’t found much that answered that question.

Anyway, I hope you are wanting to help me with this as well. I know I’ve been asking a lot of questions and that it seems I’m flooding the forum with all random topics. But they are actually questions and topics I have from actually being bussy with model making itself.
And I want to keep going on the journey, and that means a lot of questions and information gathering.
Time is precious and this is the most efficient way to keep going.

Have a wonderfull day and good luck with your own projects,


I would say hardware store lacquer thinner,it cleans anything,but is strong.

Maybe this,works for acrylics


I maily use Vallejo Model Air and Revell Aqua paints. With cleaning I go the easy way. The paint companies want to sell their own products for good money. That’s what I don’t support when there’s an alternative. I simply use methylated spirit (Brennspiritus) which I get in the drug store. 1 liter costs about 2 Euros here in Germany. Works fine with all paints, even Gunze or Tamiya. It’s also perfect for degreasing the model before painting because it doesn’t harm the plastic parts. Some guys I know use IPA (Isopropanol), which is a bit more expensive and smellier. That you can buy in the pharmacy.

Hope this helps
Torsten :slightly_smiling_face:

I am uging this with acrylics and it seems to do well and has little to no odor.

Yeah I think Medea is pretty good- works for most acrylics. Vallejo’s cleaner is decent too. I really love Premi Air’s ‘Foaming Airbrush Cleaner’ though- it always gets into those hard to reach places with ease and lasts quite some time too.

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95% ethanol alcohol from the pharmacy, 1L is not expensive :wink:


I’ve been using ‘Medea Airbrush Cleaner‘ for several years now. I also use Isopropyl Alcohol for deeper cleaning. :sweat_drops:

Hint: Try these pointed-tip style cotton swabs, they get deeper into crevices and do a better job of scrubbing stubborn paint and they don’t leave hairs behind like regular swabs do.

Tamiya makes these in several shapes and sizes. Less expensive versions can also be found on Amazon. HTH.


I have found thet IPA is more effective and cheaper than any of the branded cleaners. Laquer thinner is also good tho smelly

I use a cheap 50/50 mix of windex and denatured alcohol that I mix in a spray bottle. Works well for most acrylics and I use good ole lacquer thinner for cleaning enamels or Tamiya/AK Real Color. One of the YouTube gents (Barbatos Rex) uses a hot water rinse when he cleans his brush after using acrylics. He swears by it.

Since all the paint I use are Tamiya and AK acrylics; 91% isopropyl alcohol works like a charm and is cheap.

Depends on your airbrush. If the seals are resistant to solvents then lacquer thinner is my go to. If there are rubber seals I go with alcohol and or simple green. I called Iwata and the tech’s said do not use Windex because the ammonia reacts with the metals on the airbrush.