When you want to know how to clean paint rollers, you will find that it would be simple while it will save you money too. Cleaning paint rollers are different from cleaning brushed and it would also depend on the type of paint you used.

When you use the proper cleaner, you will be able to use the same roller numerous times. There are different ways on how to clean paint rollers, which would depend on the paint you used.

Cleaning Your Paint Rollers

Cleaning paint rollers mean that you are always prepared for big and small painting jobs around the house. It is an economical way to keep painting jobs low-cost and always ready.

Steps for cleaning paint rollers

When you are busy with a paint job and intend to continue, you do not need to be cleaning a paint roller. In this instance can leave it in the fridge after covering it with plastic. When you do not intend to use it soon, you need to thoroughly clean it. When you fail to do it, it might result in it ending up in the bi when you cannot get the rollers clean.

General preparation for cleaning your paint rollers

Get ready to clean paint rollers in an area where you do not mind making a bit of a mess. Keep in mind that it will require vigorous movement with splashing which goes hand in hand with proper washing a roller.

Put on gloves

Use gloves when getting ready for cleaning paint rollers. If you fail to do so, your hands will get stained, which will require removing paint form your hands too. In addition, you might have to remove paint from the handle too and you will need to know how to remove paint roller from the handle as well. However, you can use the same method to remove paint from brushes, handle, and clean paint tray.

Protect your eyes

Keep in mind that you will use chemicals to remove paint which can be potentially harmful especially to your eyes. Chemicals can easily splash into your eyes and prevention is always better than cure. You can choose to wear eye gear like goggles with plastic glasses to protect your eyes.

Prepare the area

The best way to clean paint rollers is in an area that is easy to clean. You can clean it over paint trays or use an area that you can cover with plastic or newspapers before you start.

Making cleaning solution

Two main types of paint are used when painting a house, which is generally oil or water-based paints. There are various types within these terms which include gloss, latex, and enamel.

Solutions for water-based paints

When you use water-based paint to paint, you would not need special cleaning solutions. A bucket with warm water and dishwashing liquid would be adequate to wash the brushes. You can have another bucket with dry rinsing water to rinse the cleaned brushes.

Solution for oil-based paints

The best way to clean paint rollers that have oil-based paint on it is a product that is derived from petroleum. When you clean rollers with a water-based solution, it would result in a sticky roller that would make cleaning even more difficult. Paint thinners, white spirits, and turpentine are good products to use when cleaning paint brushes that were used for painting anything with oil-based paints.

Disassemble the roller

The roller cage and the roller cover should be cleaned separately. When you strip the roller, you automatically make cleaning simpler and ensure thorough cleaning. The roller cover must be taken from the cage and it will either unscrew or pulled from the cage.

Removing Latex-Based Paint

Scrape it off – there might be excess dried paint in the roller’s edges. Take the roller and hold it over a bucket or area where you are cleaning the roller and use a putty knife to get rid of excess paint before continuing to clean it.

Paint it off – very often you will have paint still dripping from the roller. You might have an unpainted section on the wall, otherwise, take the roller and get rid of the excess paint by painting over an inconspicuous area to get rid of the excess.

Clean the roller – rinse it in hot water and follow this by placing the roller in a cleaning solution. When soaked rub it with your gloved hands and continue to remove the paint. You can follow this with water and scrubbing until every drop of paint is removed.

Removing Oil-Based Paint

You will need more patience when you want to know how to clean oil-based paint from brushes and rollers. You will need a cleaning solvent and dip it repeatedly. You can use more than one tray with solvent and clean it until its clean which might require more than one or two trays of solvent for one brush.

You need to strip the brush too and clean the parts and afterward allow it to dry. Sleeves must never be left standing or it will leave the area touching the ground plat which will not be able to stand up again.

Rinse and dry the roller

The roller cover must be dipped in a tray filled with warm water when it is time to rinse the cover of the roller. Afterward, you can dry the cover with paper towels. The cover and the cage can be cleaned this way.

Storing Your Paint Rollers

When you have allowed the paint rollers to air dry, it is time to store it to use next time. Wrap it tightly in plastic and tie it with wire ties. Never store it in its side though, as one side might get flatten. The best way to store clean rollers is hanging up or storing it vertically.


  • When you plan to use the roller again the following day and using the same paint type and color, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate. The plastic wrapping and the cool air prevent the paint from drying and you are saved from cleaning the brushes.
  • Do not dry paint rollers on flat surfaces as it will prevent it from applying paint evenly.


Paint solvents are flammable and therefore causing a hazard when used in enclosed areas or close to flames. Ensure that you are working in areas with good ventilation when you use solvents.

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