Preview: Jack’s Linseed Studio Soap

January 29, 2011

The first job I ever had was installing floors and countertops. For cleaning linoleum surfaces we used a linseed oil detergent, which was made by Lin-Sol, but I haven’t been able to locate any of that for awhile. Today I saw this “Linseed Studio Soap” from another compny on the art store shelf, so I brought some home to test out.

Based on the label information it’s distributed by the Jack Richeson Co. and made by Tri-Art, who are well-known for their acrylic paints. The label continues, “Safe – non-toxic – low odor. Made from naturally refined linseed oil and our own special blend of natural cleansers. This may be the world’s best brush cleaner… but it can also be used to clean your hands, floors, work surfaces, and much more!”
There’s not much information beyond that online, especially what the cleansers are.

When I opened the jar the contents appeared to have separated, so I took a stick and stirred it up some. It certainly has a linseed oil odor, but not anything strong or unpleasant. I placed some on my hands and it washed off easily with water without any oily feeling afterwards. I haven’t tested it out on actual brushes yet, but will be doing so soon and will give an update on the results. I’d also like to try it on mediums that contain resins or balsams.



  1. After using this soap for a couple of days I can verify that it does a good job cleaning brushes; I don’t know about “world’s best,” however. I tested it on sable, hog hair, taklon, and nylon brushes removing linseed, safflower, and soya oil paints. Works fine on all of them. At $8 for 4oz it’s a bit pricey. I should try it on an oil medium with resin content.

  2. Your post about the brush cleaner I found very interesting, as it is a problem to find something that works, but does not cost the earth.
    I am in the UK so probably cannot buy the Linseed Soap. I use something made by Daler Rowney, called Water Washable Oil Brush Cleaner. Its fine but a bit expensive if you clean your brushes after every painting session! £5.30 for a small 250ml pot, which is about the same size as you 4oz, I think. I buy it from Great Art.co.uk., a good mail order supplier.
    In case anyone is interested, here is a link

    • Elsewhere I’ve seen a recommendation for a linseed oil soap made in the UK by a brand called Holkham that you can search for. I’m not sure what qualities linseed oil would offer as any advantage for brush cleaning. It’s a drying oil so the soap would harden unless mixed with other oils. All specialty soaps will cost extra. The main thing to avoid is high amounts of detergent or lye for cleaning natural hairs brushes. For synthetics it’s not that important.

  3. David, I read recently that linseed oil can spontanteously combust. Would that apply to the linseed oil I keep in closed containers? Or is it really about being sure not to leave linseed soaked rags or paper towels etc lying in the studio?
    Thanks David,

    • In order for linseed oil to combust into flame there has to be something to burn, such as rags soaked in oil, in which case the rags could catch fire under the right conditions. Oil by itself kept in a bottle won’t be a problem, and in this case there’s water in the bottle also.

  4. Thanks David. That’s a relief. You really are generous with your time and information. I’ve learned a lot from you.

    A friend is looking into a website for me. He thinks he can maybe build it with a webbuilding site called yola.

    I’m looking forward to that. Have you ever heard of yola?


    • Never heard of Yola before, Nancy.

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