View Full Version : Safflower Oil Question

03-27-2019, 11:13 AM
Is grocery store safflower oil okay to soak brushes in when not in use?

03-27-2019, 11:36 AM
Is grocery store safflower oil okay to soak brushes in when not in use?
Yes. I also use sunflower oil to clean my brushes.

03-27-2019, 11:45 AM
Yes. Just be sure to remove that oil before you paint, as it is not a drying oil (well, it barely dries in a super-long time). Also, don't soak your brushes in the bottle that's on your grocery shelf!

FYI: Culinary Safflower oil, and painter's Safflower oil, come from different cultivars of the same species. The culinary oil is high in Oleic Acid, but the painter's oil (which is the historical earlier cultivar) is not so high in Oleic Acid.

03-27-2019, 12:38 PM
Is olive oil better?

03-27-2019, 12:53 PM
Is olive oil better?
No. Although can store your brushes in Olive oil (or nearly any vegetable oil), Safflower oil is a bit "thinner," and so can penetrate between the bristles better. Might be only a microscopic difference, but still a difference.

Olive oil is even less drying than culinary Safflower oil. If any of it remains contaminating the brush, when you resume painting, then the paint film may not dry as quickly or as well as you'd like.

On the other hand, if you have paint on the brush and it is likely to start drying before you get a chance to properly clean it, using Olive oil as a temporary measure is much better than doing nothing. Just be sure to get all of the oil out, later.

03-27-2019, 12:53 PM
No, olive oil isn't better. Walnut oil is better. It is perfect to store brushes submerged in it.

03-27-2019, 01:29 PM
You can buy a gallon of refined, cold pressed Walnut Oil for about $40 shipped. I prefer to use that for cleaning brushes and keeping them wet between sessions because you don't have to worry about non drying oils getting mixed in with your paints. I also use the same oil to mix with my paints and to make various mediums. A gallon lasts me about a year.

03-27-2019, 01:41 PM
Also, culinary Walnut oil is not greatly different from artist-grade Walnut oil, so you don't need to worry as much about contamination from oil left in the brush.

In any case, avoid Mineral Oil or Baby Oil or Ghee, since these oils never dry, and are also harder to remove from the bristles.

03-27-2019, 04:53 PM
Is grocery store safflower oil okay to soak brushes in when not in use?

I do it because I just assumed it was, but I'll be interested to hear the answers.

Luis Sanchez
03-27-2019, 07:40 PM
Is olive oil better?

I wouldn't recommend it. It is probably the worst choice for any painting use. It never dries. You can wash them to remove the oil, sure, but then not much of an advantage. I guess you can wipe them very thoroughly and the minimal reminder won't be that bad. But, really, who knows. In the short term it will be fine but bets are off as to what will happen after some time.

Michael Lion
03-30-2019, 10:52 AM
I don't see a problem with using any non-drying oil to soak brushes, as long as you don't mix too much of it into the paint.

The cheapest oil, as well as the cheapest drying oil, you can buy at a supermarket is soybean oil, usually called just "vegetable oil" because of stigma against soybeans. Check the ingredients list.

The safflower oil sold in supermarkets is non-drying, it's mostly oleic acid, while the safflower oil that dries is mostly linoleic acid.