How To Remove Dried Paint From Airless Sprayer

Airless sprayers are efficient tools for painting large surfaces, especially when you want to achieve a smooth and even finish. However, it’s not uncommon to encounter a clogged nozzle caused by dried paint. This can be frustrating, but the good news is that you don’t have to replace your sprayer.

You can remove dried paint from your airless sprayer with the proper techniques and restore its optimal function. This guide will walk you through removing dried paint from your airless sprayer.

Read the Manual

Before you start cleaning your airless sprayer, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on how to disassemble and clean the sprayer. Not all airless sprayers are the same, so it’s important to know the right tools and cleaning solutions and what not to do.

Wear Protective Gear

Cleaning your airless sprayer will require chemicals that can harm your skin, eyes, and lungs. It’s important to wear protective gear such as safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask to avoid injuries or hazards.

Disassemble the Sprayer

Next, disassemble your airless sprayer to access the clogged nozzle. Remove the guard, tip, and nozzle carefully. Doing this on a clean and flat surface is best to prevent losing small parts. Label the parts and place them in a safe place for easy reassembly.

Soak the Nozzle

One effective way to remove dried paint on a clogged nozzle is to soak it in a cleaning solution. Use a solvent such as paint thinner or mineral spirits and soak the nozzle for at least an hour or longer. You can also use vinegar or a specialized cleaning solution for airless sprayers. Avoid using water, as it can cause rust and damage the sprayer.

Use a Brush and Needle

After soaking, gently remove the dried paint with a small brush and a needle. Start brushing and poking from the inside and work your way out. Avoid using abrasive materials that can scratch the nozzle. Also, avoid using too much force, which can deform the nozzle and affect its functionality.

Rinse the Nozzle

Once the nozzle is clean, rinse it thoroughly with water or a cleaning solution to remove any residue or leftover solvent. Make sure to dry the nozzle with a clean cloth before reassembling it.

Clean the Gun and Filter

While you have disassembled your airless gun, take this opportunity to clean the gun and filter thoroughly. You can use the same cleaning solution for the gun and filter, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This step will ensure that your airless sprayer is clean and clogs-free.

Reassemble the Sprayer

Once everything is clean and dry, reassemble your airless sprayer in the reverse order of how you disassembled it. Make sure to tighten the parts securely and avoid over-tightening them.

Test the Sprayer

Before using your airless sprayer on a new painting project, test it first with water to ensure it functions correctly. This will help you avoid wasting paint and prevent clogs during the actual painting.


Prevention is better than cure, and the same applies to airless sprayers. Regular maintenance and cleaning will help you avoid future clogs and extend the lifespan of your sprayer. After every use, clean your airless sprayer immediately. If you’re not using it for an extended period, store it correctly and away from heat and moisture.


Removing dried paint from your airless sprayer doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Following these steps, you can quickly and efficiently remove clogs on your sprayer and restore its optimal function. Remember to wear protective gear, read the manual, soak the nozzle, use a brush and needle, rinse the nozzle, clean the gun and filter, reassemble the sprayer, test it, and prioritize maintenance. With these tips, you can keep your sprayer in top shape for your next painting project.

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