Cleaning and Storing

Cleaning with Solvents
  • Solvents are toxic — wear rubber gloves.
  • For the first rinse of your brush, it's fine to re-use old, dirty solvent. (See below for directions on saving solvents.) Use about a half-cup, working the solvent through all the bristles and up into the ferrule, then drain and spin dry.
  • Next, rinse the brush in a half-cup of clean solvent, drain, and spin dry. Do this at least twice more, reserving the dirty solvent each time in a separate container.
  • Water-based exterior paints need a solvent rinse too; the paint leaves a residue on bristles that soap and water won't remove. Before the final rinse, run clean paint thinner through the filaments. Store this solvent separately.
  • To save dirty solvent for reuse, let it sit for about a week and the solids will settle out, leaving a decantable liquid that's clean enough for second, third, or fourth rinses. Store the solvent in sealable cans or jars — well labeled — in a cool, safe place.
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