If you’re an avid painter, then you know that paints come with their own challenges. Though they are some of the most rewarding projects to complete, painting often leaves your brushes and other tools caked with paint. Even if you clean your utensils after every use, it can be hard for polyurethane to completely release from your brushes. This is especially true if you are using a brush with synthetic bristles. Thankfully, there are several ways to get rid of polyurethane in your brushes fast and easily so that you can use them again soon. Let’s dive into more details about what makes cleaning polyurethane out of brushes difficult, as well as different methods you can use to remove the pigment from your utensils.
What is Polyurethane?
Polyurethane is a synthetic, water-based coating that is used to seal wood or concrete. It helps to seal out water, prevent bugs and pests, and protect your floors from scratches and other damage. Keep in mind that there are many paints that are labeled “polyurethane”, although they are slightly different. For instance, oil-based poly is thick and made to remain flexible in cold weather, while water-based poly dries faster but is prone to peeling and cracking. If you are using water-based polyurethane, then this article can help you learn how to remove it from your brushes. Keep in mind that oil-based polyurethane is much harder to clean and should ideally be disposed of rather than cleaned.
How Is Polyurethane Different from Other Paints?
As mentioned above, polyurethane is a synthetic paint that is often used to seal the wood. But what makes it different from other paints? Depending on the formulation, various paints can be water, oil, or even solvent-based. If you’re not familiar with the differences between these types, then you might be wondering how to clean polyurethane out of brushes. Let’s take a closer look at each type of paint and see how it compares to polyurethane. Water-based paints come with a number of advantages, including low odor and low toxicity. That said, they can be difficult to clean from surfaces, plus they tend to peel. Oil-based paints are odorless and easy to clean from surfaces, but they are more toxic and difficult to remove from the air. Solvent-based paints are extremely toxic and can be very difficult to remove from a wide variety of surfaces, including brushes. Polyurethane is water-based and typically dries quickly, making it a perfect choice for sealing the surface of wooden furniture or floors.
How to Clean Polyurethane Out of Brushes the Manual Way
If you have tried the above methods and still haven’t been able to get polyurethane out of brushes, then you can try cleaning them manually. To do so, mix a thick soap and warm water in a bucket or large bowl, then drop your brushes in. Let them soak for at least a few hours, and use a brush cleaning tool to remove them from the water once the paint has loosened. Next, rinse your brushes with cold water, and then lay them out to dry. If you have a small amount of polyurethane to clean, you can also try manually scrubbing the brush against a sponge or old toothbrush.
Tips for Cleaning Polyurethane Out of Brushes Fast and Easy
If you want to clean polyurethane out of brushes fast and easily, then you may want to use an industrial-strength cleaner. Keep in mind that industrial cleaners are toxic, so you should always wear gloves and goggles. Industrial strength cleaners are ideal for removing paints from your brushes because they are stronger than soap and water. Some of the best brush cleaners include Brush-Off, Five56, and Dr. Bronner’s. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and water. You can even try using a mixture of isopropyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or turpentine. However, you should only use these if you have a large amount of polyurethane to remove from your brushes.
Method 1: Soak Your Brush in Oil
If you want to clean polyurethane out of brushes fast and easily, then you can try soaking your brush in oil. To do so, fill a bowl with an equal amount of oil and water. If you want to be more precise, you can also use one part vegetable oil and one part water. Once your brush has been soaked in the oil and water mixture, you can use a brush-cleaning tool to pull it out. Be sure to use a paper towel to dry your brush thoroughly, as a wet brush can damage your paint.
Method 2: Use Isopropyl Alcohol
If you want to clean polyurethane out of brushes fast and easily, then you can try soaking your brush in isopropyl alcohol. To do so, mix one part isopropyl alcohol with three parts water in a bowl, then place your brush in the solution. Let it sit for at least three hours before using a brush-cleaning tool to remove it from the solution. Be sure to place your brush on a paper towel or another surface that can dry quickly.
Method 3: Microwave the Brush
If you want to clean polyurethane out of brushes fast and easily, then you can try microwaving your brush. To do so, fill a microwave-safe bowl with water and place your brush inside. Microwave the bowl for two minutes, then use a brush-cleaning tool to pull the brush out of the water. Be sure to use a paper towel to dry your brush thoroughly.
Finally, remember that you should never throw away a brush that has polyurethane in it. While this paint can be extremely difficult to clean from brushes, there are ways to remove it from your utensils. From soaking your brush in oil to placing it in the microwave, there are plenty of ways to clean polyurethane out of brushes.