Paint roller in washing machine

Can You Put Paint Rollers in the Washing Machine?

Despite paint rollers making the job of painting easier, they’re certainly harder to clean than brushes. Therefore, you might have considered using your washing machine to remove excess paint from them.

But can you put paint rollers in the washing machine? Let’s take a look.


Can You Put Paint Rollers in the Washing Machine?

The short answer is that yes, you can put paint rollers in the washing machine. But does this mean it’s a good idea? Not necessarily.

Considering you’ll still need to rinse out the excess paint before washing them, you might as well finish the job in the sink or bath!

While the rollers themselves are fine to be put in a washing machine, there are several risks or drawbacks that arguably mean it’s not worth it.

Using paint roller

Reasons Not to Put Paint Rollers in the Washing Machine

1. You need to rinse them first

You’ll need to remove excess paint before putting the rollers in the washing machine. This means running them under the tap until the water runs clear. Considering this is 99% of the work, using the washing machine doesn’t save much time.

Similarly, it’s only worth considering for water-based paints. Oil-based paints require you to use a thinner first, and rinsing this off in the machine could damage it.


2. Waste of a wash cycle

If you’re painting at home, it’s likely you’ll only be cleaning one or two rollers. As such, running a washing machine cycle isn’t an economical option.

Of course, professional decorators will probably have more rollers to wash, perhaps justifying a wash cycle.


3. Could damage the rollers

The heat and spin cycle of a washing machine can cause the roller fibres to deteriorate faster than normal. To avoid this, you’d have to run them on a cold and delicate cycle, meaning you might as well have hand-washed them.


4. Could damage the washing machine

Finally, there’s potential damage to the washing machine. Paint thinners can damage plastic components and, of course, there’s the risk of residual paint in the washing machine.

Washing rollers on their own could also damage the drum during the spin cycle, especially if you’re only washing one or two.


What’s the Best Way to Clean Paint Rollers?

The easiest way to clean paint rollers is to simply rinse them under a cold tap under the water runs clear.

Granted, this can take a while, but it’s a quicker and easier option than putting them in the washing machine.

If you’ve used oil-based paint, you’ll have to wash the rollers in white spirit or a similar product until the paint has been removed. You can then wash them in warm soapy water to remove any residual paint thinner.

Then, take the rollers outside and flick them until water stops coming off. You can then air dry them or place on a radiator. Rollers are fairly resilient in terms of how you dry them, but air drying is the best option.

Washing paint roller under tap

Final Thoughts

Washing rollers can be a tedious process, but it isn’t made much easier by using a washing machine. Arguably, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits, so, unless you have a washing machine specifically for rollers, you’ll just have to do it by hand!