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Can You Reuse Paint Rollers – Updated Guide

Painting is an art that can become pricey and whether you paint your house or other people’s home, purchasing the necessary materials can make you feel you are about to go bankrupt.

Following the rise in inflation and the habit of throwing away rollers after usage, many people are curious if it is possible to reuse paint rollers.

However, this post covers all the answers you seek.

Read on!

Can You Reuse Paint Rollers

Yes! You can reuse paint rollers, but it depends on the kind of roller, how unclean it may be, and how frequently you wish to wash them.

Most times, a roller can be cleaned and reused and for the quality of the roller and how much painting you apply to it will determine how you can reuse it.

Should Paint Rollers Be Cleaned Or Discarded?

It isn’t right to throw rollers away after just one application.

You can clean them for another job. Most professional painters advised that paint rollers should be cleaned and reused at least once.

How To Reuse Paint Rollers

Below are steps to reuse your rollers:

  1. Wipe Off Any Excess Paint: After painting, wipe off any excess paint on the roller. The more you wipe off your roller, the easier the process will be. After that, roll any leftover paint on newspapers, cardboard papers, or any disposable object.
  2. Clean the Roller Fabric: It depends on the type of paint. There are different ways you can clean your roller. When using oil-based paints and latex paints, it is necessary to clean them in this way:
    • Latex paint: When you use your roller with latex paint, always use soapy water to clean it. Put the paint roller into the soapy water for a few minutes to soak. Turn the roller in different directions and use your hand to remove any unwanted paint. Then, change the water and clean it until the roller is clean.
    • Oil-based paint: Using soapy water to remove oil-based paint might partially remove some leftovers. Although, it isn’t the best. You should add solvents, such as paint thinner, mineral spirits, etc. First, wear gloves to protect your hands when handling the chemicals to avoid skin diseases. Then pour the paint thinner into a container, put the roller and turn it multiple times. Finally, place the roller inside a bucket of soapy water to finish cleaning.
  3. Dry the Paint Roller: You can dry your roller by cutting the side of the hanger and pinning it to the bottom. This method helps to preserve and keep the nap fluffy for another use.
  4. Keep the Paint Roller away from dust: After washing and drying your roller keep it safe in a plastic bag with a zip cover. If you don’t have a plastic bag, use a shopping bag and zip it. It will keep your roller clean and dust-free for future use.

How To Make Paint Rollers Last

In addition to reusing paint rollers, you should handle them carefully to extend their durability.

The following guidelines will help your paint rollers last as long as possible:

  1. When done painting, wash your roller immediately to retain its quality. If you leave the leftover paint on the roller, it will dry and affect the functionality.
  2. If you want to keep your paint rollers in good condition, you should purchase a paint roller washer. With the help of the washer, cleaning will be easier and probably make your roller last long. If you do not use it frequently, your roller will still look new.
  3. When reused rollers repeatedly, it’s possible that pieces of the fabric will start to come off. Therefore, you should always use a pair of scissors to trim them off so that they do not damage the effectiveness of your roller or shorten its longevity.

How To Restore The Softness Of A Paint Roller

After painting, your roller may have hardened for a few hours or days because you didn’t use it regularly.

However, there are ways to restore its softness.

They are as follows:

  • The steps in washing and drying a paint roller apply to soften it. After the dried paint is out from the fabric, the roller should become softer again.
  • When used on latex, clean the roller with warm soapy water. It will help restore the softness and if you want excellent results, try adding some fabric softener. You can get fabric softener at any building material market.
  • For oil-based paint, try and use solvents. They are best for oil-based paint but keep it from fire because solvents are flammable.


Reusing paint rollers has a wide range of advantages over purchasing new ones.

These are the advantages:

  • It is more efficient and cost-effective to reuse paint rollers.
  • You won’t be wasting resources such as paper or plastic bags when you throw them away, which is a huge plus.
  • Because you will be using less energy and fewer resources, you will be contributing to the improvement of the environment.
  • Since it requires less energy and resources, it protects the environment.
  • Although some might find cleaning rollers tedious, it is a handy approach and reduces expenses.


  • The roller may start to bend, making cleaning difficult.
  • It can sometimes reduce the roller’s quality while also affecting paint quality.
  • If the roller is used on oil paint, it will leave an oily stain on newly painted surfaces.
  • Furthermore, using an old roller to paint can be tiring.


It is possible to reuse paint rollers, but it depends on the brand. Some rollers aren’t durable, and some can even break at first usage.

If you purchase a high-quality roller, clean it thoroughly after each use, and remove traces of paint, you can use it more than once.

Hence, follow the above steps and get your rollers cleaned are reused.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should A paint Roller Be Changed?

You can change the paint roller after applying about 10 gallons of paint.

Is washing paint rollers in a washing machine a good idea?

No, washing paint rollers with a washing machine can destroy the appliance and reduce the paint roller’s quality.

You should wash your roller manually.

How durable are paint rollers?

Paint rollers can last for weeks or even years if treated properly.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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