Five Fast and Easy Steps to Clean, Dry and Store Acrylic Art Brushes

I’m gonna be abrupt: don’t clean your brushes under running water!
Cleaning your brushes under running water or soaking them in water for long periods of time loosens the ferrules and will, most probably, damage the handles too.

You should never leave paint dry on your brushes, but clean them thoroughly after each use. Cleaning your acrylic art brushes is not that hard and can be done in a small number of easy steps.


You will need a rag or some paper towels and a couple of empty buckets or large jars. Using a rag instead of paper towels is the more eco-friendly way of doing this. The buckets or jars aforementioned are for the same purpose. You don’t want paint down your drain and into your plumbing, ultimately damaging the environment.

Having some hand soap at hand will be useful.

For the actual cleaning you can also use a color palette, but you can do without.

As an addition, mix the same amount of coconut oil and hand soap to make a custom soap that will both clean and keep your brushes moist in time.

To recap:

  • Rag or paper towels
  • A couple of empty buckets or large jars
  • Hand soap/Dishes soap
  • Optional: coconut oil and clean color palette

Step 1

You need to gently but firmly wipe all the excess paint from your brushes right after finishing painting. Get off as much paint as you can without pulling too hard on the bristles.

Step 2

Fill one bucket with lukewarm water and put in some hand soap (or your special mix of soap and coconut oil) and swish your acrylic paint brushes in the bucket. Do a couple of swishes, then gently rub the brush on a clean color palette or even in the palm of your hand until you create enough soapy foam to get the paint off the bristles. Repeat this process as many times needed until there are no more paint streaks left on the palette or on your hand.

Use the same soapy water to clean the rest of your brushes, then move on to the next step.

Step 3

Wipe the clean paint brush on another rag or paper towel to dry off the excess water.

Step 4

Your brushes should dry horizontally, to avoid water damage to the ferrules. After they dry, you can leave them in place or keep them bristles up to avoid bending the bristles.

Step 5

What to do with the soapy cleaning water you just used? Don’t throw it in the sink, leave it someplace to evaporate. The water will evaporate and the soap and paint will clean with a dirty rag or some paper towels.

That’s it

Five easy steps to clean, dry and store your acrylic paint brushes.
Taking good care of your brushes will ensure enjoying them for a long time and taking care of the environment as well.

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