It’s hard to describe just how much of a thrill you get from playing paintball. Whether it’s the first time or the hundredth, you never know what to expect. You do know that there’s a lot of fun to be had, and the more you play, the more you’re going to want to have your own paintball equipment.
It’s a big investment, and one that only people who want to play regularly will undertake. There’s a sense of pride in having your own paintball gun and protective gear that works exactly how you want and helps define your style of play.
Once you have your gear, though, it’s important to know how to look after it and keep it in the best condition. That’s why the team at Modern Combat Sports have put together the ultimate paintball equipment care guide, so you and your equipment will always be ready.
Caring For Your Paintball Gun
Every paintball gun needs to be looked after carefully. There are a lot of moving parts that you need to be aware of and be able to clean regularly. Some parts can be reached easily while others need a bit more work and time. Make sure you read the instructions and speak to someone who knows the particular marker you have if you need help.
As one of the most important pieces of your paintball loadout, you should keep it in the best working condition for every game, and we’re going to help you do just that.
Paintball Gun Maintenance
Paintball gun maintenance should be completed after every game. This is as simple as wiping down your marker for any paint that struck it and inspecting for damage. Regular check that each component is attached properly and securely before it’s next use and that there are no cracks or dents in your paintball hopper.
Disconnect the gas canister and use a slightly damp cloth to clean off any paint that’s hit the paintball marker, but watch for any areas where it might have penetrated beneath the surface of the weapon. Even without gas, make sure not to point the paintball gun at anyone or yourself while cleaning.
Check for blockages by removing the barrel and hopper. Once you’re satisfied, reattach each component tightly in preparation for your next game.
What You’ll Need To Clean Your Paintball Gun
To clean your paintball gun properly, you’ll need a few different supplies. The type of paintball marker you have might mean a few changes to account for different pieces or sizes, but you can check with our staff if you have any questions on this. The instructions with your marker will also offer some guidance in this, and we advise you read through these carefully first.
To clean your paintball gun, you’ll need:
- Toothbrush or cotton swabs
- Oil and lube
- Warm water
- Pull through squeegees
- Paper towels
- Tools for disassembly
- A set of Allen Keys (and other tools listed by the manual)
- A table or workspace
Cleaning Your Paintball Marker
While you might not need to complete a deep clean of your paintball gun as often as performing simple maintenance, it is a good idea to do it regularly to make sure you watch for any signs of damage and wear and tear. It will also perform better after a thorough clean.
Follow these steps to keep your marker in the best condition.
Step 1 - Remove Any Gas
Before doing anything with your paintball gun, you need to remove the gas. This will prevent any accidental firing while cleaning. There are methods to do this on each marker, and your instruction manual will explain what you need to do.
Once you’ve disconnected the gas supply and ensured none remains in your paintball gun, you can move onto the next step.
Step 2 - Disassemble The Paintball Gun
Following the instructions in your manual, disassemble your paintball marker and lay the parts across the table or workspace you’re using to clean everything. Lay each part in a way that you can find it easily and know where it goes once you’re finished - but keep the instruction manual close by to make sure you can follow the steps listed.
Step 3 - Clean The Barrel
While the order in which you clan each part is up to you, we start with the paintball gun’s barrel.
Clean the exterior with a damp cloth and then turn your attention to the inside of the barrel. Using cotton swabs or squeegees, clear out any paint, gunk or dirt that may be inside before testing to make sure water can flow through it freely. Any delay or resistance means you’ve missed something and need to do it again before moving on to the next step.
Step 4 - Clean The Paintball Marker’s Body And Grip
We then focus on the main body of the paintball gun and the grip.
Using the cloth and squeegee, clean the entire surface of your paintball gun as best you can. The uneven surface and different shapes and sizes of the paintball marker means you’ll have to go over it more than once to make sure you get rid of all the dried paint and dirt that accumulates from paintball games. For those smaller, harder to reach areas, use the toothbrush to really scrub areas where dirt can gather.
Once the body has been cleaned, focus on the grip. You’ll be using the toothbrush to clean this and make sure there’s no paint or gunk that’s dried on from your hands.
Whatever you do, DO NOT take apart the trigger assembly. It’s not needed and very complicated to get back together. If you need to inspect it, seek the advice of an expert.
Step 5 - Clean The Paintball Hopper And Marker’s Hammer
Clean the paintball hopper next, starting with the outside and then the inside. You’ll need to pay attention to the connection between the hopper and the paintball gun, as this is where blockages will cause problems.
Once done, you can clean the hammer and bolt and clean them with a damp paper towel but drying with another one. Inspect for damage and wear on the o-rings specifically. These do wear with time, so watch for when they need to be replaced.
Step 6 - Inspect Each Component
Once you’ve cleaned each part, you can dry the components with paper towels. While you’re doing this, inspect everything carefully, looking for marks, cracks and breaks that indicate something needs to be replaced. This is the best time to do this, as wear and tear is natural and you can prepare for any upgrades you need.
