Clean Brushes? .. Yes Please!!! 10th October, 2012

As a face painter, your brushes are essentially one half of what you do so in my opinion it is important that they’re kept in the best nick possible.  In the past I did a post on reshaping your brushes using boiled hot water, personally I still stand by this and do this to my brushes every 2 to 3 weeks.  But before I reshaped the brushes, a clean would be needed.  I used to just use anti bacterial liquid soap and I honestly thought that this was fine – my brushes are clean!  How wrong was I?  By clean what I mean is this; I thought the pigment from the paint was gone, washed away with the liquid soap and water.  I hadn’t realised that over a course of time whilst using the brush pigment residue would work its way up the heel of the brush (the section where the metal bit, the ferrule and bristles meet).  I found this out by finding – by accident a YouTube clip on an artist explaining this, but she used an art store bought brush cleaner that was in a tin.  As you could well imagine, I needed one of my own.  As the clip was American based, searching for something this side of the pond proved tricky.  There were a lot of liquid based solutions, but that was just as similar as me using the anti bacterial liquid.   So one day, I had that “eureka!” moment. … A simple bar of soap!  A simple bar of soap, cut up and mushed into a face paint container lid.  I thought, if I can wash my face painted self with soap I’m sure my brushes could do with it for a good clean too.

Clean soap face paint brushes

You can opt to not have the soap in the container, but it just got slippery when holding it to clean under a trickling tap.  Going to the trouble of cramming it into the container allows you something to hold that’s not so slippery while you clean your brush.

All you do with your brush, is wet the soap cake and start to almost scrub in a circular motion with your brush gently and this will work the paint pigment out.  Once every so often you’ll need to add more water to the soap cake so that it doesn’t dry up too much.  A spritz of water should do it or a small trickle from the tap, then you rinse off the excess soap suds under running water.

Cleaned brushes using soapOnce in a while (call me batty, but you come to know your brushes so you’ll know when the time’s right) I like to reshape them by using the method mentioned in my previous blog about dipping them in boiled water.  I cannot stress enough at how important it is to take care when doing this if you choose to do so.

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