Does Paintball Stain?

Does Paintball Stain

A common question many players ask themselves before trying out paintball is, does paintball stain?

Paintball is a fun and exciting activity that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age. It is a popular outdoor activity that requires strategy, tact, and in some cases, teamwork.

Paintball guns shoot malleable paint projectiles housed in hoppers. These balls vary in size and weight. They deform upon impact, leaving a splatter on the target.

While most people enjoy the sport, some folk are skeptical about the paint. People typically think of paint as messy and difficult to clean. 

There are different paint types used in these guns. But how would paintballs react with your clothes, and most importantly,

Does Paintball Stain?

Paintballs will not stain your clothes. They do not do any lasting damage to the fabric. Paintballs are non-toxic pallets that are soluble in water. They are, therefore, easy to wash out from clothes and other surfaces. 

These pallets are not toxic and do not require specialized handling. You don’t need to worry about ruining your clothes whenever you play with paintball markers. Regular soap or detergent should wash the stains off easily.

How To Clean Paintball Splatter Off Your Clothes

Now that we know that clothes do not stain from paintballs, how do you remove the splatter? Removing paintball marks does take a bit of elbow grease, depending on the nature of the paintballs. Here is the procedure:

Step 1: Sort your clothes

You want to avoid washing clothes with paint splatter with the rest of your laundry. Separate your stained clothes. Divide the stained clothes according to their color. 

It would help if you did not mix white and cream clothes with darker clothing. Also, ensure that you avoid playing paintball in light shades, as they are typically more challenging to clean.

Step 2: Wash Cycle

Wash your stained clothes last. Getting rid of paint splatter is easy. You do not need special soap or detergent for the load. 

Start with the whites and take them through a normal wash cycle. Follow this up with clothes that run, and finish with your darker clothes.

Step 3: Dealing with residual paint marks.

The wash cycle should be enough to eliminate most, if not all, stains. Some paint dyes, however, are harder to clean. 

Red dye normally requires extra attention, especially if the paintballs are low-end. It would help if you used a pre-treatment stain remover. 

Dub the stain remover gently on the surface of the stain. Take the clothes through a normal wash cycle to remove any residual stains.

Step 4: Drying

Inspect the clothes one last time to ensure you get rid of all the stains. Hang dry your paintball clothes, or use a dryer.

Note: You should wash your paintball clothes as soon as you are done playing. If the stains settle on the fabric, they become harder to clean. Soaking your clothes in water and detergent helps dissolve solid paint chunks before putting them in your machine.

What Are Paintballs Made Of?

Paintballs have peculiar characteristics. Unlike regular paint, they are easy to wash off most surfaces. 

They are not toxic and don’t have a strong odor. But why do they differ so much from regular paint?

You would be surprised to know that paintballs don’t get made from actual paint! The spherical projectiles have some things in common with regular paint, but they are fundamentally different. The main component in these balls is a chemical substance known as gelatin.

Gelatin is an FDA-certified substance used in the food industry to add color to ingestible substances. It is used in cakes and candy such as marshmallows, Jello, gummy bears, etc.

Aside from gelatin, paintballs have other harmless chemical substances. They include glycerin, sorbitol, water, etc.

Glycerin gets used in cosmetic products. It has moisture-retention properties that make it ideal for dry skin. 

It also gets used in medicine to manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs. Most paintball manufacturers use sorbitol to add texture to the paintballs.

Some manufacturers use polyethylene glycol as an additional pigment. It is the same substance used in some inkjet printers. It is soluble and does not affect your fabric. It also doesn’t add to the paintball’s toxicity levels.

Paintballs are harmless for the most part. You should keep them out of reach of toddlers and pets. It would help if you induced vomiting in case of accidental consumption. Seek medical advice as soon as you can.

Avoid playing paintball without the proper head and eye protection. A paintball in your eyes can be an irritant. 

What Determines The Severity Of The Stain?

Not all paintballs are alike. Some paintball types and brands leave stains that are harder to clean. Therefore, you must know the best paintball types to avoid leaving lasting damage on your clothes. So, how do you determine the paintballs that leave mild marks?

1. Paintball Age

Paintball makers include the date of the manufacturer on the packaging. Ideally, you don’t want to buy a paintball packet that has been on the shelves for longer than a year. 

As paintballs get older, their quality deteriorates. Consequently, they become more likely to stain your clothes. 

You should, therefore, check the manufacture date. Use your paintballs within the year you bought them while they are still relatively new.

2. Paintball Storage

Whether or not you get stains depends on your paintball’s storage conditions. How should you store your paintballs? 

The ideal conditions should be in a room less than 90℉ or 33℃. Any temperatures above that will make the paintballs more likely to leave stains. 

Do not store your paintballs in temperatures below 50℉ or 10℃. The pigment solidifies below these temperatures. Not only does the ball become harder, but it is also more likely to stain your clothes.

3. Cheap paintballs

Invest in good-quality paintballs as they are less likely to leave stains. Most low-end paintballs are made from substandard materials, typically containing additives that may leave stains. 

Budget paintballs might be cheap, but replacing your clothes will be more expensive in the long run. Cheaper paintballs are generally not structurally sound.

4. Close-range shots

Shooting paintballs at a close range is likely to cause stains on clothes, walls, and other fabric. Paintballs lose momentum as they travel long distances. 

