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 avoiding issues down the road.
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 the following cleaning steps are applicable whether you’re using a professional wagner flexio paint sprayer or domestic handheld sprayer.
You can use these cleaning tips on 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 flexio sprayer cleaned in no time!
Supplies You'll Need
1. Disassemble Your Paint Sprayer
The first step is to disassemble your wagner flexio paint sprayer. Regardless of the model you own.
Start by unplugging the power cord and releasing any built-up pressure within the sprayer. To do this, loosen the wagner flexio 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, fill the paint container about halfway with the cleaning solution.
If you clean the wagner flexio paint sprayer immediately with cleaning solution 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 spluttering.
For dried latex paint you can simply peel off most of it 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.
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 overnight. This will help to loosen the paint and unclog the suction tube or fluid supply or loose fluid nozzle.
The front-end sprayer head itself can disassemble by simply pulling on the yellow ring around the spray gun's tip. Doing this will help to ensure you clean an airless paint sprayer properly and provide accurate results when spraying.
Clear softened paint from the little tube at the nozzle bottom using a sewing needle or wire from a twist tie, being careful not to extend or deform the tube.
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 interior walls. 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.
Water Vs Thinner: Which Is Better For Cleaning?
As mentioned before, when cleaning your spray gun, you want to ensure that you use the correct substance for cleaning. When painting interior walls 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 as water won’t be able to break down the oil.
Care And Preservation Of Your Wagner Sprayer
Properly caring for your wagner flexio 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 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.
The air cap of airless paint sprayer should be serviced every 100 hours of use by replacing the oil, and then every 500 hours thereafter. It's important to maintain the air cap of your airless paint sprayer to ensure optimal performance.
Does your air filter on the side of your sprayer look dirty? It's time to replace! A clean air filter is a crucial part of your paint spray wagner flexio working correctly, so check your air filters before paint spray.
Common Wagner Paint Sprayer Questions
Can I hook my Wagner sprayer to the garden hose?
Yes, some Wagner sprayer models work with garden hoses. They're fine for cleaning water-based paint, but not for oil-based paints.
Can you use mineral spirits to clean Wagner sprayer?
Yes, mineral spirits can be used to clean a sprayer when using oil-based paint.
What do I do if my Wagner paint sprayer is clogged with dry paint?
Soak the clogged Wagner paint sprayer in warm soapy water. For oil-based paint, use thinners instead.
How do I take apart my Wagner paint sprayer?
To learn how to disassemble your paint sprayer, check your Wagner manual or use our step-by-step guide.
How soon after use do I need to clean my Wagner paint sprayer?
Clean your sprayer as soon as possible after use to avoid any potential clogging or damage to the device. You may also soak the gun and intake tube in a bucket of clean water if you need to store the sprayer overnight. Remember to clean the nozzle and spray tip using a soft-bristled brush.
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.
Now that you've learned the steps to cleaning your wagner flexio paint sprayer and when to use soapy water vs mineral spirits - you can start painting and begin your next project today!