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How to Extend the Life of Your Art Brushes & Keep them Happy!

Updated: Jan 23

I don't know about you, but sometimes I get in the zone painting and forget to put one of my brushes in water fast enough or keep it in the water too long before actually washing it, and boom. Another brush bites the dust.

If I do manage to save my brush after this it's never the same and I end up having to buy a new one way faster than I expected.

Honestly, even when I did everything right, conventional ways of washing my brushes never got them as clean as I wanted and they lost their softness or intended structure so much faster. That is until I learned about this crazy brush cleaner/conditioner about 2 years ago. It literally changed my life... well my brush use life at least.

Now, I use this cleaner after I finish every art painting session and it has saved so many brushes. It helps keep them so much nicer and cleaner as a whole and I don't have to rebuy brushes nearly as often. It's even saved some brushes I left out too long. This stuff is brush magic (in my humble opinion)!

How I Use This Cleaner to Wash My Brushes

Here's a short video on the process. I prefer the 24 oz. tub like the one you see in this video because you can really swirl the brushes around and get some good lather in the bristles.

Here's the link to this cleaner:

I'm an affiliate of Blick Art Materials which is where I get this cleaner. I've been a customer for a long time because their prices are so good and they have an amazing selection of art products in one place. If you use the link above to place an order, I get a small commission but it doesn't affect you at all... you just help out a fellow artist! If you have any questions, you can email me at

  1. Rinse the brush in warm water until it runs clear, tap out water but leave the brush damp.

  2. Swirl your brush around in the cleaner, making sure to get between the bristles. I also find it helpful to use my fingers to get between the bristles and scrub around a bit if it needs extra help.

  3. Rinse in warm water, tap out excess water and allow to dry.

  4. After your brush is dry, you can run your fingers through the bristles to reform them if necessary. I think you'll find they are in so much better shape then using standard water or cleansing solutions.


If you find there is still a little bit of paint on the brush you can repeat the steps as necessary. I normally only need to do it once for normal painting sessions, but do what works best for you!

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