How to Clean Paint Brushes

Any experienced painter can tell you that using high-quality paint brushes will have a major impact on the outcome of your projects, but if you fail to properly clean them after each use, they won’t give you the results you want. This leaves you with two options: use dried-up brushes and hope for the best, or spend more time and money buying new brushes. We’d like to propose a third option: learn how to wash paint brushes and avoid heartache altogether!

How to Clean Paint Brushes the Right Way

Today, we’ll answer the question of “how do you clean paint brushes?” walking you through how to clean paintbrushes that will last a long time and give you the results you want, without any of the lingering bristles you don’t.

One of the most common misconceptions for how to clean paint brushes (and rollers, for that matter) is that you can just stick them in hot water, let the paint wash away, and voila! Clean brushes! Wrong.


While understanding how to clean paint brushes isn’t exactly rocket science, it’s still important to know how to do it right. So we have to ask, are you cleaning your paintbrushes the right way?


Now, there are two different explanations for how to clean paint brushes, the first is how to wash paint brushes immediately after you’ve just finished painting, and the second is how to clean dried paint brushes when, well, you forgot to clean them! Let’s dive in.

How to Wash Paint Brushes

For this, you’ll need a bowl of warm water, detergent (we recommend original blue Dawn), and a paintbrush comb. Working with one brush at a time, dip your brush head into the water and detergent mixture, swirling it around to make sure it’s completely wet. Then, take your paint brush comb to deep clean your paintbrush bristles in a downward motion away from the brush head.

Deep cleaning your bristles with a comb will loosen and eject any paint that may be attached to the inner bristles, which, if dried, can stiffen and break bristles, ruining your brushes and ultimately, your paint job.

Rinse your brush in clean water, using the brush comb again if necessary. Then, gently rinse the bristles with running water in the same direction as you combed. Finish by gently tapping the brush to remove any excess water and return the brush to the original packaging. This will help maintain bristle structure and shape.

How to Clean Dried Paint Brushes

Alright, so maybe you’re wondering how to clean dried paint brushes that you accidentally forgot to clean. Not to fret! All you need to do is let them soak in warm, soapy water and follow the same direction for how to wash paintbrushes.

When you need answers to “how do you clean paint brushes” or want to shop the best paintbrush kits for your next project, you come to Zibra. From handy tips and tricks of the trade to the high-quality topcoatlarge surface, and detail brushes you can get your hands on, we make it easy for professionals and dedicated DIYers to get the best paint job on every project, every time. Shop today! 

Great for detail work
Chiseled Wedge Paintbrush
Great for detail work
Best of Zibra Paintbrush Kit-5 piece

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