Home » Painting Gear » Painting Gear Blog » Best Way to Clean Paint Rollers

Best Way to Clean Paint Rollers

That the paint rollers do a good job of applying paints on tall walls and vertical surfaces is certainly not in doubt. Indeed, without these tools, the execution of these tasks may be nightmarish if not close to impossible.

It, therefore, makes sense to know how to clean them for the sake of lengthening their overall lifespans. We have indeed researched on and are going to lay bare the procedures you have to follow to achieve this. We have also seen it necessary to attach some tips on how to care well for them below.

Best Way to Clean Paint Rollers

In this first segment, we shall delve into discussing the best steps to take to clean the paint rollers. We shall start off with the tools and materials necessary for the job and proceed to examine the procedures to follow.

Tools and Materials Required

painting tools
  • Tall bucket
  • Spinner (paint roller cleaner)
  • Turpentine
  • Solvent
  • Gloves
  • Face mask

Step-by-step Procedures To Clean Paint Rollers

Squeeze out Excess Paints

Clean Paint Rollers

Commence the entire exercise by squeezing out the excess paints. You have the choice of bare hands or curved tools to do the job. Place the can of paint underneath the roller to catch the paint that is released from the squeezing process. Take note that you do not spill the paint unnecessarily around the place you are working on.

Immediately you are through with squeezing out excess paints, wash your hands under running water and with turpentine. Do now allow the paint to dry and harden on your hands as it may be impossible to get rid of later.

Wash out the Paint Residues

Wash out the Paint from roller and brush

It is not possible to squeeze out all the paint. Indeed, some paint will still remain in the roller even after squeezing them out in the step outlined above. You have to employ the washing technique to get rid of the paint residues.

To do this, you have to place the roller cover or sleeve on the spinner. Go ahead now to rotate the spinner slowly and steadily under a faucet which exudes preferably warmish water. Finish off this phase by rubbing the roller with your hands into a stream of water.

Bleed the Remaining Paint

Cleaning paint roller

Yet again the step above will not get rid of all the paint from the roller. The last ammunition you have to employ now is the bleeding of the remaining paint. To accomplish, you have to spin the roller in a tall bucket and repeat the soaking and spinning over and over until all the paint is bled from the fibers. Given that this is the final process, you have to check that the roller is completely devoid of any paint before proceeding.

Allow to Dry

Lastly, allow drying. Just leave the roller out in the open in the sun to let it dry. For best outcomes, do not lay them down on the floor. Instead, hang them on a rope or any other high place. Laying them down will often crush the fibers on one side and even generate uneven rolls which definitely compromise the future painting outcomes.

In case the weather does not permit, you may have to use a plastic cover to provide extra storage. Some washing machines have driers that can handle such items. You may consider using it for the application if need be.

Common Tips For Great Cleaning Exercise

Now that you know the best way to clean the paint rollers, isn’t it also wise to familiarize yourself with the common tips which may guarantee great cleaning exercise and outcomes? We have sampled five of the best tips of that kind below:

Tip I: Recycle the Roller

If you plan to pain surfaces more often, you do not have to clean the roller after each session. Instead, wrap it in a plastic bag. Thereafter, tuck it in a refrigerator until such a time when you might need it again.

Before using it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it stay in the room temperature to thaw. This way, you will save yourself a great deal of time and effort. You will also spend less on average to care for, operate, and maintain the paint rollers.

Tip II: Make use of appropriate Solvents

The procedures we have outlined above are generic. The real-life situation is rather complex. Because of this reason, you will have to modify the procedures above to respond to your unique circumstance. For example, you might have to acquire turpentine and use it to rid the roller of any oil-based paints.

Hot rather than cold water is necessary for the removal of the latex paints, and so on. You have to be certain that the solvent of choice does not stink excessively nor predispose you to the risks of lung cancer.

Tip III: Utilize the Hair Conditioners while Washing

In the course of applying the paint, the bristles do harden and lose their ability to spread out smoothly. It is therefore thoughtful of you to use the hair conditioners regularly on the bristles after a couple of uses.

These substances soften the bristles and ensure that they retain their softness for a prolonged duration of time. Also achieving the same roles are fabric conditioners. Purchase those that are specially designed for heavy fabrics like the carpets and rugs for better outcomes.

Tip IV: Avoid Using Smelly Solvents

Whereas solvents are necessary for ridding the rollers of excess paints, it is necessary to avoid those that do not smell great. They have the impact of predisposing you to the risks of respiratory tract infections. If these infections go on unabated, they might usually end up in premature deaths.

You may consider not utilizing the solvents at all if you happen to be allergic to them. A face mask may come in handy though for mild cases.

Tip V: Clear the Scene

After you have completed cleaning the paint rollers, clear the scene where you have performed the act. Open the window and switch on the fan to get rid of the sharp smell of the solvents. Mop the floor dry to clear out any spills which might cause the room occupants to slip and fall off, and store any other items you may have used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you wash and reuse a paint roller?

High quality paint rollers can be washed and used a second time. You need to make certain that the roller does not have a cardboard inner tube and you need to make sure that you were painting with a water soluble paint and not with an oil based paint.

Is it worth cleaning paint rollers?

Really good paint rollers can cost six dollars or more per roller. It is well worth the time and effort to wash the roller if you are using a quality roller. If you are using a roller that cost about 2 dollars then you can save time and simply throw the roller away and get a new one when you start painting again.

Should you wet your paint roller before painting?

You do not need to get your paint roller wet before you apply paint to it. You want the roller to absorb or soak up the paint from your paint pan so do not immerse the roller in water before beginning to paint.

Do you have to wash paint roller between coats?

You do not have to wash a paint roller between coats if the paint dries quickly. If the paint takes more than an hour to dry then you should wash your roller so the paint on the roller does not dry out while you are waiting


As you may well have realized, getting rid of the excess paint from the rollers is a slow and meticulous undertaking. This is a chore which calls for the employment of great skill, maximum patience, and of course a couple of co-operant tools-of-trade.

For these reasons, you have to invest a great deal of practice and effort to be able to get it right. Needless to say, you will require great assistance of trained experts in the field of paint removal to get you started.

About Arnaud Kuhlein

Leave a Comment