Clean and Care of Artist Brushes
Watch This Video for Additional Information
Learning how to properly clean and care for artist brushes can be complicated. To help, this short video that explains the basics of brush cleaning and maintenance. Click here to watch it now to get a better understanding of how to care for and clean your brushes, how you should dry them, and the proper storage techniques for your artist brushes.
Clean Your Brushes After Every Use
To keep your brushes in top condition, it's important to clean them after you finish using them. As soon as you're done with a brush, use water to remove any excess paint and gently massage the bristles until they are free of paint. Then rinse your brush under running water. Be sure to use lukewarm water, not hot water, as this can damage the bristles. If necessary, lather the brush with a small amount of shampoo or soap to help remove the paint.
Never Leave Them Soaking in Water
It's tempting to think that leaving your brushes soaking in water will make them easier to clean but this is a mistake. Brushes left in water for too long can cause the bristles to become brittly and the ferrule, or band connecting the bristles, can begin to rust. Always rinse your brushes immediately after use and avoid leaving them soaked in water. When you're done cleaning them, shake them gently to remove any excess moisture before laying them on a flat surface to dry.
Dry Your Brushes After Each Use
Properly drying your artist brushes is key to extending their life. After each use, make sure to dry them thoroughly with a paper towel or cotton cloth. Take extra care to ensure that the bristles are no longer wet as excess water can damage the ferrule and cause them to separate or shed. Lay them flat on a clean surface at room temperature away from direct sunlight to dry them.
Store Them Properly
After cleaning and drying your brushes, it's important to store them properly. To ensure their longevity, you should never leave your brushes standing in a jar of water, as this can lead to mildew forming on the bristles. You should also aim to keep them away from extreme temperatures and humid environments that could cause the bristles to become brittle and loose over time. The ideal place for your artist brushes is in a clean dry area at room temperature with plenty of ventilation.