This linseed oil soap is my favorite brush cleaner so far.
Before I find this product, I’ve tried classic Master brush cleaner, the regular soap and mineral spirit. I don’t like the smell of mineral spirit. even with the odorless mineral spirit, I don’t want to deal with the waste liquid afterwards. Because my chemistry background, I am really concerned about these liquid organic compounds. If I were in a lab, I would put them in a gallon waste bottle and label the start date, finish date and material name. Then take the waste bottle to hazardous waste specialist. However I don’t want to keep a waste bottle like that at home. Nor I want a trip to local hazardous waste collecting station. So I try to limit the usage of mineral spirit. The solid soaps are fine, but in my opinion, they take longer time to completely clean dirty oil painting brushes.
But this linseed soap is different! One day Amazon recommend this product to me in the list of “things you may like”. Good work, Amazon~ 😀 I read a lot reviews and decided to try. This dirty yellow sticky gluey stuff doesn’t seem appealing at all. It has some dark reddish orange thick liquid separated on top layer. I was not 100% satisfied after the first use. The brush hair becomes so stiff and stick together. Then I discovered. I dilute some of the soap in an empty 2 liter soda bottle with water. Let it set overnight so it becomes soap solution. –>
After each painting session, I simply pour some of this soap solution (shake it a little before use) into a mason jar. Then I put all my brushes in it. Let the brushes soak in the liquid while I clean up my work area. Once the liquid turns muddy I will start cleaning. Take one brush out each time, squeeze all soap liquid out of bristle, then rinse with water. Or rinse with regular soap and water depends on the condition of brush. Last, dry the brush with paper towel first and then air dry over night. The next day it will become brand new soft and clean brush. Ta-da~
I never thought that oil painting brush cleaning could be so simple. FYI, I use water mixable oil paints (because it is easy to clean. I don’t use water as medium during the painting). But this soap should work well with regular oil paints.
I know some artists don’t clean their brushes after every session if they know they are coming back the next day. But this is not for me. If I left dirty brushes out there, the next day I’ll pass them and pick up the clean brush for sure. So, cleaning is part of my routine. That is why I like this linseed oil based soap so much. 😀
I hope this little tip might help you.
Thank you ~