How To Clean Paintbrushes?

Painting is an ideal way to express your creativity and imagination. There is something about putting paint to an easel that soothes the mind and calms the soul. As it is with every hobby, painting requires a specific set of instruments and tools. And these tools need to be maintained if they are supposed to last a long time. Thus when it comes to painting, maintaining and cleaning paintbrushes is a critical task. If not maintained, the bristles may fall off, and the brushes will start rusting.
The method and tools needed to clean paintbrushes mainly depend on the kind of paint being used. Here we will cover various ways to clean that will help to clean oil and acrylic paintbrushes.

Things you’ll need to clean paintbrushes: 

How To Clean Paintbrushes?

  1. Mild soap 
  2. soft towel or tissue
  3. A solvent (alcohol-based or mineral spirits would be preferred) 
  4. Scraper 
  5. WD-40

Cleaning acrylic and water-based paintbrushes

  • If using water-based acrylic or wall paint, point the bristles up and wash them under tap water to remove any trace of paint.
  • Further scape off any solidified paint, if present. 
  • Next, mix some soap and water together. Dip the paintbrushes, scrub and rinse with clean water. Repeat till the water runs clear. Avoid soaking the brushes for too long. 

Cleaning oil paintbrushes

  • In case of oil or nitro paints, clean the bristles first with the correct solvent.
  • Fill up a container with the solvent, and then dip the brushes repeatedly to clean the bristles. 
  • Once most of the paint has been dissolved, put the brush under a tap with its bristles pointing up and running water through it.

Cleaning all types of brushes/ rusted brushes 

  • Once the brushes have been washed with water, put some WD-40 multi-use on the bristles and the ring nut. Then wipe clean to get rid of any paint and rust. 
  • If using natural bristle brushes, use WD-40 on the bristles to keep them from drying out after cleaning.

Pro tip: Clean your brushes right after usage, and avoid leaving the paint to dry on the bristles.


The uses shown and described for WD-40 Multi-Use Product were provided to WD-40 Company by the users themselves. These uses haven’t been tested by WD-40 Company and do not constitute a recommendation of suggestion for use by WD-40 Company. Common sense should be exercised whenever using WD-40 Company products. Always follow the instructions and take heed of any warnings printed on the packaging.

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