How To Clean Polyurethane Brush? An Amazing Guideline

Have you been working with a polyurethane finish, and you are wondering how to clean polyurethane brush? Well, we focus on how you can get rid of this finish from your brushes and leave them spotlessly clean.


We pay attention to cleaning the brush, but you can apply these tips to clean the cloth, among other equipment.

What is polyurethane?

This is an organic polymer added on varnishes, sealants among other protective coats.  It is unique in a way that makes your work easy. Once you apply it on a surface and it dries off, it can regain its liquid structure even if you apply heat.  It protects surfaces against sunlight as well as other heat sources.

How do you clean water-based polyurethane from brushes?

Thoroughly flush the brush with water until it is clean.  You can also soak this brush in a jar of water until it is clean then dried it. This method is not recommended for brushes though as it shortens their lifespan as well as distorting the bristles.

how to clean polyurethane brush

How To Clean Polyurethane Brushes With Paint Thinner?

Polyurethane brushes are the most popular and versatile tools for artists. But when they are used for the first time, they don’t provide the required results. If you cannot get the best results from your brush, you must need to clean it. But cleaning the brush is not that easy. You can’t clean it like you clean your brushes with a regular cleaning solution. So, here is the step-by-step guide that will help you to clean your polyurethane brushes perfectly.

1: Get your polyurethane brushes and fill them with water. Now start rubbing them with a towel for 5 minutes. This process will soften the hair and make it easier to clean it.

2: Take the brush and brush it to remove the hairs. Use tweezers or scissors to remove the hairs. Tweezers are the best choice  .

3:Clean the brush with some paint thinner. I am sure you have a brush cleaner, but a paint thinner is an effective option for this purpose. You can use it as it will not harm the skin. Simply mix paint thinned with water in an equal part. Next, add some shampoo to the mixture and rub your brush with it.

4:After rubbing the brush, you need to soak it in the water for 10 to 15 minutes. This step is necessary to remove all the leftover dirt. After removing the dirt, wash your brush with some soap and dry it in a fan. This step will prevent the paint from drying on the brush

How do I clean oil-based polyurethane from a brush?

Oil-based polyurethane requires you to use chemicals for cleaning.

We can use white spirit as well as paint thinner to get rid of the polyurethane. If the brush has dried hard, you should soak it in water.  Massage the bristles until polyurethane becomes soft.  After paint thinner, use Acetone to get rid of the thinner from the brush.  Wash the brush in soapy water to get rid of the Acetone.

This soap also helps to soften the bristles; hence you will not have problems using it next time.  Even though this is a long and complicated process, it is worth it, especially if the brush is of quality.

how to clean polyurethane brush

Cleaning a brush using a brush comb

Always use a brush comb when cleaning your brushes to make the task easy.  This comb speeds up the process of getting rid of paint from brushes’ bristles. There are different brush combs available in the market. Choose one that best suits your needs.

Gently insert the comb into the bristles then stroke it downwards.  Do this repeatedly until the residue comes out.

Dry the brush using a clean rag. Stand the brush upside down in an open jar making sure that bristles are facing upward. This facilitates the drying of the bristles and prevents the formation of molds as well as mildew.

This process cleans both the inside as well as outside of the brush.  It is useful and worth trying.

You must take good care of brushes if at all you are planning to reuse them. You will not achieve good results if you are using dirty and hard-bristled brushes.


Some of the desirable qualities of polyurethane finish are the fact that it is durable and highly resistant.  This complicates the cleaning technique, especially if you want to get rid of it from brushes.  We can easily remove water-based finish using the tips above. When it comes to oil-based, we have to employ chemicals.


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