Step 7 - Lubricate Your Paintball Gun
Making sure you use paintball oil, lubricate each part of your paintball gun to keep them in good working order. Pay careful attention to the o-rings, specifically, as these need the right amount of lubrication to work properly. Get this wrong and it’ll mean disassembling the whole marker again - not to mention any damage that occurs.
Step 8 - Put Your Paintball Gun Back Together
With everything cleaned and dried, you can put your paintball gun back together. Follow the instructions in your marker’s manual and don’t rush this part. Take it one step at a time and you won’t miss anything that could cause a jam or damage during a game. That’s the last thing you want, given how expensive paintball guns are!
Storing Your Paintball Gun
Once your paintball gun has been cleaned, dried and reassembled, you should make sure to store it properly. Leaving it propped up in a corner somewhere isn’t going to do it any good after all the time you’ve just spent looking after it.
If you have a bag or case, store everything carefully inside the right areas, but make sure there’s no moisture left before sealing it. You want a cool, dry area to avoid any moisture or mould buildups, and also a place where it won’t get knocked or fall over. A cupboard or storage box make good storage spaces.
Proper Paintball Equipment Care
After your paintball gun, you’ll likely have plenty of paintball equipment to clean, too. From your mask and goggles to tactical vests and camo gear, you’ll need to keep them as clean as you can - not only between games but in between uses, too.
This protective paintball gear isn’t cheap, either, so keep it in good condition to make sure it lasts a long time and offers the protection you need and expect.
After Every Paintball Game
Depending on the fields your games are played in, it won’t be possible to clean your gear to what they were like before you started the day. That’s because a lot of fields are outdoors and you will be crawling through mud, through bushes and even playing in the rain at times. Indoor arenas are also full of dust, sand, and gravel.
This doesn’t even consider the paint you’re going to wear as you’re struck by enemy paintballs. This is all going to blend together, but you can at least minimise the effect. A lot of the paint will wipe off after a game with a damp or dry cloth, letting you play the next game without the confusion over whether you’ve been hit or not.
What You’ll Need To Clean Your Paintball Gear
Compared to a paintball gun, you need fewer items and supplies for cleaning your protective paintball gear. Having what you need to hand will help, and because you’ll be cleaning paint, mud and dirt from the equipment, it’s best to be kept separate from your other supplies.
You will need:
- Warm water
- Soft/mild detergent
- A soft-bristled brush
- A cloth
- A towel
Cleaning Your Paintball Gear
You should clean your protective paintball gear after every use. Letting stains dry into the fabric will make them harder to clean later on, and is a sure fire way to make sure your equipment doesn’t last as long as you want them to.
Follow the steps below to keep your gear in the best condition and ready for the next game.
Step 1 - Remove Any Plates And Extra Padding
Before washing your protective paintball gear, remove any extra padding or plates inside your tactical vests and other clothing. You’ll have to clean these separately and it’ll make cleaning the larger items easier.
Make sure you have plenty of space to lay everything out so you know where each part goes later.
Step 2 - Clean The Removable Parts
Fill a basin with warm water and soft detergent. You’ll be washing the items by hand to ensure you don’t damage or ruin the shape and fit of your protective gear.
Start by washing the removed parts. Hard plates from within the gear shouldn’t have too much dirt or paint on them, but clean them with the cloth anyway. Other parts, like the visor from your mask if they separate, might need more of a clean.
Step 3 - Handwash The Paintball Equipment
Once these components have been cleaned, you can focus on the rest of the clothing.
Start by using the cloth to clean excess paint and dirt from the surface of your protective gear. Any stubborn stains can be tackled with the brush.
Once you have cleaned the obvious marks, submerge each item in the warm, soapy water. Use your hands to massage any excess dirt and grime out of each item before rinsing with clean water.
Step 4 - Leave To Dry
Use the towel to remove excess water from the paintball clothing and then leave each item to dry in a cool space away from direct heat and sunlight.
Do not hang your gear to dry, as the weight of the water may cause deformities to the shape and fit, which you’ll notice the next time you wear the equipment. It might not seem like much, but given how intense a paintball game can be, you don’t want any distractions.
Step 5 - Insert Any Parts Removed
Once your gear has dried, reinsert the removable parts and check that everything fits properly. Anything that doesn’t close easily or looks misshapen will need to be removed and inserted again to avoid damaging the clothing. If you have problems, these plates and parts may be the wrong way around or in the wrong place.
Storing Your Paintball Gear
Once cleaned and dry, store your paintball gear in a cool, dry place. This could be in a bag or storage box that’s not going to be knocked around or crushed by any other clothing or belongings. It’ll also be easy to find when it’s time to get ready for your next game.
Need Help With Caring For Your Paintball Equipment?
If you have any questions about any of the steps above, or you’re unsure about the equipment you need to clean your paintball gear, it’s a good idea to get advice from an expert to avoid damaging your equipment. We know how much of an investment you’ve made, so do your research and be confident in what you’re doing before taking anything apart.
Our team is always happy to help however they can, so feel free to get in touch and we’ll answer any questions you have about paintball equipment care and maintenance.