Sunday, June 14, 2009

Poly Clens

I want to talk about a product that I believe few people know about, yet has been around for many, many years.

The product is Poly Clens by LePage. It is readily available in Canada, but I am not sure about other countries.

Poly Clens is basically a paint brush cleaner. Now, many people today use water based paint - one of the reasons is the easy cleanup: just rinse out the brush under the tap of running water. They avoid alkyd or oil based paints because the cleanup is somewhat messier, usually involving turpentine or mineral spirits.

But I often find that alkyd or oil based paints are superior and better lasting, espeically for exterior applications.

This is where Poly Clens comes in. It makes cleaning oil based paint brushes a snap. You just put a quarter of an inch or so into an old tuna tin, and work the bristles of your brush in the solution. (In this case, I am using a tuna tin for a smaller 1-inch brush - obviously, you will need to use a bigger container for a bigger brush, and a bit more Poly Clens - but, you really don't need a lot: use it sparingly).

After a few minutes of working the Poly Clens into the brush, just rinse it under luke warm tap water. The Poly Clens breaks down the oil based paint so that it becomes water soluable. So, cleanup is essentially the same as for water based paint brushes.

If you are really stingy, you can reuse the Poly Clens. Just let it sit overnight and carefully pour off the upper layer of clear solution. All the disolved paint will have sunk to the bottom of the tin. Personally, I just toss the whole mess down the drain when I am rinsing out my brush.

After rinsing the brush, shake out the excess water and towel dry it. Then leave it over night to dry, or put it out in the sun for faster drying. If you really need to reuse the brush right away, you can rinse it out in mineral spirits.

Poly Clens is also great at cleaning old dried up paint brushes. Just let the old brush sit in the solution for a day or so, and then rinse as usual. The brush will come back to life, almost like new. For really stubborn paint, you may need to repeat cleaning with Poly Clens.

If you are the type that uses disposable brushes, then obviously you don't need Poly Cleans. However, if you take pride in your work and use a good quality and expensive brush, and you want to keep it that way - Poly Clens is the perfect cleaner.

UPDATE (Aug. 2011): It appears that Poly Clens has been discontinued. I suggest if you can find some left on store shelves, you buy up all the stock you can. Below is the note I received from Henkel, which looks like they now own LePage:

Thank you for e-mailing Henkel Corporation concerning our Poly Clens product. We appreciate the time you took to contact us.

Unfortunately, this product has been discontinued. I hope this does not discourage you from purchasing other Henkel Corporation products in the future.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to call us at (800) 624-7767, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time; or visit us on the Web at, or

Thank you for your inquiry. I hope you find this information helpful.


Consumer Relations Representative
Henkel Corporation


Anonymous Anonymous said...

poly clens would appear to have been removed from circulation, probably in the name of political correctness.

9:16 PM, August 18, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it difficult to comprehend why Poly Clens is discontinued. I have used it for years and as a result my brushes have lasted much much longer. Cleanup is more efficient and less messy.


6:34 PM, October 13, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a can at home hardware. It was their last can and has been replaced by their own product that seems identical.

4:50 PM, November 12, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gone!!!??? I love this stuff. I had a big can but its finished now. I always told friends about it, it was amazing for alsorts of tough clean ups. My own personal tag line was "it will remove anything from anything"

11:46 AM, May 24, 2013  

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