Cleaning brushes and rollers

I'm sure this has been covered in a previous post, but I can't seem to find it. Is there way to effectively clean epoxy from brushes and rollers? I seem to go through an alarming number of West system rollers, foam brushes, and other such supplies, and if I could clean them to get some more mileage that would be great.

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RE: Cleaning brushes and rollers

No, there isn't.

You can try vinegar or acetone if you get to it before the epoxy cures, but then you run the risk of using a contaminated tool for your next coat of epoxy. You also have to worry about the solvents dissolving your brushes and rollers.

It's also a very messy and time-consuming job. By the time you add in cleaning up from the cleanup, you'd be out ahead working that same amount of time part-time at McDonalds and using the pay to buy more disposable  brushes and rollers.

From an environmental point of view, epoxy encased brushes and rollers are inert plastic and can be disposed of just like any other plastic. If you try to clean them, you end up with containers of contaminated solvents that need to be responsibly disposed of. You also end up having to worry about breathing VOCs while cleaning.

FWIW, epoxy coated rollers, once fully cured, can be wrapped with sandpaper and used to smooth bumpy fillets, so you can get a bit more use out of them before having to throw them away.

Have fun,



RE: Cleaning brushes and rollers

I keep them in the freezer.There they last a least one week,sometimes two.


RE: Cleaning brushes and rollers

I worked in a lab for 38 years. Buying solvent was one thing,,, but,,, disposing of it legally was always a very expensive operation. Sometimes the disposal was more expensive than the product. Dump the dirty brushes and rollers, it's not real "Green" but "Greener" than some of the disposal methods I've heard of.        If the freezer method works, I will try it.   

RE: Cleaning brushes and rollers

ditto don't even think of cleaning them.

that said, a couple other ways to get mileage out of brushes/rollers - keep the costs under controls.

-  most rollers can be cut in half to work with so each roller is really two rollers.  i use a four inch roller for all my work.

- club the work carefully and you can in one epoxy step often get  a couple pieces done reducing the total number of rollers or brushes used.

- buy bulk.  i wish i tracked how many brushes rollers are typical.....but buying in bulk or loading up during a sale has save me a lot of money vs buying as needed

RE: Cleaning brushes and rollers

   That's some great information, thank you. I tried the freezer method this morning, and it seem to work great. I use the roller again this afternoon for a fill coat, and it seemed to work fine. I do cut my rollers in half, but being able to use them twice is even more of a savings. 

You Tube Video On Cleaning varnish brushes

Good You Tube  video on cleaning a varnish brush:   


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