What To Use To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes?

When painting with acrylics, one must always wash their brushes at some point! This is particularly important when you are trying to push your artistic boundaries and create new styles or concepts.

Acrylic paint can become dried down very quickly due to its nature of being a liquid. If left alone, the surface will begin to solidify and crackle as it dries which creates an uncomfortable feeling for the artist.

By washing your brush in a solution of water and alcohol, this reaction is neutralized. The alcohol removes any thickened acrylic that has been dragged across the surface of the canvas while the water was extracts leftover pigment from the brush.

There are many ways to clean acrylic brushes, but none seem to be totally universal until here we go!


Here I will talk about how to properly clean acrylic brushes. You do not need special equipment to get great results. All you really need is a glass bottle with a lid and a microfiber cloth or paper towel.

A lot of artists use plastic bowls because they are cost effective, however these may leave chemical residue on the brush. We cannot have our acrylic tools looking like they were painted with Vaseline now can we?!

Never put your brush directly into the alcohol or water container as this could damage the hair layer. Instead, add just enough material to cover the top of the brush and then tilt the brush so that the excess rolls off onto the table or shelf.

Spray bottle

A very common way to clean acrylic paint brushes is using a spray bottle. This can be a water bottle, soda bottle, alcohol bottle, or any other type of bottle that you have access to.

The trick is finding one that does not contain chemicals such as acetone or ethanol which could damage the paint on the brush.

These bottles can also dry out over time making the next cleanup difficult. Make sure your spray bottle has no additives in it besides liquid.

Acid drops such as vinegar are good for cleaning brushes since they strip away some of the heavier layers of dirt.

Cleaning pads

The best way to clean your acrylic paint brushes is by using a lint-free, microfiber cloth or cleaning pad. Never use paper towels as they will soak up fluid that you want to remove!

Acrylic is very water soluble so any excess liquid will cause the brush to wash down the side of the handle, creating watered down colors and requiring more time to dry, which costs you money!

Instead, try using a soft, microfiber cloth that is easily washed and won’t leave residue. You can also invest in a plastic bag designed just for storing wet painting tools. This helps keep them fresh and sanitized.

Another option is to buy an acrylite cleaning tool which has a built in suction device and microfiber pouch to store your dirty brush. These are helpful because you don’t have to pull out extra pieces to work with the canvas or painting.

Soft cloths

For cleaning your acrylic paint brushes, there are several materials you can use. One of the most common is a piece of soft cotton or wool fabric.

You can wash them in a special acrylic brush cleaner that contains alcohol as an active ingredient (these can be purchased at any art supply store).

Never soak your brush in this solution as it may break down the chemical compound in the plastic coating of the brush.

Instead, simply rub the excess liquid off with either a paper towel or clean dry cloth. Repeat if necessary!

This article will help you care for all types of acrylic paints. Keep reading to learn more about how to take good care of your painting supplies.

Hard cloths

The next thing you can do to clean your acrylic paint brushes is use soft, lint-free cloths to wipe them down. A microfiber towel or piece of cotton cloth works great for this!

You can also use paper towels, but remember that some types of plastic coatings will melt when heated enough. Make sure to test one brush first to see if it chips or melts before using it with the rest of the batch!

Acrylic is a relatively durable medium so most people don’t have much trouble cleaning their paints after that, but we all are not gifted in mixing colors so having dirty brushes can be a problem.

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