How to clean paint rollers

Some Paint rollers are expensive so peoples always want to use it for multiple times. So, they always ask about how to clean paint rollers. In this article we will tell you step by step procedure to clean a paint roller which takes a little bit of time to use it for multiple times.

You can also read our other guides like how to paint skirting boards and on many other paint related quarries.

When you are painting something or cleaning tools after painting, its your first priority to keep yourself safe and comfortable by implementing on safety precautions.

Here are the few things you have to use to keep yourself save.

• Gloves

Blue Gloves

First, you need to wear gloves on hands because paint is a sticky material it will cling to your hands. Which is far difficult to remove and you have to use different chemicals to remove paint from hands.

• Goggles

Safety Goggles

Safety goggles are very necessary safety item to use during painting or cleaning painting tools. Because a little drop of paint in your eye can cause a serious effect on your health.

So, make sure you wear a safety goggles before cleaning paint rollers.

• Apron

Safety Apron

Before start cleaning, make sure you wear a rough dress because paint drops will make your cloths dirty.

Otherwise, you can wear apron to protect your clothes from paint drops.

Is type of paint affects on cleaning a paint roller?

Yes, paint types affects on cleaning a paint roller.

When the question comes how to clean paint roller, then first you should know which type of paint you have applied with paint roller. There are two main types of paints. Latex based paint (water based) and acrylic paint (oil based). Sometimes, it writes on a paint can that which type of paint is this and sometimes you have to ask from paint store where you buy the paint.

There are different methods to clean the paint rollers for both water and oil based paint.

Here, we are going to discus cleaning method for both types of paint one by one.

How to clean paint rollers cling with Latex (water based) paint

When we are going to clean paint rollers cling with water based paint, there are two different methods to clean it for reuse.

Warm water method

Here are few things which we need during this method.

  • Warm soapy water
  • Bucket
  • Scrapper or flat spatula
  • Dry cloth



First of all, disassemble the paint roller from its rod. Remove the paint as much as possible to avoid wasting it and put it back in the paint tin. For this purpose you can use scrapper or flat spatula.

disassemble the paint roller from its rod


Now, take warm water in the bucket and add some cleaning detergent to make water soapy.  Then submerge the paint roller in the warm water and give it some time according to condition of sleeves of rollers.

 This time depends on how much time has been passed after paint application (So, Clean the roller as soon as possible).


Now water is not enough warm, so put your hands in bucket and rub the paint roller softly with hands. It will remove painting material clinging on it.

Now, get it back from water and squeeze softly to avoid it damaging.Squezing the paint roller

Put it back in water and repeat this action two to three times to drain most of the paint from sleeves of roller and its central part.


Now dispose of this dirty water and take some clean water in the bucket. And do that action again in the same way.


When you observe all of the paint has been come off from paint roller. Clean the paint roller with dry cloth to absorb moisture and hang it for some time to dry well.

If there are some stains on paint rollers then clean it with wet cloth.

Spinning method of cleaning paint roller

Here are few things which we need in this method

  • Scrapper or Flat spatula
  • Drill tool
  • Little adopter
  • Bucket



As like in warm method, remove paint roller from its frame. If there are any drops of paint on frame, you can easily clean it with wet cloth. Now Remove extra paint from the paint roller with the help of scrapper or flat spatula and save it in paint tin.


Take the adopter of size which can fix in the paint roller where ola was inserted and fix the little adopter on the drill tool.


Take an empty bucket and firmly hold the drill tool in the bucket, in this way that drill tool is not touching in the bucket anywhere. Switch the drill machine on, it will spin off excess paint in the bucket.

Spin of access paint in bucket


Now take another bucket with full of water and dip the paint roller in water. Now switch on the drill machine in clean water which will spin and rinse the paint. In this way paint roller will be completely clean.

Drilling paint roller in clean water


If the roller is well cleaned then detach the paint roller from drill tool and hold the roller in dry cloth. If it is not clean, then repeat this process one time more in clean water.


Now clean the roller softly with dry cloth and leave it to dry for some time. After dry, wrap it in a plastic cover or in thick layer of paper and keep it anywhere in safe place for next use.

How to clean oil based paint from paint roller

Cleaning the paint roller which is dirty with oil based (acrylic) paint is a little tricky then water based paint. But here we will tell you simple and easy method to remove oil based paint from paint roller.

But one thing always remembers that oil based paint takes less time to dry completely. So, clean the paint roller after paint as soon as possible. Otherwise it will be very difficult to remove all the paint from roller.

Clean paint roller by using paint thinner

Paint thinner is used for oil based paint to clean up after use. You can get it from store. But be careful when using it as it is highly flammable.

These are the few things which you need in this method

  • Paint thinner
  • Tray
  • Warm water
  • Scrapper



As mentioned above in water based methods, remove extra paint from roller for further use with the help of scrapper. Remove the roller cover from its cage.

Removing Extra paint with scrapper


Now take some thinner in one tray and leave the roller in tray for 5 to 10 minutes. Press it lightly with hands.


Now take some thinner in another tray and dip roller in that tray for 3 to 5 minutes. This process will clean the roller but if it is not well cleaned then repeat this process one time more in another tray of thinner.


Take some warm water in a tray and put the roller in warm water and press it lightly. Now, take out roller from water and let it dry.

Wrap it in plastic sheet or paper and save it for next use.

What to do with extra paint

 You can keep save extra paint. Put the extra paint in paint tin and save it anywhere in house at moderate temperature for further use. If you want to dispose of paint then you can read proper guide on how to dispose of paint to know the best method of paint disposal.


Most frequent questions and answers

After cleaning the paint roller completely, dry the roller with towel or any other thick cloth. Put the roller in towel and squeeze it gently with hands so it will dry soon.

No, it can be dangerous for you dryer and for your roller also.

Yes, some paint rollers are very expensive. You can clean it for next use.

Wrap paint roller in plastic sheet or in any other thick paper and keep it anywhere in house at moderate temperature for next use.

Hope all your questions will be cleared about how to clean paint rollers or how to clean water or oil based paint from roller. If you have any other question, then you can ask us in comment section below.

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