Lack of care and cleaning for Airless sprayer equipment reduces the operational capability and service life and thus leads to additional costs due to loss of work, repair or early acquisition of new paint spraying equipment and accessories.
In the following article, we will look at how to properly clean, care for, and prolong the life of an Airless machine.
Follow these guidelines for cleaning Airless sprayer equipment.
1. Cleaning Airless sprayer equipment
After spraying with the airless device, the paint should be pumped out of the sprayer and the airless hose, otherwise the spray material may harden in the sprayer, the hose and the paint spray gun which can lead to malfunctions and defects. The curing and drying of the paint in the paint sprayer should be further avoided as it can cause damage and thus incur high repair costs.
Cleaning the paint spraying device of water-soluble paints and spraying materials
The cleaning of water-soluble paint and spray material is done with tap water. If necessary, lukewarm water can be used. To do this, put the suction of the airless device in the one bucket with water and allow it to draw water in. At low pressure you can pump the remaining paint into the paint bucket, using the prime pump, until water comes. In the same way, the paint can also be pumped out of the high-pressure hose, using the spray setting, back into the paint bucket until water comes. In this way, no paint is wasted, and the environment and your wallet is spared.
Then you clean the filters and sieves of the airless device. Depending on the equipment of the sprayer, the suction strainer, the main filter and the gun filter are to be cleaned and cleared of paint residues. The suction strainer is located on the intake manifold and hangs directly in the paint bucket to prevent larger sediments in the paint from going into the paint sprayer. This suction strainer can be unscrewed and easily washed off. If a main filter is present, the filter housing should be opened, and the filter also rinsed out. The gun filter is in the handle of the paint spray gun and should also be removed and rinsed or replaced.
Cleaning the airless device of solvent-based paints and spray materials
The procedure for cleaning an airless spray unit of solvent-based materials is like the process described above for water-soluble inks, but instead of water, solvents such as thinners are used. Harsher substances such as acetone should be avoided, as seals could deteriorate. Accessories such as paint spray guns should not be placed in solvent, as seals can be damaged here as well. When handling solvents, remember health and safety at work, adequate ventilation and environmentally sound disposal should be considered.
2. Cleaning the Nozzles
Cleaning nozzles is not easy. Although modern reversing nozzles can be blown from the back in the event of blockages, a cleaning system in the form of an hourglass is recommended for long-term cleaning and storage. An appropriate cleaning system is offered by two manufacturers: TipClean from Wagner and the FARBMAX nozzle cleaner.
Wagner TipClean & FARBMAX Nozzle Cleaner
Using one of these systems for nozzle cleaning can prevent the sticking of paint to the airless nozzles and extending their life. Cleaning fluid for replenishing the hourglass is available from both Wagner and FARBMAX in 1 liter bottles.
Particularly stubborn blockages in spray nozzles can be easily solved with nozzle needles. For this purpose, the fine nozzle needles are guided into the nozzle channel to relieve the residual paint build up.
Cleaning paint spray nozzle with needle
If you want to learn all about Airless nozzles, read our Ultimate Airless Spray Tip Guide here (article).
3. Cleaning Airless sprayer gun
In addition to the filter in the gun and the nozzle, the gun itself and the nozzle holder should also be cleaned. For this purpose, small brushes in different strengths are suitable to free the paint channel and filter seat of paint residues. Take car, when cleaning, the small seals between the gun and the nozzle are often lost. Here is an overview of the most common seals for pistols of the manufacturers Graco, Wagner, FARBMAX and many other brands. As already mentioned, spray guns should not be placed in solvent.
Seals for Airless nozzles
4. Care and Preservation of an Airless Paint Sprayer
If the airless spraying device will be used over several days, the evaporation of liquids from the paint spraying device as well as corrosive processes can lead to adhesion and sticking of the valves (inlet and outlet valve), which can interfere with the function and the suction mechanism during the next operation. This disruption can be so serious that the complicated and expensive removal and cleaning of the valves will be necessary. Therefore, preservation for the protection of the airless device is recommended for multi-day or longer breaks. Various care products from the manufacturers Wagner, Graco and FARBMAX are available. Wagner EasyClean, Graco Pump Armor and FARBMAX Airless care in 100 ml and as a 1 liter bottle. These care products are diluted with water in a ratio of 30: 1 and drawn into the sprayer. There, the mixture remains and preserves the pump until the next use.
Graco Pump Armor, Wagner EasyClean & FARBMAX Airless Care
kit consists of:
- FARBMAX protective oil for piston pumps
- FARBMAX tip cleaner for Airless spray tips “Egg-timer” – 200 ml
- FARBMAX Airless cleaning agent for paint sprayers – 1 Liter
Oil for the care of diaphragm pumps
In addition, oil should be used to care for paint spraying equipment. Diaphragm pumps from Wagner, FARBMAX and other manufacturers contain hydraulic oil. The oil level should be checked regularly. On most airless membrane pumps there is a sight glass or a measuring rod for checking the oil level. In case of oil loss, the cause should be identified, eliminated and filled with hydraulic oil. An oil change should be made on a new device after 100 hours of operation. Thereafter, an oil change after every 500 operating hours is recommended, unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer.
Oil for the care of piston pumps
Piston pumps should receive a splash of oil on the pistons before each job to protect the seals and piston. Special piston oil is available from all major manufacturers and adheres particularly well to the piston, despite the continuous up and down movement of the piston itself. FARBMAX protective oil for piston pumps and Graco TSL oil are recommended.
Oiling the piston on a Graco Mark X
And there you have it! All the information you need to clean your Airless Sprayer. If you have any more questions on the cleaning products, fill out our contact form below or call us on +49 (0) 30 220 154 36. We will be happy to assist you.
Thank you for reading and have a great spray!
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Questions or queries?
For any further questions or if you would like to get your hands on one of these products seen in this article, you can contact us on +49 (0) 30 220 15436, fill out our contact form or email us. If you wish to purchase one of the products mentioned above, you can check them out in our online store. You can also visit us at our service base during office hours.