HOW I KEEP MY KIT CLEAN TOP TIPS - By Jane Harding
How are we? Good I hope and ready for the busy summer ahead. It’s been a little while since my last ‘written’ blog but I did film a tutorial of my ‘Pretty Floral Eye Design’ in real time, so if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here:
I’ve been wracking my brain on what I could blog about next and trying to think about what people ask me about the most, then it dawned on me... people regularly ask me ‘how I keep my kit so clean’ and/or make comments about how clean it is on jobs. I never really know what to say to this because I do think that it’s something I just do naturally. I am quite a ‘careful’ painter and I’m a bit of a ‘perfectionist’ generally in life! Lol I certainly don’t expect everyone to be like that and I have no judgement on how other people look after their things, this is just something I have to do for myself, so I feel ‘ok’ about my stuff! Lol
Having said that... I did think that I could potentially offer you all some suggestions/tips on what I do to try and keep on top of it, as it makes it so much easier to keep a working kit looking fresh and clean.
If you’re anything like me and have strict hygiene practices written in your policies then it’s definitely a high priority to ensure these are followed. After all, your clients will have booked you based on your professional policies and if you turn up with your kit looking like it’s not been cleaned in some time, then it may result in them not booking you again for future events. In my experience, most corporate jobs I do, someone usually comes up to me once I’ve set up, they normally ask if I have everything I need, but I also think they are having a quick look at my set up, which I think is totally reasonable.
I’m sure we are all in agreement that keeping your kit as clean as possible is in the best interests of the children and adults you paint for hygiene reasons, but also, it’s really nice to get regular comments about how fab your kit looks and motivates you to keep it looking as sparkly as you can!
So anyway... on to my tips...
TIP 1: DECLUTTER
I’m very lucky to own a Craft’n’go, which really helps me to keep my kit to a certain size (I physically can’t just add and add to it because it won’t all fit in!) But, one of the best things I found when I moved over to it was that it made me de clutter. I used to carry everything and the kitchen sink in my old kit! I had soooo many paints and glitters and gels and powders etc. that I very rarely used. Not only did it mean I was lugging around extra weight but inevitably it meant I had a bigger clean up job at the end of an event.
In my office I have a ‘paint’ draw, in there I keep mostly new stock paint, but also some used paints. These I rotate in my kit so they are all still getting used but I also don’t have to take them all on every job! Also, as part of your decluttering, don’t forget it’s important to check the shelf life of your paints and get rid of any that have exceeded their use by.
TIP 2: ORGANISE YOUR KIT
I keep my kit pretty well organised, everything has its own place. This is not only helpful to know where something is if you need it, but it also makes packing up really quick.
I also find it really helps me to keep my kit tidy on the job. If I pick up a one stroke to use, it has a designated space for me to immediately replace it, this means that I never end up with a big pile of paints on my work space that I struggle to find things in!
TIP 3: CLEAN AS YOU GO
I am not disillusioned about the amount of spare time we have when working, but sometimes we get a lull and at this time I clean! I use reusable wipes instead of disposable ones, so I always have a bag/tub full. I use them to wipe around my paint pots, clean my stencils, wipe around the edge of my water pot and Craft’n’Go. I also always have one tucked away out of sight by my water pot, so if I spill something as I’m actually painting; I just grab it and wipe the mess straight up... it takes 2 seconds!
Another cleaning job that’s easy to do on the job is to clean your actual paints. I always have loads of sponges with me, so all I do is spray my paints with water and then wipe the top with a sponge. You can do this with your single colours, as well as your one strokes and spilt cakes.
TIP 4: HAVE SOME USEFUL TOOLS
As I said before I decluttered my kit a while ago, but I do always take my Zuca Bag with me which carries my bulky items as well as any useful items I might need. This includes a pallet knife or spatula which I use for getting any chunky glitter out of my paint. It’s probably not essential to remove the bits of glitter that somehow make their way in there, but it’s surprising how much brighter, fresher and cleaner your paints look once the pesky bits of glitter have been removed. Again if you do this as you go, then it takes seconds and really does have a big impact on how your kit looks overall.
I also use the pallet knife to even out my individual paints when they start to wear down in the middle. Again it’s not really necessary but it does look pretty when it’s done and it prevents the paint running over the edges as you use them, which again can help with clean up later.
TIP 5: SCHEDULED DEEP CLEANS
Bearing in mind Face Painting is my full time job and I paint multiple jobs every weekend and more during school hols, my kit is getting used a lot. Therefore I deep clean my kit about once a month. If it needs doing before this then I do, but basically I think it’s a good bit of practice to schedule regular deep cleans, that fit in with how much you use your kit.
So what do I mean by a deep clean? Basically I mean stripping my kit out completely and cleaning every nook and cranny!
Once all my paints are out of my Craft’n’Go I clean it thoroughly with an anti-bacterial spray and cloth. If needed I would also fix anything that needs doing I.e. if my holographic paper needed re doing (it hasn’t yet) but when it does I would do that, I check my LED lights in case they need re sticking (again they haven’t yet) but keeping on top of these things, means it’s easier in the long run and you’re less likely to be on a job and things start to fall off! Lol I also fix any magnets that may need some new glue. Finally I clean out all my storage boxes and make sure they are well stocked of gems etc. and as I replace all my paints I give them a wipe clean as needed. But because I try to clean as I go, not a lot of this is needed.
And that is basically it; I don’t think I necessarily do anything out of the ordinary, but I hope that I’ve given some painters some food for thought if you are wanting to work on your cleaning routine.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any good kit cleaning tips.
Palette Knife - https://www.thefacepaintingshop.com/Kryolan-Palette-Knife-Small