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Here Is How To Get Wax Resist Out Of A Brush


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I had always been very diligent every time I used wax resist to quickly scrub out the resist. This kind of worked to make a brush flat last a bit longer, but slowly wax was building up in it. The other day I forgot to wash out the brush at all, a trashed brush, I thought. I found a quick way to make it come perfectly clean again. I took a small glass jar  and put a little water and dish soap in the bottom. I stuck the brush in it and put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds, until the water was slightly boiling. I pull it out of the microwave, swished around in the solution. The brush was absolutely clean, like brand-new, no wax.

 

I thought others might find this  discovery useful.

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In case you have to use up the stuff you already have on hand ...

a trick from an old Ceramics Monthly was to gently rub some liquid soap into the brush before using it to prevent the wax from sticking in the first place.

 

 

Yes indeed.  I require my students to do this, with both wax and latex resist.  Probably saves me a few dozen brushes a year.

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Makes sense.  I've used boiling water to get candle wax out of glass candle holders - but I would think the metal part of a brush would cause problems in a microwave.  I'm thinking boil the water first - then put the brush in it - would be a safer method.

 Yeah, I would forget the ferrule and have sparks going off in the mike, I just know it....

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  • 3 months later...

Actually a new question, but I didn't want to post a separate thread, and the issue is in the ballpark of something mentioned here; using the microwave. 

 

Is it reasonable to assume I could reconstitute the lumpy-clumpy aging wax by microwaving at 50% power for maybe 10 seconds or so without causing any problems? In this case, it's Michelman's being used on cone 6/electric.

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  • 3 years later...

It's just the hot water to clean a wax coated brush.  I've been known to leave a wax brush overnight.   Boiling water is 100% effective on wax.

An electric tea kettle is a necessity in my studio.  Hot water for throwing, mixing soda ash and cleaning wax brushes.  Occasional cup of tea.

The soap trick on the brush works ok for latex resist.  Maybe 85%.  Use cheap brush if possible.  When I get chunks of latex that won't come out on a good brush,  I use a wire brush to clean it.

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I use a sponge to apply most wax if just covering pot /bowl bottoms-much quicker than brushing. Brushing is good for detail work. Just cut up a 3 inch round throwing sponge like a pizza and damp the triangle  sponge in water and dip into wax. easy to get straught lines and is about 80% faster than brushing.

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