How To Clean Acrylic Paint Brushes In 5 Simple And Easy Steps?

One of the biggest challenges of using acrylics is keeping your paintbrushes clean. If left uncleaned, acrylic paint can dry on your brush, making it stiff and difficult to use. But you need not worry as I’m here to provide you with a complete guide on how to clean acrylic paint brushes.

To clean acrylic paint brushes, start by rinsing them thoroughly in warm water to remove as much paint as possible. Then, use a mild soap and water solution to further clean the brushes. For stubborn paint, you can also use a solvent such as rubbing alcohol or mineral spirits. 

I’m still using the brushes I bought the previous year only because proper cleaning and maintenance of acrylic paint brushes will help extend their lifespan and ensure optimal performance for your next painting project. 

In this blog post, I’ll help you explore the best practices for cleaning acrylic paint from brushes, including the tools you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, and tips for maintaining your brushes over time.

How To Clean Acrylic Brushes Between Colours?

Cleaning acrylic paint off brushes between colors is essential to keep your colors pure and prevent them from mixing. If you want to use the same brush for different colors during painting, you can follow these steps.

Supplies Needed 

  • Bowl
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels

Step 1: Wipe Off Excess Paint

Don’t put your brush directly into a bowl of water, instead use a paper towel or cloth to wipe off any excess paint from your brush. 

Step 2: Run Your Brush Under Water 

Take a bowl and fill it with warm water. Run the brush under warm water for a few moments to remove any remaining paint. 

Step 3: Dry The Brush

After running under water, gently squeeze out any excess water from the brush. Again use a different cloth or clean paper towel to dry the brush.

Step 4: Repeat If Necessary 

If the brush still has some color on it, repeat the steps until the brush is completely clean.

Step 5: You’re Done

Now you can use the brush for another color. You can keep cleaning your acrylic paint brushes the same way while you’re painting. 

NOTE: It’s important to clean your brushes between colors as soon as possible to prevent the paint from drying on the brush. However, if the paint gets dry, no worries, you can go for the following procedure.  

How To Clean Dried Acrylic Paint Brushes In 5 Steps?

Acrylic paint gets dry on brushes if you forget to clean them after painting or if you just care less about removing the paint off the brush during painting.

Cleaning dry acrylic paint off brushes can be a bit challenging, but you can remove the paint thoroughly by following the instructions below. 

You’ll Need

  • Soap or brush cleaner 
  • Warm water
  • Container 
  • Distilled water
  • Scraping tool (palette knife etc.)

Step 1: Scrape The Bristles

Start by removing as much dried paint as possible by gently scraping the bristles of the brush against the edge of a container or a paper towel. You may also use a palette knife softly for scarping the paint.

Step 2: Prepare Soapy, Warm Water

The next step is pouring some warm water into a container and adding a few drops of dish soap or a specialized acrylic paint brush cleaner. Ensure you add enough soap to prepare a soapy water mixture. 

Step 3: Swirl The Brush In the Water

Swirl the brush in the soapy water for a few minutes, making sure to work the bristles gently to loosen any remaining paint. Use your fingers to clean the bristles just like you do with your hair. 

Step 4: Rinse Your Brush

Rinse the brush thoroughly with warm water, gently squeezing the bristles to remove any remaining paint and soap. Repeat the process, if necessary, until the brush is completely clean.

Step 5: Reshape The Bristles 

Once the brush is clean, reshape the bristles with your fingers, then lay it flat to dry or hang it upside down with the bristles facing down to prevent water from accumulating at the base of the bristles.

If the paint has already hardened and you’re unable to remove it, you can try using a solvent like rubbing alcohol, vinegar, or acetone. 
However, be careful when using solvents, as they can damage the brush if not used properly.

How To Clean Your Acrylic Brushes At Home?

You can clean your brushes at home with some common household ingredients. But you’re wrong if you’re thinking about acrylic brush cleaning in a sink

Doing so will clog your sink and pipes as the paint gets accumulated over time if you wash brushes frequently in the sink. You can learn more about how to dispose of acrylic paint and the rinsed water collected by cleaning the paint from brushes or any equipment.

Instead, there are other ways you can use it. Some of the alternative methods I usually apply whenever I’m out of brush cleaners are the following.

  • Vinegar

Vinegar is a common household product we usually use to add a sour taste to our foods. But it can be used for cleaning purposes as well. Cleaning acrylic paint brushes with vinegar is a natural and affordable alternative to using commercial acrylic paint cleaners.

