Can Paintball Paint Be Washed Off Or Will It Stain?

Playing paintball can get messy quickly. And if you’re not careful, you may accidentally shoot something you’re not supposed to. I’ve somehow managed to shoot paintballs at cars, houses, trees, and much more than I would care to admit. 

The only benefit I received from being such a bad shot (or simply immature) is that I eventually learned a wide variety of tips and tricks for removing paintball stains. Mainly because I was always forced to clean my “darn paintball mess” once my parents found out about it

So if you’re anything like my parents, you probably want to know if it’s possible to remove paintball stains from objects such as houses, cars, trees, clothes, shoes, etc.? And if so, how do you do it?

Yes, paintball paint can be washed off of clothes, shoes, houses, trees, and virtually any other object or material it gets on. This is because paintballs are typically filled with water-soluble substances such as polyethylene glycol (a laxative) and dye that’s easy to remove. Just make sure the paint doesn’t settle for too long or else it may begin to stain over time.

Now there are some paintballs that are more likely to stain than others. This includes all oil-based paintballs, paintballs that contain too much wax in their fill, and paintballs that have a pink or red fill. Oil-based paintballs are the hardest to wash off and can even damage the internals of your marker or barrel if you have a barrel break or chopped ball. Paintballs that contain too much wax in the fill can be hard to wash off as well, but as long as you let your clothes soak in hot water it will eventually come off in due time. 

Some of my worst paintball stains, however, come from paintballs that have a pink or red fill. For some reason, paintballs that have a pink or red fill are both harder to wash off and stain worse than other colors — which is why they’re banned at most paintball fields. Fortunately, even the worst paintball stains can be removed if you know what you’re doing.

Continue reading below if you want to learn how to wash paintball paint off of houses, cars, trees, etc. I’ll also teach you how to remove paintball stains from clothes, shoes, and other gear/equipment.

How to Wash Paintball Paint Off Houses

Washing paintball paint off the side of a house is simple.

All you have to do is grab a garden hose, point it at the paintball paint on the wall – or any other part of the house – and spray away! If the paint isn’t coming off right away, then you’ll need to scrub the area with liquid dish detergent and water until most of the stain is removed, and then use a water hose to spray off the soap and paint left behind.

Now if the paint has been stuck on the side of the house for too long, then you may have to soak a sponge or cloth in hydrogen peroxide and scrub it off. Once again, use the water hose to wash off any leftover paint or hydrogen peroxide that’s left behind.

How to Wash Paintball Paint Off Trees

While paintball paint may be non-toxic (not bad for the environment), it can be an eye-sore if the trees in your yard are covered with paint splatter. And while rain will remove most of the paint over time, you can always quicken the process by washing the paint off with a garden hose. 

Now if your garden hose isn’t long enough to reach the tree, then you’ll simply have to carry a bucket of water and a cloth/sponge with you and wash it off.

Quick History Lesson: Paintball guns were originally used by farmers and ranchers to mark trees and cattle.

How to Wash Paintball Paint Off Cars

Wash the exterior of the car as you normally would using a car-washing soap, warm water, and a sponge or cloth. After you’re done washing the outside of the car, dry off the area, or areas, hit by a paintball with a towel, and see if there’s any leftover paint residue left behind.

If there is, you’ll need to use a bug & tar remover product to completely remove the stain. Simply spray the bug & tar remover onto the paintball stain and let the product soak for 1 minute. Once the minute is up, wipe the surface dry with a clean microfiber cloth and the paint residue should be gone.

How to Remove Paintball Stains From Clothes

Most paintball stains can be removed by simply washing your clothes with laundry detergent and setting your washer to the highest temperature setting that your fabric can endure. 

If the paintball stain persists, then the next step to take is to pre-treat the stain with a stain remover for 30 minutes before washing your clothes again. Now if you don’t have a stain remover, then your next best option is to thoroughly rub detergent into the fibers of the stain and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes before washing again.

To remove the extremely stubborn paintball stains, you’ll need to make your own stain remover with a ½ ounce of clear ammonia, 1 ounce of detergent, and 2 cups of warm water. Apply this mixture to the paintball stain(s) and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before throwing your clothes back in the washer. 

If the stain persists after that, unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do.

How to Remove Paintball Stains From Shoes

The best way to remove paintball stains from shoes is to wash them with liquid dish detergent and warm water. Since a lot of shoes, boots, and other footwear have many cracks and crevices, you’ll need to give them a thorough scrubbing to make sure you get rid of all the paint. I suggest using a toothbrush to remove the paint that gets in those tiny cracks and crevices. 

After you’re done washing your shoes, the next step is to let them air dry and then inspect them again afterward to make sure all of the paint is removed. If not, just restart the process again until all of the paint is removed.

How to Remove Paintball Stains From Pod Packs and Vests

The best way to remove paintball stains from a pod pack or vest is to either spray it down with a water hose or to hand wash it with soap and warm water. Once again, I use a toothbrush to clean out the stubborn paint stains that get in those tiny cracks and crevices. You can also spray a stain remover such as Shout onto the paintball stains if they don’t want to easily come off.

