How to keep your pastels clean

by M. Landi
(U.S.A.)

Buy cornstarch in a grocery store.(The type used for making cornbread). Pour some of it into a clean container. Place the dirty pastels in it. Gently move them around in the container for about a minute. Take them out of the container. Shake off the excess cornstarch before placing them on a paper towel. And, wow, they will be clean and usable again.


Also, I have not tried this yet, but I have heard that it can be helpful to store your pastels in rice! I think it keeps them clean also:)

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Keeping pastels clean
by: Christine CD

I use chickpea flour instead of rice to store the pastels I am using. It's very effective. It also means I can keep the rest clean and therefore easy to match up when the work is finished.

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Keeping pastels clean
by: Lenore

I keep all my nub ends in the boxes that hold 2 or 3 pastels when new and put rice flour in. All colour coded and its surprising how many times that is all I have used!

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Rice works well too
by: Cathleen

If you want to clean your soft pastels, simply immerse them in a jar of uncooked, dry rice. Depending on how many you will be cleaning at any one time, you may need more than one jar.
(Leave at least one inch headspace)
Put the lid on it and shake it.

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This woks! I love it!
by: Estelle

What an awesome tip!!! And, it really works!!!
I am using it now as a way to always keep my pastels clean, and it truly is like magic. I've tried other methods but this one, I really consider it the best. Thank you so much, M. Landi, for posting this great technique. I am hoping that you will post many more, as you seem to really know what you are doing:)

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Cleaning pastels
by: Mops

Thankyou!!Great idea!

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Excellent
by: Tina O'Reilly

I was just not reaching for my favorite medium - pastels anymore, as they were so messy. I had asked many artists how to fix this problem only to hear -no effective solution. Until I read this-thank you for sharing your easy and practical solution.
Now I will be continuing my love of drawing with pastels!

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