How to Clean Paint Brushes

When I am done painting each day, the last thing I want to do is stand at the sink and clean my brushes but I have come to appreciate how important it is.  Cleaning paint brushes can be a real pain in the b-u-t-t… but… when done properly, can add years to the life of your brushes. my favourite angled brushesMany paint companies have come up with brush cleaners as part of their paint lines now and while they work well,  they can be pricey.  My very favourite soap though, despite trying many, is still the one you can find in any grocery store.   Dawn dish soap used for cleaning paint brushesDawn liquid dish soap, known for being gentle, is what I still prefer to use on a daily basis to clean my brushes.  It does a great job at protecting the bristles while thoroughly getting all of the paint off.  I have used it many, many times and have always been pleased with what a great job it did.

When I am ready to clean my dirty brushes after painting, the first thing I do is run then under warm water to get the bulk of the paint off.  I then put a couple of drops of the Dawn on the bristles and work the soap in by rubbing them in the palm of my hand.  Once the soap has done it’s job, and cut through the left over goop, I run the brush under the warm water again until it runs clean. Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Brush soap and paint brushAfter my brushes are completely clean, I use some of Miss Mustard Seed’s Brush Soap to condition the bristles on my brushes.  Miss Mustard Seed Brush Soap in a rustic soap boxI keep the bar of conditioning soap in a little dish by the sink and I run the wet bristles over it a few times after I have cleaned them.  I massage it in, in the same way I did with the Dawn, and then wash it off with the warm water.  This soap does a great job of adding a little moisture to the bristles and protecting them… like hand lotion does to your hands.  Country Chic Paint paint brushesPaint brushes can be expensive and taking a few minutes to protect your investment at the end of each paint session can really help to prolong their life.  Fusion Mineral Paint paint brushesI have quite the crazy collection of brushes, and thankfully, I have yet had the need to replace any of them because the bristles were “glued” together with paint.

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How to Clean Paint Brushes



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  1. Great tips Lisa! I use Dawn too. Sometimes I am so tired from painting all day I totally dread having to clean out my brushes but you’re right it’s worth it to protect the investment. Hugs, CoCo

  2. Excellent tips Lisa. I have this problem where the paint does in fact glue the bristles together. I am deefinitely going to try this. Pinning. I am hosting a new link party, Sweet Inspiration and would be happy if you joined us. It runs Friday till Tuesday.

      1. Thanks for linking up with us this week Lisa. I certainly can appreciate a frugal tip when cleaning brushes. In fact I was painting this week and tried it out. It felt like day and night, how quickly they cleaned up with the use of some detergent.

        1. Isn’t it great Mary?! I love how well it cleans and it’s so cheap 🙂 And… like they say (well kinda say!), if it’s gentle enough to clean animals it’s perfect for cleaning paint brushes 😉

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