In the past, I’ve always thrown away paintbrushes that had gone hard. Even solvents didn’t seem to work that well and I didn’t like the cost to the environment using these. I’ve just recently found this article which says that using ivory soap gets your brushes back to their former glory.

It’s very simple – take a glass jar (I think she said it needs to be non-reactive – which would be vessels like ceramic, glass, stoneware, food-grade plastic, wood, or porcelain, as opposed to reactive vessels like copper, zinc, cast iron, brass, aluminum, carbon steel, or galvanized anything) and place a bar of ivory soap inside. Fill with enough water to cover, and drop your brushes in.

The soap makes a nasty grey slurry mix. Like this:


Let sit for a couple days, then wash with soap & water. It really works – and my bristles are softer and more workable/pliable than ever! I think I’ll let all my brushes get hard & crusty with paint, so they can go through this process.

I’ve yet to find the equivalent here in France so if anyone can give me an idea, I would be most grateful.