How to clean brushes

How to clean brushes

Painting, whether an artistic activity or a household renovation duty, many of us have done it before but let’s discuss about how to clean brushes after usage.  We have to take some time and effort on cleaning brushes after using them, especially making them last for a long time.  We’ve compiled 10 of the most practical methods to clean paintbrushes and make them last!

1.  Apply soap and water

One of the simplest ways to clean brushes is using soap and hot water.  Soap and hot water are two things that we use and take for granted everyday.  These are also the two things you need to clean paintbrushes.  It might take some patience, but water and soap are all it might take to do the job.  Start by preparing some soapy water and pour it into a clean container.  Then you dip the brush into the soapy water washing the brush bristles to cleanse as much of the paint.  After that, put the brush back into the hot/warm water and leave it sitting there for 20 minutes or so. 

2.  Buy quality brushes to simplify cleaning

Using water and soap is a good way of how to clean brushes.  However, if you want to retain your paintbrushes for years, using a little extra help would do the trick.  One advice is to buy high-quality brushes that suits best for the type of paint you’re using.  Having the right paintbrush makes it easier to clean it.  In order to clean it properly and ensure the brush’s longevity, follow these tips:

  • It’s good practice to allow only two inches of paint on brush before painting. Having less paint on your paintbrush, the less you have to clean
  • When done with painting, remove as much paint from the brush either on the surface where you’re painting, the rim of the paint can or on a paper towel or cloth
  • In addition, you can also use a brush comb to comb out the paint from the bristles

3.  How to clean brushes using solvents

How to clean brushes using solvents

There are many other ways on how to clean brushes.  If you’re looking for a fast and effective method to do this, we recommend using solvents.  Solvents work best to clean your paintbrushes just after you’re done using them.  You will need a few materials when using solvents to clean the brushes.  The correct type of solvent to use depends on the kind of paint for one thing.  You will need a few materials to work with the solvent and these include paper towels, rags, old paintbrush, bucket, and disposable gloves.  There are several steps that involves in cleaning paintbrushes with solvent as follows:

  • First of all, try remove any leftover paint from the brush with a paper towel or old rag to facilitate the cleaning process
  • Next, pour some solvent into any type of container. You want to ensure that you clearly mark your container so that you don’t end up putting food into it.  Then place your paintbrush into the solvent
  • Start swirling the paintbrush around the solvent to remove all the paint
  • When you’ve cleaned your brush, rinse off any excess solvent with running tap water
  • Reshape your paintbrush bristles, let the brush dry and store it somewhere until you use it the next time

Here are the solvents to consider:

  • Apply water on your brushes to remove the paint
  • Use paint thinner to remove oil-based paints
  • Water-based glue can be removed by water
  • Certain alcohol can be used on shellacs

 If you’re unsure of what solvent to use, consult a home décor retail store to verify.  When cleaning paintbrushes, you should always wear plastic gloves and work safety clothes when using solvents.  Also, when working with solvents, you it’s recommended that you’re in an open area where there’s adequate ventilation.

4.  Using vinegar to clean hardened paint on brushes

Using vinegar to clean hardened paint on brushes

Vinegar is normally used in cooking but it’s another method on how to clean brushes.  Vinegar is also an ideal solution in cleaning paintbrushes with tough stains of paint.  You would need white vinegar along with a pot, a used paintbrush, and the stove for this task.  The steps are as follows:

  • First, put some vinegar into the pot or use one that you might get specifically for paintbrushes at a local thrift store
  • Place the brush in the vinegar and let the paint covered areas to soak completed into the vinegar. Add more vinegar if necessary
  • Bring the vinegar to a boil then put it simmer for a brief moment
  • Turn off the heat to let it cool off before taking out the brush from vinegar
  • Use your fingers to brush off the vinegar from the bristles then rinse the brush with cold water until the paint comes off
  • Repeat these steps until all the paint are gone then reshape the paintbrush bristles then let it dry

5.  Applying fabric softener as a quick way to remove paint

Another good method of quickly and effectively remove paint from your brushes is applying fabric softener.  Here’s are the materials that you will need: 1/8 cup of fabric softener, 4 cups of warm water, a bowl or bucket, paper towel/old rag and a dirty paint brush. 

Follow these steps in applying fabric softener to remove paint from your brush:

  • Begin the process by removing as much paint as possible from your paintbrush with an old rag preferably
  • Pour some fabric softener and a few cups of warm water into a container of your choice then mix
  • Stir your paintbrush around the until paint is removed
  • Once you’ve cleaned off the paint from your brush, rinse any leftover solution off with water
  • Then dry your brush and if necessary, wipe off excess solvent using paper towels or old rags then reshape the bristles

Here you have five methods on how to clean brushes after your paint job.  As you can see, it’s not as hard as you might think in removing paint from your paintbrushes.  Using the basic items in our household like vinegar, fabric softener, water, solvents and paper towels or old rags will do a fine job in keeping your brushes in good condition for years to come

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