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How to clean a clogged Misto oil sprayer/spritzer?

The pump on my Misto oil sprayer is locked in the down position. I cannot loosen it. I have soaked it in hot water. No luck. Any suggestions?

  • How long did you soak it?
    – lemontwist
    Jan 3, 2013 at 2:14
  • Boiling water, Boiling water with soap, vinegar maybe?
    – Stefan
    Jan 3, 2013 at 3:06
  • As I understand it, the thing is blocked, so I am closing it as a duplicate. If there is some other problem (e.g. mechanical damage), we can reopen the question, please leave a comment.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 7, 2013 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


Theoretically, if the sprayer contains oil and it's blocked, then you need to dissolve the blocked oil with something in which oil dissolves. As most people know, oil does not dissolve in water. Soap works by being both hydrophilic ("likes water", ie water soluble) and hydrophobic ("dislikes water", ie oil soluble) and so can help dissolve oils in water.

If water and soap don't help, try something more radical such as alcohol, acetone or even paraffin (which will require a thorough cleansing afterwards!). Warming the pump whilst cleaning should also help slightly as this should increase the oil's solubility.

  • 1
    If using acetone I would definitely rinse with alcohol afterward as acetone doesn't rinse clean, and that's not something I would want to consume with my oil on the next use.
    – lemontwist
    Jan 3, 2013 at 13:47
  • 1
    I'd also be wary of cleaning plastic with several of those, as they may well dissolve the plastic.
    – derobert
    Jan 3, 2013 at 15:05
  • I was assuming that the sprayer was made of glass, not plastic, although these days plastics are less susceptible to damage from acetone or similar. Jan 4, 2013 at 5:29

Having encountered this myself (and it being my personal use Misto) I found the only way I was able to clear the pump was by forcing hot soapy water through from the bottom of the straw. I dealt with this a few times before concluding this:

  • Button top aerosolizers (like the Misto) for thicker things like oil have the design flaw of not having a strong enough return to reset the pump
  • Trigger style bottles on the other hand are both cheap enough you can recycle them if they start to fail and seem to offer more pressure on the oil.

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