How to Properly Clean Oil Stains From Paint Brushes

by Jennifer Hudock; Updated September 26, 2017

Whether you are painting in your home, or creating art, using oil paints can damage your paint brushes if you don't properly clean them after use. Improper cleaning can harden your paint brushes, making the bristles brittle; they could break off and get stuck in the paint the next time you use them. Properly cleaning your paint brushes after use is easy and will prolong the life of your paint brushes.

Items you will need

  • Mineral spirits
  • Plastic cup
  • Plastic gloves
  • Paper towels
Step 1

Pour 1/2 cup of mineral spirits into a clean plastic cup.

Step 2

Lower the oil-stained paint brush into the mineral spirits and swirl it around. This will create clouds of oil paint in the mineral spirits as the paint is released from the brush.

Step 3

Remove the brush from the mineral spirits and gently wipe the excess liquid on clean dry paper towels.

Step 4

Repeat the process, using clean mineral spirits to gauge how much oil paint residue is left in the brushes. Wipe them on paper towels and see how clean the wipe is. If there is still a lot of paint and oil wiping onto the towels, repeat the process again.

Step 5

Hang the brushes in a dry, clean area and allow them to drip and air dry. Once they are dry, return them to their protective, plastic sleeves to keep them clean between uses.

About the Author

Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images