Is Paintball Paint Washable? Messy Fun, Stain Or Not?

Is Paintball Paint Washable.

If you’re an avid paintball player, you might have wondered: is paintball paint washable? After all, the colorful splatters can be hard to remove from clothing, gear, and skin. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned player, knowing how to clean paintball paint properly can save you time and frustration. 

We will explore different methods, products, and techniques to help you effectively remove paintball paint stains

So, if you’re tired of sporting those battle scars long after the game is over, stay tuned to discover the best ways to keep your gear and yourself looking fresh and clean.

Is Paintball Paint Washable?

Yes. Paintball balls are non-toxic and water-soluble, making them easy to wash out of your clothes during a regular wash cycle. Additionally, any paint on your hair or skin can be easily washed off in the shower. 

Also, remember that paintball paints are hypoallergenic, so there should be no adverse reactions if you get hit, except for a visible mark if it directly hits your skin.

What Does The Paintball Paint Contain? 

Have you ever wondered what exactly is inside a paintball? What does the paint contain? Well, here’s what is inside the balls;

  1. Polyethylene glycol – It is one of the main ingredients found in paintball paint. PEG is a water-soluble compound in various industries, including pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. 

PEG is a binder, helping the paint stick to the target upon impact. It also ensures the paint remains intact within the gelatin capsule until it bursts upon impact. PEG is non-toxic and biodegradable, making it safe for paintball games. 

Lastly, glycol is used due to its exceptionally low freezing point, reaching approximately -15 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Dye – Dye is responsible for giving the paint vibrant and eye-catching colors. The dye used in paintballs is typically water-based and non-toxic, ensuring that it does not cause any harm to the players or the environment.
  1. Water soluble substances – They help make the paint easy to clean off surfaces and clothing after a game. 

When water comes into contact with the paint, it dissolves the water-soluble components, allowing easy removal. This feature is particularly important as it prevents permanent stains on clothes.

  1. Other non-toxic substances – These non-toxic substances enhance its performance and safety. They could include preservatives to prevent spoilage, thickeners to create a consistent texture, and additives to improve durability.

How Are Paintballs Made?

The process of making paintballs begins in a factory where the paint is produced. Once the paint has been manufactured, it is transported to another facility, which will undergo casing and conversion into a paintball.

Manufacturers use a gelatinous material to encase the paint to achieve fully formed paintballs, much like how pills are coated. 

Interestingly enough, early iterations of paintballs were created in pharmaceutical factories that already had the necessary equipment. 

Workers will load two gelatin strips into the encapsulating machine to begin the process. The gelatin will move through rotating drums that contain divots and shape the casing. 

After being shaped, a precise amount of paint will be injected into the capsule before sealing the two strips together.

Once sealed, the paintball’s case will be warm and soft. Subsequently, the paintballs will be tumbled into a drying machine to harden them and give them a uniformly round shape. 

Afterward, they will be removed from the drying machine and left to air dry before a thorough quality control check. The drying times of paintballs vary based on the factory and make. 

Once the drying is complete, the paintballs are loaded onto a hopper, where they undergo sorting by weight. Afterward, the sorted paintballs are packaged and sent to stores.

What Should You Dress During Your Paintball Game?

You need to dress appropriately to protect yourself and enhance your overall experience. Before you go paintballing, make sure you have the following;

  1. Long pants – Regarding paintball, long pants are more than a style choice. Opt for padded pants to add an extra layer of protection, particularly in sensitive areas. 

A well-placed shot in the wrong spot can quickly dampen the fun, so prioritize comfort and coverage to keep you in the game with a smile.

  1. Long-sleeved shirt – In addition to long pants, it is recommended to wear long-sleeved paintball jerseys. It provides coverage for your arms and protects them from potential hits. 

While paintballs are not known to cause serious harm, they can still leave bruises or welts on exposed skin. Wearing a long-sleeved shirt reduces the likelihood of these marks and ensures a more comfortable playing experience.

  1. Helmets – Helmets are necessary to protect your head from shots or falls during the game. They provide a layer of cushioning and shield your face from potential impact. 

