I use a Misto oil spritzer. You fill it up with oil and pump it up and spray a pan with it.

It's gotten clogged up so that it just squirts a steady stream of oil (not a spray).

Any ideas how to clean it and keep it from clogging again?

I've tried:

  • Soaking it on wine
  • Soaking it in boiling water

I'm going to try filling the bottle with vinegar and water. I've also heard that you should use regular (not extra virgin) olive oil. (Extra Virgin is apparently thicker).

  • 3
    The first question on the troubleshooting script (yes, it is supposed to be that dumb): Can you turn the nozzle? Some systems have a nozzle which revolves around the axis of the resulting steady stream. In a certain position, they deliver a stream, when turned to 90°, they deliver a mist. Can you please confirm this is not the problem in your case? – rumtscho Sep 19 '11 at 14:51
  • 3
    @rumtscho the misto doesn't do that. – rfusca Sep 20 '11 at 5:49

13 Answers 13


I generally clear my clogged misters / spray nozzles by unscrewing the spray part from the bottle and then submerging the uptake tube in very hot (but certainly not boiling!) water and then pumping as long as it takes to clear the clog out and start spraying a mist / spray pattern again. The hot water should be enough to break up the clogs, and the pump action should force the clog out.

  • 4
    Adding some vinegar to the water may help to dissolve any particulate bits that may be attaching to the spray mechanism. – mfg Jan 18 '12 at 23:14

Cleaning (the manufacturer’s instructions):

We always recommend washing you MISTO® using directions included in the instructions booklet to keep the internal assembly clean and working properly. Usually MISTO® will need to be cleaned approximately every 6 to 8 weeks to keep it working smoothly.

  1. Fill the MISTO® 1/2 full with hot tap water
  2. Add one drop liquid detergent and shake to mix.
  3. Pump 10-15 times
  4. Spray for ten seconds
  5. Allow the soapy water to remain in the sprayer for several hours or even overnight. This will allow it to break down any oil that has solidified in the sprayer.
  6. Rinse, repeat the sequence above with fresh hot water.
  • 1
    I was having trouble with the directions in the accepted answer, but these manufacturer directions worked perfectly for me without any problems. – Mark Rushakoff Dec 27 '14 at 20:07

I empty my Misto and add 1/2 tsp of dishwasher detergent powder and fill half way with very hot water. Pressurize the Misto and empty the detergent solution. Then, rinse very thoroughly with several changes of hot water, then finally with two changes of good drinking water. The final rinse can be sprayed into your mouth to confirm the complete removal of all detergent. This has worked several times for me.

  • 5
    Is tasting the spray really the best way to test whether all detergent has been removed? I certainly don't enjoy a mouthful of detergent in the chance that it isn't clean. – Jay Mar 28 '12 at 20:48
  • @Jay, a nasty taste of detergent in a test spray might not be a pleasant experience, but it's probably a better idea than spoiling food with the taste of detergent. – Steve Apr 14 '16 at 1:18

I just cleaned our Misto using a cheap liquor (i.e. rum... not sugary liquor like brandy or tequila). Put about an oz in the canister, re-assemble, and pump enough pressure to spray. It worked its way through the atomizer nozzle. Then, dump out the excess, refill with water and repeat to rinse out the alcohol. I also put a few drops in the tube-insert, and scraped around with a small tip to clean that piece.

The rum dissolves the oil faster than soap and rinses cleaner than any soap. I taught my wife this trick and she now precleans all our cookie sheets with a quick rum-rub. She laughs at how easy it is. It lifted off years of caked-on cookie gunk. It sounds crazy, but it works.

  • We have a fair amount of liquor we don't particularly like (left behind by house guests), so we used that even though it is somewhat sweet. After the liquor, we followed with plain water to flush out any sugars. – Steve Apr 14 '16 at 1:16

Although I never used the sprayer for oil. (I use mine for vinyl graphic application spray) When the nozzle becomes clogged I remove the nozzle by pulling it straight up and then I position the nozzle opening over the plastic tube and push down forcing the fluid backwards thru the nozzle. It clears it every time. I think it would work for you too. Just remove the oil and use hot water to flush the nozzle. It could be messy so hold it over your sink.