While vinegar is safe for most brushes, it may not be suitable for brushes with delicate bristles or those made of natural fibers such as sable or horsehair. But how do you clean acrylic paint brushes with vinegar?

Just wash any extra paint from the brush with warm water. Then take some vinegar in a separate bowl and dip the brush into it, leaving it for a few minutes. Now, remove the brush from the bowl, wash it with water again, and squeeze excess water from its bristles. Let your brush dry now. 

  • Mineral Spirit  

Mineral spirit, also known as white spirits or paint thinners, is a petroleum-based solvent used as a cleaning and degreasing agent, as well as a paint thinner.

It is a clear liquid with a strong odor that is commonly used in the manufacturing, automotive, and construction industries, as well as in households for cleaning purposes.

Cleaning acrylic paint brushes with mineral spirits is a good idea. This product has effective cleaning properties and is able to dissolve stubborn paint stains. Make sure you don’t put your brush into the spirit for longer, as it can damage the bristles. 

How To Clean Acrylic Paint Roller? 

Cleaning a paint roller is a relatively simple process, and it is essential to do it properly to prolong the life of your rollers and prevent cross-contamination of paint colors. Here is how to clean acrylic painting roller.

  1. Use a putty knife or scraper to peel off any extra paint from the roller. You can do this by rolling the roller back and forth over a paint tray or bucket to squeeze out as much paint as possible.
  1. Rinse the roller with warm water until the water runs clear. You can use a hose or a sink to do this. Make sure to remove as much paint as possible.
  1. Once the roller is rinsed, apply a few drops of dish soap or laundry detergent to the roller’s surface. Work the soap into the roller fibers using your hands or a brush.
  1. Rinse the roller again with warm water until the water runs clear.
  1. Pinch the excess water out of the roller using your hands or a towel. You can also spin the roller in a bucket to remove any remaining water. Hang the roller to air dry before storing it.

How To Clean Artist Oil Paint Brush?

Cleaning oil paint brushes requires some care to ensure that they remain in good condition and can be used for future painting projects. 

Dip the brush into an appropriate solvent, such as mineral spirits, turpentine, or brush cleaners. Swirl the brush around in the solvent for a few seconds, then use a clean paper towel to wipe off the solvent and paint. 

Make sure you handle solvents safely and dispose of them properly. Avoid getting solvent on your skin or inhaling the fumes, and follow any safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer.

Can You Wash Acrylic Paint Brushes In The Sink?

No, I don’t recommend cleaning acrylic paint brushes in sink because acrylic paint contains synthetic resins that may stay in the pipes. 

When you wash your acrylic paint brushes in the sink, the paint particles can build up in the pipes and eventually cause clogs.

If you have already washed your brushes down the sink, you can try running hot water for several minutes to help dissolve any paint particles that may have accumulated in the tubes. 

How To Clean Acrylic Paint Palette?

If the paint is wet on the palette, simply wash it with clean and warm water, followed by rinsing it with dishwashing soap. However, if the paint has dried, you’ll need to use specialized cleaners containing alcoholic or alkalic agents.


How to wash paint brushes acrylic?

You can wash acrylic paint brushes by putting them in warm soapy water for a few seconds. Make sure you use your fingers to spread the bristles and remove all the paint.

What liquid is used to remove acrylic paint from brushes?

A specialized brush cleaner is the best way to clean paint brushes. However, you may also use vinegar in mineral spirits to clean stubborn paint.

How to remove acrylic paint from brushes?

Use a specified cleaner combined with warm water to remove acrylic paint from brushes. Moreover, you can use vinegar or spirit as an affordable and effective alternative.

Can you clean acrylic paint with water?

Yes, you can clean acrylic paint with water. However, the water should be warm but not too hot and mixed with a detergent or liquid soap for better results.

What is the easiest way to clean acrylic paint?

The easiest to remove or clean acrylic paint is by using warm water and soap. 

 Can you clean acrylic paintbrushes with dish soap?

Yes, you can use dish soap for cleaning acrylic brushes. But make sure the fibers are not natural as they are sensitive and can be damaged.


So we may conclude that maintaining your painting tools, especially brushes or rollers, can prevent you from spending on buying new ones every time. 

But knowing how to clean acrylic paint brushes and other tools is crucial so that you don’t damage them or make them out of use. 

Thank you for reading!

Jose Scott

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