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yvon417
01-08-2019, 10:32 PM
Hi everyone. I have a question on safflower oil being a cleaning agent for the used brushes. When I dip my brushes in and cleaned them, the oil became murky. At first, I thought it would become clear when pigments sink to the bottom. It's been a few days since and the oil remains murky--it seems the pigments are suspended, contrary to what I have watched on youtube. So what do I have to do in order to reuse the oil? Do I have to filter it? Does temperature come into play, because I left the oil in the garage, and it's been cold these few days? Also, if it becomes unusable, how do I properly dispose it? Thanks!

Richard P
01-09-2019, 03:18 AM
Could it be a solvent still bound to the oil?

Gigalot
01-09-2019, 05:55 AM
Hi everyone. I have a question on safflower oil being a cleaning agent for the used brushes. When I dip my brushes in and cleaned them, the oil became murky. At first, I thought it would become clear when pigments sink to the bottom. It's been a few days since and the oil remains murky--it seems the pigments are suspended, contrary to what I have watched on youtube. So what do I have to do in order to reuse the oil? Do I have to filter it? Does temperature come into play, because I left the oil in the garage, and it's been cold these few days? Also, if it becomes unusable, how do I properly dispose it? Thanks!
Use 2 containers with oil to clean brushes. First try to clean brush into old used oil and then put your brush into fresh oil for final cleaning. That helps.

Raffless
01-09-2019, 06:42 AM
Try walnut oil. I use it for cleaning and have no seperation. I think perhaps it maybe solvent on your brushes as mentioned.

Humbaba
01-09-2019, 07:05 AM
I used to clean brushes with oil in the past, but mixed with OMS so that the pigments sink faster.

In your case, the pigments are probably trapped in the oil, and will very, very slowly descend to the button.

contumacious
01-09-2019, 11:08 AM
Hi everyone. I have a question on safflower oil being a cleaning agent for the used brushes. When I dip my brushes in and cleaned them, the oil became murky. At first, I thought it would become clear when pigments sink to the bottom. It's been a few days since and the oil remains murky--it seems the pigments are suspended, contrary to what I have watched on youtube. So what do I have to do in order to reuse the oil? Do I have to filter it? Does temperature come into play, because I left the oil in the garage, and it's been cold these few days? Also, if it becomes unusable, how do I properly dispose it? Thanks!
Cold temperatures will thicken the oil. If you are working in a cold studio in the winter place your container of cleaning oil on a candle warmer to make it thinner. The solids will also settle out faster and it will work better to clean your brushes when it is warmed up. You may notice more of a smell when it is heated which does bother some people. Keeping a lid on it when not actually using it reduces that odor. Adding solvent to the oil defeats the reason you are using oil to clean - to eliminate solvent fumes from the studio. Heating it up gets you closer to the speed of solvent cleaning without solvent fumes. Used candle warmers are often very cheap at thrift stores. I have found them for as little as 50 cents.

As noted already, to prolong the life of the oil use a two step cleaning station. Wiping as much paint out of the brush with a rag before going into step 1 and wiping well after step 1, will help keep the oil cleaner for a longer period in step 2. Once used, it will never return to a clear state from my experience no matter how long you let it settle. Even very contaminated oil in the first step will still remove a lot of paint.

If you buy virgin oils or that made for artists which is usually alkali refined, you don't have to clean the oil out of your brushes as carefully to prevent it from causing your paint to dry too slowly, which can happen if you get too much grocery store oil in there. Non virgin grocery store oils are modified to retard rancidity (drying) having other added ingredients that you don't want in your paint.

Pinguino
01-09-2019, 12:49 PM
You didn't say which pigments. That makes a big difference, both in terms of settling time, and disposal.

Delofasht
01-09-2019, 12:54 PM
You can also pour the oil into a pan and heat it over a low flame, it will very quickly thin out and separate. From there you can decant the oil and it will end very clear again.

Another option is to take your cold oil and stir in some knox gelatine (dissolve packet in water for a couple minutes, then add hot water to that to make the liquid gelatine). Once the emulsion is very well distributed, allow to cool and place the entire container in the refrigerator. After the gelatine has set up (a day usually), you can just pull the solid gelatin off the top with a spoon and have beautiful oil under it. This also traps all the sediments in the oil in the gelatin, so you will not have that remaining.

Last note, try just dipping the brush in your oil when you go to rinse, then work that oil through the brush by rotating and pulling it in circles on a clean spot on the palette. Wipe brush and palette off with paper towel and repeat a few times to remove as much paint as possible. This uses a few drops of oil for each cleaning, but means basically no cleaning of the oil is needed for months and months because practically no pigment is ending up in the oil. I have been using this operation for the past 2 years and have very clean oil still, it's turned a bit green from prussian and phthalo pigments sneakily making their way into the oil.

Here is a picture of my 2 year old oil (it used to be full to 1/4th inch below the brim):

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-Jan-2019/34519-IMG_0158.jpg

I have yet to clean this oil after all the painting I have done... probably not a ton, but a decent number of paintings I suppose (10 or so small/medium paintings and many sketches).

Pinguino
01-09-2019, 02:06 PM
You can also pour the oil into a pan and heat it over a low flame, it will very quickly thin out and separate. From there you can decant the oil and it will end very clear again. ...

Just be sure that the oil is not contaminated with any kind of solvent (turps, OMS, etc.).

Delofasht
01-09-2019, 04:06 PM
Even that isn't really too much of an issue, plenty of mediums involved heating solvents to dissolve resins, it's just a matter of control. Strongly suggest carefully heating if you choose that option, keep it really low heat, maybe hold the pan away from the heat element, or use a double boiler. This is partly why I also suggested the gelatine cleaning procedure.