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TM reader Nathan writes: “I’m interesting in what Toolmongers think af paint roller cleaners.  I work in a theater scene shop and we paint all the time.  The worst job is cleaning out the rollers.  I’ve seen advertisements for gizmos that you attach to the faucet to wash all the paint out, but I really have no idea how well they work.  So are they Hot or Not?”

Let us know in comments.

Paint Roller Cleaners [Google Products]


22 Responses to Hot or Not? Paint Roller Cleaners

  1. TMIB_Seattle says:

    I’ve not used that type before. However the “spinner” type works well. This is the type where you put the paint roller on a rotating head that spins very quickly when you pump the handle.

    You can use this type to dunk the roller in water then spin the water and paint out of it using centrifugal force. (best to do in a bucket to keep things clean.) Repeat a couple times and the rollers come out clean.

    Best part is, that these spinner deals are pretty cheap and most paint supply stores carry them. The faucet attachment pictured here seems like overkill.

  2. Bob says:

    I have the Rejuv-a-Roller Automatic Paint Roller Cleaner. It works well, a tiny bit of work to hook it up to the faucet but after that it works great. Cleans the rollers much faster and much better than doing it by hand. I can use the rollers for a lot more uses before I decide to throw them away.

  3. Chris S. says:

    I the pump style roller spinner TMIB mentioned. Looks like this http://images.orgill.com/200×200/4702916.JPG Also works great with brushes, they slip between the jaw on the bottom and you can spin them dry in no time. I usually clean my brushes under water with a wire brush, use the spinner to dry it out, then the wire brush once over it to get the brissels straight. Keeps the brushes like new.

  4. Rick says:

    Chris S.
    Instead of using the wire brush to get the bristles straight, try picking up a brush comb.. Amazon has one for about $6 and change that I have.. It works really well . .

  5. Brian says:

    I used to work for a painting contractor in west Michigan, and we always used a ring that attached to a utility sink like this http://www.sealhardware.com/detail.asp?sku=6262489 and then used a spinner to dry the roller. This system worked very well, but that was many years ago now, and there very well may be something better out there.

  6. olderty says:

    I just use my hose with the spray nozzle set to jet. I skim over the top of the roller and centrifugal force does the rest. Perhaps if the wife bought decent rollers I’d be more inclined to clean them in a more professional manner.

  7. Mark Bickford says:

    Looks like a cool product. Unfortunately, you google search link returns no products. Dropped the word faucet from the search & got some results, but not like the picture.
    How ’bout a brand name?

  8. ambush27 says:

    I’ve found that rollers tend to wear out after several hours of painting anyway and that a hose or soaking works well enough for most cleanings.

  9. Kevin K says:

    Haven’t done this much but a stream of compressed air at the right location and angle while the roller is still mounted up will spin it VERY fast and dry it at the same time. Takes a few wet-dry cycles to get it decently clean. Do it outside!

  10. David Culberson says:

    The hose (air or water) + letting it spin method works but makes a mess. Even outside. Painters will say “just hose it down” but their idea of clean never meshes with my idea of clean. Painters seem to revel in messes.

  11. Eric Mockler says:

    I never clean paint rollers. If I intend to use it again, I wrap it tightly in plastic, and it will stay wet for maybe a week or so. If not I use the same plastic bag to pull it off cleanly and throw it away. I buy them in packs of 12 and consider them disposable. The maybe $3 tops they cost is not worth compromising the NEXT paint job.
    I clean the brushes with a wire brush and water, and spin them by hand.

  12. Brew says:

    I have one that is called the roller wizard. I stumbled upon the “wizard” on the web and thought I would give it a try. I can honestly say it is one of the best $20 I have ever spent. Works great, easy and fast. You can completely clean and partially dry a roller in about 2 minutes. The roller is slightly damp when you are done, but pretty much dry enough to use immediately if you want. I would usually just grab a blower from my compressor and blow it dry by spinning it really fast for 30 seconds. Again, this is not necessary, but gets it completely dry. I can’t recommend it enough. (no i am not affiliated)


  13. Brew says:

    Follow up, their site has it for $40, I bought mine off Ebay for around $20 shipped about 2 years ago.

    web site,


    How it works


  14. dena says:

    Try the paintrifuge-works better and is more portable-you don’t have to hook up to a faucet. dries the roller too

  15. Gene Mundell says:

    To bring everyone up to date…..There is a really good Ez Roller Cleaner on Google videos and on Youtube video. Type in Ez Roller Cleaner or Paint Roller Cleaners and the various videos will come up. I don’t think these guys have the money for a web site so they are doing the best they can. CHECK EM’ OUT…..THE’RE GREAT!

