PDA

View Full Version : Masters Brush Cleaner Question


plnelson
03-02-2019, 10:25 PM
Always interested in easy, solvent-free cleanup, I bought some Masters Brush Cleaner after hearing several people here recommend it.

But I'm confused about the instructions. For oil paints it says "Rinse brush in warm water, swirl brush in compound and work into later."

Really? Rinse a brush with oil paint on it in water? What does that do? Even if the idea is to collect some water to mix with the Masters to make a lather, how much water will stick to a brush with oil on it? Wouldn't it be better to combine some water with some Masters in a separate container and make a lather and THEN swirl the brush in that?

Also, I'm reluctant to swirl the brush into the Masters while it's still in the tub, even though I've seen people do this on tutorial videos, because it will contaminate it with paint, but wouldn't it make more sense to scoop some out of the tub and swirl it someplace else?

Thanks in advance for any tips.

jknecht
03-02-2019, 10:36 PM
I don't fully clean my brush in the container, but I mostly follow their directions.

First, I clean the brush as well as I can with OMS. At that point, there usually isn't much paint to contaminate the soap. Mostly, I am just using the damp brush to scoop a bit of soap out (whatever water the brush is able to carry to the container is always enough), then I work it with my hands (you can use the inside of half a tennis ball if you are worried about getting toxic paints on your skin), then rinse. Repeat until the lather stays its original color.

plnelson
03-02-2019, 11:10 PM
I don't fully clean my brush in the container, but I mostly follow their directions.

First, I clean the brush as well as I can with OMS.

But there are many people on this website who advocate Masters as an alternative to using solvents, and not only does Master's not mention anything about solvents, they actually say "all you need is water". Furthermore, as you can see in my OP, cleaning solvent-free is my goal.

jknecht
03-03-2019, 12:07 AM
Whoops. I missed the "solvent-free" part of your post. But you could achieve the same thing by rinsing in walnut oil or just wiping the brush really well before starting to clean.

Just today, I was cleaning up, and realized I hadn't cleaned out one of my brushes before washing up. It took a lot longer than normal, and I used up a lot more of the brush cleaner than normal, but it worked fine.

In the end, it's basically just soap and water, which is how you would clean up any oily mess.

AnnieA
03-03-2019, 12:25 AM
Master's can easily be used without solvent, and as jknecht notes, you can use walnut oil or just a very thorough wiping of each brush to clean it beforehand.

What I often do is first wipe the brush, swish in walnut oil that I keep in a Silicoil jar and then wipe the brush well again. Then I do a cleaning with a regular bar of hand soap and very warm water until it appears that the brush is clean. I save the Master's for the last pass where even more color comes out in the lather. This may seem like a long drawn out process, but it's kind of a meditative experience and I use it to consider the painting session I've just ended.

Saving the Master's for the last pass saves money. I don't think you need to worry about contamination of the tub, and it's really much easier to swirl the brush around in the tub anyway. Master's is a terrific product and not only cleans but, especially when you combine it with the use of oil for cleaning instead of solvent, is great for conditioning your brushes too.

Delofasht
03-03-2019, 11:01 AM
Heh, well bar soaps tend to made of sodium hydroxide, a few kinds of oils (tallow, coconut, and palm), and some fragrances. Effectively the water reacts with the cleaning agents to generate some heat and activate the oils that allow them to cleanse the bristles of debris, meanwhile the cleaning agent is also attracting and trapping smaller bits, and all while the fragrances smell nice (and may act as subtle solvents for the oil compounds to keep them from remaining in the bristles). We tend to think of solvents as bad, but the “universal” solvent is water... it does a lot of work to break apart and distribute various things, and it can be quite dangerous to try to breathe it (so I guess all solvents are dangerous after all).

So keep using the universal solvent and very light (though solid at room temperature) oils to clean brushes, it is good and safe!

Delofasht
03-03-2019, 11:07 AM
One other thing, yes warm water will help remove even regular oil paint, but first getting as much off as you can with towels or even using the knife to scrap off excess is a good option. Any amount of water brought to the soap will help get it going, but really it is not much more effective than just using a bar of fels naptha or any white bar soap really. They are cheap to make and perform very admirably compared to the masters brush cleaner.

