March 16, 2020

How to Wash Paintball Paint Off Clothes and Gear

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Cleaning up after a long, long day of play is something that should be done as soon as possible afterwards to avoid damage to fabrics and to ensure no rust or other issues on markers and gear. One thing you will have to get used to when you play frequently is that you will need to clean frequently to keep your gear ready for action.

How to wash paintball paint off clothes:

  1. Pre-Treat Clothing - clothing with a stain remover
  2. Wash Cycle - Run clothing through the wash cycle
  3. Air Dry - Look to ensure stain is removed

Lets take a look at how you can effectively clean your clothing and gear with ease and extend its lifespan for use. For many this could be as simple as removing all the shell and harder items from your clothing and then tossing into the washer, this may not always be the best approach though.

How to Wash Out Paintball Paint from Clothes

Paintballs are actually made out of food grade products. This means that the dyes used inside them are also food grade. Almost any paint based stains should come out with regular laundry detergent as long as they are washed immediately.

I would also suggest that you pre-prep the stained areas with something like my favorite pre-treatment in Resolve stain remover. This is due to the fact that the paint may have been on the clothing for almost 8 hours before you get home to work on the washing.

If after air drying your stain isn't removed then you want to try the following: a mixture including a cup of water, a TBSP of ammonia, and a Teaspoon of Dawn dish washing detergent.

Soak your clothing in this mixture for around a half hour and then place it through another wash cycle in the washing machine. After washing is complete you want to again let it air dry once more and hopefully the stain will be fully removed.

Paintball sport player wearing protective mask aiming gun and shotted down with paint splash in summer - How to Wash Paintball Paint Off Clothes and Gear
The splash can leave you very messy for travel and cleaning

How to Wash Paintball Pants and Jerseys

It is very highly recommended to pre-soak both your pants and jersey in something similar to OxiClean for at least 45 minutes to an hour in cold to warm water, typically after this time the paint just falls off.

The next step to getting them truly clean is to throw it all in the washing machine set to cold water and delicate to wash. Make sure you close up all zippers, clasp all the buttons, and make sure all Velcro is firmly connected together prior.

You should always air dry as the nylon that most pants and jerseys is made of can't handle the heat well and words and other parts may start to fall off or worse. Always make sure you hang them out to air dry if you want the maximum life out of your clothing!

The one thing nylon cannot handle is heat. Always air dry and use cold wash.

Additionally, you can use regular detergent in place of something like OxiClean as it can work, but many times I have found it to leave behind a residue that made the pants and jersey very itchy.

How to Wash Paintball Gear

Very much like the jersey and pants above you want to take care in washing the gloves, pods, knee pads, and more to ensure a long life. Most of the steps are exactly the same as above but with a few tweaks to save them from abuse as they are smaller.

How to Wash Paintball Vest and Pods, Gloves

I would suggest you bring a trash bag with you to the field and that you use the trash bag to keep your dirty gear and clothing in for the drive home. Once you get home you want to pack your elbow pads, knee pads, and other gear into a large mesh bag as this will allow the items to dry completely in the dryer.

If you don’t want to use the dryer then you want to make sure to hang them up to dry as soon as you get home to prevent odor or stains.

How to Wash Paintball Masks and Lenses

When cleaning your mask you can typically wash it off with water and dry with a microfiber towel, then you want to let it air dry as the foam will take a little while to dry all the way out.

You should NEVER use paper towels, toilet paper or other materials to wipe or polish a lens with. They may seem soft, paper products are abrasive...

Lenses are a much different beast to look at as you need to check for scratches, smudges, and other physical issues which can occur over time. It is suggested already by most manufacturers that every year you replace the lenses in full, if you are at less than this time frame what you should be doing is using a lens cleaner to clean gunk off them.

How to Clean Your Marker

Typically you want to approach cleaning your marker after every day of play to prevent any paint, oil, and dirt buildup within the internals. You will want to start by removing the tank and the barrel and then squeegee the inside of your barrel thoroughly.

For these cleanings on the marker you want to use only water and don't use soap, chemical cleansers, or abrasive wash cloths. After you clean the marker you want to wipe the inside again with a dry microfiber towel and allow it to completely dry before reassembly.

This should only be needed every few months or so, but this will heavily depend on how often you are playing.

As to additional work you should perform on your marker after each session is oiling. Once you have cleaned the marker and it has completely dried out you want to oil the bolt and o-rings to prevent rust. Please make sure that you are using oil specifically designed for paintball markers as other types can cause damage to the marker and shorten its life.

While we need to use oil make sure to use it sparingly, as you don't want or need the marker drenched in oil. The oil is required for proper operation of the marker parts and can help to extend the life of your marker.

The issue is that if you apply too much oil can gather up inside over time and cause marker malfunctions and problems. The perfect amount is just a very light coat over the important moving parts.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully I have shown you today how to successfully take care of your gear and clothing to give it a longer lifespan on the field with you. I would love to hear any tips or tricks you have, feel free to contact us and let me know if I missed something or if you have a cool personal tip I can add for others!

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Article written by Josh Koop
I have loved to play outdoor games since I was a little kid, as I grew up I found more games and I also found out about alternate rules. I started Outdoor Diversions with Matt to help get this information out to everyone so they can enjoy these games as much as I do!