Instar Soap+ Review (Cleaner, Conditioner and Deep Clean)
We’ve all known the pain of a brush killed too early due to dried paint and abuse, but there are arcane ways of coaxing life back into our miniature painting tools!
I’ve tried a couple of brush soaps over the years, with mixed results – Previously I’d tended to use Masters Brush Soap as found it worked better than most, however this too was a little difficult to use as it is a solid block of soap that you need to work into a lather – something that may itself harm brushes!
Our friends at Instar however have got their own brush cleaning magic on the way, and very kindly sent us a set to try out before it’s release on Monday! We have put it through it’s paces and subjected it to some rather knackered brushes to see how it performs! Check out our full video review below!
The first thing that’s worth mentioning about the Soap+ range is the fact that it is in liquid form, making it really easy to use compared to hard brush soaps – you simply scoop some out with the brush and work it into the bristles. I did this on a palate pad, but as it’s non toxic you can just use the back of your hand if you are so inclined!
In the range we get three magic concoctions – First up is Soap+ Cleaner which is designed for day to day cleaning of your brush and can be used between painting sessions to keep everything clean and pristine. Next we have Soap+ Conditioner which treats the bristles and keeps them at their best ensuring you will have a nice point to the brush. Finally we have Soap+ Deep Cleaner which is an intensive clean that will strip all the gunk and rubbish that is building up inside the brush and can lead to the brush losing it’s shape and control.
Having had mixed results with soaps in the past, I was a little dubious at first, however when I saw the amount of nastyness that came out of the first brush I tried it on I was convinced! Most of the time it was simply a case of dipping it in the Deep Cleaner and working it into the bristles in order to release the trapped paint – for slightly tougher paint I simply left it soaking in the solution for around 5 mins, and the paint came off no problem! Check out the video above to see some real world cleaning in action! It really is that good!
Once I had given them a deep clean, I repeated with the standard cleaner to get any remaining flecks of paint out of the brush before using the conditioner to treat and shape the bristles, simply massaging it into the brush and shaping a point with my fingers
In the instructions it was recommended to leave the conditioner for 24 hours, so I came back to my initial test brushes a day later to find them looking as good as new!
This was a trusty brush that I had probably used for around 5 years and was well past it’s prime, sacrificed to the shameful job of mixing paint and doing base rims. It was a bit tatty and couldn’t form a point, but after it’s Soap+ spa session it looks as good as new! I’ve also tried ruined drybrushes and even brushes relegated to using with PVA glue, and each has come back looking great!
Instar have done a cracking job with this range and I feel it’s going to make cleaning brushes properly as easy as giving them a swill in a pot of water. What’s even better is how great the pricing on these is – Instar tell me that they will be selling at £1.79 a pot (so less than £6 for the entire range!) which makes this something well worth picking up and adding to your painting supplies. Decent brushes can cost £10-£12, so anything that can extend the life of these gets bonus points from me!
The Soap+ range is available from Monday from Instar’s webstore and I highly recommend picking a set up as I feel it is going to change the way you look after your brushes!
If you do decide to try it out you can save 5% with the code sprues5 too, which will also work on any other Instar products.
How do you go about cleaning your brushes? Do you ever have a spring cleaning session where you have a desk sort and get all your brushes up to scratch? Let us know over on Twitter!