The Care and Feeding of Brushes
Follow a pro's advice for brush cleaning and maintenance.
A collection of brushes can represent a serious investment, so it’s wise to take good care of them. After using a brush, I follow a diligent cleaning and maintenance program to remove finishing residue and maintain the brush’s profile.
The cleaning process actually begins before the finish is even applied: Before dipping the brush in the finish, “condition” it by dipping it into the cleanup solvent for the finish. This will make it much easier to clean after use. When you’re done applying the finish, remove the excess finish from the brush using a clean rag, then dunk the brush into the cleanup solvent and swish it around. Wipe the solvent off, then lather it up with a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent. Swish the bristles around in the palm of your hand, bending them back and forth to work in the detergent, particularly near the brush ferrule (A).