How to clean paint rollers?

by Abby

My paint rollers need cleaning. Any tips?

  8 answers
  • The cost of cleaning a roller with this type of paint on it is just not worth the effort. New roller covers cost around four dollars on the higher end for a standard nap and sized roller. You will need to purchase a six dollar can of reducer, something to hold it in. Spend the time on cleaning it. Then have to deal with the byproduct because you cannot just dump it on ground or down a drain. If your doing a lot of painting and you need a few days between the job. You can simply cover the roller with plastic wrap to seal it from the air, then put a plastic baggie over it all and secure it with a rubber band. When your ready to paint again, take the plastic off and your good to go! I purchase multi-packs of roller pads and scrape the paint off of them and put them into trash. My labor rates for my guys to save these covers is just to much to warrant it. We will cover them overnight however if were not done with job.
  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 08, 2022

    I agree, just replace them or bag them up to use the next day.

  • Marianne Marianne on Sep 27, 2022

    I'm a painter and you can't keep putting your rollers in bags every night, eventually they are going to need to be cleaned or else it will affect the results of your finished product. I'm a woman painter and have been told by almost every single person who has hired me that I am the neatest and cleanest contractor they've ever had in their house. This is a very good thing. I've gotten many referrals from this one aspect of my work alone. Plus I do an awesome job. I clean my brushes and rollers at the end of each day because I care about how my work looks and I definitely don't want to start out the next work day with dirty work supplies first thing in the morning. That really a lack of pride in your work and also shows you really don't care how the job turns out, you just want to get out of there as quickly as you can. BTW, to clean your rollers paint out as much of the paint as you can from the roller onto the wall until barely anything is coming off of it. I always clean my supplies at my own house. As soon as I get home I throw the rollers into a bucket of hot water, let soak. Wash the brush with Tide laundry detergent. I've found that the Tide gets the last of the lingering paint out of the crevices of the brushes better than anything. Rinse very well. Back to the rollers. After soaking they're practically cleaned, they just need a flushing. Take your thumb and first finger to form a circle and scrape the excess paint out of the roller. At this point there won't be much left after soaking in the large bucket of water. Do this a few times if you're working with a deep color that roller will remained stained forever but is definitely reusable. Just continue to rinse the rollers until you see the water running almost clear. Cleaning up after you paint is time consuming but it absolutely an important part of the job, maybe a lot more important than some of these guys realize based on the response I get from my work ethic and my beliefs about how you should do your work and how you should leave a job site. I never have to go find work. I always have a steady stream of jobs lined up from referrals due to my excellent work and because women LOVE the way I take care of their homes when I'm working there. Please clean your work materials, don't take shortcuts that will lead to sloppy work. People don't hire sloppy workers.

  • I scrape off as much paint as I can and then run them under warm water.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Nov 15, 2022

    Should always do it after painting! Then when clean store in poly bag to keep clean.

  • Janice Janice on Nov 29, 2022

    Cleaning of paint rollers must be done right after painting and before the paint on the roller begins to dry. Remove the roller from the metal holder and rinse it well with a water hose, then place in a sink with warm soapy water and run your hands over the outside of the roller. Keep in mind that some rollers are on cardboard type cylinders and are not meant to be reused. Keep rinsing the roller with water until the water runs clear, the once again use your hands pressed against the roller to remove as much of the water as possible and set on end to let drain dry over an area that gets lots of airy ventilation.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 07, 2023

    Clean them immediately after use! Try soaking them in soapy water.