If you're like me, you probably have a stack of paintbrushes face down in a cup COMPLETELY dried up and crusty. Why don't I wash my brushes right after projects? Pure laziness. I always make excuses like "Ohhh...I have 5 other brushes to use instead!" Luckily, there are methods to cleaning those old paintbrushes and they CAN be soft again! About once every other week I do this.
Grab a glass cup and fill it about 1-2 inches deep with distilled white vinegar. Heat it in the microwave for 1-1.5 minutes then submerge your nasty paintbrushes into it. Bubble bubble bubble! It will smell horrid :D so put it in a room to sit for an hour where no one will be bothered. It helps to move them around in the cup every 20 minutes to loosen up the paint (not required though!)
Take some dish soap (Dawn, Palmolive, etc.) and rinse off the brushes in warm soapy water. If there is still paint on them (usually acrylic paint is the most stubborn) here are some ideas...
- Wire Brush - Buy a stiff wire brush and scrape off the extra paint...this is great for large paintbrushes.
- Flea Comb- Use those small bristle combs to scrape (you can even use a regular hair comb!)
- Murphys Oil Soap - Let soak all day in a cup of this. I had a few art teachers recommend this product saying that it also conditions the brush bristles.
- Painters Comb- A double sided brush designed for cleaning!
If you have any other tips that you use, please let us know! :)