How To Clean Your Brushes Without Using Solvents After Using Oil Paints

Sometimes you may want to clean your brushes without using solvents. Typically, using a solvent like turpentine can be the most efficient way of cleaning your brushes, but is not good in the long term for your health especially if you have young children or pets within your painting studio.

Cleaning your brushes without solvents is easy however, may take a little more time. It can be a little hard to remove all the paint, but you will reap the benefits of cleaner air.


We recommend that you use the following when cleaning oil paints off your brushes without solvent:

  • Safflower oil.
  • The Masters Brush Cleaner – this can be used to remove oil, acrylic or watercolour but mainly restores hard oil paint brushes. Is helps to prevent build up in the ferrule and restores old, stiff brushes to a like new condition as well as conditioning and preserving your brushes to last as long as they can.
  • A brush washer or jar- use this to keep water to clean your brushes. It will act as a filter for the soap and oil whilst keeping the water clean. Jars can be used to put safflower oil in for when you are cleaning your brushes.
  • Paper towels or old rags and rubber gloves.
  • Zest it. This can also be used as another brush cleaning alternative.


Step One: Time To Clean Your Brushes.

We would advise you try not to clean your brush in the sink to start with, as it may contaminate your water system. Alternatively, you can use any spare glass jars you have and fill with safflower oil.

Fill your jar with the safflower oil and then dip your paintbrush into the safflower oil. Once you've put your brush in the oil, take it our and wipe the brush onto a  paper towel several times to remove the paint and repeat this process until the paint has come off the bristles. If you think that your brushes need a little more help and a bit of extra care then use ‘The Masters Brush Cleaner’ . Be sure to rinse your brush well.


Step Two: Discard Of Any Oil Paint Waste Carefully.

You may or may not know that any type of rag or paper towel that holds drying oil can be combustible. We would advise that when it’s time to dispose of your rags or paper towels, you should use a container that can be sealed. You will need to add water to the container and put your oil paint waste directly into the water and make sure it is well saturated. Disposing of this waste should ideally be done at a hazardous waste facility near to you.


If you have any other questions then feel free to drop into our friendly store or give us a call on 0208 368 8580 and one of the team would be happy to talk it through with you.

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