How to Get Paintball Paint Out Of Clothes?

How to Get Paintball Paint Out Of Clothes?

Paintball is a fun, recreational activity that can sometimes leave players with paint on their clothes. If you have ever played paintball and ended up with paint on your clothes, you know how difficult it can be to get it out. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to get paintball paint out of clothes. We will cover everything from what type of detergent to use to how to treat the stain. Let’s get started!

How Paintball is Played

Paintball is a sport in which players compete to eliminate opponents by tagging them with capsules containing water-soluble dye and gelatin shells outside. It is typically played on a field of either natural terrain or specially designed courses. The game is regularly played at a sporting level with organized competition involving major tournaments, professional teams, and players.

The main reason paintball is so fun is that it is a very active sport. Most of the time you are running, crawling, and sliding around. It is also a very strategic game. You need to think about what your opponents are going to do next and plan your moves accordingly.

How Paintball is Played

One of the most important things in paintball is having the right gear. This includes a good marker (paintball gun), mask, hopper (paintball loader), air tank, and clothes. The clothing you wear should be comfortable and not too baggy. Baggy clothes can get caught on things and make it hard to move around. [1], [2]

What Is Paintball Paint Made of?

Depending on the type of paint, fabric, and how long the paint has been allowed to set, removing paint from clothing can be easy or difficult. However, there are some tips and tricks that can help remove most types of paint from clothing easily.

There are two main types of paintballs: oil-based and water-based.

Water-based paintballs

Water-based paintballs are made with a water-soluble glycerin or oil and color pigment. When these paintballs hit fabric, the water inside the ball evaporates quickly, leaving behind a colorful stain.

This type of paint is easier to remove from clothing than oil-based paint because it does not adhere to fabric as strongly. Additionally, because this paintball paint is made of a water-soluble polymer, this means that it is designed to break down in water and be removed from clothing easily. However, water-based paint can still be difficult to remove if it has been allowed to dry for a long time.

There are four main ingredients in water-based paintballs.


Obviously, water is the first ingredient. This is what makes up the majority of the paintball and allows it to break down easily.

Propylene glycol

Propylene glycol butyl ether, or PGBE, is the primary ingredient in paintball paint. It is a clear, colorless liquid that is soluble in water. PGBE is used in many industries, including as a food additive and as an antifreeze.

Propylene glycol

Paintballs are made of a gelatin shell filled with PGBE and dye. When the paint ball hits someone or something, the force of the impact breaks open the shell and releases the PGBE and dye inside.


Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that is used as a sweetener in many foods. It is also used in some medical products, such as cough syrup. Sorbitol is soluble in water and helps to keep the paintballs from drying out.


Dyes are added to the PGBE to give paintballs their color. The most common dyes used in paintball are fluorescent orange, yellow, and pink.

Paintballs are typically filled with one of three colors of dye: orange, yellow, or pink. Orange is the most common color because it is visible from a distance and is less likely to be confused with other objects, such as leaves or branches. Yellow and pink are used less often because they are more difficult to see from a distance.

The vast majority of paintball fields use non-toxic, biodegradable paints that are safe for the environment. However, some fields may use paints that contain harmful chemicals such as lead or mercury. These paints should be avoided if possible.

Oil-based paintballs

Oil-based paintballs are an old technology that is not as popular as it once was. These paintballs are filled with a type of oil-based paint. The paint in question is not water-soluble, so it does not mix well with water. This makes removing oil-based paint from clothing more difficult than removing water-based paint.

The main advantage of water-based paintballs is that they are less harmful to the environment than oil-based paintballs. Oil-based paintballs can contain products, which can be toxic if they leak into the ground or water supply. Water-based paintballs are made with biodegradable materials that are not harmful to the environment and are very easy to clean. [3], [4], [8]

How to Wash a Paintball Paint Out of Clothing

There are a few different methods that can be used to remove paintball paint from clothing. The best method will depend on the type of fabric, the amount of paint, and the severity of the stain. There are a few things you can do to make removing paintball paint from your clothes easier. Let’s go through the general tips.

How to Wash a Paintball Paint Out of Clothing

Prior to washing remove the debris

Once you have decided on the best method, you will need to remove as much of the gel shell remains and debris as possible prior to washing. Paintball is usually played outdoors, so there is a good chance that your clothes are full of dirt, leaves, and other debris. A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment can be used to remove the loose debris.

Pre-treat your clothes with a liquid stain remover

If the stain is large or difficult to remove, you may need to soak the clothing in a solution of water and laundry detergent before washing. You can also pretreat the stain with a commercial stain remover before laundering.

