How to Clean a Paint Gun

Many of us are not aware of the importance of spray gun cleaning. We use this efficient tool for multiple painting projects but when it comes to cleaning it after the job done, we always show our laziness. No matter how time consuming or daunting task it is, cleaning paint gun right after using it is much essential if you want to make its best use in future as well. Let’s learn about paint gun cleaning!

Clean a Paint GunThe most effective and easiest method of cleaning paint gun is to use paint gun cleaning cabinet. It’s like a dishwasher in which you place all the detached parts of the spray gun. The jet in the cabinet cleans all the parts by spraying gun wash instead of water. It doesn’t even take much time or effort and also cleans every part pretty nicely.

Spray gun cleaning cabinet is not the only way of cleaning your paint gun but there is also another manual way to do it. You can simply dismantle the gun and soak it into the cleaning solution. You might have seen professionals using thinners or reducers to clean the gun by letting it flow throw the device for a few minutes until all paint leftover has come out. This process might seem easier and quicker but it is not as satisfactory as cleaning of dismantled gun can be.

When you pull a spray gun into pieces and clean every part separately, there are no chances of paint leftovers in the gun. It reduces the jamming of nozzle and spitting chances as well. Youget to enjoy a perfect functioning every time you use the gun. On the other hand, a gun left uncleaned after use even for a few hours result in overspray or spitting.

Clean a Paint GunThe reason why you should prefer cleaning spray gun right after use is that paint in it has not hardened hence is much easy to remove. Whereas, if you will leave the gun uncleaned for even a few hours, the paint will harden and become pretty nasty to remove. So make sure, when you are done spraying, empty the device by taking out all the material left in it. Never mix hardened paint with ordinary paint as it will become useless.

Once the gun is completely emptied, pour some of the gun wash and let it flow through the device for a few seconds. This will help you remove the excess paint from the gun and makes it easier to clean every part.

After a thorough wash of the gun, now it’s time to dismantle the device and clean every part one by one. Use the screwer to unscrew the end cap of the gun and nozzle. Here is one thing you need to understand about the gun type. Siphon feed gun and Gravity feed gun are cleaned a little different. Siphon feed gun parts can be soaked into the reservoir whereas gravity feed gun parts require a separate container to soak in.

Clean a Paint GunMake sure you use metal container because gun wash includes strong chemicals that might react with plastic and damage the gun parts. If you want to keep the washing process less messy and smooth, prefer high quality metal container and pour the gun wash into it. Place the gun parts in the solution and let it work.

At the back of the gun, there is a needle and spring that can be unscrewed by hand. Remove them as well and soak both pieces into the gun wash. Removing them will allow the gun wash to penetrate through the gun and reach all areas easily to clean it entirely.

It’s best to opt for a larger container as it will allow you soak the full gun and its cup at a same time. But if the container is small, you can still clean it by dipping a piece of cloth into the gun wash and using it to wipe it down. The basic purpose of cleaning the gun is to remove every single drop of paint hence don’t worry about making the outside of the gun spotless.

Clean a Paint GunMake sure you don’t soak the cup lid for an extended time period as it might swell and do not close tightly later. As long as you are washing the spray gun right after using it, there is no need to soak the parts for longer duration. Fresh paint is easy to remove than hardened material hence comes off very easily.

One thing, you need to consider while disassembling the gun parts is that don’t disturb the settings unless required. Making right settings for your gun functioning can be quite confusing hence try to leave all the settings as they are. When you will assemble the parts, there will be no problem in their functioning because settings will be the same. Use your hand to screw the nozzle and cap and then use tools to tighten them. Also install the needle, spring and adjuster. Adjuster helps you set the needle on a certain flow rate and enjoy desired application.

Clean a Paint GunThose who think that cleaning gun is not as essential as it is said to be. Well, this gun here is an example for all those who neglect spray gun maintenance. Not only its build up is worse but its functioning is also not up to mark. Cleaning such a neglected gun ca also be done but the method will be different than the one mentioned above. Check it out!

As you can see that this neglected gun has got a lot of dried paint on it, disassembling it or using the thinner or gun wash will not be sufficient at all. In such a case, a strong cleaner like painter stripper will be used to ensure proper cleaning. Paint stripper come in both, liquid and spray form to make cleaning easier and quick. Liquid form can be used to soak in the gun whereas spray can be used to reach the tricky areas of the device.

Clean a Paint GunCleaning such a gun can be quite challenging and options are to either get creative or throw the gun away. As paint has much hardened, it is possible that it may not come off easily with a single application of stripper. You can repeat the application and clean it with water. Do it as many times as it’s needed to ensure that the gun is completely cleaned.

If you cannot invest much time in cleaning such a neglected gun, soak it in the gun wash over night and let the chemicals do the major work for you. Afterwards, it will hardly take half an hour to wipe it off with clean piece of cloth. The more time the gun is soaked, more easily the hardened paint will remove.

Clean a Paint GunThe most important thing needed to clean such a nasty gun is patience! More patience you will have, better cleaning will take place. Moreover, you can always protect your spray gun from reaching such a poor condition by simply cleaning right after using it. Regular cleaning will be less stressful and little time consuming. Spray guns can be quite expensive hence don’t leave them uncleaned after use and make the most of their functions by carrying out proper maintenance. And always make sure that you dismantle the gun and clean every part thoroughly.


Paint gun is an effective tool to spray the paint efficiently but to ensure its proper working, cleaning it after every use is necessary. You can use paint gun cleaning cabinet and manual methods to do that. The most important thing is to disassemble the gun so every part must get cleaned properly. Using gun wash and stripper, you can remove the paint and keep the gun in best condition for future use.