Artist’s soap does not contain any solvents or alcohol in it as they are too abrasive to use to clean natural and synthetic hair brushes, not to mention your hands. Watercolour painters would never need to use anything this harsh to clean their equipment after use anyway. After rinsing your brushes well in clean water, it is good practise to wash the brushes in artist’s soap as they all contain natural ingredients that condition and moisturise the hairs of your brush, keeping them strong and improving their performance. A thorough clean with an artist’s soap also ensure that you have definitely removed all the pigment from the ferrule of the brush, which if left there, could cause the hairs to splay and reduce the lifespan of the brush. Washing your brushes with artist’s soap at the end of each session is a good investment of time and effort as it will significantly prolong the lifespan of your brush. Here is a brief description of the soaps that we offer at Jackson’s Art Supplies.
AV Brush Restorer
The AV Brush Restorer is not a soap, but it is a great product for rejuvenating brushes that have been damaged by built up paint. It does not contain alcohol and softens and restores all fine brushes used for watercolour, miniatures and silk painting. Use simply by rinsing the brush in the liquid and then washing away with lukewarm water.
Da Vinci Brush Soap
Da Vinci soap is available as a bar in a cardboard box as well as in a tin. It is made wholly of natural ingredients and includes a substantial amount of vegetable oils, which help to moisturise the brush hairs and maintain their spring. The absence of harsh ingredients such as alcohol means that brush hairs are kept elastic and smooth.
Escoda Brush Soap
Similar to the Da vinci Brush soap is the Escoda brush soap. Made with 82% olive oil and the rest 100% natural, this soap is kind enough to be used on your hands as well as brushes. Washing with this soap will vastly improve the condition of old neglected brushes.
Lascaux Brush Cleaner
The Lascaux Brush cleaner is water based, and achieves results through ‘surface – active substances’ – which means that it has natural detergents in it that help to break down the paint. As with all good artist soap the Lascaux brush cleaner does not contain any solvents, phosphates, acids or caustic alkalis. Because it is so strong it can be used diluted 1:1 with water, or even less for lighter washing needs. Lascaux Brush cleaner should only be used neat for very heavy deposits of hardened paint on your art tools.
Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver
The Masters Brush Cleaner and Preserver is a product of international repute that cleans, conditions and restores paint brushes in one foul swoop! Build up a lather on the brush hairs by rubbing the soap in with your fingers with a splash of water and you will see the colour being lifted. It is strong enough to remove not only watercolour but oil paint, acrylic, alkyds, varnishes and stains, regardless of whether they are still wet or have dried on the brush. Masters Brush Cleaner conditions the brush to hold more colour and improve the flow and general performance of the brush.