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Re: [BKARTS] cleaning brushes

A trick from oil painters is to clean bristle brushes with a bar of Ivory soap. I don't think other soaps work as well for this.

I put a bar in a large plastic lid, and swirl my brush on it for every cleaning, at the end of the day. A nice depression forms that makes it easier. When there is nothing left of the bar but soap bits, they go into a pint jar with a little water. When I have a brush that has dried PVA that a student has not cleaned well, it goes into the soap jar to soak for a couple of days. Soaking in the soap jar really helps loosen hardened PVA.

Soaking brushes in water over several days can cause the bristles to loosen after awhile. If you are using brushes with metal ferrules (the band that holds the bristles in) rust can develop, which is harmful to paper.

Ann Frellsen

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