JustAStudent
03-03-2019, 11:44 AM
Soaps are a metal ion affixed to long chain carboxylic acids... creating a compound that grabs oil on one end and water on the other... meaning it can grab almost everything and also it washes away cleanly. It's actual function is to create orbs of oil and particulate surrounded by a sphere of chains oriented outwards, isolating nonpolar compounds such as oils from water (which they would otherwise repel). The specific capabilities of soaps depend on the length and shape (some have more or less of a bend) of the molecule and the metal ion affixed. Without getting into many details, coconut soap and Palm kernalate soaps are two of the best at removing oil. And lye would create a soap that would hold up to a brush scrubbing and last longer vs potash which makes a softer soap. Basically find a soap that makes your hands feel really dry after use and it'll work great for washing oil off stuff.

Delofasht
03-03-2019, 12:42 PM
Good call on the more technical explanation, it is very helpful to know how the chemical reactions work. With this understanding, one can easily assess how they want to handle cleaning their brushes.

The Master's is designed to condition the brushes by leaving some of the oils of the bar of soap in the bristles. This keeps them pliable and prevents them becoming brittle.

Richard P
03-03-2019, 12:49 PM
I use concentrated dish soap (washing up liquid here in the UK) which works well for me.

JustAStudent
03-03-2019, 01:19 PM
I use concentrated dish soap (washing up liquid here in the UK) which works well for me.


I suspect powdered detergents would be ideal, as you could work the grit of them into the brush and ensure good penetration then introduce water to do the actual cleaning, but I've not tried it myself.

sidbledsoe
03-03-2019, 03:05 PM
Always interested in easy, solvent-free cleanup, I bought some Masters Brush Cleaner after hearing several people here recommend it.

But I'm confused about the instructions. For oil paints it says "Rinse brush in warm water, swirl brush in compound and work into later."

Really? Rinse a brush with oil paint on it in water? What does that do? Even if the idea is to collect some water to mix with the Masters to make a lather, how much water will stick to a brush with oil on it? Wouldn't it be better to combine some water with some Masters in a separate container and make a lather and THEN swirl the brush in that?

Also, I'm reluctant to swirl the brush into the Masters while it's still in the tub, even though I've seen people do this on tutorial videos, because it will contaminate it with paint, but wouldn't it make more sense to scoop some out of the tub and swirl it someplace else?

Thanks in advance for any tips.
:
The first step Masters says to do is to wipe brush to remove excess paint.
https://www.generalpencil.com/the-mastersreg-brush-cleaner-and-preserver.html

Then you wet the brush, and or wet the soap cake, simply to introduce water to then produce the lather. You don't rinse out the brush in water alone, you just get some water to mix in with the soap.
I don't think it will matter if you get a little paint on the soap cake as you are swirling to pick up some soap to make a lather. I have always done it this way with no problem.

WFMartin
03-03-2019, 04:20 PM
Always interested in easy, solvent-free cleanup, I bought some Masters Brush Cleaner after hearing several people here recommend it.
I normally don't use it, but I have a couple of times in the past, and it works very well.

But I'm confused about the instructions. For oil paints it says "Rinse brush in warm water, swirl brush in compound and work into later."

Yep. That's what I do with my inexpensive, bar soap. I run water from a faucet over my bristles.

Really? Rinse a brush with oil paint on it in water?

Yes, in preparation to lathering it up.


What does that do?

It makes the bristles wet, so that the soap will lather when the bristles hit the soap cake.

Even if the idea is to collect some water to mix with the Masters to make a lather, how much water will stick to a brush with oil on it?

Quite a bit, actually. Water does not "run off", or get "repelled" by an oily surface to nearly as great an extent as you might imagine.

Wouldn't it be better to combine some water with some Masters in a separate container and make a lather and THEN swirl the brush in that?

Not really, sort of a waste of time, in my opinion. I scrub my bristles right on the bar of soap.

