Dirty paint brushes against a white background
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Restore Paint Brushes And Rollers With Just One Clever Laundry Hack
Even if you get them washed before the paint crusts over, paintbrush bristles stiffen over time and can become unusable, which is unfortunate, since they’re expensive. Rather than tossing old paint brushes and rollers, save yourself some money by soaking them in fabric softener and water to restore them.
Soak them in a mixture of 1/2 cup of the laundry product and 2 gallons of warm water for roughly 10 minutes, giving the brushes and rollers a swirl as the paint begins to soften. Make sure your container is shallow enough that the handles won't get too soaked, and don’t leave them in so long that the paint chips or the wood molds.
If fabric softener still isn't doing the trick, soaking your dried-up brushes and rollers in white distilled vinegar for an hour may do it. Once the hour is up, try and bend the bristles. If they still don't give, refresh the vinegar and try again for another hour; if they do bend, continue to soak them in fabric softener.
If a second vinegar bath still isn't working, try soaking the brush or roller in a pot of boiling vinegar — just make sure there aren't any meltable plastic elements and that it's safe to expose your paint to high heat. While this could damage the handle, it's better than trashing your brushes altogether.