How To Clean A Paint Roller

A good quality paint roller can be cleaned and reused again. In order to reuse a paint roller you need to clean it immediately after the last coat is on the wall.

How To Clean A Paint Roller

With the help of water, soap and a mess sink you’re on the way to cleaning and reusing your roller.


Paints that are oil-based, shellacs or varnishes may require extra work and cleaning in a different manner. In some cases, these paints require use of mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, or paint thinner. It is best to read the label of your paint can to make sure you are cleaning it with the appropriate personal protection and manner.


  1. After you have confirmed you’ve applied the last coat of paint, wrap your roller with thick sheets of newspaper that you intend to throw away. Make sure you remove the roller cover off the roller frame while standing over a drop cloth. The force of removing the cover may cause some paint to splatter.

  2. Take the used roller cover to a sink, preferably a mess sink since there will be paint residue coming off the roller cover. With disposable gloves on your hands, start by washing the cover with warm water and dish soap. Continue the process of lathering and washing the roller until the paint is removed. Keep rinsing the roller until soap is completely removed.

  3. If you have some spots on the roller that you find difficult to have paint removed from, use a putty knife to gently work the spot off of the roller. Just be careful not to tear or pull off any fibers.

  4. Now that the roller is cleaned, it’s time to drain and squeeze the water out of the roller while over the sink.

  5. If you’re happy with the cleanliness of the roller it’s time to dry it. Place the roller on a flat surface that has a rag or towel on it. Don’t place the roller on the side with the fibers, instead place it vertically on the sides with the holes. Let the roller dry for 24-48 hours before placing in a plastic bag to avoid dust and damage before net use.

Keep in mind that rollers can lose their fibers over time and with multiple uses. You may only get a few uses out of your used paint roller. Inspect a used roller before reusing it to ensure it’s clean after being stored and no fibers are coming off.


Published on 4/9/2021.
Always follow manufacturer’s instructions before using any product.
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