View Full Version : The Best Brush Cleaner

12-14-2001, 01:46 PM
I suggest that the best and cheapest and easiest brush cleaner for both Oils and Acrylics is:


Gojo or similar products with other names are to be found it the Hardare store. It is a cream product not unlike hand cream. It's intended use is to clean mechanics hands. However it makes the very best brush cleaner.

How to use:

Wash brush in water (acrylics) or paint thinner (oils) and wipe off brush. Then dip into GOJO and scrub the brush in the palm of your hand ....rinse hand and brush and repeat till no color leaves the brush. Lay flat to dry....and that's it!

A can of GOJO costs about $1.50 and can last most painters a year. GOJO adds aloh to the brush and helps to keep it in good state. My brushes hold up for years.


12-14-2001, 03:07 PM
You know, Winsor and Newton sells a brush cleaner (that I like) that is suspiciously like the type of product you discuss here. But it costs many times the price. I bet it's essentially the same stuff.

I have to say, though: the practice of cleaning brushes by scrubbing them in the palm or your hand is definitely a time honored practice. But it's got to be a bad idea from the standpoint of safety. Think about it: many of the pigments in paints (cadmium, e.g.) are quite toxic. Scrubbing them into your skin just strikes me as an idea whose time has passed. I always scrub my brushes on something else: the bottom of the slop sink or in my LATEX GLOVED hand.

Anyway, thanks for the observation about the cleaner stuff! (I think Goop is another brand name.)

12-15-2001, 10:19 PM
Thanks for the tip,, my hardware store only had the $10 size..so, now I'm ready to clean up a dirty elephant or two.
Also, Ivory soap has always done the job well..:evil:

12-16-2001, 03:21 PM
Thanks also for the tip. I am actually looking at my rough skin on my hands from painting and cleaning the brushes. I am wearing out brushes and skin at an alarming rate. So this looks like something that may help both. I am considering using gloves too as I am worried about the toxicity level of some of the cleaners and paints I use (cads). So any good glove brands out there. I think a type that would be light and very thin would be great. :)

12-16-2001, 06:40 PM
Gojo and Goop and any other name this stuff is sold under has alo in it. My hands never have problem. Goop I think has a with alo and without alo version..but I could be wrong.

12-16-2001, 07:25 PM
Vallarta - don't suppose they have a web site so I can look up outlets in my area that carry it. I bought "Ugly Dog" which is great but also very expensive. As far as the hands are concerned - I find it difficult to paint with gloves on, but I have been trying to remember to put them on when I'm putting paint out on my palette (my tubes are always a mess) and when I'm cleaning up and it does save my hands - the brushes don't know the difference!! :) I use Ivory most of the time, too, and just use Ugly Dog once in a while to revitalize them (the brushes not my hands). :rolleyes:

12-16-2001, 08:37 PM
Gojo or Goop will cut like magic. I have used both for years mainly to remove pitch from my hands when working in trees. It is sold mainly from auto parts stores for cleaning one's hands when getting greased up from exploring under the hood of your auto. I don't know if I would continue to use this daily on any Series 7 brushes or the like. Cennini's Ugly Dog Soap is hard to beat except for the cost. A combination of Kirk's Castile Soap, linseed oil and a touch of glycerine in a kithcen blender can do wonders for your bristles and the like. :oL

12-17-2001, 08:42 AM
Thanks Leo - have added those items to my "after holidays" shopping list - won't go anywhere near the stores now until after the 1st!!

12-17-2001, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Leopoldo
A combination of Kirk's Castile Soap, linseed oil and a touch of glycerine in a kitchen blender can do wonders for your bristles and the like. :oL

Les, The above quote sounds like I indicated to add your brushes to the blender which infact will indeed do untold wonders to those flags! My god! Haha!

Shave the bar of soap first(Kirk's) with a potatoe peeler into a bowl. Add the shavings to warm water and mash with a fork similiar to the consistancy of mashed potatoes(the hardest part). Add a tablespoon of olive oil or linseed oil and then add a teaspoon of glycerine(available at your local pharmacy. Store in a tight fitting jar. Take dap in your palm and massage those bristles!

12-17-2001, 10:30 AM
Dawn dishwashing detergent works well also.

12-17-2001, 02:43 PM
Leo - ROFL - thanks for the tip - won't put my brushes in the blender!! I'll give your recipe a try though - I've been fighting with myself as to whether to spend the money and order more Ugly!! :)

12-19-2001, 02:54 PM
If you are worried about absorbing art materials through your skin you can get a product called Invisible Glove. It is available at some art stores and all car parts stores. The stuff works great. It is very rugged, it will not rub off even after hours of work. No matter what kind of crap you have worked into your skin just wash with soap and water. It all comes right off. I used to use it working on cars.
The only down side is that right after you put it on it feels tacky until it completely dries. That doesn't take long. After that you forget it's on. You just have to keep away from water. So don't pick up a big sweaty glass of ice water.
I think there are several brands of this stuff generically called barrier cream. I think they all work about the same.


12-19-2001, 02:58 PM
If anybody's worried about absorbing stuff thru their skin when they are washing their hands under running water I suspect they wear belts and a suspender at the same time....hehehehe