  16. steve says:

    I agree with Dena- the paintrifuge is much better-bought one at the home and garden show and it works great- used the same roller over and over again. It even dried the roller enough where I could switch to a different color right after cleaning it. Hey, it is even made in the USA.

  17. Daryl says:

    Yes, the Paintrifuge is great. It’s portable, easy to use, and cleans paint roller covers quickly and thoroughly. I used to go through dozens of paint roller covers on a single house, but now I can often use just two or three, depending on the size of the job. I found it online at http://www.paintrifuge.com.

  18. Tom Beatty says:

    About 25 years ago my neighbor who was 80 years old at the time was a consignment only painter and cabinet maker, was getting rid of some equipment. He handed me an old real heavy duty roller cage from a roller frame. He had put the frame in a vise, and straightened out the rod of the frame, cut it off 4″ from the cage, put the cut end on bench grinder to square off two sides. Handed me a 20 year old electric drill, and I use it as a spinner into empty bucket, then spin in a bucket with water, then spin it dry. Said he had used it since 1963. Problem solved. Why buy plastic crap that breaks? Same thing with a deep hole saw and a set screw for brushes. Cost about 10 dollars, and will never crack or fall apart. Hope this helps.
    As an aside; his trade union went on strike over rollers and pads, when they were introduced because they were losing pay over the time savings. How about that?

  19. Tori says:

    I work in a theater as well, and ever since we got one of these, my job has gotten a lot easier. I always got stuck with the job of cleaning the brushes/rollers, and it would take forever, especially since we always have to repaint the theater black. For working in a theater, I’d definitely recommend it.

  20. Banker says:

    I have used The RollaDryer ( http://www.RollaDryer.com )to dry and store my painting tools after use. After cleaning my tools I hang them over my utility sink (or painting pail) until they are dry. You can also attach it to your paint tray. After the are dry I hang the RollaDryer on a nail in my garage until I need them again. Great Product.

  21. ed higdon says:

    Just thought someone should mention to give credit where it is due… The product in the photo is called “rejuv-a-roller” or something right on top of that (I might have added a dash too many or something like that, but at least the name is close) and it is easily found running a google search for paint roller cleaners. It may be plastic and with that being said, inexpensive to manufacture and potentially easy to break, but let’s face it, unless you are too much like “Tim the toolman” as it is and you find yourself mounting small block chevy engines to push mowers, or high powered pressure washers to a device like this, 50 psi is about all the water pressure a wise person would put on this thing and it would probably do just fine for the wise homeowner who isn’t trying to paint more than a room or two every once in a while. For myself, a product of higher quality pvc than this can be made from about $15 in parts from Lowe’s or Home Depot and is very simple to make. For someone who really wanted something durable to really crank up the water pressure on (maybe they enjoy watching that nap get forced out of the roller lol), one could be made from galvanized steel piping without much cost higher than that. For me, I prefered to make mine so it has a connection for a hose pipe, rather than a faucet’s fine threads. I can crank up the pressure a little, rinse it thoroughly without being right next to it making sure it’s okay and when I return back outside, it’s all clean and I don’t even have to rinse out the sink. A light rinse off to get the paint to rinse into the dirt and I’m headed back inside. As far as drying them, I let them air dry bc if they are rinsed well enough, they never harden, but if rinsed to hard or spun out too fast, they’ll be in the trash or cause a really ugly paint job on some job following that one.

  22. C. Karkey says:

    I’m a professional contractor/renovator and have been using a Rejuv-a-roller for about 5 years. I’d guess it’s cleaned about 150-200 wet covers in that time. The coil hose finally did crack, so it was replaced with a 18″ chunk of 1/2″ garden hose with clamp on fittings. It will clean a cover in 60 secs to like new condition and has saved a lot of money. Now, rather than buying cheap covers, I can buy top of the line units and reuse them several time. The Rejuz paid for itself the first job. As so as I’m done with a roller, it gets snapped off into a 5 gal bucket of water to keep it wet. After washing, spin it dry with a cheap push/pull spinner, the set on a dowel rack to dry. Good unit, makes me money.

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