How To Clean Paint Roller

How to Clean Paint Roller

How to Clean Paint Roller
Checkout my video this is a summarized version of our in-depth article below. 

A good paint roller is a must-have for any DIY-loving homeowner. However, a lot of people complain that paint rollers take too long and too much effort to clean, and some just don’t know how to clean paint roller at all. So instead of reusing their old paint rollers, they tend to dispose of them and purchase new ones every time they see the need. 

How to Clean Paint Roller-2

Truth be told, the only reason how to clean paint roller can be such a tedious job is because it isn’t being done right. Maybe maintaining paint rollers isn’t done properly either. Lucky for you, this article tells you all you need to know about paint roller maintenance including how to clean paint roller, how to clean dried paint roller, how to reuse paint roller, how to keep paint roller from drying out, and how to dry a paint roller.

How to Clean Paint Roller

Before we teach you how to clean paint roller, you will need to gather everything you need to prevent you from running back and forth from your tool storage to your workspace. Keep in mind that the steps listed below are to be followed for paint rollers with fresh paint on them. For how to clean dried paint roller, please refer to the section of the article with the corresponding subheading. 

The things you need are as follows:

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5-in-1 tool or putty knife

Bucket or any plastic container

Firm-bristle brush

Plastic-bristle brush

Rubber gloves

Safety goggles

Dish detergent

Disposable plastic bottles

Mineral spirits



Use of Warm Water

Now that you’ve set your materials aside, it’s time to remove the excess paint from your paint roller. 

Put your rubber gloves on to keep your hands clean. Then, take the curved edge of your putty knife and scrape any excess paint off the roller with long strokes while the paint can is under it. Make sure you do not apply so much force to avoid damaging your paint roller. This is a great way to reclaim as much paint as possible without shredding or damaging your paint roller.   

Another way on how to clean paint roller is to remove as much paint as possible before washing. Take a few sheets of newspaper and begin rolling off more excess paint that the putty knife wasn’t able to take out. Work the paint roller until it ceases to release any paint. Remember, the more paint you’re able to get off of the paint roller before you begin to wash it, the easier and quicker your job becomes.

Now that that’s done, the next thing you need to do is consider the type of paint used with your paint roller. Different types of paint require different cleaning methods. If you’re unsure of what type of paint is on your paint roller, you can always check the label on the paint can you’ve used.

Finally, it’s time to wash the roller frame. Separate the cover from the frame and set it aside. Then, clean the roller frame immediately after separating the two parts. 

Cleaning the Roller Frame When Using Latex Paint

Wash the roller frame in a bucket of warm water and some dish soap. Take a small, firm-bristle brush. Make sure that your brush fits inside the roller frame’s cage and that it has a long handle. Use the brush to scrub away stubborn patches of paint that got stuck on the roller frame.

Cleaning the Roller Frame When Using Oil-Based Paint

Removing oil-based paint requires the use of solvents. For your safety, wear goggles or safety glasses to protect your eyes from the splashes of harsh solvents. Take a rag and use it to apply paint thinner or mineral spirit to scrub off the paint that got stuck on the roller frame.

How to Clean Paint Roller

Cleaning Latex Paint

Take a bucket of warm water mixed with a little bit of detergent. Submerge the roller cover into the bucket and work the paint out of the roller cover using your hands. Then, rinse the roller cover with clean water. Shake and gently squeeze the excess water out of the roller cover. Then, leave it in a safe place to dry.

How to Clean Paint Roller

Cleaning Oil-Based Paint

Fill a container with paint thinner or mineral spirits. Try to make sure that there is enough paint thinner or mineral spirits to submerge the roller cover in. Choose a relatively small container to avoid having to use a huge amount of solvent, and remember to always wear a pair of rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from harsh chemicals.

How to clean paint roller

In the solvent, carefully work the cover with your hands to release any paint. After about 5 minutes, remove the roller cover from the solvent. Gently squeeze the excess paint out and back into the container.

Afterward, pour the used solvent into a bottle or any disposable container. Be careful when doing this so you can avoid damaging your workspace. Then, with a rag or some paper towels, wipe out the container you used to clean the roller cover and pour in more solvent. 

How to Clean Paint Roller

Rinse the roller cover with a fresh batch of solvent. Remove the roller cover from the solvent and gently squeeze the roller cover to allow any excess solvent to trickle back into the container. 

Let the roller cover stand in a well-ventilated area to dry for a while. 