Also, I'm reluctant to swirl the brush into the Masters while it's still in the tub, even though I've seen people do this on tutorial videos, because it will contaminate it with paint, but wouldn't it make more sense to scoop some out of the tub and swirl it someplace else?

The "contamination" is so minimal as to be practically non-existent. There is much more paint in your bristles than would ever be on the surface of the soap cake. Plus, the slight contamination is greatly diluted with the soap.

Thanks in advance for any tips.

I use either Fels Naptha or Zote Soap; both are laundry, bar soaps, and they are incredibly inexpensive compared to the Masters Brush Cleaner. During the lathering process, I squeeze the bristles from ferrule to the tip, using my fingers, several times, in order to dislodge paint from the bristles that are near the ferrule.

Pinguino
03-03-2019, 04:50 PM
Just about any strong soap or even dish detergent will clean wet brushes. But natural bristles are more sensitive to the method of cleaning than are synthetics. Masters has added conditioners (my guess is lanolin, but they don't say).

AnnieA
03-12-2019, 11:04 PM
FYI, everyone, I tried a small experiment a while ago. I washed my brushes with just regular bar soap, until the suds were white and they appeared to be fully clean. But then, I did a second wash in Masters, and the suds showed a surprising amount of color, which meant the bar soap wasn't as effective as the Masters. I always use Masters as my final cleaning step now.

stapeliad
03-13-2019, 09:48 AM
The Masters Brush Cleaner will cut through the oil. You could wet the brush first and swirl it in the compound, or wet the compound and swirl the brush. Doesn't matter.

Yes you'll get paint on top of the cleaner, either leave it there or rinse it off. It doesn't get contaminated. The cake remains pretty solid.

You are way over-thinking this, just relax and use it.

Pinguino
03-13-2019, 12:15 PM
FYI, everyone, I tried a small experiment a while ago. I washed my brushes with just regular bar soap, until the suds were white and they appeared to be fully clean. But then, I did a second wash in Masters, and the suds showed a surprising amount of color, which meant the bar soap wasn't as effective as the Masters. I always use Masters as my final cleaning step now. That's worth knowing. In my case, if the brush is synthetic, I often wash them using Fels Naptha bar soap. This laundry product is cheap, and is stronger than the kind of bar soap used for bathing (it would not leave your skin as soft as a spring breeze, or whatever the advertising is). So, it cleans as well as Masters AFAIK, as determined by clean suds from a follow-up with Masters. But if the brush is natural, I just use Masters, which contains conditioners that Fels Naptha doesn't have.

contumacious
03-13-2019, 12:48 PM
That's worth knowing. In my case, if the brush is synthetic, I often wash them using Fels Naptha bar soap. This laundry product is cheap, and is stronger than the kind of bar soap used for bathing (it would not leave your skin as soft as a spring breeze, or whatever the advertising is). So, it cleans as well as Masters AFAIK, as determined by clean suds from a follow-up with Masters. But if the brush is natural, I just use Masters, which contains conditioners that Fels Naptha doesn't have.

I use both as well. If I had to pick one, it would be the Master's. I bought their largest 24 ounce tub on sale for under $15, so the cost per ounce was 59 cents/ounce vs 36 cents/ounce for the Fels Naptha. It should last many years even after giving some of it away to my daughter. If you are buying the tiny containers the Masters is ridiculously expensive $5.69 PER OUNCE in the smallest one. The 2.5 ounce container for $5.60 ($2.80/ounce) at Blick actually costs LESS than the 1 ounce. How funny is that.

Worrying about pennies must have something to do with having been raised by parents who lived during the 1st Great Depression. I am looking forward to reminiscing with my great grand kids about the 2nd Great Depression of 2009 so I can turn them into penny pinchers as well! :thumbsup:

sidbledsoe
03-13-2019, 05:31 PM
you'll get paint on top of the cleaner, either leave it there or rinse it off.
yes, video evidence here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfI6bPDuvw8)showing how the cake gets fouled but then you wash it away and down the drain with all the rest of the paint, all the lead, cadmiums, cobalts, phthalos, and maybe arsenic and mercury too, if you like emerald green and genuine vermillion.
what a pain it is to wash out oil paint until it is totally removed, I just do a little rinse in oms and put them away with oil on them until next use, but I like faster, cheaper, easier, cleaner, greener, etc.

