Washing Paint Rollers in the Washing Machine

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Jun 19, 2022 | Professional insight, Tool Insight | 4 comments

Is Cleaning your Paint Rollers out in the Washing Machine a Good Idea?


Most decorators I know on the Decorators Forum UK wash their paint rollers in the washing machine. Some even wash their brushes in the washing machine too, but that’s a step too far for me!!


Using a washing machine for your rollers does come with a few drawbacks, but for me, the benefits well outweigh the negatives. I use 5 or 6 paint rollers every week. When I’m finished with a particular colour, I simply take roller sleeve off the frame, then stick it in a bag and tie it shut. Once a week, I’ll empty my bag of roller sleeves into the washing machine and clean them all at once.


The Downside of Using a Washing Machine to Clean Paint Rollers


Well, there aren’t many really. It does make a racket, and you do worry about your washing machine breaking, although so far (touch wood), mine hasn’t. You will also need to wipe round the inside of the drum after use. If, like me, you live with a partner who is a muggle (none decorating folk), then you may get moaned at. No more than you would if you were washing your rollers out in the bath though!


The Upside of Using a Washing Machine to Clean Paint Rollers


It’s quick, easy, and cleans the roller sleeves better than you could ever do by hand!! All you need to do is put them on a “quick wash”, bang some washing powder in there, along with your conditioner, and you’re good to go!! The fabric conditioner helps too. Your rollers don’t seem to go stinky if they get wet in the van, and it seems to help when you’re cleaning them out the next time.

Washing Paint Rollers in the Washing Machine

A quick demo by Mike Cupit on washing rollers out.

Updated May 18, 2024 | Posted Jun 19, 2022 | 4 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.


  1. Phil

    Why bother ?

    Cost the price of a sleeve into your quote, then throw away after using.

    • Gary

      Would you throw away a new pair of shoes after each time you wear them.

  2. Paul Wiltshire

    Would you recommend separating colours and whites? 😉

  3. Mark Read

    I do it too but no conditioner. Have found though that the adhesive used to stick the fluffy bit to the hardcore breaks down and the fluffy bit comes unstuck


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