It's vital to the life of your brushes to care for them as their value warrants. Never rest a brush on its hairs. Always leave them flat or with the hairs upright. Keep brushes clean during the painting session and give them a thorough cleaning after the session. Keep your brushes clean using a brush bath to hold the solvent or cleaning solution. For water-based paints, switch back and forth between rinsing out with tap water and mildly soaped water. For oil and alkyd paints, use mineral spirits or turpentine in the same manner and finish up with mild soap or brush cleaner and water. Always reshape the brush when work is complete. Remember that solvents are toxic and should always be disposed of as hazardous waste.