What's a good product to use to clean hardened paint brushes that were used with Latex paints?

  16 answers
  • 3po3 3po3 on May 28, 2012
    There are some paintbrush cleaners at the big box stores or paint stores. A lot of the paint will come off if you just soak them in hot, soapy water.

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 29, 2012
    If the paint has been on a super long time throw the brushes away. Otherwise Dawn dish detergent - then hang them suspended by a wire through the handle in a can of liquid fabric softener full strength

  • There used to be a hardened brush cleaner but I can't find it anywhere...I'll try Dawn.

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 29, 2012
    Dawn is quite good. Soak in hot water with lots of dawn put the dawn directly on all over the brush work it in. Also do soak it over night in fabric softener. Good luck!

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on May 29, 2012
    There has never been a product that will restore them to their former glory. Perhaps using paint stripper will give you back a brush you can use as a primer brush.

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 29, 2012
    That's true Peace- but I am such a cheapskate. Unless I am painting good trim or something I do still use my old beat up brushes- especially for my shabby chic creations that are distressed paint. Waste not, want not. :) I also recycle paint and do bucket mixes of paint so I don't have to buy any. I am SO CHEAP!

  • Peace Painting Co., Inc. Peace Painting Co., Inc. on May 29, 2012
    or Resourceful. We do get as much use out of our 'Ol Soldier' brushes as the new ones. CP

  • no...there was something...a brush restorer I used previously but I must have bought it 10 years ago and now can't find it. Has to be something that works.

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 30, 2012
    Have you tried soaking in fabric softener?

  • No not yet....have one soaking in Dawn and some other in various concoctions I have created. Somehow we forgot a whole bunch of brushes in one of the trucks....ahh the life of HandyANDY!

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 30, 2012
    Great! Don't forget the fabric softener. LOL

  • Kelly F Kelly F on May 30, 2012
    Okay- here's some formulae/information from early 1900's. Paint Brushes, To Clean- Suspend the brush in a vessel containing a solution of 1 part washing soda, dissolved in 3 parts water. Do not immerse the butt of the brush in the solution. Allow to re- main in the solution several hours. The paint will become so soft as to be readily washed out wilh soap and water, no matter how hard it has become. Kerosene oil is an excellent medium in which to clean brushes which have been used in paint, or varnish. Also to keep brushes soft, immerse the bristles in this liquid. The bristles will remain soft and pliable, whereas, benzine used for the same purpose tends to make them harsh.

  • I found an old can of Crown brush cleaner.....I soaked a bunch of brushes yesterday that we sitting around for quite a bit. It cleaned all of them except for one...which I will use for oil-based primer and toss. I was able to paint with a couple of them today and they are holding paint just fine. Not sure if I can still buy the crown brush cleaner....will check and let you know!

  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 03, 2012
    One way to prevent brushes from hardening up, if you have to abandon the job for a bit with no time to clean them, is to wrap them in Suran Wrap and throw them in the freezer. Thaw them back out and continue painting or clean when you get time. I have also put hardened brushes in a pan of boiling water to clean them back up.

  • Helenk Helenk on Aug 21, 2015
    Murphy's oil soap. Soak them in the oil soap as long as needed until they soften, then you can wash them, and they will be as good as new. You can also then dip them in fabric softener before drying them or skip this step. Just suggested this solution to a friend and it worked like a charm. Would like to know if it works for you.

  • Darla Darla on Aug 21, 2015
    Soak in rubbing alcohol, then comb out the paint.