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How to Clean Airless Paint Sprayer

If you experience poor performance from your airless paint sprayer, it could be because of poor maintenance. You should clean your airless paint sprayer the right way after every use to get the most from it.

Additionally, proper cleaning extends the lifespan of the sprayer. If you are cleaning the sprayer for the first time, I will take you through some crucial steps.

image - How to Clean Airless Paint Sprayer
How to Clean Airless Paint Sprayer

Step 1: Get Some Buckets

You need a set of buckets depending on whether the sprayer is water-based or oil-based. Fill one of the buckets with thinner or water. Leave the other bucket empty for putting the dirty liquid cleaner.

Step 2: Remove the Paint

Remove all the remaining paint in the sprayer. You can do this by placing the suction in the clean bucket and then direct the gun to the other bucket. Utilize both the spray and prime mode to get rid of any paint.

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Step 3: Clean Different parts

After clearing the paint, start cleaning other smaller parts. A professional airless paint sprayer or semi-professional mostly have 2-3 filters. They include a suction filter, manifold filter, and pencil gun filter.

Remove the filters from the suction hose’s end and soak them in the bucket with water or a solvent. Avoid placing the whole sprayer in the solvent to prevent abrasiveness.

Wear cleaning gloves and clean the filters. If there are stubborn stains, scrub gently using a brush.

Step 4: Nozzle Cleaning

Use an old toothbrush, thin needle, and small pipe cleaners to clean the nozzle easily. Put the spray tip in the water or thinner for some minutes. Scrub the spray nozzle with a toothbrush.

After cleaning, you should see some daylight when you hold the nozzle up in the light. If there is debris or materials blocking the hole, use a thin needle.

Step 5: Scrub the Gun

Start cleaning the other smaller parts of the spray gun. The spray gun has differently sized parts. You can use the toothbrush to clean the smaller parts and tiny spaces.

Take care when cleaning because some parts are fragile. Use a softer brush, especially when cleaning the rubber seals and the plastic parts because they break easily.

After removing the gun filter, hose, spray guard and spray tip, hold the spray gun upside down under running water. Do this while holding the trigger down for about 60 seconds to let the water flow in the part where the filter was.

Step 6: Wipe the Gun Dry

After cleaning all the parts of the airless gun sprayer, wipe them dry to remove the water or the solvent. You can dry using a clean dry cloth.

Maintaining your Airless Paint Sprayer

Now that you know how to clean the spray gun, it is good to understand how you can take care of the spray gun. Put more attention on the packing kit and the piston.

Various brands have different pump systems. Therefore, check your user manual to determine how often you need to do oiling. For the piston pump, do regular greasing before you begin working for smooth performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I use to clean my airless paint sprayer?

A: You can use a soft bristle brush and a flushing liquid to clean the guard, tips, and filters. Always inspect for any damages before cleaning. If you flush the sprayer using water, flush it once more with mineral spirits to create a protective coating that prevents corrosion and freezing.

Q: Can I use a paint thinner to clean my airless paint sprayer?

A: You don’t necessarily have to use a specialist cleaning agent. If you have been using water-based paints, tap water works well to clean the sprayer. However, if you have been using latex and other materials, a paint thinner comes in handy. It works well to remove oil-based paints.

Q: What is the best way to clean a clogged spray gun?

A: There are different ways you can use to clean the nozzle. The best way is to submerge the nozzle in water. Let it rest for some minutes and then blow air through it when it is still wet. If it is hard to blow the paint out, use a needle or cotton buds to remove the residues.

Q: How do I prevent the spray tip from clogging?

A: Simply turn the spray upside down and press the spray nozzle for about five minutes or until all the discharge is clear.


Airless paint sprayers are essential for home improvement projects. They make your work easier compared to rollers and paintbrushes. Since the sprayers are complex, maintain them can be hard.

That is why we have given you essential steps you should follow when cleaning the airless paint sprayer. If you cleaning it for the first time, I believe you will find the work easier after following the above steps.