AnnieA
03-13-2019, 06:13 PM
Sid, I appreciate your sentiments, but at the same time, I read a while ago that the total amount of artist products disposed of is not large enough to cause any serious environmental concerns - the amount is negligible. It's the gigantic amount of toxic byproducts produced by our major industries that are truly dangerous to the environment.

And - just curious -what do you do with the used OMS?

stapeliad
03-13-2019, 08:08 PM
Let your OMS sit and the pigments settle to the bottom. Decant and re-use the oms. It is true that artist waste is too small to be of concern. But you should never pour solvent down the drain.

I like the masters brush cleaner but several years ago i stopped all water-soap- brush cleaning and life got a lot better for me and my brushes.

sidbledsoe
03-14-2019, 04:15 PM
Sid, I appreciate your sentiments, but at the same time, I read a while ago that the total amount of artist products disposed of is not large enough to cause any serious environmental concerns - the amount is negligible. It's the gigantic amount of toxic byproducts produced by our major industries that are truly dangerous to the environment.

And - just curious -what do you do with the used OMS?

I am a confirmed minimalist.
The amount isn't something I can control, nor my reason. I do a number of "green" things that amount to a totally negligible reduction in toxic waste and/or carbon footprint, for example, I air dry all of my clothes, towels, blankets, and linens, all the time. I won't use a number of toxic products, such as Roundup. I also use recycled paint (https://recolorpaints.com/)for my house, for me it is simply about a "head" thing.
Aside from that, the main reason for not completely cleaning out all of the oil paint from my brushes isn't the green consideration, it is the major pleasance factor of not needing to do it.

The argument that it is too negligible to bother with, is the same argument to why bother to avoid using OMS, while not avoiding using household cleaning products, cosmetics, disinfectants, and auto fumes.
You just wanna pick and choose your poisons when you can.

I only have a couple of jars of OMS that have been sitting in my basement for years. I work with only one small brushwasher can of OMS.
Twice a year my local landfill has a hazardous waste collection day. I generate very little OMS waste because I can reuse it for years, but that is where I take such waste.

sidbledsoe
03-14-2019, 05:35 PM
regarding Masters being more of an oil solvent than a regular soap,
if it is, then it may have some additional component, such as the citrus fragrance that is probably an essential oil. The MSDS doesn't list ingredients other than saying none are hazardous, but it does mention a citrus fragrance too.
I would try washing a brush in Masters, and then dipping the brush in some OMS and blotting it out to see if you can get any more residual oil paint out.
I have done this with regular soaps, Dawn, etc. and the OMS did solubilize even more paint out of the brush. I doubt that Masters gets all of it out of the dense packed hairs near the ferrule, which is another reason why I use the keep them brushes wet method instead.

DMSS
03-15-2019, 07:45 AM
the keep them brushes wet method instead.
Can you please elaborate on this method? How long can you store brushes in oil? How deep into the oil do you place the brush? Why doesn't the oil dry in the brush? When it is time to paint what do you just wipe the brush on a rag?

