What Is The Best Way To Clean Paint Brushes


It is quite easy to use paintbrushes, but it can be a hassle when it comes to cleaning them especially if your schedule is tight or if you need to quickly clean it in order to start another painting. A lot of people prefer using paint guns and rollers so that they do not have to clean them often, but cleaning a paintbrush isn’t as difficult as it seems, you just have to know the right way to do it.

We have put together this guide on the best and easiest way to clean paint brushes and also some tips that will help you save time.

Dry Or Wet

The majority of people allow their brushes to dry before cleaning them; sometimes it’s intentional while other times its simply because they forgot. Allowing the brushes to dry before cleaning them actually makes it harder for them to get perfectly clean, and it could also lead to the brushes being damaged. Purchasing new brushes isn’t a problem, but it is still frustrating to have to buy new brushes every time because yours always gets ruined.

It is best to try and wash your brushes while they are still wet; this ensures that the paint doesn’t have time to set. If you’re working on longer jobs, it will be easier for you if you wash the brushes after you’re done with each wall, surface or piece of furniture, doing this prevents the paint from making a thin layer on the bristles. If you do this, make sure that the brushes dry before you dip it into the paint. If not the water will slightly dilute the mixture which will make the paint thinner and cause it to get discolored over time.

Don’t Allow The Brush Soak For Too Long

A lot of painters make the mistake of letting the brush soak in the paint can while they tend to other things instead of placing it on a different surface. The longer the brush spends in the paint, the more time the paint has to stick to the bristles thus leaving you with a blob of paint stuck to the brush that you will have to shake off before you can start painting again. If you leave the brush in the paint for too long, it may even start to dry out, and if it ends up solidifying, you will have to break it off or throw the brush and paint away.

This same issue can occur while you’re cleaning your paintbrushes. If you leave them in water for too long, they will soften, and this can cause the bristles to fall off or dissolve, and this will make you unable to use the paintbrush again. In the worst cases, the bristles may come off while you’re painting and get stuck on the layer of paint and ruin the look of the painting. The handle of the brush could also soak in water, and it may make the brush fall apart when you use it next, especially if it is a flimsy brush.

How To Store Brushes

Most people prefer to keep their brushes with the bristles facing up. In contrast, others prefer their brushes facing down, and others just leave them lying on their sides, but doing this have their various effects on the quality of the brush and also the durability of the brush regardless of if they are dry or soaking wet.

When you are air-drying your brushes, do not leave them resting on their bristles – this will cause the bristles to spread out thus deforming them, this widens the head of the brush which makes the brush less useful for painting both major and minor tasks. But if you have a brush holder that hold them in the air while they are facing downwards, you can make use of it to evenly dry the brushes, just ensure that they won’t fall.

If you keep the brush upright while drying, the water will trickle down into the brush’s handle, and it can causes damages to the brush. It might make the bristles to bend backwards due to the weight of the water. The best way to store them, is by laying them on their sides but you need something that will absorb the water, it can be something simple such as resting them on a sponge or cloth will be sufficient.

The same rule applies when storing them while they are dry, but it is done this way for different reasons. But you can store them facing upwards now that the water is gone, this means that storing them in paintbrush pots can be a better alternative to storing them in a box.

How To Quickly Clean A Brush

The technique used in cleaning a paintbrush is quite simple, and it doesn’t take too much time. Start by simply using the inside of the can’s rim to wipe the paint covered brush; this will remove most of the loose paint from the brush if there are still a few wet spots that you can’t scrape of, then use an old newspaper to remove the excess paint.

After doing that, you can wash the paintbrush. Most people prefer using running water while others use a bucket of soapy water, but it does not matter as long as you remove the paint out of the bristles. If you didn’t start with running water, ensure that you rinse the brush just in case.

If the brush is expensive or important, wrap the head of the brush in an absorbent cloth or paper so that it keeps its shape while it dries. Doing this is optional, but it is a great way to ensure that the important brushes do not get deformed. When it comes to cheap brushes, you can just lay them on an absorbent surface because the damage will be little and it will only become obvious after a long time of repeated usage.

Tips For Washing Paint Brushes

You must use the right solvent as it will make washing the brush easier. Immerse the brush in the solvent for about 10 seconds and use your fingers to wash the bristles. After that use warm soapy water to wash the brush and rinse it after. Remove the excess water by using a clean rag to blot it then leave it to dry.


if you don’t properly take care of your paintbrushes, then your investments will go to waste. If you rush through washing your brushes, it could leave flakes in your brush that could ruin your next paint job. Ensure that you take your time to wash your paintbrushes and safely store and dry them.

Also, see:

What Is Chalk Paint

How To Paint A Car

How To Paint Kitchen Cabinets