When the output becomes a stream instead of mist, the problem lies in the atomizer's hole, not the bottle or the tube. Spraying soapy water through the hole generally isn't powerful enough to dissolve oil that has become a glob. Very caustic dishwasher detergent may be powerful enough but I wouldn't fool with that. A more practical solution is to mechanically clean the hole with a fine needle. Try first poking into the hole to unclog it and then follow all the other instructions for spraying hot soapy water. Make sure not to enlarge the hole by poking too hard. A small hole is what atomizes the liquid. A large hole will automatically result in a stream, no matter how clean. All you're trying to do is to dislodge any solidified oil or goop.


My sprayer never clogs. I put my dried herbs & peppercorns in a small cheese cloth bundle. No debris from the spices and aromatic oil with every spray. I too clean my unit with inexpensive alcohol such as rum or vodka, every 6 weeks. I stay away from water, for cleaning, it tends to spoil the oil over a short amount of time.


After trying to use my Misto for several months and constantly cleaning it, I discovered that I could purchase small sprayers for a few bucks that work exceptionally well for oil and never need supplemental cleaning. I've one I've used for over 6 years with no issues. Sorry to say, but I recommend you toss the expensive oil sprayer - you'll never look back.


I am not sure if you can prevent the nozzle from ever clogging, though I am trying the regular olive oil now.

I tried the spraying hot water method which was helpful, but didn't completely clear the nozzle. I have been using extra virgin olive oil.

The tool that did the trick is a DenTek Easy Brush for Extra Tight Spaces, if you happen to have one lying around...

The tip easily cleared the tiny nozzle opening without force. It was able to clean out the gunk without damaging the sprayer.


Empty the oil, half fill the can with hot tap water (150-160 deg.f.) Pump and spray. Do it a few times with fresh hot water even though the clog appears to have been removed. Empty the can, pressurize again and spray until the water residue is sprayed out. No soap, no dishwasher detergent is necessary.


Some people report that releasing the pressure after use prevents this problem from occurring (although probably wouldn't fix it. I've not tried it yet. You can depressurize it after use by unscrewing the white screw-on top or by turning it upside down and spraying the last bit out.

Also, I read somewhere not to use thicker oils like Olive Oil. I've had much better luck using thinner oils like rapeseed (I think). Extra Virgin Olive Oils is much thicker than regular olive oil and really cloggs it up.

  • 1
    If you release the pressure by turning it upside down, then you're blowing all the oil out of the sprayer. It'd make perfect sense if that prevents clogging. – derobert Mar 28 '12 at 21:23
  • 1
    @derobert : actually, no. They have a stiff feed tube, so by turning it upside down, the feed tube would be out of the oil, and sucking air. I would assume that this would be better than simply depressurizing it, as you're blowing out any oil that might be in the nozzle and could solidify. (this is the same thing that you do with spray paint cans before storing them) – Joe Feb 3 '16 at 11:26
  • I'm not sure whether releasing the pressure will help (unless the extra air pressure inside adds enough extra oxygen to accelerate oxidation), but it's simple and I can't imagine that it would hurt. The oil viscosity definitely sounds like a useful point though. – Steve Apr 14 '16 at 1:12

The Misto is rancid after I moved across country and had everything in storage for a few months Since I use my second sprayer for lemon juice I filled the Misto with lemon juice and the yucky oil smell is gone already. I'll have to clean the lemon juice out but that's easy compared to the awful odor of rancid oil.

  • 1
    I am not sure this solves the OP's problem. If you cannot pump anything trough the sprayer, I am not sure that filling it with lemon juice will change that. – rumtscho Aug 12 '13 at 10:26

To clear clogged misters or spray nozzles remove the spray part with uptake tube and submerge it in soapy, hot water and soak for 20 minutes. Then pump the soapy water through the tube until it sprays or mists as it should. Be sure to rinse thoroughly before use.

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