sidbledsoe
03-15-2019, 10:49 PM
Can you please elaborate on this method? How long can you store brushes in oil? How deep into the oil do you place the brush? Why doesn't the oil dry in the brush? When it is time to paint what do you just wipe the brush on a rag?
Yes, Here is the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhOzqI0mWmA&t=328s)which discusses it in more detail than I can report here. Mark Carder is the one who turned me on to this method. I built one of his brush holding racks and leave them sitting for months. I don't submerge them into oil, I just charge them, or load them with some non drying oil such as olive oil or soybean oil (Wesson) Non drying oils do not dry, so the brush stays oily and wet until I use them again. When it is time to paint with one of these brushes, I wipe off the oil, then swish the brush in OMS, and then reload the brush with my medium or linseed oil, and then give that a wipe and it is ready to go again.
Mark uses an artist drying oil that has clove oil added to it. So what he is using is also not drying due to the addition of the clove oil. He calls it brush dip.
Although Mark thinks this is better than using a non drying oil like olive oil, it is actually doing the very same thing. There is nothing to worry about regarding contamination of your paint mixes because I have wiped, rinse out, and recharged the brush with a drying oil or medium.
Many people do not understand that even regular linseed oil already has a fraction of non drying fatty acid in it, such as oleic acid. That is why olive oil does not dry, it is mostly oleic acid. So there is no danger of introducing a contaminant since it is removed anyway when it is cleaned out. Regular linseed oil does not fully dry, additives such as wax and others never dry at all, not in the least. You will not ruin your paint.
People who wash out their brushes with soap have just as much danger of loading up their paint mixes with soap or detergent (and turning their paint into water mixable oils). But just like the olive oil, the soap is washed out first, so the soap does not contaminate their paint.
I don't want water or soap near my brushes, I only want OMS and oil on them.

I know that Jessica and probably others use other storage solutions, such as Turpenoid Natural. Sign painters and commercial painters have been doing just this and keeping their brushes wet, but they would usually just hang them in oil or kerosene. No way did they want to wash out all of their brushes every time they used them, in addition it preserves their brushes in their original condition which is essential for precise sign painting. Once brushes harden in the ferrule, they behave stiffer, and letting them dry out does that, and it is a big no no.
Brushes are designed to hold paint and deliver it to canvas in a silky smooth manner.
Brushes are not designed for ease of cleaning, their densely packed base is difficult to get completely cleaned out, you can't wiggle, massage, or get to the hairs down there, not in the least, the paint is drawn up into the base by capillary action and is not easily cleaned out, which is why they make disposable brushes for ease of usage, but they are not made of quality materials, hence, you want to use quality brushes and you want to use them as they handle and perform as they do when they are brand new, and the best way to do it is to just keep them wet and the bonus is that it is much easier too.

AnnieA
03-16-2019, 12:44 AM
Brushes are not designed for ease of cleaning, their densely packed base is difficult to get completely cleaned out, you can't wiggle, massage, or get to the hairs down there, not in the least, the paint is drawn up into the base by capillary action and is not easily cleaned out...

Sid, lately I've been using a wire slicker brush (the kind you use on dogs with curly coats) on any artist brushes that have paint near the ferrule. It seems to work quite well, although I've only had the nerve to use it on several older brushes that were in bad shape (thrift store purchases!). I think the reason it works is that it actually does get to the hairs in the middle. I've been meaning to do a thread on it.

But you've provided more info on your method, and maybe I'll try it.

plnelson
03-16-2019, 01:51 AM
I wipe off the oil, then swish the brush in OMS, and then reload the brush with my medium or linseed oil, and then give that a wipe and it is ready to go again.

But as I said in the OP, I'm trying to avoid solvents.

sidbledsoe
03-16-2019, 06:55 AM
But as I said in the OP, I'm trying to avoid solvents.
Simply omit the OMS and just use any type of oil for that step.
Yes, I could have answered DMSS in a PM for continuity here, but the original post question should have been well answered by this point.
If avoiding solvents then I would avoid Masters Brush Cleaner too and just use an unscented regular soap and water.
If Masters is dissolving paint significantly better than regular soap, then you can bet that they are adding a solvent of some type, as I said earlier, maybe that citrus fragrance. Not only would you breath it, you would be constantly scrubbing it into your hands with the brush cleaning and mashing operation.
Fels Naptha soap is named that because it used to contain naptha which is another name for mineral spirits. But they took it out some time ago and I am not sure what exactly is in it nowadays.
Annie, I would never think of digging a wire brush/comb type thing into the base hairs of my precious brushes, that should wreck then nicely and splay them out more than just mashing the dickens out of them with soap. There is no room in the tightly packed base of a brush for anything besides some absorbed oil paint.

