Trying to remove latex paint from a paint roller can be very time-consuming and messy. Here’s a simple way to clean a paint roller in minutes without making a big mess.

  1. Place the crook of the paint roller frame over the rim of a large garbage can with the roller hanging down inside the can.
  2. Train water from a garden hose spray nozzle set to a tight pattern on the edge of the paint roller so it spins the roller at high speed.
  3. Move the stream of water up and down along the paint roller for a minute or two until the water coming out of the roller is clear.
  4. Take the roller off the frame and stand it on end to dry.

Watch the video above to find out more.


At the end of every painting job, I used to take of the roller sleeve and toss it away, because I figured there was no way to properly clean it. That was pretty wasteful, and I started to thinking, there’s got to be a way to clean it. And then I came up with this idea, and it works really well.

I use a garden hose to simply rinse out the sleeve. But the trick is to use a trash can to contain the overspray, and then spray it, so the water hits the very edge of the roller. What you’ll see will happen is that the roller will start spinning at high speed, and it just throws the paint right off.

OK, so you’re going to get a nice stream of water, and aim it right at the sleeve. Look at that. You go up and down the entire sleeve. Now, you’re going to need to do that for about 60 seconds or so. But I’ll show you this, now look at that, that’s after what about 10 or 15 seconds, and most of the paint’s gone. If I keep doing that, this will be completely clean.

Then the other trick is, once you’re done, pop it off the frame, and then stand the sleeve up, and let it dry like that. Because if you lay it flat, you’ll compress the fibers of the mat, and then you’ll never be able to use it again. But if you stand it up, and let it dry like that, then store it away. Then it’ll be ready next time you have a room to paint.

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avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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