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How to Clean Paint Brushes?

In this article, we will discuss how to clean paint brushes? It is quite common to forget cleaning your paint brushes after painting your walls even when you decided that you will do. Now, when you were seeing your painted walls, you came to realize that your wall needs some touch up. What to do now? Your expensive paint brushes are all messed up. Going to buy new one? You don’t need to! As we will suggest you some of the ways to clean paint brushes at home using some household items only. Follow the below methods to resolve your issue easily and effectively.

How to Clean Paint Brushes

Ways to Clean Paint Brushes

1.) Steps to Clean Water-Based Finishes and Latex Paint

Things You Need:

  • An appropriate Solvent (look below the steps for different solvents)
  • Paint Brush in Need of Cleaning.
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Paper Towel or Old Rag
  • Old Cup, Bowl, Bucket, or Tupperware.


  • First you will need to remove as much paint as possible from your paint brushes. For this, brush it along a rag or a paper towel. It is better to have as little paint on your brushes as possible. This will help in faster cleaning in the solvent.
  • Now, you will need to pour a small amount of solvent into your vessel. You can use a Tupperware or glass jar to pour the solvent. Now, put your paint brush into the solvent.
  • Next, start cleaning the brushes by swirling and moving them back and forth in the solvent. Keep on doing this until all of the paint is removed.
  • Once you are done cleaning your paint brush, rinse your paint brushes under water to get rid of any remaining solvent.
  • After removing the remaining solvent from the brushes, clean them using a paper towel or old rag to soak up the water.
  • Finally, reshape the paint brushes bristles and use them to touch up your walls. And, don’t forget to clean them in the same manner after using. Also, before storing your brushes, let them get dry completely.

Solvents Suggestion:

  • Use water to get rid of water based paints.
  • Use mineral spirits or a paint thinner to clean oil based paints.
  • Use denatured alcohol in case of shellac.
  • Use mineral spirits in case of varnishes.
  • Use water in case of water based glue.

2.) Vinegar to Clean Paint Brushes

Vinegar is a very effective item for cleaning paint brushes with hardened paint which has been there for quite a long time.

Things You Need:

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


  • Take some white vinegar in a pot. Put your brushes into the pot of vinegar.
  • Make sure that all of the paint covered parts of your brushes are soaked in vinegar.
  • Now, boil the vinegar and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • After that, take out your pot from the heat. Allow it to cool for a minute or two.
  • Then, take all the brushes out of the vinegar pot. Be careful while doing this step as the vinegar, pot and paint brushes will be very hot. Wait until you can touch the brushes safely.
  • Next, comb the brush bristles using your fingers only. The paint would be stuck to the brushes after you first removed it from the vinegar pot but it will start falling down as you continue combing the bristles.
  • After combing, rinse the brushes in the cold water. This will help get rid of the remaining paint residue.
  • You may need to repeat the process again if your brushes are not cleaned completely in first attempt.
  • Finally, reshape the brushes’ bristles and let them get dry. Now you are ready to use them for touch up on your walls. After using, do not forget to clean and dry them.

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