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How to Clean and Care For Your Paint Brushes

by | May 10, 2024

If you have any experience painting or crafting, then you know that the more you use your brushes, the more worn down they get! Over time, paint starts to build up at the bottom, bristles become “crunchy,” and overall, they lose their shape. 

And while it’s just a natural part of using paintbrushes, if you’re not taking care of them, you can really wear them down. 

While I LOVE a trip to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, I don’t think you should have to keep buying paint brushes if you don’t need to. So let’s take a look at how you can care for your paint brushes and make them last a good long while — even ones you may have thought were too far gone!

Supplies you need to care for your paint brushes

Cleaning your brushes is super simple! All you need are a few supplies, and you’re ready to go! This includes: 

  • Linseed Studio Soap (grab it here!)
  • A makeup scrubber (I got mine at Dollar Tree!)
  • Hot water
  • A bucket to soak your brushes
  • A lice comb (yes…really!)

That’s it! All of this together should cost you less than $30 and will save you money in the long run!

How to clean your paint brushes

Once you have your supplies gathered, this process will only take a few minutes, plus the time you need to let the brushes soak. Let’s see how it’s done!

Step one:

First, mix a dollop of Linseed Studio Soap and some warm water in a bowl, cup, or whatever container you need to hold your brushes. I always eyeball the measurements, but feel free to add as much or as little as you need based on the amount of brushes you’re cleaning.

Stir the soap and water together until dissolved. Then, place your brushes in the container with the mixture. Leave them to soak overnight. 

Be careful not to soak above the ferrule (the metal part just before the bristles), as it can damage the brush handle if left in water for too long!

Step two:

Now that your mixture has had a chance to dissolve some of the paint, it’s time for step two! 

Place your makeup scrubber at the bottom of your sink or a bucket of warm water. Then, remove each brush and scrub back and forth until you no longer see paint running off. 

If you have some brushes that are especially stubborn, take the makeup scrubber out of the water and dry scrub them with a little more soap until you can’t see any more paint!

Step three:

Now, take your lice comb out and brush through the bristles on each paintbrush. I recommend a lice comb because the bristles are tiny and fine, so they’re able to really dig into the base of your paintbrush and get all that gunk out of the bottom.

Then, rinse your brushes off in some water and leave them out to dry on a paper towel. 

Step four:

If your brushes are starting to lose their shape, I have a quick fix! 

Boil a tiny bit of water, and once warm enough, dip the brush in for just one second and set aside to dry. If the brush is really bent out of shape, leave it in longer, but no more than five seconds (you don’t want them to burn!). 

Pro tip alert!

I have one more really important recommendation for cleaning your brushes! Don’t ever store them upside or downside when wet. ALWAYS lay them out horizontally to dry. 

Otherwise, water can trickle down into the handle and over time can crack, and ruin, your brush handle. 

Find the right brushes with this guide ⬇️

Now that you know how to clean and care for your paint brushes, it’s time to get some shopping done! Below, you can see the post where I have my guide for all things paintbrushes, so you can find the right ones for whatever project you’re working on!

Read “How to Shop for Paint Brushes” here!


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