How To Clean Paint Roller Sleeves

We’ve all done there: you finished painting after a hard day and glance down at your splattered rollers. Spending hours washing the roller sleeves will be the last thing you would like to do. This post will show you how to clean your roller sleeves in three different ways so they’re ready with your next job.

All of these techniques are suitable for rollers to use with water-based paints. Most of these procedures could also be used with oil-based colours, however solvents should be used to assist clean them because hot water and oil-based paints don’t mix properly but you could end up with a big mess.

Using Elbow Grease

The first method entails some old-fashioned elbow grease. Scrape any extra paint from the roller sleeve with a scraper before you begin. It’s advisable to use a multi-tool such as the Purdy 6-in-1 to assist limit the amount of colour on the roller. Loosen the roller sleeve from the body as soon as you’ve done scraping so the paint doesn’t dry. Load the roller with hot soapy water and place it in the basin or bucket.

In order to wash the rollers, you need be near a clean, flowing water source. Wash the rollers in water and soap, then remove them and run them under fresh water to eliminate the paint-filled liquid. I don’t advocate soaking the sleeves in cleaning solution because it can damage the roller fabric and shorten the life of the sleeve. Your roller is cleaned when the water in the sleeve begins to run clear.

Using a Washing Machines

The next method requires a disclaimer because it isn’t something I would recommend because it could harm expensive hardware, but I didn’t want to leave it out because it is used by a handful of expert decorators. Disconnect the roller sleeve from the roller frame and rinse it on a cool cycle once you’ve scrapped the most of the remaining paint out.

You can pull them out now and dry them with a roller spin or just let them air dry once they’re done. However, be aware that this may result in damage to your fine, costly washing machine, something your lovely wife may not like. Second, because this technique of cleaning a roller sleeve is fairly abrasive, it may shorten the life of your roller.This method might not work with mini rollers and other sensitive sleeves.

Using a Roller Cleaning Device

There is always a handy device that will do the work for you, as with most everything. Roller cleaners are available that let you to place the roller within a plastic tube with the other end attached to a hosepipe. Water is forced into the roller sleeve, which drives the paints out of the rollers and out the opposite end of the machine. These can be useful and save effort, but you’ll almost certainly need to give it a final rinse with hot water to get it entirely clean.

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