How to Clean Out Acrylic Nail Brushes

by Melissa King
Clean acrylic brushes soon after use to keep them in working order.

Clean acrylic brushes soon after use to keep them in working order.

Whether you're a professional salon stylist or a nail-art hobbyist, you know that clean acrylic brushes are vital tools for painting nails. By cleaning brushes regularly, you'll keep the bristles soft and pliable. Do not pull on bristles while cleaning them. Doing so may damage them or cause them to fall out. It's best to wash acrylic brushes when the polish is still wet on the bristles. It is possible, though, to remove polish even if it's hardened on a brush.

Rinse acrylic brush tips in lukewarm water as soon as you're done applying nail polish. This eliminates the need to use harsh chemical cleaners. Allow brushes to air dry before using them again.

Fill a small ceramic dish with monomer and soak the brush tip in it between polish applications. If polish has hardened on the brush, let it soak overnight.

Soak the bristles in brush cleaner for the most thorough cleaning. Select a cleaner that's made for your brush for best results. Many brush cleaners contain acetone, which can dry out the bristles, so don't use these products very often.

Fix misshapen brush bristles by coating them in mild liquid soap. Let the soap soak into the bristles for 48 hours. Rinse the brush in cool water, and soak the bristles in monomer for two hours. Let the brush air dry before using it.

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Items you will need

  • Ceramic dish
  • Monomer
  • Brush cleaner
  • Mild soap


  • It may not be possible to get hardened acrylic out of a brush without ruining it. If monomer or brush cleaner can't remove the paint, you'll need to buy a new brush.


  • Use acetone cleaners sparingly. They can dry out and damage your brushes.

About the Author

Melissa King began writing in 2001. She spent three years writing for her local newspaper, "The Colt," writing editorials, news stories, product reviews and entertainment pieces. She is also the owner and operator of Howbert Freelance Writing. King holds an Associate of Arts in communications from Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • Pinnacle Pictures/Photodisc/Getty Images