I know this sounds like a dumb question, but I am interested in any brush washing tips that help prolong the lifetime of my brushes.

Water-based paints are easy, but with paints that require thinners / white spirits things are a little trickier.

My personal method is to pour some white spirit into a small container, thoroughly 'swish' the brush around, then rinse it with hot soapy water. I repeat this around 3 times, with a clean tub of white spirits each time.

However, despite this, my brushes are still a little stiff when I come to use them next, and do not deliver the same even finish they did when new.

Any tips?


When using mineral spirits(MS), I keep a "used" bottle and a new bottle. When the new is empty, I make it a new "used"

I usually do the first round using used MS and return it to the used bottle.

Once the brush is mostly clean, I start using fresh, clean MS. I usually do 2 rounds or more, if paint is still coming out

I don't do a water/soap step until I'm sure it clean. If I'm using a china bristle brush (natural white or black boar bristles), I NEVER use water with it.

If a brush has accumulated gunk and isn't getting clean, a soak in a "Brush cleaner" product will restore it.

PS: The used bottle, if left undisturbed long enough (2 mos) will self-clean and be nearly new (the solids will settle on the bottom). This then argues for a third container, between new and used. You should NEVER put MS down the drain.

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