How To Clean Paint Sprayers: 5 Easy To Follow Steps!

If you want to spray a large surface fast then you need to use an airless paint sprayer. They are fast, but it takes a lot of time to clean them because they tend to make a huge mess.

Cleaning your paint sprayers after each use is important because it gives the tool a longer life and prevents clogging the next time you use it.

If you are thinking about how to clean your airless paint sprayer then don’t worry. We will write a detailed guide down below that you can easily follow. Keep in mind that the first time you clean your paint sprayer you may get confused, but every time you do it the process becomes easier.

Remember a clean sprayer is a good sprayer so you have to do this every time you use your paint sprayer.

How To Clean Paint Sprayers?

Follow these tips carefully and by the end of it you will have a clean paint sprayer. Make sure to remember the whole process and not forget anything because you will have to do this process every time you have to clean the paint sprayer

Step 1: Clean Different Parts

Even that every model comes with different parts, the main parts are always the same. To get better results it is better to take the device apart so you can ensure that you are cleaning all the parts where the material might have went to.

The main three parts that you need to clean are the tool itself, the nozzle, and the paint cup. When you start the cleaning process you can keep the tool assembled until you remove any dirt or material that is over the tool, once you remove that then it’s time to disassemble the tool.

Water or Paint Thinner? It depends on the material. If you used water-based material such as latex then you can use water to clean the tool. If you used oil-based paint such as lacquer then you need to use a paint thinner.  Make sure to be careful about what you are using to clean the paint sprayers or you can do more harm than good.

Step 2: Prepare The Buckets

The first thing you need to do is to prepare the buckets. Depending on the material you are using: water-based material (Water) or oil-based material (Paint Thinner) – you have to fill the bucket. You need two buckets. Fill the first bucket with water or paint thinner, you need to have the second bucket empty so you can empty the dirt into.

Put the paint hose into the bucket with water or paint thinner and aim with the paint sprayer at the empty bucket. This helps you to remove any paint that is in the tool or paint hose.

Read More— Best Hand Sprayers

Step 3: Clean the Filters

Once you clean the paint hose and get rid of any paint that could be inside the sprayer, it’s time to clean the other small parts. You should start by cleaning the filters.

There are a lot of different paint sprayer types and they have different filters – to make this easier I will be using an airless paint sprayer as an example. If your paint sprayer doesn’t have the filters at the same place then make sure to read the manual to know where to find all the filters. Usually, airless paint sprayers have three filters:

  • Suction Filter – You can find it at the end of the hose, this filter is usually merged into the material.
  • Manifold Filter – This filter is usually placed inside the tool.
  • Pencil Filter – You can find this filter at the handle of the paint sprayer.

Take all these three filters and put them into the bucket that is filled with water or thinner. Don’t put the whole paint sprayer inside, just the filters. If you want to clean them better, wear some gloves, and start cleaning them, you can even use a brush to get better results. Some paint sprayers come with cleaning equipment, you can use them too.

Step 4: Clean The Nozzle

As you know, the material goes through the nozzle before it ever touches the surface. So you need the nozzle to be clean and ready for the next time you will use the sprayer. Nozzles tend to clog a lot, so cleaning them after each use minimizes the chances of that happening.

Take off the nozzle and put it on the paint bucket with water or thinner, leave it there for a few minutes. Take the nozzle from the water and again use a brush to clean it. You can use the cleaning equipment here too if you have any.

Before you put the nozzle back you must be sure that the nozzle is cleaned. To do that – take the nozzle and hold it up to the light and look if you can see a light from the other side of the nozzle. If you can then the nozzle is cleaned and you can attach it to the sprayer. If not, then you should use a needle if the nozzle is completely blocked.

Step 5: Clean The Small Parts

Once you cleaned all the attachments that the sprayer has such as nozzles and filters, now it’s time to clean the spray gun. You will be dealing with different parts so you might need different size brushes. Also, most of these tools are fragile so you have to be careful all the time and use softer brushes.

After you clean different parts such as sprayers guards and the plastic seals, it’s time to clean the spray gun. Make sure that the nozzle, filters, hose, and everything else are removed. Hold the sprayer upside down under a fast flow of water and hold the trigger. You want the water to go where the filters were before.  Do this for about a minute to ensure that the sprayer is cleaned.

Wait for all the parts to dry and assemble the spray gun. If some parts are still wet, you can use a cloth or something else to dry them out. And this is how you clean your paint sprayer.

Final Words

Unless you have a different guide written in your user manual of the sprayer – this is how you should clean your paint sprayer. I understand that this may look hard, but once you do it a few times it will become easier and it will come naturally to you.

Cleaning your paint sprayer is important in the long run. It gives the tool a longer life, and it also helps to start spraying faster next time because you don’t have to get rid of old material or unclog the sprayer.

Michael is the Editor at thetoolgeeks.com. He used to own a local shop where he sold different tools for 20+ years. He now enjoys researching DIY tools and writing guides about it.

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