Vinegar Uses: The Best Way to Clean Paint Brushes & More

I know when you think “paint projects” that you don’t normally think “vinegar”.  Well I’m going to give you a few tips that might make you think otherwise.
#1 Removing Paint from glass
This past summer I restored a couple of old windows and used paint stripper to get the paint off the glass.  I sure wish I had known this trick because it would have been nice to use a product that isn’t so toxic!  To remove paint from glass all you need is hot vinegar.  “Heat up the white vinegar [in the microwave] and use a cloth to wipe away [the] paint.”  Way less headache {literally} than using paint stripper!
# 2 Cement floors

 When painting cement the paint tends to peel or crack over time.  “You can keep the paint stuck to the cement longer by giving the floor an initial coat of white vinegar before you paint it.  Wait until the vinegar has dried” and then paint.  Using this simple trick will ensure that you painted floors will shine and be beautiful longer!

#3 Metal
Often times painting metal can be tricky.  Depending on the type of paint you’re using, the paint may have a hard time sticking to the metal.  But don’t worry, vinegar will come to the rescue!  To prepare the metal surface and reduce the tendency of peeling paint, “[wipe] down clean metal surfaces with a vinegar solution made of 1 part white vinegar to 5 parts water.”
#4 Paint brushes

Do you ever finish a painting project, get side tracked and forget to clean your brushes?  Well it happens to me all the time!  Also there are times when for some reason I just can’t seem to get all the paint out of the brushes.  Well I wish I had known this trick years ago because it would have saved me from having to throw out a bunch of brushes!  To soften paint brushes “bring a pan of white vinegar to [a] boil on the [stove].”  Once the vinegar is boiling add the paint brushes.  “Allow [the] brushes to simmer for around 5 minutes.  Remove from the pan and wash in hot soapy water.” A super easy trick and best way to clean paint brushes!
That’s all for today, I’m off to paint something now!!!

This series is based on a book I received from my mom at Christmas.  All items in quotations are referenced from Vinegar: 1001 Practical Household Uses.


About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Vinegar is also supposed to be amazing as a streak-free window and glass cleaner, right?

  2. Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas. :)

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing this great information! Wish I had known this years ago…
    House on the Way

  4. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.
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  5. Vicki I. says:

    I just found half a dozen forgotten paint brushes in a closet in our basement this weekend and was wondering how to try to salvage them. The timing on this post is perfect, thank you!

  6. I am notorious for leaving my brushes out. Esp on big jobs, when I am tired! Doing this now, I hope it works!!

  7. Thankyou Soooooo much for this tip. I could have used it last week, but it will be good for future painting.

  8. On the paintbrush cleaning trick. When you said bring the “water” to a boil, you did mean “vinegar” right? And if not could you explain better, bcuz I just did this and it didnt work at all

  9. Hello,
    I followed your instructions for cleaning the paint brushes in boiling vinegar and then in soapy water and it ruined both of them. They lost their shape and their snap :(

    • mreynolds says:

      Hey Rosanne,

      This is Monique, Anna’s assistant. We are so sorry to hear that this solution did not work for you and that you ended up with ruined brushes. It has worked for Anna before. She wanted me to suggest using Klean Strip Odorless Mineral Spirits to clean your brush next time. Anna has found that this product works great also. We are so sorry again!

  10. Cleaning paint brush with boiling vinegar was a disaster. Lost my favorite brush.

  11. Love the tips!!!!