How to Clean an Airless Paint Sprayer Like a Pro User

Published on: January 5, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

As we know, the expected professional service and longevity of the machine depend on proper operation and maintenance. When you purchase a machine, you always get a copy of the User’s instruction manual.

You must adhere to the operating instructions so that your device can give you the best service and lasts long as well. Take measures to repair your machine when you detect any problem so that it remains functional and gives you hassle-free service. 

There are different kinds of cleaning materials and solvents for the airless paint sprayer available in the market or hardware store. Try to get quality materials so that they work well while going through the cleansing process.

how to clean an airless paint sprayer like a pro user

As the paint sprayer deals with chemical substances, you should take extra care of your own health safety and the safe disposal of environmental waste. See also: 11 Best Paint Brushes for Smooth Finish

Do you think an airless paint sprayer is easy to clean? We’ve discussed step-by-step airless paint sprayer cleaning here! There is also a discussion on its maintenance.

However, I have designed this article outlining all the guidelines and procedures on how to clean an airless paint sprayer so that you can get familiar with and maintain your machine after use. 

Get Water or Thinner for Cleaning

To clean the Air Paint Sprayer, either water or thinner is required depending on the type of paint you used. If it is latex paint, simply use normal water to clean your sprayer while for oil-based paint, pick the thinner to clean. 

Disassemble the Sprayer for Cleaning

Air Sprayer is basically made of three major parts including a main body, a gun, and a nozzle each of the models is slightly different from others based on the type of filters and design. Before cleaning the tool, turn the power off. Then turn down the pressure to the lowest level and release the pressure completely by triggering the gun.

Turn the prime valve to an unlock position. For proper cleaning, it’s vital to disassemble your sprayer settings including the nozzle, filters, guard, switch tip, siphon tube set, etc. Then wash each of the parts properly either with water or the thinner as recommended. This cleaning method will help your tool remove all the leftover paints and the other filths deposited inside allowing them to get cleaned properly. After cleaning, reassemble the tool to get it ready for further use.    

Cleaning Sprayer  

After using the device, it’s vital to pump out the leftover paint of the sprayer and the airless hose. Else, the leftover paint would get solid inside the sprayer and the hose leading your device to be non-functional. See also: 12 Best Paint Brush for Trim and Baseboards

For cleaning the sprayer, you need tap water or thinner and a pair of buckets. Take a bucket of water and place the suction of the airless sprayer in the bucket to pump out water from there. Take another bucket to pump out the leftover paint at low pressure from the sprayer using the prime pump. Then, push out the remaining paint and other dirt with the water or thinner through the high-pressure hose using the spray mode and the prime mode. It’s recommended not to use the solvent to clean the spray guns as their seal might be spoiled. 

Cleaning Filters

The sprayer is assembled with two or three filters including a suction filter, a manifold filter, and a pencil gun filter depending on its professional grade. The suction filter is usually assembled with the suction hose; a manifold filter is placed on either side of the device.

On the contrary, the pencil gun filter is usually assembled with the handle of the spray gun. Soak the filters either in water or the solvent as applicable to clean them off. Never soak the spray gun in the solvent as its seal could be spoiled leading your sprayer gun to get completely damaged. Read more: Spray Guns for Plasti Dip

Use a pair of gloves and start wiping away the leftover grime. For the stubborn bits, use an old stiff brush and scrub away gently. Then wipe away the filters. Finally use a hard brush to softly scrub away to remove all the hard substances from the filters. 

Cleaning Nozzle

To clean the nozzle, soak it in the thinner or water for a couple of minutes. Then scrub the nozzle with a toothbrush. After cleaning, check it carefully to make sure there is no dirt inside the nozzle to prevent blockage in the hole. If you notice any, then use a needle to clear the jam. You can release the residual paint deposited inside by guiding the fine nozzle needles into the nozzle channel.   

Cleaning Sprayer Gun

There are many small parts assembled with the sprayer gun itself. It’s good to use soft brushes of different sizes as appropriate to clean unapproachable areas of the parts to clear the paint channel and the filter seat having paint residues. As some of the parts are more brittle, always handle them with extra care while cleaning. Take care of the minor parts which tend to be lost while cleaning your apparatus. 

Release the spray guard, the hose, and the gun filter with the spray tip. Then flip the gun and place it in the vigorous water stream and hold the trigger down. Make sure only the filter area is washed with the water stream, not the spray area. It’s recommended not to spend more than a minute while washing. 

Read more: Varnish Removers for Wood

After completing the cleaning, wipe off the wet areas of the parts with a clean soft towel to dry them off completely. 


Always read the instructions manual carefully to take care of your device. Be particular about the pump system which may need to be greased at certain intervals to keep your device functional. 

Maintain safety protocol while in the operation. Have extra vigilance while working with the solvent as its chemical substance may cause health hazards. The working area should be spacious enough and well-ventilated to be protected from inhaling fumes. Safely dispose of the waste to avoid environmental hazards.  

It is evident that if the sprayer is used too frequently with short or no intervals, the evaporated liquid and corrosive process might cause the valves sticking leading to malfunctioning of the suction system while operating. You might need to go through a complicated process to recover its desired workability.

Best Cleaning Solution for an Airless Paint Sprayer

The best type of cleaning solution for an airless paint sprayer is a specially formulated airless paint sprayer cleaner. This type of cleaner is designed to break down and remove paint residue, oil, and dirt from the sprayer’s internal components. It is safe for use on metal, plastic, and rubber components.

Safety Precautions Should Take When Cleaning an Airless Paint Sprayer

1. Wear protective eyewear and clothing, including a respirator and gloves, when cleaning an airless paint sprayer.

2. Make sure to unplug the sprayer from the power source before cleaning.

3. Use mild detergent and warm water to clean the interior of the sprayer.

4. Use a soft cloth or brush to gently scrub away any paint residue.

5. Use mineral spirits to clean any oil or grease buildup.

6. Rinse the sprayer with clean water and allow it to air-dry before using it again.

7. When reassembling the sprayer, be sure to tighten all connections securely.

Concluding Remarks

I hope, by this time you have become familiar with the cleansing procedure and maintenance of the airless paint sprayer through this article. As I said earlier, you should always maintain your safety protocol as the paint deals with chemical substances. Try to work in a well-ventilated room to be safe from inhaling fumes which could cause severe coughing and respiratory problems. 

It would add value to our endeavors if you share your feedback and comments with us so that we can refer them to our next course of action and offer you more efficient services in the coming days. We would always appreciate it if you share this article with your friends, colleagues, and relatives which could be a great support for us to reach out to more people to bring them under the umbrella of our excellent client service. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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