If you don’t have access to a helmet, you can opt for a baseball cap or a bandana as an alternative. 

While they may not provide the same level of protection as a helmet, they can still offer some coverage, especially to your hair.

  1. Fingerless gloves – Your hands are in the line of fire, literally. Fingerless gloves offer the dexterity needed to handle your paintball marker precisely while still providing essential protection for your palms and fingers.
  1. Appropriate shoes – The right footwear is the foundation for a successful paintball game. Sneakers, hiking boots, or cleats are ideal, providing traction on various terrains and ensuring you can move swiftly and confidently without compromising stability.
  1. Goggles – Goggles are another essential piece of equipment that should not be overlooked. If you don’t have access to a helmet with a built-in face shield, it is crucial to wear goggles that fully cover your eyes and protect them from paintballs. 

Goggles should fit properly and have clear lenses to ensure optimal visibility throughout the game; this is where anti-fogging paintball masks come in.

  1. Bring layers – Layering is a crucial strategy in paintball, as it offers extra padding for protection and ensures comfort during outdoor gameplay. The impact of paintballs can be painful, potentially causing light bruising. 

Dressing in 2-3 layers provides a buffer against these impacts. In colder months, layers are critical as they allow for easy adjustment as you warm up during the game. 

Conversely, during hot weather, opting for a single layer of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking clothing is recommended to prevent overheating. 

The key here is to adapt your clothing choices based on the temperature to optimize your paintball experience.

How To Properly Clean Your Paintball Gear After The Game

After the excitement of the game, the next step that many enthusiasts often frown upon is properly cleaning paintball gear to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. If you find it stressful cleaning your equipment, don’t worry. Check out this guide.

1. Paintball Gun

After each game, cleaning the marker by removing the Co2 or HPA tank and ensuring thorough cleaning is important. 

To remove paint, you can wipe the exterior of your gun, but it is best to avoid using soaps, chemical cleaners, or abrasive washcloths. Additionally, it is recommended to periodically deep clean your paintball gun after every few games. 

Before cleaning, ensure no gas is in your gun to prevent misfires. You will need the following equipment;

  1. Warm water
  2. Cloth
  3. A set of Allen Keys (and other tools listed by the manual)
  4. Oil and lube
  5. Tools for disassembly
  6. Paper towels
  7. Pull through squeegees
  8. A toothbrush or cotton swabs

2. Paintball Protective Gear

Cleaning your paintball gear is vital to maintaining its longevity and performance. Unlike cleaning a paintball gun, the process for protective gear is straightforward, requiring only a few items to keep your equipment in top condition. 

Let’s explore the necessary steps and items to ensure your gear is ready for the next intense game.

Items Needed:

  1. Warm water
  2. A cloth
  3. Soft/mild detergent
  4. A towel
  5. A soft-bristled brush

Cleaning Process:

Step 1: Remove any plates and extra padding

Before washing, remove any extra padding or plates from your tactical vests and clothing. This makes cleaning larger items easier and ensures a thorough wash for each component.

Step 2: Clean the removable parts

Hand wash removed components using warm water and soft detergent. Clean hard plates and other parts separately to maintain the shape and fit of your protective gear.

Step 3: Hand wash the paintball equipment 

Use a cloth to remove excess paint and dirt. Stubborn stains can be addressed with a soft-bristled brush. Submerge each item in warm, soapy water, massaging out any dirt before rinsing with clean water.

Step 4: Leave to dry

Use a towel to remove excess water and allow each item to air-dry in a cool space, avoiding direct heat and sunlight. Avoid hanging your gear to dry to prevent deformities.

Step 5: Insert any parts removed 

Once dry, reinsert removable parts and ensure a proper fit. Be cautious of misalignments, which may affect the gear’s functionality during your next game.


Is Paintball Paint Washable? Yes, paintball paint is generally washable. While some paintball paints may be more difficult to wash off than others, most can be easily removed with soap and water. 

Act quickly and wash the paint off as soon as possible to prevent it from setting into the fabric or surface.

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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