HousekeepingHow to Clean Paint Brushes?

How to Clean Paint Brushes?

These are three easy ways to clean your brush.
It’s something we all have done. We let the paint dry on our brushes, then regretted it later. Some of us have even tried to throw away our brushes thinking we missed an opportunity to save its bristles. This Instructable will help you to remove paint from your brushes using three methods. It also saves you some money at the hardware/art shop for your next painting adventure. Read about How to Clean Paint Brushes below.

These methods won’t restore paintbrushes to their original condition, but they will make them usable again.

Step 1: Solvents

This is the #1 method, and it’s one that most people have heard about. If you already have this method, it’s quick and efficient. Use your paintbrush only.


  • Proper Solvent (see your paint and the suggestions below).
  • Paper towel or an old rag
  • Painting Brushes in Need of Cleaning
  • Old Cup, Bowl or Bucket of Tupperware
  • Disposable gloves

These are the steps:

  1. Use a paper towel or rag to remove as much paint from your brush as possible. For a quicker cleaning, you want to remove as much paint from your brush as possible.
  2. Add a bit of solvent to your vessel. I prefer to use old tupperware and glass jars. It is important that you clearly label your paint washing vessel so that food doesn’t get in it. __S.33__
  3. Start by swirling the solvent around with your brush. Continue swirling and moving your brush back and forth in the solvent until all paint is removed.
  4. After cleaning your paintbrush, rinse it under water to remove any solvent.
  5. Use an old towel or paper towel to remove any solvents or water.
  6. Re-shape the bristles of your paintbrush and store them until you are ready to paint again. Allow your brush to dry.

You should consider:

  • Water is used to remove water-based paints.
  • To remove oil-based paints, you can use mineral spirits or paint thinner.
  • Shellacs can be made with denatured alcohol.
  • Use mineral spirits to varnishes.
  • If you are trying to remove a water-based glue, use water. __S.46__

If you’re unsure what solvent to use, check your paint type. When working with solvents, it is important to use gloves and other protective clothing such as aprons. If you are unsure, wear gloves or other protective clothing. You should also keep solvents out of direct sunlight.

Last note: Paint Thinner can be considered hazardous waste material. Use it only if absolutely necessary. Please dispose of it correctly according to the regulations in your locality.

Step 2: Vinegar

Vinegar is especially useful for painting brushes that have been using hardened paint for a while.


  • White Vinegar
  • The Cooking Pot
  • Old Dirty Paintbrush
  • Stove Top


  1. Pour vinegar into your pot. You don’t have to use the pot you already own, but you can find one at your local thrift shop that is just right for your paint brushes. __S.74__
  2. Put your brush in the vinegar pot. You should cover all areas that have been painted with vinegar. Add more vinegar if it is not.
  3. Bring the vinegar to a boil. Let it simmer for about a minute. If you don’t want your whole kitchen to smell like vinegar, a lid is a good idea. :
  4. Let the pot cool down for a moment before removing it from the heat.
  5. The vinegar will cause the brush to become brittle. Take care as the vinegar, pot, and paint brush can be very hot. You should wait until the brush is safe to touch.
  6. Use your fingertips to comb the bristles of the brush. You will see the paint still attached to the bristles when you remove it from the vinegar, but it will begin to fall off as you continue to comb them.
  7. Rinse the brush with cold water. You can wash off any paint that remains.
  8. Repeat steps 1-7 until the paint is completely gone. The amount of time your paint has been hardening will determine how many times you need to repeat.
  9. Allow the bristles of your paintbrush to dry before you shape them. Store your brush for your next painting masterpiece.

Step 3: Fabric Softener

Method #3 is the addition of fabric softener, which can be used to quickly clean your brushes. One of the best method as part of How to Clean Paint Brushes.


  • 1/8 Cup Fabric Softener (you can buy it or make your own here!)
  • 4 Cups of Warm Water
  • Bowl or Bucket
  • Paper towel or an old rag
  • Dirty Paint Brush


  1. Use a paper towel or rag to remove as much paint from your brush as possible. For a quicker cleaning, you want to remove as much paint from your brush as possible.
  2. Mix 1/8 Cup Fabric Softener with 4 Cups warm water in a bowl or bucket. Mix.
  3. Use your paint brush to swirl the paint mixture until it starts to peel off. Paint should settle to bottom of bucket.
  4. After cleaning your paintbrush, rinse it under running water to remove any softener.
  5. You can dry your paint brush by drying it with a towel or an old rag.
  6. Re-shape the bristles of your paintbrush and store them until you are ready to paint again.

To make more paint brushes and rollers, you can use 1 Gallon warm water and 1/2 cup fabric softener. Combine two ingredients in a FIVE Gallon Bucket. Follow the steps above.

Please share “How to Clean Paint Brushes? Different Successful Methods to Try” with friends and family.


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