Clean Conscience - How to clean your Brushes and Rollers

  • 4 min read

We care about your future.

Which is why we spend a lot of our time, not energy, creating quality tools and equipment that can be used again and again and again.

However, taking care of your essential painting tools is just as important as investing in good equipment in the first place. So we put together a guide on how to look after your brushes and rollers and keep them in perfect shape so you can reuse them for many years to come.

Here at Haydn, we’re always looking for innovative ways we can grow our sustainability, including:

  1. Recycled components and packaging
  2. Reduced waste through durability
  3. Reusable and multi-use tool manufacturing 

We are investing in good quality, highly durable, reusable equipment so you can do your part for the environment all while being more efficient on the job AND getting a better finish.


Pre-use: Rinse brush in recommended cleaner then rinse out excess prior to painting.
Clean the paint brushes immediately once the job is done and store your brush in a BrushBaggy during breaks to keep paint from drying out. 

    TIP: To clean your brush, first get rid of all excess paint and scrape it back into the paint can so this can be reused later.

    Use the HAYDN ROLLER AND BRUSH CLEANER COMB (PARBC) which is a handy 2 in 1 tool. Simply use the comb side to help clean your paint brushes and the curved side to scrape the paint out of your roller sleeves.

    Do not let a brush stand on its painting tip.
    Do not soak brushes and do not hold them with the bristles facing up under water. This will damage the bristle and can result in swelling of the wood within the ferrule.
    Depending on the paint used different cleaning solvents will need to be used:
        • For water-based paints: Dip paint brush into a container of warm soapy water and work through the bristle using your hands. Rinse regularly with clean water and repeat until fully cleaned. Remove excess water by spinning the brush and then use a brush comb to brush the bristle back into shape then hanging the brush up to fully dry before placing it back in storage.
        • For oil-based paints or finishes: Choose the correct cleaning solvent (often turpentine will do the job) and pour it into a clean container. Dip the brush into the solvent and work through the bristle. Repeat this several times until the brush appears clean of all paint residue. 

      Remove excess liquid by spinning the brush using a HAYDN ROLLER AND BRUSH SPIN CLEANER (PASPC).  

      NOTE: Comb filament with a Haydn® Brush Comb to clean through the centre of the brush thoroughly so no paint can harden in the brush and set the bristles.

      Finally hang the brush up to fully dry before placing it back in storage.


      Make sure to recapture as much excess paint as possible from the roller sleeve.

      Use a putty knife or the HAYDN ROLLER AND BRUSH CLEANER COMB (PARBC) to scrape of excess paint gently. Make sure no dried paint falls into the can. Then roll off more paint on an old newspaper or a thin not yet painted wall area until it stops releasing paint.

      Roller Frame

      • Detach the  roller frame and wash it while the paint is still wet. Make sure to clean out the core area to remove any paint. Dried paint here can make it harder to attach and remove a sleeve from the handle in the future.
        • For water-based paint:

      Use warm water and dish soap to rinse the roller frame. Use a small bristle brush to scrub away stubborn patches. Leave to dry completely.

        • For oil-based paint:

      Use thinner or mineral spirits (often turpentine works well) on a rag to scrub off the paint from the frame. Once all paint has been removed wipe clean rinse under warm water and soap to remove any leftover cleaning solvents. Leave to dry completely.

      Roller Sleeve

      There are many different methods to clean a roller sleeve quickly and efficiently.

      • When using water-basedpaints either place the sleeve under a steady stream of water to fill the core and remove dried paint from inside the sleeve or submerge the entire sleeve in a bucket of soapy water. Use hands to work through the sleeve and rub paint out of the sleeve. Rinse and repeat the motion until the water runs clear.
      • To clean out oil-based paints fill a container with turps. Make sure this container is deep enough to submerge the entire sleeve.

      NOTE: Find a container shape similar to the sleeve proportions to not waste any solvent.

      Use hands to comb through the sleeve for about 5 minutes then leave the sleeve to rest for a minute before removing it from the container and pushing out excess solvent.

      Rinse with clean solvent. Spin out excess then wash the sleeve under warm water and soap. 

      Tip: Some of the solvent can be reused for later clean ups of paint trays and roller frames. Use a funnel to separate the paint from the liquid and pour it into a bottle (mark it as second pour solvent).

      Ideally use a HAYDN ROLLER AND BRUSH SPIN CLEANER (PASPC)  to spin out any leftover moisture from the sleeve before standing it on its end to dry fully, this will ensure no sides get flattened throughout the drying process.

      Tip: Do not clean your roller and brushes every night if you still have an unfinished project. Instead place your roller in a BrushBaggy and store it in a cool place overnight. The Baggy will keep your equipment sealed airtight, ready to be reused the next day.


       Available from all leading paint and hardware stores.

      Can’t find it? Ask Haydn at to
      direct you to your closest stockist.