DMSS
03-16-2019, 09:24 AM
Thank you, Sid. Great explanation and informative video. Would you recommend this for synthetic brushes, too?

plnelson
03-16-2019, 11:40 AM
If Masters is dissolving paint significantly better than regular soap, then you can bet that they are adding a solvent of some type, as I said earlier,
There is nothing in the MSDS for Master's that indicates it has any solvents. Generally products that contain solvents have flammability ratings, flash points, extinguishing methods, etc, in their MSDS. Even natural substances such citrus solvents based on D-Limonene (e.g., Grumbacher Grumtine) have these. Even materials that just have some solvents, e.g., Neo Megilp have these ratings in their MSDS. But not so for Masters.

Most likely since it's in the soap family it just has more powerful surfactants than what you can put in bar soap. Because surfactants break down oils, they dry out the skin, causing irritation and cracking so there's only so much you can put in soap designed for skin contact such as bar soap. But you can really go to town in detergents NOT designed for skin contact such as driveway cleaners and degreasers, so I suspect that's what Masters does.

sidbledsoe
03-16-2019, 04:02 PM
There is nothing in the MSDS for Master's that indicates it has any solvents. Generally products that contain solvents have flammability ratings, flash points, extinguishing methods, etc, in their MSDS. Even natural substances such citrus solvents based on D-Limonene (e.g., Grumbacher Grumtine) have these. Even materials that just have some solvents, e.g., Neo Megilp have these ratings in their MSDS. But not so for Masters.

Most likely since it's in the soap family it just has more powerful surfactants than what you can put in bar soap. Because surfactants break down oils, they dry out the skin, causing irritation and cracking so there's only so much you can put in soap designed for skin contact such as bar soap. But you can really go to town in detergents NOT designed for skin contact such as driveway cleaners and degreasers, so I suspect that's what Masters does.
Yes, that could well be what is in it.
Solid cream colored soap cake with citrus fragrance
the citrus fragrance indicates some type of added essential oil, and there are also some non flammable (https://relspec.com/applications/vapor-degreasing-solvent.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4af3u7WH4QIVToGzCh2ECgTMEAAYASAAEgIJGPD_BwE), zero flash point, solvents (https://www.envirotechint.com/products/next-solvents-fluorinated-solvents/).
But it probably contains strong surfactants too.
Annie, I would try the same soap comparison test you did, but this time use Dawn detergent and see how Masters Soap compares to it.

Would you recommend this for synthetic brushes, too?
yes, any brush.
synthetics will hold up better than naturals with whatever is used to clean them.

AnnieA
03-16-2019, 06:23 PM
Annie, I would never think of digging a wire brush/comb type thing into the base hairs of my precious brushes, that should wreck then nicely and splay them out more than just mashing the dickens out of them with soap. There is no room in the tightly packed base of a brush for anything besides some absorbed oil paint.
I can understand the worry, Sid, but I move the slicker brush down from the lower edge of the ferrule toward the end of the bristles, so rather than splaying, it seems to coax the bristles back into something close to their original place. I think that rather than the tightly packed base of the brush, the splaying may originate in the part just at the margin of the ferrule, and expecially in the middle bristles of that area, the ones you can't see, or reach with normal cleaning methods. It only makes sense that if you can see some paint on the bristles at the point they join the ferrule, that there would be even more paint in the center at that area. I first tried it on an old brush that I got at a thrift store, and was very surprised at the results. As I said, I intend to do a thread eventually on the method, but I will add the caveat that one should take care in using it. I'll recommend that people try it out only on old damaged brushes until it may be found to work without problems on all brushes, which is something I don't feel comfortable claiming at this point.

C_Verdun
03-24-2019, 11:22 AM
I HATE CLEANING BRUSHES!

So...I don't.

For years, I've simply stored my "working" brushes standing in a jar of linseed oil. Soap and spirits strip the natural oils from the hog bristles and shortens their life.

Also, it's bad enough that the "tooth" of the canvas wears brushes down. I don't need daily rigorous cleaning cleaning sessions to shorten my brush life even more.

But the main reason is the time! Imagine how many MORE paintings I can produce in my limited lifetime if I stopped washing brushes!

