Paint Brush Cleaner- How to Clean Your Paint Brushes Properly
If you've ever watched TV while painting, then you know how important it is to clean your paintbrush between coats. But did you know that some homemade cleaners can actually be harmful to your health? Not only are they used incorrectly but they can also be very dangerous. So, here is how to use homemade cleaners safely and effectively.
Mineral spirits Natural Organic Brush Cleaner - This mixture consists of mineral spirits and water. It's a good cleaner when used properly. Just add enough mineral spirits to the water so that it's an acidic solution, stir, then wipe the mixture off the painted surfaces with a rag or paper towels. Recommended by most painting experts.
Fabric Softener - A mixture of one part fabric softener and two parts water should do the job. Dried paintbrush cleansers left on fabric softener can peel or damage fabric. Add enough fabric softener to make the solution a pastes-like substance, then dip the paintbrushes into it. Rub, wipe or spray the fabric gently with a fabric softener detergent spray to loosen the hardened acrylics. Paintbrushes left on fabric softener will not come out.
Alcohol - This mixture of alcohol and a few drops of water should do the trick. Just add enough alcohol to the mixture to make it pastes-like, stir, and then wipe the surface of the brushes. Applying alcohol to the bristles of your brushes will keep them from stiffening up. Be careful though, because using too much of it can cause permanent damage.
Mineral Oil - This mixture of oils and water can be used with DIY paint brushes, but only if you are going to use the brand recommended by the manufacturer. Use of mineral oil should be done in a container specifically meant for dilution. Apply the oil/water mixture all over the paintbrushes, and then let it sit for a few minutes. Wipe the bristles dry with a clean cloth.
Stainless Steel or Alumawood - If you use stainless steel paint brushes regularly, you can skip using the mineral oil version and buy a commercial grade one instead. Commercial grade cleaners have fewer options for cleaning, and they are more effective in terms of getting the stains out of your paints. Make sure that you read the label carefully when buying your cleaner. Some brands of commercial stainless steel paint brushes have pouches that contain hard chemicals that can hurt both the environment and people, so make sure you read the labels.
Paint Sprayer or Paint Thinner - The combination of these two items is a great DIY paint brushes cleaner solution. You simply spray the cleaner onto the paint brushes, turn on the sprayer nozzle and wipe away. Be careful with the nozzle as some paint sprays can be dangerous if you accidentally hit the eye or mouth area. If you are using a Paint Thinner specifically for diy crafts, make sure you don't use the hard cleaner part near the body of the craft.
So there you have it. Just four different types of DIY paint brush cleaners that you can use to keep your brushes clean and ready to go. For the best results, follow the tips above, but don't forget to test your cleansers on a small area first. That way you know for sure that the cleaner will actually clean your bristle brushes without damaging them.
So what is the best DIY brush cleaner? Well I would say either dish soap or liquid detergent. Both of these products are safe to use on all types of paintbrushes. The detergent is much easier to work with, as well as much cheaper. There are other types of DIY brush cleaners that you can purchase, but I prefer the ones that I mentioned above.
Why do we need a DIY brush cleaner anyways? Well, if you're painting on a painted surface, they are a must. They will help keep you crafts clean and free of dirt and grime. However, if you're using an oil paints, they can build up and begin to smell. The cleaner will remove those oils and prevent them from staining or discoloring your crafts. This is why they are so important, no matter what type of paints you are working on.
Once you've bought your DIY cleaner, you should take a minute to rinse thoroughly. If you have oil based paints, you will want to use a second cleaner for them. Once you have cleaned and rinsed the brushes thoroughly, let it dry completely before using them again. Follow this simple steps and your brushes will be like new.