How To Clean An Airless Paint Sprayer (Quickly and Easily)

An airless paint sprayer is a great option for you to use. It will help get the painting done in no time. However, once you are done using the paint sprayer, it is time to clean it out so it is ready to use again. Failure to do this will mean that paint will get stuck inside, and the paint sprayer will stop working.  

With the right steps, you can learn how to clean an airless paint sprayer. Let's take a closer look at how you can make your airless paint sprayer clean.  

Before You Start Cleaning Up

Before you get started with your airless paint sprayer, make sure that you are staying safe and do not get harmed by the solvent or other chemicals that are used during this time. Some of the precautions that you should take before you try to fully clean an airless paint sprayer include: 

  • Wear Protective Clothing
    This includes goggles, gloves, and overalls to make sure that you can keep the solvent off you during the cleaning time. 
  • Have A Bucket Of Clean Water Ready
    You will need to put the different components of the air sprayer into solvent and water when done to remove the paint. Have that water ready to make things easier. 
  • Read The Manual Carefully
    You should look at the manual ahead of time. This will ensure that you know any warnings about the airless paint sprayer and be able to put the parts back well. Keep this nearby the whole time. 
Protective Gloves For Cleaning

Steps To Clean An Airless Paint Sprayer

It is now time to clean out the airless paint sprayer to get all the paint out.  Some of the steps that you need to use to help with this include: 

1. Set Up Buckets 

You will need to set up a few buckets to make sure they have the right solutions in place. You will need to pick a paint sprayer cleaner or a solvent that works for the type of paint inside of your sprayer.

Keep one bucket filled with water and soap, one with the chosen solvent, and one that is empty so that you can pour the dirty liquid cleaner into that later.  

2. Clean Out The Paint 

You will need to place the suction hose of the paint sprayer into an empty bucket. Aim it at the empty bucket. Push the prime mode and the spray mode in order to get all of the remaining material out.

Add more water to the paint container and flush it through too. Continue pushing it in and out until the liquid comes out clean.  

3. Cleaning The Filters 

The filters are important to your work in this paint sprayer. There will be two to three filters on these sprayers.

Unhook these from the air gun and add them into a bucket of soapy water or a solvent mixture. Never place the entire gun inside.  

Let the filters sit there for five to ten minutes. After that time, remove them from the solvent and scrub with a brush to remove the paint. You can add them back into the solvent for longer if the paint is really stuck in the filter.  

4. Clean The Nozzles 

This is probably one of the most tedious parts of the process. You may want to use an old toothbrush, pipe cleaners, and a needle to get all the paint out.

Place into the solvent to make sure that it has a way to release the paint. Then scrub with the toothbrush until the paint is gone. 

Run more water and solvent through to help rinse out the paint when necessary. Look through the nozzle and see if you notice a small amount of light showing through. It is clean when that is done.  

When these are all cleaned off, give the spray gun a good scrub on the outside and then wipe everything dry. Then, use the user manual to help put it all back together again.  

Cleaning Popular Airless Sprayer Brands

There are several types of airless paint sprayers that you can use, most from different brands that you can use. To clean these brands, follow the instructions below: 

How To Clean A Wagner Airless Paint Sprayer? 

If you plan to use a Wagner airless paint sprayer, there are a few steps that you can take in order to get this paint sprayer all done without leaving any paint behind. Some of the steps that you will need to use include: 

  • Disassemble the spray gun to remove all of the parts.  
  • Using a solvent and hot, soapy water, it is time to clean the paint container cup.  
  • Take the spray nozzle and the suction tube and get them cleaned out.  
  • Disassemble the front part of the paint sprayer and scrub until it is clean.  

You may need to soak everything in solvent and hot water for a bit to remove the paint. Give the parts time to dry and then reassemble before storing.  

Wagner Airless Paint Sprayer

How To Clean A Graco Airless Paint Sprayer? 

While there are several ways to clean out a Graco Airless Paint Sprayer, one of the best options to use to clean it out is the pressure relief procedure. To do this: 

  • Engage the gun trigger lock and then turn the machine off.  
  • Make sure the pressure control is to the lowest setting 
  • Reverse the spray tip and let the gun trigger lock disengage.  
  • Hold the metal of the gun to a metal pail and trigger the gun to let the pressure out.  
  • Engage the trigger lock and then turn the prime valve so that it will drain.  

Once all of the pressure is out, you will need to take each piece out one by one. You can have a bucket full of solvent and one of soapy water.

Put each piece into it one by one to let them soak and get the paint all off. Use a small brush to help get this done. Dry them before putting everything back together.  

Graco Airless Paint Sprayer

Airless Paint Sprayer Cleaning FAQs

Can I leave paint in an airless sprayer overnight? 

It is best to never leave paint in the airless paint sprayer for more than a few hours.

If you do, this will clog up the machine and make a bigger mess than you want to deal with.

So unless the second coat will be done soon, it is best just to clean out the paint sprayer right away.  

What is the correct way to store an airless paint sprayer after use? 

If you plan to use the airless paint sprayer in a few days, you can leave the tubes in the paint can and then cover everything with a bit of plastic wrap.

Release the pressure out of the sprayer but leave the gun and hose in some water to keep it from drying out. Put a bag over it to prevent any leaking.  


If you plan to store this for up to three months, you need to get all of the water out of the machine.

Make sure that the sprayer is going to be cleaned out of paint, and you give it time to dry out. You can keep items hooked up if you know you will use it again soon.  


For long-term storage, try to take everything off and clean it well [1]. Add a bit of mineral spirits to make sure nothing is left behind. Turn off the pump, take all the parts off, and store them together. It is a good idea to wrap it up in some plastic wrap to keep it safe.  

How do you know when a spray tip is bad? 

All airless paint sprayer tips are going to wear out over time and are not meant to last forever.

The exact length of time they will last will depend on how abrasive the material is. Most tips will last between 40 to 50 gallons before needing to replace [2].

However, if it looks worn down, seems to spray wrong, or you lose pressure, then it is time to replace.  

How do you keep paint sprayer from clogging between coats? 

It is best not to wait too long between coats to ensure the paint will not clog up. If you think it will take more than a few hours between coats, take the time to clean off all the parts so the paint will not clog up.  

How do you clean dried latex paint from a paint sprayer? 

To clean dried latex paint out of a sprayer you will need to remove all of the parts of the paint sprayer, one at a time, and see where the paint is stuck.

A solvent will be one of the best ways to make sure that the paint will get off the parts, so let them soak for at least a few minutes before scrubbing to get all of the paint removed well.  


When using an airless paint sprayer, you need to make sure that you clean it out. This ensures that the paint cannot bunch up inside and get stuck, ruining the machine and making it harder to use.

When you are ready to clean it out after use, make sure to follow some of the steps above to make this easier.