Quite a few.

stapeliad
03-24-2019, 11:31 AM
I HATE CLEANING BRUSHES!

So...I don't.



THIS!!!! :lol: :thumbsup:

AnnieA
03-24-2019, 01:04 PM
Curtis and Jess, how do you put them in the oil then? Are they suspended above it? If so how, and how many brushes per session do you ordinarily use?

stapeliad
03-24-2019, 02:09 PM
No I just keep them soaked in Turp Natural after a good rinse in Gamsol.
Then I stick them in cups bristle-up. Easy. No cleaning required. Brushes love it.

C_Verdun
03-24-2019, 05:27 PM
In a tall narrow jar, I simply stand the brushes in the oil, bristles down.

C_Verdun
03-24-2019, 05:29 PM
I may have as many as 7 or 8 brushes "in play" at most sessions, and of course a few knives (and fingers!)

Ron Francis
03-25-2019, 06:18 PM
A warning about Master's Brush Cleaner and Restorer

Probably around a year ago, Anthony Waichulis posted at George Ohanlon's facebook group "Painting Best Practices".
A student of his was complaining about damage to his brushes.
On investigation, (looking at differences in techniques etc), he found the only variable to be the brush cleaner.

After some testing, he found that it contained abrasives that could not be rinsed out of the brush.
He supplied a couple of images taken with a microscope showing before and after washing with the particles still in the hairs.

This was followed up by Lewis Hizer, who took photos at greater magnification and cross polarization.

I have also used Masters Brush Cleaner, and I felt it was gritty in my fingers, especially after the cake had dried out some. I thought it may have been crystals forming.

Anyway, photos are below. The first is from Anthony, and the second and third from Lewis.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Mar-2019/153476-waichulis_photos.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Mar-2019/153476-Hitzer_1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/25-Mar-2019/153476-Hitzer_2.jpg

plnelson
03-25-2019, 06:41 PM
It wouldn't surprise me if it had abrasives in it. Toothpaste has abrasives in it and I actually know people (people=plural=more than one!) who clean artists brushes with toothpaste if they suspect dried paint in them. I've never tried it but that's probably why my brushes get cavities ...:lol:

But I can't even think of an abrasive that wouldn't rinse out. Pure sand would rinse out if the rinse was thorough enough.

And if it's crystals that appear when the soap dries out then presumably they would be precipitating out of solution, in which case they would go back into solution during the rinse.

So it's interesting but it's not illuminating enough. When I win the lottery I'm going to create Wet Canvas Labs where we will have a whole team of scientists to find out what's REALLY in stuff like Masters and Sennelier Green and all the other mystery goop in our studios.

Ron Francis
03-25-2019, 10:21 PM
I only thought they may have been crystals when I was using it.
It wasn't until much later that these posts came out, which at least in my mind, confirmed that it contains an abrasive.

Maybe they don't rinse out because of their size? Or maybe their sharpness?
At any rate, the investigation began because brushes were getting damaged.
It probably became evident because Anthony is a photo realist, using fine sable brushes, meaning any damage would become more obvious sooner than most artists.

It's an easy decision for me not to use it because I didn't much like it in the first place. ;)

DAK723
03-27-2019, 04:09 PM
Well, all this is interesting. I can only speak from my personal experience after using Master Brush cleaner for about the past 10 years. It has not noticeably damaged my brushes - they seem to be in quite good shape - and after reading the above posts, went back and tried the Masters again quite extensively. I don't recall ever feeling that the soap is gritty or abrasive - and I did not feel any sign of abrasiveness now. It is so smooth and oily that I have to doubt what others have concluded.

It is the best cleaner that I have used - but I have not used that many. I would certainly recommend that others try the product for themselves rather than rely on internet comments - pro or con.

Don

Ron Francis
03-27-2019, 11:46 PM
Well, all this is interesting. I can only speak from my personal experience after using Master Brush cleaner for about the past 10 years. It has not noticeably damaged my brushes - they seem to be in quite good shape - and after reading the above posts, went back and tried the Masters again quite extensively. I don't recall ever feeling that the soap is gritty or abrasive - and I did not feel any sign of abrasiveness now. It is so smooth and oily that I have to doubt what others have concluded.