You shouldn’t shoot at close range because you aren’t only more likely to cause stains and welts on other players’ skins.

What Should You Wear For Your Paintball Games?

Paintballs don’t leave stains on clothes, but you would still have to clean the paint off. Why not then ditch regular clothes for something a bit more paint-resistant? Here is what you need to wear for your paintball games.

Dark Shades

Washing white clothes after your paintball games can be tough, not because of the stains. Paintball requires you to crawl, roll in grass and mud, shelter in leaves and on soil, etc. 

Washing such marks off any white surface is not easy. Ditch anything white when playing. White attire is a real liability in stealth mode, as it removes your position.

Layered Clothing

You lose nothing by wearing layered clothing. The paintball splatter isn’t thin enough to seep through several fabric layers. 

You, therefore, do not need to worry about washing more clothes after each game. Layered clothing has an added advantage in reducing the chances of welts, even in close-range shots.

More cover is better

Do not leave yourself exposed even on a hot day. Dress appropriately to protect your skin from welts and bruises. 

Covering your skin makes it easier to crawl around and blend in with your environment. Not only does it give you a tactical advantage, but it also keeps your skin safe.


Wear a helmet or a pair of safety goggles to keep paintballs away from your face. Protecting your eyes should be a priority, as paintballs travel fast. 

A helmet protects your nose, ears, and mouth from paint splatter. Though paintballs aren’t toxic, you don’t want any of that paint near your mouth. Paintballs may cause mild facial bruising, especially at close range.

Loose clothing

Do not wear tight-fitting clothes for paintballs. Baggy clothes are light, and you can maneuver in them easily. 

Tight clothes can cut off your circulation, especially on hot days. You should, therefore, invest in loose, comfortable, and rugged clothes specifically for paintball.

Removing Paintball Splatter From Walls

Removing paintball splatter off your walls can be challenging. You want to eliminate the marks while avoiding damage to your wall. 

Paintball dye can be hard to clean off some adhesive surfaces, particularly if they stay on for a long. How do you get rid of the paint?

Step 1: Hose down

Spray the affected area with a jet of water. Spraying helps to eliminate the larger paint chunks from the wall and dissolve them. 

Use a controlled jet at high pressure, preferably from a hose. If the marks are inside your house, use a jug of water. 

Sometimes, hosing down the splatter should be enough to eliminate the paint. It, however, is not the case with white walls or red paintball dyes.

Step 2: Wash

Wash the paint surface using a non-abrasive piece of clothing, some water, and dish soap. Regular detergent should work just fine. 

Scrub the splatter off in a circular motion to break it down. Rinse the spot with warm water and repeat the scrubbing process till you eliminate all the splatter.

An abrasive scrub could damage your walls, especially inside the house. Use sodium peroxide to break down the tiny stubborn dye particles further. Rinse the sodium peroxide off the wall.

Cleaning paint off brick walls should be easier. You can use an abrasive cloth or hard brush to scrub the paint. 

Warm water breaks down paint faster than cold water. Using isopropyl alcohol on some surfaces helps eliminate paint dye faster.

How To Remove Paintball Splatter From Cars

Removing paintball splatter from cars can be a bit challenging. You want to eliminate the dye without damaging your car’s paint. 

Using abrasive clothing is, therefore, out of the question. Eliminating paintball stains from cars and windows requires patience and caution. Here is how to do it:

Step 1: Spray the Paint

Send a water jet into the afflicted region. Spraying aids in dissolving and removing the larger paint chunks from the car. 

Use a high-pressure, carefully controlled jet, preferably from a hose. Sometimes, hosing down the paint splatter should be sufficient to remove it. However, this is not the case with red paintball colors or white car paint.

Step 2: Wash the residual dye

Using a piece of non-abrasive clothing, some water, and dish soap, clean the paint surface. All-purpose detergent is enough to remove most paintball dye. 

To break down the spatter, scrub it off in a circular motion. Rinse the area with warm water, then scrub until all the spatter is gone.

Step 3: Rinse the soap

Once you are done washing, rinse the soap and ensure that all the paintball dye is gone. If you still get paintball dye, repeat steps one and two. For the best results, wash the paint off your car before it dries.

Hard paintball dye is harder to clean and likelier to scratch the paint off your car. Using razor blades to scrape off the paint is ill-advised, as doing so could ruin the car’s paint. Avoid using strong cleaning agents when removing paintball splatter off delicate surfaces.


Does paintball stain? No, your clothing won’t get stained by paintballs. They don’t cause fabric any irreparable harm. Paintballs are soluble in water and are not poisonous. As a result, they are simple to remove from clothing and other materials by washing.

These pallets don’t contain any harmful materials and don’t need any special handling. You don’t have to be concerned about damaging your clothing when using paintball markers. The stains ought to get readily removed with soap or detergent.

You are better off playing paintball in your older clothes or a dedicated set of clothes. It will help limit wear because you’d have to wash them constantly.

John Henrick

My name is John Hendricks, and I am a passionate paintballer who loves to play and compete. I have been involved in the sport for many years and have a wealth of experience to share.
I believe that paintball is a great sport for people of all ages and skill levels and should be accessible to everyone. That’s why I created this website – to provide a one-stop shop for all things paintball.

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