How To Clean Wagner Paint Sprayer (All Models)

You've just completed your first DIY project with your Wagner paint sprayer, but you have no idea how to clean it. Correctly cleaning your spray gun is important to avoid paint spluttering and ensure the longevity of your paint sprayer.

We've put together a step-by-step guide to making cleaning simple, along with an easy guide on when to use water vs thinners. We also answer some common questions.

Continue reading to learn how to clean your Wagner paint sprayer properly.

The first time you clean your Wagner paint sprayer, it can seem tricky. However, with the right supplies, it’s a straightforward process moving on and only takes 5 minutes each time.

Always check the Wagner instruction manual and make sure you are cleaning according to the directions. If you apply the incorrect cleaning procedures and products, your warranty could be void.

Most airless paint sprayers follow the same method of cleaning, so we’ve put together useful cleaning instructions for you to follow. These cleaning steps are applicable whether you’re using a professional paint sprayer or domestic handheld sprayers.

You can apply these cleaning tips to a variety of Wagner airless or HVLP sprayers, including the Wagner FLEXiO range / FLEXiO series (which is an excellent option for beginners!). This includes the Wagner FLEXiO 3000, FLEXiO 2000, FLEXiO 580, FLEXiO 570, and FLEXiO 590.

Additionally, it’s also suitable for the Wagner Opti-Stain Plus, Wagner Sidekick, Wagner Control Pro, and the Wagner Power Painter Plus.

Once you follow these easy steps, you will have your Wagner Paint Sprayer cleaned in no time!

Clean Wagner Paint Sprayers

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Warm soapy water or mineral spirits (paint thinner)
  • A bucket
  • Cleaning brush provided in the original packaging (or any soft bristle cleaning brush)
  • Paint container to pour excess paint into (or cat litter if discarding paint into the trash)
  • A clean towel or cloth for drying

Step-By-Step Guide

1. Disassemble Your Paint Sprayer

The first step is to disassemble your Wagner paint sprayer. Regardless of the model you own, the cleaning process is a simple and straightforward process.

Start by unplugging the power cord and releasing any built-up pressure within the sprayer. To do this, loosen the paint sprayer's container by just half a turn without removing the chamber completely.

Then, trigger the spray gun so that any remaining paint left in the tubes can flow back into the paint container. Remove the container and pour any remaining paint left into a can to use for your next project.

2. Clean & Rinse The Paint Chamber

Using either warm soapy water or mineral spirits, fill the paint container about halfway with the cleaning solution.

If you clean the paint sprayer immediately after using it (while the paint is still wet), the container should be pretty easy to clean.

However, if it’s been a while since using the spray gun and the container is lined with dried paint, you may need to use a scrubbing brush when cleaning. You want to be thorough here since dry paint can cause clogs or sprayer spluttering.

For dried latex paint, you’ll find that you can simply peel off most of the dried paint from the chamber.

3. Use Correct Cleaning Solution

It’s important to use the correct cleaning solution to properly clean your Wagner airless paint sprayer or HVLP spray guns. When using water-based materials in the spray gun, use warm soapy water to clean it (I like using Dawn dish soap).

For oil-based paints, it’s important to use mineral spirits as your cleaning solution instead. Although using the wrong cleaning methods won’t cause any harm, using soapy water to clean oil-based materials, for example, won’t remove the paint or clean effectively.

When discarding excess paint or your cleaning solution, you should avoid throwing any of it down the drain. Instead, follow correct disposal guidelines for chemicals by mixing the paint with cat litter before discarding it with your household trash.

4. Clean the Suction Tube and Spray Nozzle

The next step is to clean the suction tube and the spray nozzle. Using the brush that Wagner provides with the spray gun is best since it's designed specifically for this purpose. However, any soft bristle cleaning brush will work. Just be sure to avoid harsh or extreme scrubbing, as this can make your sprayer defective.

Remember to also clean the white container seal that goes around the suction tube.

As mentioned earlier, if you’re cleaning the nozzle immediately after use, you’ll find that container and suction tube are very easy to clean.

