How To Clean A Paint Roller Sleeve


Whether you’re a professional painter or a DIY renovator, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a freshly applied coat of paint liven up a wall, room, or whole house. The downside is definitely the clean up at the end of the day. Depending on how you do it, cleaning paint roller sleeves can be time consuming. It can waste a lot of paint and churn through excessive amounts of water. When you paint regularly you begin to think about all that paint and water wastage, let alone your precious time. Well we did anyway, so we thought we’d share with you some tips on how to clean your paint roller sleeves after using water based paint. Here’s a step by step tutorial on how to effectively clean a roller sleeve:

Pre-cleaning tips

EquipmentOnce you have used your Rolla-wipa™ to remove the excess paint from your roller sleeve into your paint tray, pour this paint back into the tin and seal well The cleaning process is made even easier if you have the opportunity to soak the roller sleeve, still on its cage, in water overnight. Even a few hours makes a difference. You can use a Rolla-wipa to wipe out the excess water it’s been soaking in then go to step one.

You will need:
  • A garden hose with a variable spray nozzle or a well placed finger on the end of the hose to control pressure and direction of spray
  • The roller sleeve still on its cage and handle
  • The roller tray
  • Any lawn or gravel area

How to Clean A Paint Roller Sleeve

Protecting your surface

Before putting your gear down first spray the area liberally with water to protect any surfaces from having rinse water settling on it.

Positioning the roller

Put the roller tray on its side, facing away from you with the deep end of the tray on your left. With your left hand, suspend the roller cage into the cavity of the paint tray about mid way along it. The handle will also help to stabilise the roller by resting on the lip of the front of the paint tray. Use your left hand to further stabilise the roller ensuring that it is close to but not touching any part of the paint tray. This will allow the roller to spin freely.

Rinsing the sleeve

To make the roller sleeve go into spin/rinse, with your right hand, bring the hose turned to full pressure, with its gun/nozzle/finger set to jet aimed at the outer facing edge of the sleeve just skimming the very edge, up and down the length in a continuous motion. Centrifugal force will cause the roller to spin rapidly, the roller sleeve excepting and expelling water in a outward going spray. Maintain this action till the water is clear.

Cleaning the inside and cage

Pull the roller sleeve off its cage and hose both the inside of the sleeve and the workings of the cage, reassemble and spin one more time. This will make sure the paint won’t dry and glue the sleeve to the cage.

Drying the sleeve

Hang the roller out to dry or remove it from the cage and sit it upright to dry.