There are many different products on the market, so you will need to find one that is suitable for the type of fabric you are dealing with. Apply the stain remover according to the instructions on the bottle and let it sit for a few minutes. After pre-treating your clothing, you will need to wash them.

Wash clothes in the washing machine as soon as possible

The sooner you wash the paintball-stained clothing, the easier it will be to remove the paint. If the paint has already dried, it will be more difficult to remove as the stain will have set. Be sure to check the care label on your clothing before washing. Some fabrics can be damaged by certain detergents or washing methods.

Once you have removed as much paint as possible, launder the item in the hottest water recommended for that fabric type with detergent. Allow the washing machine to complete its cycle before checking the stain. If the paint is still visible, launder again.

Air dry your clothing

If you are in a rush, you can dry your clothes in the dryer, but be sure to use the lowest heat setting possible. But if possible, hang your clothes outside to dry in the sun and air. The sunlight will help fade the stain. Once the clothing is completely dry, check to see if the paint stains have been removed. If not, repeat the process. [5]

How to Deal With Harsher Stains?

Sadly not all stains come out with a simple trip to the washing machine. If you’re struggling to remove a stain, you can try using the following methods.

Use a white vinegar solution

Make a mixture of one part white vinegar to three parts water. Rub this solution into the stain using a clean cloth, then rinse with cool water. You can also soak the item of clothing in the solution for 30 minutes before washing as normal.

Soak the clothing in dishwashing detergent

This is a really effective way to remove paint from clothing, especially if the stain has had time to set. Simply mix a spoon (or a half) of dishwashing detergent, spoon of ammonia with water and soak your clothes in it for 30 minutes. After that, wash your clothes as normal and the stain should be gone!

Be careful when using this method though as ammonia can be a bit harsh on delicate fabrics.

Avoid using bleach if possible

While bleach can be effective in removing stains, it’s also one of the harshest chemicals you can use on your clothing. Bleach can damage fabric and cause colors to fade, so it’s best to avoid using it if possible.

If you’re still struggling to remove the stain, you can try using a weak bleach solution as the last resort. Make sure to test this on an inconspicuous area of the fabric first, as some bleaches can damage or discolor clothing. However we advise against resorting to this method. [5]

Wear protective gear

The best way to reduce the stains is to prevent them. Usually you will be given all the necessary protective gear when you go to a paintball field. So there’s a little risk to your casual wear getting soiled with paint. But if you’re really worried about staining your favorite shirt, or just want to be prepared, there are a few things you can do to protect your clothes.

Wearing old clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined is always an option. Everyone has that one old pair of jeans they don’t need anymore lying around somewhere. Another option is to buy a paintball vest. This is a piece of clothing specifically designed to protect your clothes from paintballs.

Paintball vests come in different styles and sizes. Some have built-in padding while others are simply made from a thick material. There are also vests that come with removable pads so you can wash them separately from the rest of the vest. [6], [7]


Do paintball stains go away?

The simple answer is yes, paintball stains can easily be removed by washing the garment in a washing machine. However, you should wash the garment as soon as possible after the paintball event. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to remove the stain.

Can paintball paint be washed out of clothes?

Of course, but how easy it is entirely depends on the type of paint used. Water-based paint will come out more easily than oil-based paint. But both can be removed with the right steps and some elbow grease.

To remove water-based paint from clothing, start by rinsing the item in cool water to loosen the pigment. Then, pretreat the stain with a laundry prewash before washing it in hot water with detergent. You may need to repeat these steps several times before the stain disappears completely.

Oil-based paints are more challenging to remove since they’re designed to be waterproof. But there are still a few things you can try. First, blot the excess paint with a paper towel or clean rag. Then, pretreat and wash it in the same way as with water-based paint.

How do you wash a paintball vest?

To wash a paintball vest, you will need to act fast. First remove everything from the pockets. Most vests have velcro or some other type of closure on the pockets that make this easy. Once the pockets are empty, you can put the vest in the washing machine on a normal cycle with cold water. It is best to hang dry your vest, but you can put it in the dryer on a low heat setting if needed.

Most importantly, do not use hot water or any type of bleach when washing your paintball gear! Hot water will cause the paint to set into the fabric and become much harder to remove. Bleach will also damage and discolor your gear.

Useful Video: does paintball paint come off clothing? how to wash paintball paint


If you’re playing a game of paintball and get hit with some paint, don’t worry – it’s not as difficult to clean as you might think. In fact, water-based paintballs are very easy to remove since they dissolve in water. Just don’t forget to pre-treat the stained area with the stain remover, then wash the clothes in the washing machine as usual. If that doesn’t work, soak the clothes in dishwashing detergent before washing them. So if you end up getting splattered during your next game, don’t stress – just grab a rag and some warm soapy water, and the mess will be gone before you know it!