Holloway Painting

Cleaning out a roller

Cleaning out a paint roller?

When cleaning out a paint roller, get yourself some glove rubber gloves, you don’t want to end up covered in paint.

What Kind of Paint are you trying to remove?

For more information on choosing the best type of paint for your project, you may be interested in checking out our article Latex paint vs Oil Paint?

Cleaning out a paint roller for Water-Based Paint (Latex Paint):

What you will need:

  1. Rubber Gloves
  2. Putty Knife
  3. Dish Soap
  4. Warm Water
  5. Bucket
If the paint hasn’t dried yet, scrape off the excess paint with a scraper or putty knife into a garbage bag, we don’t want to affect our local water supply, animals, or plant life. Generally, you should be able to remove all the paint by simply washing it out with dish soap and warm water. After rinsing well with warm water, if you notice more paint repeat the process until the paint is no longer visible. Once you have a clean roller, you are going to put it back onto the roller cage to ensure the fibers return to the original position. You can use a paper towel to absorb the access water, and let it air dry for your next project.

Now, clean up the bucket with the soapy paint solution. Let the paint water settle, the leftover molecules of paint will sink to the bottom of the solution allowing, you the ability to safely pour a substantial amount of water out of the bucket. Let the remaining water evaporate in the bucket, once it has dried you can peel the leftover layer of paint out of the bucket and dispose of it in the garbage. Furthermore, if you happen to have any leftover paint from your project you may want to consider contacting your local recycling depot, to ensure the extra paint is disposed of correctly.

Cleaning out a paint roller for Oil-Based Paint:

What you will need:


  1. Rubber Gloves
  2. Paint Thinner or Mineral Spirits
  3. Bucket
  4. Warm Water
  5. Dish Soap
First off, put on the rubber gloves. Secondly, be sure to fill the bucket with enough Mineral spirits or paint thinner to completely cover the roller and gently massage the solution into the roller. Then, let the roller soak for 7 min in the solution. Make sure you rinse off the excess paint and solvent into the same bucket. In the same way, revert to the same washing instructions as we did with the water-based latex paint. Wash the roller with warm water and dish soap. Put the roller back on the roller cage. Use a paper towel to remove excess water and let it air dry once again. Keep in mind that your roller sleeve is made of cardboard and it will not stand up to the mineral spirits or paint thinner. Lastly, as a trusted professional contractor, we always weigh out our options, if the roller looks rough, you may need to replace the sleeve for your next project.