Painting Project This Winter?  Don’t rinse the Brush in the Sink

Painting Project This Winter? Don’t rinse the Brush in the Sink

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A good paint project in the winter brightens up your home and makes everything fresh and clean. However, when you are finished with the fun stuff, you still must clean up your brushes, rollers, and paint-filled rinse water. Many people just pour all residue down the drain. This action can cause environmental issues and plumbing problems. For any paint left over, check with your local disposal methods for proper disposal of paint.

Cleaning Paint Brushes

  • Make sure your paintbrush has all excess paint removed by scraping it against the inside rim of the paint can and work the remaining paint into a newspaper.
  • Read the paint can and use the solvent suggested for cleaning. Latex paint can usually be cleaned with soap and water.  Oil-based paints require stronger solvents.
  • Immerse the brush in the appropriate solvent. Work the paint free of the bristles of the brush.
  • When you believe the brush to be free of the paint, dip it into a pail of clean water to rinse.
  • Wrap the paintbrush in heavy paper to help retain its shape.

Disposing of the Dirty Paint Water

When cleaning up from your winter painting project, here are the steps to clean and properly dispose of paint-filled water.

  1. Set the bucket of dirty paint rinse water to the side. A warm, dry climate works best.
  2. You can wait for the water to evaporate and the paint solids to settle on the bottom of the bucket. When the water evaporates, peel out the dried paint residue and dispose of the hardened paint in a trash bag with your other trash.
  3. Or, if you don’t want to wait for the water to evaporate, you can set the rinse water bucket to the side and allow the paint solids to settle on the bottom of the bucket. Then carefully tip the clear water at the top of the bucket onto a flat, grassy area that is away from sewer and storm drains, other waterways and wells. Then allow the liquids to dry to solid form and dispose of them in your trash bag.

Paint solids from dirty paint rinse water over time will clog up your plumbing, damaging drains and piping. Making sure to dispose of your dirty paint water properly will save you time and money.


Pouring dirty paint rinse water down your drains can cause build-up and plumbing issues. Already dumped your dirty paint water down the drain?  Call the plumbing professionals at Estes Services. We will help you with any plumbing maintenance or crisis.