If the paint is completely dry, however, you’ll need to soak all the parts (specifically the smaller parts) in a cleaning solution or paint thinner. This will help to loosen the paint and unclog the suction tube or nozzle.

The front-end sprayer head itself can disassemble by simply pulling on the yellow ring around the spray tip. Doing this will help to ensure you clean a Wagner paint sprayer properly and provide accurate results when spraying.

5. Scrub All Parts Clean

Now that you’ve disassembled the container and suction tube, along with the front end sprayer head and nozzle, it’s time to give all the parts a final scrub and clean. After soaking your airless sprayer in a bucket of water, the paint should be easy to remove with a gentle scrub. Rinse everything thoroughly before moving on to reassemble it.

6. Allow Drying Time, Then Reassemble

Once all your components are clean, set them on a clean towel or cloth to fully dry before reassembling the spray gun.

Be sure to check that there is no soap residue left on any of the sprayer parts since this can cause a clogged Wagner paint sprayer or prevent accurate results when painting. If you do notice some residue, give it another quick scrub and rise.

The final step is to assemble your spray gun, ensuring that all of the small parts are accounted for.


Care And Preservation Of Your Wagner Paint Sprayer

Properly caring for your Wagner paint sprayer is vital if you want to extend its life and keep it functioning correctly. If you're spraying for several days and you aren't cleaning it in between, you'll likely be faced with issues like clogging.

Not only is it more challenging to remove dry paint from spray guns, but it can be a costly exercise if you constantly need to replace broken valves or gaskets.

Care And Preservation Of Your Wagner Paint Sprayer

Care of the Diaphragm Pumps & Piston Pumps

Wagner offers its own cleansing solution for airless sprayers, called EasyClean. The solution is mixed in a 1:30 ratio with water and can be circulated through the system to thoroughly clean the diaphragm and piston pumps.

In addition to this, the diaphragm pump and piston pump contain hydraulic oil, and you'll need to check the oil level often.

Wagner also sells its own hydraulic oil, called EasyGlide. It’s designed to lengthen the pumps’ lifespan by reducing wear on the cylinders, piston rods, and packing.

Oil Replacement

After using your paint sprayer for 100 hours, you’ll need to replace the oil. Thereafter, you’ll only need to change out the spray gun’s oil every 500 hours.


Water Vs Thinner: Which Should Be Used To Clean Wagners

As mentioned before, when cleaning your spray gun, you want to ensure that you use the correct substance for cleaning. When painting with any water-based material, soapy water will do the trick. When painting with any oil-based material, you’ll need to use paint thinners (or mineral spirits) as water won’t be able to break down the oil.


Common Wagner Paint Sprayer Questions

How do I take apart my Wagner paint sprayer?

For the most accurate information, it’s best to check your Wagner instruction manual. Alternatively, read through our easy-to-follow step-by-step guide above to learn how to take apart your paint sprayer.


Can I hook my Wagner paint sprayer to the garden hose?

Yes, some models include a fitting that is compatible with a standard garden hose. If using water-based paint, you can clean the paint sprayer using your garden hose. However, this method is not suitable for oil-based paints.


Can you use mineral spirits to clean Wagner paint sprayer?

Yes, if you're using oil-based paint, then you'll need to use mineral spirits in order to properly clean your Wagner paint sprayer.


What do I do if my Wagner paint sprayer is clogged with dry paint?

The best thing to do is to soak it in warm soapy water to loosen the dry paint. However, if you were painting with oil-based paint, you’ll need to run thinners through the machine.


How soon after use do I need to clean my Wagner paint sprayer?

Ideally, you should clean a Wagner paint sprayer immediately after use. However, you can leave paint in the sprayer overnight if you store the gun and intake tube in a bucket of clean water. Be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to clean the nozzle and unscrew the spray tip beforehand.


Conclusion

That wraps up our guide to cleaning a Wagner paint sprayer. Regardless of the model you own, cleaning your spray gun is simple and easy to do.

While it’s always best to clean up straight after your project, you can still get your paint sprayer clean and like new again, even if the paint has dried.

Now that you've learned the steps to cleaning your paint sprayer and when to use soapy water vs mineral spirits - you can start painting and begin your next project today!