How to Clean Paint Brushes – No More Stains

Paintbrushes may be used in various forms of art or crafts. Brushes can be made from many different materials. Natural animal hair is the most common material for high-quality paint brushes, such as sable and mongoose hair. Synthetic fibers are gaining popularity because they do not require special care and come in various diameters and lengths. However, animal hair brushes are widely used in art studios because they produce a high-quality stroke and maintain their shape very well.

Paints stick to the bristles of a paintbrush because oil and water do not mix. When a brush is dipped into a container of water-based paint, the water sinks through the bristles and into the ferrule (the metal casing holding the bristles together). This leaves a layer of oil paint coating the surface of the brush hairs. 

Over time, this oil dries and hardens, which causes paint to build up inside the bristles and between them. This reduces the effectiveness of an oil-based stain brush and can cause unpleasant side effects such as headaches from inhaling too much dried paint. So now you need oil-based paint brush cleaning.

Read More About How to Cut Bricks with an Angle Grinder

Why Clean Paint Brush

After finishing the painting job, it is very important to clean the paintbrush.  When you finish painting, the paintbrush can be cleaned before it hardens. When the brush remains unclean for a long time, it becomes very difficult to clean paint brushes. The bristles will become stiff and discolored, which will affect the outcome of your next project. So, dispose of the paint according to the hazardous waste disposal laws before cleaning your stains with a brush.

If you don’t want to clean enamel paint brushes, these problems will arise:

  1. Bristles become difficult to control and lose their flexibility
  2. Bristles harden and discolor
  3. Paint builds up in the ferrule and around the base of the bristles 
  4. Leftover paint dries between bristles, causing them to clump together and compromising the quality of your brushstroke
  5. Paint can cause health problems such as allergies, headaches, respiratory issues, and skin irritation 

How To Wash Paint Brushes

There are various methods to clean a paintbrush. Some of the most popular ones include:

Soaking Method 

soaking method paint brush

Place the dirty brush in a jar or can filled with warm water and let it sit for about five minutes. Then, gently pull each bristle between your thumb and forefinger to remove the dried paint inside them. No harsh rubbing is required.

Read More About Grass Cutting Hand Tools

Dishwashing Soap Method


Using dish detergent such as Dawn, lightly massage the bristles to work up a lather, and then rinse thoroughly with warm water. If any paint remains after cleaning wood stain brushes, place the oil stain brush flat on a clean paper towel and let it air-dry overnight. This paint brush cleaner will allow any remaining paint to dissolve from the brush and works perfect as a polyurethane brush cleaner.

Here is the way to learn how to cut cast iron pipe.

Placing the Brush Flat on the Paper Towel

placing brush flat on paper towel

After cleaning water-based paint, place the brushes flat on a clean paper towel overnight so the remaining paint will dissolve from the bristles.

Even when you are not painting with them, keep your wood paint brushes in an upright container to prevent gravity from pushing all liquid through the ferrule and into the handle, where it can dry and harden. This allows paints to flow freely down to the bristles without affecting their shape or drying out inside them.

If you follow these steps, then you can maintain your washing paint brushes for a longer period of time. You mustn’t forget this; otherwise, it will be more difficult than usual to clean up a wood stain next time.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do professional painters clean their brushes?

Professional painters clean acrylic brushes immediately after finishing with them. But their brushes don’t need to become dry or stiff because they do it efficiently.

What do you soak paint brushes in?

A soaking paintbrush is the best way to clean paint brushes. However, different methods include dish detergent, warm soapy water, and hand soap.

Can you save a dried paint brush?

If you want to save a dried paintbrush, then you have to soak it in paint thinner. The thinning agent will dissolve the dried paints from the brush and be ready for use again.


So, cleaning a paintbrush is very important after finishing the painting job.  There are three main methods to clean a stain brush easily: the soaking method, dishwashing soap, and putting the brush flat on a paper towel. You can choose any one of them as per your requirement, or you can do all these methods together if you want. So, now enjoy beautiful painting with a clean paintbrush.

  1. […] future projects. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to clean paint brushes effectively, prolonging their lifespan and saving you money in the long […]

  2. […] you don’t need to stop halfway through a painting project and clean out the fine detail work. This best spray gun for woodworking will provide you with an even coat of paint with its powerful […]

  3. […] you need to remove paint from any surface? Konigeehre-fit angle grinder discs for removing paint can help you achieve clean and safe paint removal. It allows you to do it quickly and with minimal effort. With its sharpness, you can get the job […]

Tools Buying Guide