Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka

I know I did a post on “How to Clean an Airbrush Gun” already but, this one is different. I have always cleaned my airbrush gun with water after I use it until now. I have been conducting a little experiment on this week on cleaning an airbrush gun with vodka after each time it is used.

Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka thebearfootbaker.comI want to show you what I have discovered.

Supplies for Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka:

Airbrush gun

Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka after each use thebearfootbaker.comI used Wendy (my airbrush gun) today to make some cookies and I cleaned it with some water. I followed my tutorial here step by step for a good wash. I have noticed lately that my brush is spraying a little bit differently than it did when I first bought it. I use it a lot and want to keep it in tip top shape. It is spraying fine but, the mist has seemed to change slightly.

I purge it every time I use it and I have only curdled it once because a little sheen dried in it. Click here to learn about purging and curdling. I have not been using sheen colors so I know it is alright since it is spraying. It just seemed a little off so I decided to try an experiment.

Simple way for Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka thebearfootbaker.comI added some water to the cup with my airbrush stained hands.

Easy way for Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka thebearfootbaker.comThen, I sprayed it into a white bowl and all clear clean water came out. At this point I would normally dry it off and pack it away.

Well, today I added some vodka and sprayed it into a different white bowl and I was amazed at what I saw.

Cleaning an Airbrush Gun with Vodka after you use it thebearfootbaker.comGreen tinted water which makes sense because I had just used green in my airbrush gun. I don’t know for sure but, I don’t think this amount would destroy my machine. I just don’t think it is good for it and it may explain why it was spraying a bit funny. I have used my airbrush gun four times in the last week and every time it was cleaned with water, it sprayed clear. After the vodka was added and sprayed, colored water came out.

So my new policy is to purge with water after I use my machine. Then, use a little vodka to remove all the color I can’t see. Cleaning an airbrush with vodka is a simple way to maintain your machine and now it is the final step I take after each use.

Here are more tips on using and cleaning your airbrush gun:
Airbrush 101
How to Clean an Airbrush Gun
How to use and Airbrush Gun
Airbrush Gun Station for Mess Free Decorating

Bear hugs,



  1. Lisa, I don’t even own an airbrush gun, but find your ingenuity amazing! 007Lisa! You go girl!

  2. Thanks Lisa. Because of you at cookiecon I bought an airbrush. I have noticed my spray isn’t working well, so I will try the vodka. Hope to see you at the next Cookiecon

  3. Another great airbrush tip, Lisa! I’ll give vodka a shot and see if more color is comes out.

  4. Great post! Thanks for the awesome tips, Lisa :)

  5. I have a quick airbrush question for you. I have an airbrush very similiar to yours and I love it! The only issue I am having is what is the work surface like that you are airbrushing on? When I’m doing a lot of airbrushing I notice a couple of things. Everything in the house seems to get a light misting of color. Sometimes you don’t even find it until a week or so later and you are dusting, and now my dust has taken on whatever color I was airbrushing with. Let’s not even talk about what I find when I blow my nose :)

    The very first time I used it I was airbrushing a giant Navy Blue Cake. The air conditioner was on that day and when my husband went to change the air filter later that month the entire thing was navy blue! So my question is what do you do to protect your workspace? Would you mind providing some details for those of us that are new to this technique?

  6. Lisa, thank you, thank you!!! Turned mine on and nothing came out…eek!! Opened up your tutorials and followed your instructions…and wah-la I’m in business again after about a 3 hr soak!! Put vodka through it this time when I was done, too!! I’m just starting to airbrush and love it!! –Katy

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