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best method for cleaning brushes

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  • best method for cleaning brushes


    I use daler rowny acrylics and find that my brushes get quite clogged up and once they have been washed with warm water they seem to lose chape just wondering what methods others might use.


  • #2
    I have a brush cleaner that is a like a block of soap, I use that to clean my brushes under cold water. If I am not using my brushes for a while I leave a little of the brush cleaner on, shape the brush and leave it. It goes hard but keeps the bristles shaped. Once I've got paint up into the ferrel of the brush, then I haven't found a cleaner good enough to get it out! Brush is relegated for basing!!


    • #3
      I find ordinary soap (block or liquid) works well.

      I agree, once it's inside the ferrule, the brush is on its way out!

      There are some tips here: and by the way, it's a fab place to buy brushes from! Last time I used her website, it was a bit complicated to find the right brush, but she does a print catalogue free of charge which is helpful.

      She actually makes her brushes by hand, and her prices are really good. My order has always arrived next day too.
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      • #4
        I do all my painting using acrylic, and my miniature work uses some very small brushes so it is very importanmt to keep them clean, they ain't cheap!

        As previously said I use soap, in fact washing up liquid and a lot of warm water. The tip from Heidijw about leaving some soap on and reshaping is a good one, another tip I have read about, if the brush has lost its shape, is if using nylon or synthetic hair is to run the brush under very hot water for a while reshaping and then leave to dry. Not sure if it works as I haven't tried it out .... yet! I do have a couple of brushes that have lost their shape so may give this a go.

        Remember a long road is best travelled with plenty of breaks.

        Even the best of us make mistakes!


        • #5
          I would suggest that its not the products to clean them that are important but the way that you dry them.

          - Once you wash them perhaps as somerset artist has suggested make sure you re-shape them.

          Also never leave them in a glass of water on the brush end as they will bend and go out of shape.

          Website: Tea Stained Jewellery. Cute, kitsch and unique.


          • #6
            As far as household methods goes,i'd recommend an eco friendly dish ecover.but palmolive works great as well and is alot cheaper.old master's brush soap" is excellent, somewhat premium priced but worth it. Splurge and get the tub..
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            • #7
              Great tips everyone, thank you


              • #8
                Olive oil soap

                My art tutor recommends washing your brushes with olive oil soap. I think it works by getting under the paint and loosening it - like coconut oil worked into my boyfriend's hair got the liquid latex out!


                • #9
                  From my experience, I'd just like to add that you should always clean your brushes as soon as you can when you're finished, always clean thoroughly between colours and maybe even consider cleaning your brush out if you're going to do a lot of the same colour to keep the paint from getting into those deep and pesky bits.
                  So many things to make, so little time!


                  • #10
                    If using latex paint, DO NOT use paint thinner to clean the brush, instead use a wire brush and luke warm water, wait til dried then it's ok to use again.The residue from the paint thinner will never completely be removed.


                    • #11
                      One tip someone gave me was once you have washed your brush flick it away from you this should return the hairs to their original shape then lay the brush down horizontally.
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                      • #12
                        As much as I don't use really expensive brushes I still try to clean them as much as I can. My method is to wash in the appropriate thinners as soon as your finished using the brush. Then suspend the brush/brushes in fresh thinners to just cover the ferrule end. I usually suspend mine in a jam jar on a piece of wood dowel, just fix the brushes on with wire, elastic bands, or what ever. Just make sure the brush head is not resting on the bottom of the jar.

                        Leave this over night when usually any paint residue falls from the bristles. Once your happy, wash the brush using soap and warm water, then the good bit. Wrap the bristles with a piece of newspaper to their normal shape, don't use a lot. Place the brush in a warm place, and once dry you can remove the paper. Personally I store mine in the paper until next needed. Once the brush is dry it will be back in its normal shape.

                        All my brushes from my craft ones to the ones I use for painting the house are stored like this. It works great.

                        Tam "now a hobby woodturner"

                        There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey. (John Ruskin 1819-1900)


                        • #13
                          Great thread! I haven't though there exist so many ways to clean brushes. Thanks for sharing!


                          • #14
                            I also read it's better to let them dry with the bristles down to make sure the paint residue don't dry in them.


                            • #15
                              Clean paint brushes immediately after use. Do not soak brushes in solvent or water, as this can damage the bristles. Consider using one set of synthetic painting tools for oil-based products and another set for water-based products. It is much easier to clean the paint brushes if you don't switch back and forth between the two types of bases.