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This Pantry Staple Can Save Your Dried Paintbrushes

a paint brush is dipped in yellow paint.
MikroKon/Shutterstock.com

You’re in the midst of painting a few walls in your home, but you wake up the next morning and realize you left your paintbrushes out. Now, they’re dried and seemingly unusable. Turns out, though, that there might be a solution right in your pantry.

Vinegar can help bring dried paintbrushes back to life, and it doesn’t even take much work from you.

First, you’ll want to fill a mason jar or another vessel with vinegar. Then, place your paint-hardened brush into it. Allow it to soak for an hour. After, if the bristles don’t bend, soak for another hour. Once bendable, rinse the bristles with water and clean in the sink as usual.

For the most intense caked-on paint, pour vinegar into a pot, bring it to a boil, and then place the brush in for a soak. Remove it with tongs so as not to burn yourself and allow the bristles to cool. Then, rinse and remove the paint with water.

Of course, the best way to deal with dried paint is to not let it happen in the first place. Thankfully, there are plenty of methods that don’t involve a laborious washing process after each night of painting.

If you’re in the middle of painting a room, and a few brushes slip through the cracks, vinegar might be your new best friend.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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