How to Clean Dried Paint Roller

There are times that we forget to wash our paint rollers right after working with them, or sometimes we get too lazy to do so after a long and tiring day of painting. However, this will lead to the paint rollers drying out with a load of paint stuck to them. But have no fear and don’t throw them away just yet! There are simple ways on how to clean dried paint roller that can save you some money from buying new ones.

How to Clean Paint Roller

  1. The first step on how to clean dried paint roller is to disassemble your paint roller because paint rollers need different cleaning methods from the paint roller frames. So take the paint roller cover off from the frame and set the other part aside.  

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  2. Take a bucket of warm water mixed with some dish soap and soak the paint roller. You may be able to get most of the paint off just by soaking the paint roller in soap and water for about an hour. Once the paint roller has been thoroughly soaked, gently squeeze out the water from it then use an old towel or a rag to dry it out. Finally, check to see if any paint or moisture is still there.

  3. If there’s still some paint left on your paint roller after soaking, you may want to use paint thinner or mineral solvents to do some heavy-duty cleaning. Soak your paint roller in a bucket filled with paint thinner or mineral solvents and leave it for about 30 minutes. Then, rinse the roller with warm water and dish soap. Leave it to dry in a safe place. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and safety glasses while working with chemical solvents.

How to Reuse Paint Roller & How to Keep Paint Roller From Drying Out

While it is advised to wash your paint rollers immediately after use to make the whole cleaning process easier, it’s just not practical to do that if you’re going to continue painting whatever project you’re working on the next day. Quite a few homeowners are not aware of how to reuse paint roller or at least how to keep paint roller from drying out because they think doing so means just leaving your paint roller in the pan to sit overnight. 


If you have to take a quick break, you may want to keep the paint on your paint roller fresh, and that’s one to keep the paint roller from drying out. Try to roll out as much paint as you can on the surface you are working on. Then, wrap the paint roller in either aluminum foil or clear plastic wrap. Be sure to crimp the edges of the foil or plastic seal to prevent air from coming in and drying out your paint roller.


If you’re done working, but you plan on continuing your paint job the next day, here’s a method on how to reuse paint roller – 

Aluminum foil

Keep it fresh by wrapping it in foil or clear plastic wrap and storing it in the fridge. Before you paint again, take the paint roller out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about one to two hours. Doing so allows the paint roller to soften after being chilled overnight. After that, you should be ready to go and continue working on your project.

How to Dry a Paint Roller

The first and probably the most important thing you need to know when learning how to dry a paint roller is that you need to let it stand on one end to dry. Leaving them to dry laid down will crush and flatten the fibers on one side of your paint rollers, creating an uneven texture the next time you use them.

How to Clean Paint Roller

Leaving a paint roller to dry is pretty easy. For the most part, all you have to do is leave the paint roller in a cool, dry environment for a few hours while you go about your day. However, if you want to know how to dry a paint roller faster than usual, you have to follow our tips and tricks which we’ve listed below. Take note that these methods should be done after cleaning and rinsing your paint rollers.

  • Use Old Towels or Rags

How to Clean Paint Roller

Gently squeeze your paint roller to get a good amount of water out. Then, lay a towel or a rag across a flat surface and give the paint roller a few rolls across the cloth until the cloth has absorbed as much moisture as it can. Give the paint roller a final squeeze and leave it to air dry.

  • Use a Brush Spinner

How to Clean Paint Roller

If you have some extra cash to spend, you may want to consider purchasing a brush spinner. A brush spinner is a super convenient and inexpensive tool you can use for both paint rollers and paint brushes. Brush spinners have a spiral shaft that you can insert the handle of your paintbrush or roller then using a power drill, insert the handle of the spinner and spin the brush while it’s inside the bucket to prevent the paint from sprinkling in different directions. 



Now that you know how to clean paint roller, and how to maintain your paint rollers properly, you may now realize that cleaning paint rollers can be most possible with the right skills. And although it takes a bit of effort and energy to clean paint rollers, opting to do so instead of purchasing new ones every time you need them can save you some cash along the way. With just a bit of soapy water and paint thinner, your paint roller can be used multiple times with no problems coming your way. 

With high-quality paint rollers, you can extend their life over several paint projects without compromising the quality of your work. Decent paint rollers could last up to 5 uses before their condition starts to deteriorate. If maintained properly, you may reuse them repeatedly without affecting the quality of the paint application.


Reusing your paint rollers doesn’t just save you some cash. So if you are planning on going green, then reusing them not only can promote a more sustainable way of living but can save space on the landfills which are to be used only for biodegradable waste. 

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