Now if your pod pack or vest is extremely dirty – or covered with paintball stains that are hard to remove – then I recommend filling a container with hot water and Oxyclean (or another stain removing product) and then letting your pod pack or vest soak in the mixture for an hour or so. Once the hour is over, simply remove the vest or pod pack from the mixture and then wash it in the sink or spray it down with the garden hose until all of the stain remover is removed.

The last step to cleaning your pod pack or vest is to let it air dry (preferably in the sun or in front of a fan) until all of the moisture is gone. Just make sure to never place your pod pack or vest in the dryer as it can ruin the seams and lead to color fading over time. For this reason, always air dry your pod pack or vest so that they continue to stay in great shape.

Bonus Tip: Make sure to dry off any metal that may reside on your vest or pod pack so that it doesn’t rust.

How to Clean a Paintball Gun and Barrel 

You need to make sure to clean your paintball gun after every game to ensure that your marker stays in great condition. I recommend taking apart the entire marker so that you can clean all of the dirt, paint, etc. out of the nooks and crannies. 

If you managed to chop a ball while you were playing, then you’ll also need to clean off the internals with a clean rag and re-lube your marker. Once you’re done cleaning your paintball gun, you’ll then want to run some dish detergent and warm water through your barrel to remove any paint or oil residue that may be left behind. Just make sure to wash out all of the soap afterward and then run a squeegee through the barrel until it’s perfectly dry.

How to Clean a Paintball Mask 

There are two ways to clean a paintball mask. The first way to clean a paintball mask is to grab a wet hand cloth or paper towel and use it to wipe off your mask. Just make sure to use a separate microfiber towel to wipe off your lens so that you don’t leave any scratches behind. The second way to clean a paintball mask is to fully remove the lens from the mask and then wash the mask thoroughly with warm water. 

Just make sure you don’t fully submerge your mask in water as it could slowly (or quickly) degrade the glue connecting the foam to the mask over time. If you have any trouble removing paint from the nooks and crannies of the mask then you’ll have to scrub it off with something such as a sponge or a toothbrush.

How to Clean a Single Pane Lens

There are two different types of lenses that come with a paintball mask.

The first type of lens is a single-pane lens that is made out of a “single” pane of polycarbonate. If you have a single-pane lens, then you will simply want to wipe off your lens with a damp microfiber towel until all of the paint is removed. Make sure to avoid using paper towels, toilet paper, or any other type of towel when cleaning your lens, as they’re far more abrasive than a microfiber towel and will leave tiny scratches all over your lens. You can also use water to wash off the paint, but ONLY if you’re cleaning a single-pane lens. 

After all of the paint is removed, gently wipe the lens dry with a separate microfiber towel. Once the lens is dry, then spray a polycarbonate safe cleaner onto the lens and use that same microfiber towel to wipe it dry.

Just make sure you NEVER clean your lens with an ammonia-based glass cleaner such as Windex. The chemicals in glass cleaner will quickly degrade the coating on your lens and strip away any type of anti-fog, anti-glare, or anti-scratch coating that may be on there. 

Bonus Tip: The next time you play paintball bring with you two resealable plastic bags with a clean microfiber towel in each one. Use one microfiber towel for cleaning the paint off your lens and the other for drying the polycarbonate safe cleaner on your lens.

How to Clean a Dual Pane Lens

The second type of lens you can get with a paintball mask is a dual-pane lens. Dual-pane lenses are made out of two panes of polycarbonate that are separated with a small strip of black foam near the edge of the lens. This small strip of black foam is how you can tell the difference between a single pane lens and a dual-pane lens. 

If you own a dual-pane lens, then you will have to be much more careful during the cleaning process. The reason being is that it’s much easier to ruin a dual-pane lens than it is to ruin a single pane lens. 

One of the ways you can ruin a dual-pane lens is by getting water in-between the two lenses. Once water gets stuck in between the two lenses, it’s virtually impossible to get it out. For this reason, make sure to NEVER clean your lens by washing it with water. Anything more than a damp microfiber towel could cause water to get in-between the two lenses.

Another way you can ruin a dual-pane lens is by scratching the thinner lens on the inside. Because the inner lens is thinner and easier to scratch than the outer lens, you need to be extra careful when attempting to remove a smudge or get paint off the inside of the lens. If you do get paint on the inner lens, then I recommend you gently dab a damp microfiber cloth onto the paint splatter until it’s removed, and then gently wipe the lens dry with a clean microfiber towel. 

If you get paint splatter on the front of your lens, then simply wipe off the paint with a dry (or slightly damp) microfiber towel and spray polycarbonate safe cleaner onto the lens before wiping it off with a clean microfiber towel. 

Bonus Tip: Never place your microfiber towels in the dryer as it can melt the fibers and scratch your lens (it will still feel soft to the touch). 

How to Clean a Loader and Pods

The correct way to clean a paintball hopper varies from loader to loader.

Cleaning an electric loader will require that you take apart the shell so that you can wash it with soap and warm water. If a paintball happens to break inside the hopper, then you will also need to clean the internals with either a damp paper towel or an alcohol wipe until you remove all of the paint.

Now if you’re cleaning a non-electric hopper then I would recommend just washing it in the sink with dish soap and warm water and either let it air dry or dry it off with a paper towel. Clean your pods the same way and you’ll be good to go!

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