How to Clean Your Airless Sprayer

In this Paint Sprayer Reviews article we are going to go through the steps to properly cleaning your airless sprayer after each use. I think it’s important to note that in this post I’ll be referring to the steps for cleaning an airless sprayer, not an HVLP or a cup gun styled power painter. Although some of the procedures may be different when it comes to cleaning those tools, the principles behind why cleaning is crucial and some of the tips I’ll give will be applicable.

Your brand new airless pump looks so clean and pretty when you take it out from it’s box for the very first time. Shiny and dazzling it’s not unusual to swear by all that is holy that this rig is going to be spotless no matter what. I’m laughing a little bit because this is what I used to do for years, until eventually, after time you realize it’s an exercise in futility… and before long the bright and shiny penny is no longer so pretty. It’s hard enough when you are the only operator of this fine paint pump… let alone when you have employees spraying with it all day.

But despite the impossible dream of keeping your machine clean on the outside, keeping her clean on the inside is not negotiable. All of the internal parts from the foot that sits in the paint to the end of your spray tip… everything has to be cleaned correctly or you’ll experience a multitude of possible problems and expenses.Paint Sprayer Reviews Replaced parts, repairs, down time, added labor costs, and bad fan patterns are just some of the problems you’ll encounter if your rig is not cleaned properly. None of these procedures are all that difficult or time consuming, but you have to do consistently, no matter how tired you might be at the end of your work day.

The steps that I plan to cover are generic in nature to most spray pumps… however, with engineering and design changes every manufacturer and every machine is different, so please read your instruction manual and consider my advise to be supplemental at best. As I write this I’m going from memory, but I intend to point out the important items that you should find useful.

Strain your paint…

I prefer five gallon strainer bags, but the throw away strainer cups work too. From dirt to dried clumps of paint you don’t want or need these particles going through your pump or your spray gun. This goes for your work pots too, just keep them clean.

Don’t set your rig in the dirt…

Seems like common sense I know, but it happens all the time. Use a clean piece of plywood, cardboard or a sturdy drop under your machine at all times. Once dirt gets into the foot of your siphon tube it has to be taken apart and cleaned.

Keep a separate set off hoses…

I used to keep three separate set of hoses, one for latex, one for oil based paints, and one for clear polyurethanes. Latex cleans up with water, oil based paints clean up with mineral spirits, and clear urethanes or sealers need to remain crystal clear. This is optional, but it makes clean up much easier.

Clean all filters and foot or pick up tube…

After you have clear water running out of the gun (this usually takes 3-5 gallons of water) I suggest removing all filters, the foot and/or pick-up tube, and the guns filter and the tip and tip housing. Be sure to release all pressure from the lines first, and than run another couple gallons of water through it again.

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