We've all been there: you go to begin a new painting project, only to find paint-chunked rollers from the last project's hasty cleanup. Regular cleaning and care for your paint rollers will save money on replacement rollers.

When cleaning your paint rollers, you should avoid using cleaning solvents such as paint thinner or mineral solvents to clean your roller. Paint thinner is a mixture of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) formulated to have low flammability and combustibility. Paint thinner also requires protective gear for use, because inhalation of hydrocarbon in the solvent can be dangerous, and even fatal in extreme cases. Breathing airways and lungs are especially vulnerable to paint thinner poisoning.

It's also important to never rinse oil or latex paints onto the ground or into a storm drain, as the untreated water can find its way into waterways after a rain. This harms plants, animals and marine life, and pollutes open waters.

A safer cleaning option for both people and the environment, Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's biodegradable* formula doesn't use harsh chemicals, and won't leave behind residue that can be absorbed into hands - so gloves and other protective gear aren't necessary.

Simple Green also carries the U.S. EPA Safer Choice label, ensuring that it is effective, while also a safer choice than traditional solvent chemistry. However, due to paint being mixed in with cleaner, disposal of used fluid must always be into a sanitary sewer drain.

Directions for Cleaning Paint Rollers:

  1. Remove excess paint. Remove any excess paint from the roller before it dries. The longer paint is allowed to dry on the roller, the harder it will become, making removal and cleaning much more difficult. Roll the excess paint from your roller onto a disposable surface such as newspapers or cardboard, and use a putty knife or similar object to carefully remove any stubborn, stuck-on paint.
  2. Apply cleaner. Place paint roller in a container with enough Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner to submerge paint-affected areas. Agitate the contents to help the Simple Green penetrate deeper into the material. Let sit for 7-10 minutes. If paint has dried on your roller, you may need to let it soak overnight for effective cleaning.
  3. Rinse. Give the roller a thorough rinse under the tap. Once the paint is gone, flush out any soapy water by rolling it back and forth against the sink bowl.
  4. Dry. You can lightly wring the paint roller, or run it along a clean, dry surface to get rid of any excess water. Hanging the roller to dry will help save the nap, keeping it fluffy for the next use, to ensure an even paint application. Make sure the roller is dry before your next use, to avoid dilution of the paint which causes thin, streaky application.
  5. Store properly. Store the dry roller in a sealable plastic bag or tied-off grocery bag, to keep the roller clean and dust-free for future use.
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