You don’t have to be Banksy to know that spray paint cans tend to get a bit “gunked up” if you don’t use them for a while. When artistic inspiration strikes, you don’t want to be stuck with tools that don’t work! So, if you have a box of these bad boys sitting in your garage that just won’t spray easily anymore, try this simple trick before you go out and replace them.

Our tip today is brought to us courtesy of life hacker extraordinaire Brad Angove. In his video, he details how to properly maintain those fickle paint nozzles.

He starts off the clip by explaining to the viewer that there are essentially two different types of spray can nozzles: the “old style” with the smaller nozzle that only sprays upright, and the “new style” that allows for 360-degree spraying.

Because in our experience, the “old style” suffers stubborn clogs more often than the “new style,” we are going to focus our efforts on how to help “de-crust” these. Grab that paint, and let’s get started!

  1. Follow those instructions

    Before we go deep into this hack, we should first discuss how to properly use this particular type of can.

    Unlike the “new style” of nozzle, this classic model of sprayer should ONLY be used in an upright position. You may be able to release a very fine stream of mist if you hold the can upside down, but the paint will start to build up which will lead to future blockages.

    It’s also important to note that you must take the time to shake the can by rotating its sides in a 180-degree motion BEFORE spraying.

    Following these necessary guidelines will help extend the life of your spray paint tremendously!

  2. Keep the nozzle clean

    After you have finished your spray paint masterpiece, it’s important that you clean out the nozzle each and every time.

    You can do this by turning the can completely upside down and pressing on the sprayer until only the clear gas is emitted. When this happens, it means that all of the paint that was trapped in the nozzle has been properly eliminated, thus allowing only new streams of paint to be discharged on the next spray.

  3. Preserve the outer nozzle

    After you discharge the clear gas, you may notice that there is a bit of paint left over on the outer part of the nozzle. Allow that to dry and pick it off with your fingernail or a sharp tool before your next use. This small strip of paint won’t cause any harm and should peel away easily.

  4. Keep your caps

    spray paint no nozzleBradAngove

    Once you’re finished with a can of spray paint, be sure to remove and store the nozzle in a safe area. Some spray can nozzle jams are tough to release, so you can always replace that jammed top with one that sprays well from an old can. Smart!

Be sure to watch Brad Angove’s video below for further instructions on how to keep those nozzles clean. You don’t want to miss his cleaning hack for the “new style.” Simply genius!

What do you think of Brad Angove’s spray can maintenance tips? Do you have a unique cleaning ritual that you perform with your nozzles? How do you like to use spray paint? Tell us all about your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!