Are we talking about the same product?
It's a solid soap in a low profile, light brown, cylindrical container.
(I'm not familiar with them, but Masters have other brush cleaning soaps.)

These photographs are hard evidence that it contains an abrasive, so unless you think the original posters are lying, or mistaken, (or me for that matter), I can't see how it can be doubted.

AnnieA
03-28-2019, 02:32 AM
I've noticed something in the soap - little flecks of something when I apply the Masters in concentrated form. But they're very small flecks and I think they dissolve - at any rate they've always seemed to have rinsed out completely and have never harmed my brushes. I often leave a small bit of Masters on the bristles as they dry as it helps keep them shaped properly, but it always seems to come out when the brush is rubbed on a towel once dry.

Perhaps they don't dissolve when cold water is used. I always use very warm water. Or could it be a different soap entirely. The largest size of Master's comes in a round tub, probably 6 or 7 inches across and 4 inches or so high. The tub is a warm beige color and the old fashioned lettering on it is brown. There are a number of smaller sizes as well.

contumacious
03-28-2019, 08:46 AM
I have been using the solid Masters Brush Cleaner for decades and it has not damaged any of my brushes. If anything it has extended their life.

DAK723
03-28-2019, 08:51 AM
Are we talking about the same product?
It's a solid soap in a low profile, light brown, cylindrical container.
(I'm not familiar with them, but Masters have other brush cleaning soaps.)

These photographs are hard evidence that it contains an abrasive, so unless you think the original posters are lying, or mistaken, (or me for that matter), I can't see how it can be doubted.



Believe me, no offense intended, but highly magnified photos tell me nothing except that there are particles visible. Are these particles from a brand new unused sample? If not, then they could come from paint residue or something in a medium - or if the product is old, some sort of chemical reaction within the soap or with any paint or medium that it came in contact with. I do not doubt the honesty or integrity of those who posted the photos or the articles. The product may indeed contain an abrasive.


It may, in fact, be the abrasive that makes it work so well. I have merely stated that in 10 years or more of using the product, I have never felt any abrasiveness or had my brushes damaged in any noticeable way.



The product that I am talking about is Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver and comes in a large 6" diameter tub as Annie describes above. I'll also ad that I have never noticed the little flecks that Annie describes, but I do not doubt her experience. Perhaps Masters has some quality control issues and I have been lucky over the years.


Again, just speaking from my experience - not doubting the experience or honesty of others.


Don

Ron Francis
03-28-2019, 07:38 PM
Are these particles from a brand new unused sample? If not, then they could come from paint residue or something in a medium - or if the product is old, some sort of chemical reaction within the soap or with any paint or medium that it came in contact with.
Pollution of the soap is a possibility that wasn't addressed. Good point.
The second pair of photos were from a different person, so different soap.
They could have coincidentally both been polluted though.

It may, in fact, be the abrasive that makes it work so well. I have merely stated that in 10 years or more of using the product, I have never felt any abrasiveness or had my brushes damaged in any noticeable way.
I have no doubt that abrasives help clean paint from brushes, however if they also damage the hairs then it's a concern.
Here's an excerpt from the original post.
While this may not adversely affect those who are painting in a thicker/bolder/more-cavalier manner, if you are using very soft brushes for delicate surface refinement---you may want to find alternate cleaners.
So I'm not suggesting to anyone that they not use this product, but if they are having similar problems maintaining very fine points, and they are using this cleaner, this may indicate the reason.

sidbledsoe
03-28-2019, 10:39 PM
I have been using the solid Masters Brush Cleaner for decades and it has not damaged any of my brushes. If anything it has extended their life.
I think that this is the standard review of MBC that I have read from users
It is such a ubiquitous product, and it has a pretty long history of excellent usage behind it.
There are some other products being condemned here recently, such as Gamsol , spike oil, alkyds, WMO's, etc. yet they are all working just great, for so many. for so long.
I kinda feel a little bad for the manufacturers in a way.