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How to Clean Latex Paint Off Your Paintbrushes

Despite your best efforts, do your paintbrushes always end up too stiff to reuse? Keep them forever with these cleaning tips.


  • Step 1: Prep it Every time you start painting, prep the brush by dipping it into water. Shake it out before you dip it into paint.
  • Step 2: Don’t let it dry out Whenever you take a break, wrap your brush in a clean, damp rag.
  • TIP: Keep the brush out of the sun during breaks.
  • Step 3: Rinse with water When you’re finished painting for the day, thoroughly rinse your brush with warm water. As you’re rinsing it, use a paintbrush comb to remove excess paint.
  • Step 4: Swish with fabric softener Fill a container with one gallon of warm water and a half a cup of liquid fabric softener. Swish the brush back and forth in the solution for about thirty seconds.
  • TIP: Keep the bristles from touching the bottom on the container.
  • Step 5: Swish some more Dump the water, replace it with fresh water, and swish some more. Repeat the process until the water in the container stays clear.
  • Step 6: Soak in water When the brush is clean, secure the handle to a ruler with a rubber band and suspend it in yet another batch of clean water, making sure the bristles don’t touch the bottom. Let it sit for several hours to loosen any residual paint.
  • Step 7: Drip dry Hang the now spanking-clean brush and let it dry.
  • FACT: Forty-two percent of homeowners would like professional help in selecting paint colors for their home.

You Will Need

  • Water
  • A clean rag
  • A paintbrush comb
  • A clean container
  • Liquid fabric softener
  • A rubber band
  • A ruler

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