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How To Clean A Wagner Paint Sprayer

A Wagner paint sprayer is an excellent tool for applying an even coat of paint to any surface you need to cover.

Many of the versatile Wagner spraying tools will spray both oil and water based products. No matter what you’re spraying, prompt cleanup is critical.

Flushing The Unit Of Spraying Product

Once you’re done painting, you need to flush the unit of all spraying product.

For latex-based paints or clear coat products, you can use warm soapy water for this step. Oil based product will need to be cleared away with mineral spirits.

  1. Always clean your Wagner sprayer outside.
  2. Turn all switches to “off” position.
  3. Unplug the power cord.
  4. Loosen the paint jug by 1/2 turn to relieve any pressure still in the system.
  5. Pull the trigger so spraying product will move from the nozzle back into the paint jug.
  6. Empty the paint just into the paint container.
  7. Place the appropriate amount of cleaning solution into the paint jug. (Confirm the amount of cleaning product with your particular manual.)
  8. Attach the paint jug to the handle, plug in the machine and turn all switches on.
  9. Once pressurized, spray the cleaning product through the nozzle, shaking the gun slightly to break up any particles and flush them out of the tool.
  10. Follow steps 4 and 5 again. Turn the paint jug 1/2 turn but do not remove it.
  11. Critical note: If you cleaned your Wagner with mineral spirits, it will need cleaned again with soapy water.

Cleaning The Nozzle

No matter what you’re spraying, it’s critically important that you clean the spray nozzle as soon as you’re finished spraying paint.

Latex paint can dry quite quickly and is designed to cling and form a protective coating.

Should this paint dry inside your sprayer nozzle, it may be hard to generate enough pressure to eject the paint “worms” that can form inside the spraying nozzle.

Review your manual for the number of connections that need detached and cleaned in your Wagner paint sprayer.

Take special care to loosen any seals or gaskets that need removed and washed, lest they get glued in place by the paint and become dried and brittle, leading to leaks and spatter.


Once you have all the sprayer components washed, reassemble the nozzle immediately. Accomplishing this step right after cleanup can save you a great deal of confusion; since you just took it apart, it should be easy to assemble.

If need be, take pictures as you take it apart or refer to a video to help you get all the components back together in order.

Your Wagner sprayer should come with several cleaning tools; if you get the sprayer second hand or don’t get all the cleaning tools, find a copy of the manual or see if you can take a look at some original packaging to see what you’re missing.

Wagner sprayers can be extremely useful tools for painting projects that you need to finish quickly, but if you don’t have the right tools and know how to clean the tool and keep it working efficiently, it will fail quickly.

Additionally, if you’re working with mineral spirits or other flammable materials, you need to review any and all available instructions.

Important Safety Note

Wagner power sprayers work by putting paint (latex or oil based) under pressure and turning it from a cohesive liquid into a mist.

Once you’ve unplugged the tool and turned off the compression motor in the handle, always make sure to release the pressure in the system by the means described in the manual. Generally this is done by turning the paint jug carefully.

Do this step BEFORE you remove any portions of the nozzle.

Depending on what you’re spraying or using to clean your sprayer, releasing the pressure can protect you from a face full of soapy water, paint, or mineral spirits.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your Wagner is a great way to get accustomed to all the components and remind yourself of where everything fits.

As with many other tools, once you own it you’ll find great reason to use it. Follow the manual, keep it clean, and happy painting!