Do Paintball Stains Wash Out Of Clothes: Dangers, Guidelines & More

Are you worried about washing your paintball clothes with other clothes will ruin them? Or wondering if paintballs stain? Don’t worry; I’m here to provide you a clear answer and solution for this all too common problem.

Because no matter how much protective gear you put on, some paint will reach your clothes, and yes, paintball paint does stain, but not permanently if you take care of it correctly.

You can wash your paintball clothes with other clothes if you have pre-treated them. Paintball stains are not like typical paint, but are water-soluble dyes. So it will not ruin your washing machine either. However, you should avoid mixing light color clothes with paintball clothes.

But even though the short answer to your question is clear, there a few things you should keep in mind while washing your paintball clothes.

Let’s go through them.

Washing Paintball Clothes Tips & Guidelines


This post will walk you through washing paintball clothes using a washing machine, how to pretreat them, and how to dry them. First tip is, remember not to put your stained paintball clothes in the dryer as it will ruin them.

What Are Paintballs Made Of?

Paintballs, the ammunition used in the marker gun (or paintball gun), are spherical capsules made of gelatin containing mostly polyethylene glycol, water-soluble dye, and other non-toxic, water-soluble substances.

Therefore paintballs are not real paintballs; it’s just that “dyeballs” doesn’t sound as good. Paintball stains do not stick to your clothes in the way paints do. They are completely water-soluble and made from non-toxic substances.

What Makes Paintball Stains Stick To Your Clothes

In normal cases, paintballs are not designed to stick to your clothes at all. This means the paint (dye) will wash away as soon as it comes in contact with water. But it will stain for a few conditions:

  • Use of low-end paintballs.
  • Your opponent using very old paintballs.
  • Your opponent’s paintballs were kept in bad climate.
  • You get hit in a very close range.

Low-end paintballs are made from poor quality materials which can easily stick to your clothes, making them difficult to remove.

Paintballs are good for 4-12 months. After that, the materials start to degrade, which can cause them to be more sticky, less soluble, and, therefore, harder to remove.

Similarly, paintballs should be kept in a 50°F to 90°F low-moisture environment. If the climate isn’t right, the materials also degrade, causing them to become less soluble and more sticky.

Getting hit in a very close range means the paint will embed itself in the fabric, this usually won’t make it stick, but in extreme cases and certain fabrics, it can.

In any one of these cases, if the paint is stuck and won’t budge, you’ll need to pretreat your clothes first.

What Is Pretreat

Pretreat is also known as pre-wash, which simply means cleaning clothes with just plain water or a high-pressure water source. This will remove the bulk of the dye away from your clothes.

Many modern washing machines come with a pre-wash option which will fill the machine with water, agitate and spin. I mostly use a high-pressure water source or a bucket of water to pretreat.

Washing The Paintball Clothes

  • Always wash or at least pretreat your paintball clothes within 24 hours of the game.
  • Do not mix stained clothes with light color clothes.
  • Avoid using any fabric softeners.
  • Never use a dryer. Instead, leave your clothes outside to air dry.

How To Avoid Paintball Stains In The Washing Machine

Washing machines are designed to wash away real paints from your clothes. Thus cleaning paintball stains that are basically light dye is an easy task. In most of the cases, there won’t be any stains left in the machine.

However, in the case of really low-end paintballs, some bits might get stuck. In this case, do the following:

  • Fill your washing machine with hot water and leave it for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flush the water out.
  • Use a kitchen tissue/rough scrubber to take the paint out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is paintball paint washable? Yes, paintball paints are washable—paintballs are made from nontoxic organic dyes which dissolve in water easily.

Do paintballs stain houses? Paintballs do stain houses, but they can be easily washed away from house walls as they are water-soluble. However, as paintball stains get older, it will be more difficult to wash them off.

Do paintballs wash off cars? Yes, you can easily wash off paintball stains from cars. Since paintballs are water-soluble colored dyes, they have little risk of damaging your car color and virtually no risk of sticking to it permanently.

Do paintballs stain shoes? Similar to your clothes, shoes can also get dirty with paintball stains. But you can easily wash those stains away with a water hose as paintballs are made of water-soluble dyes. However, you should avoid using light color shoes while playing paintball.

Final Verdict

As we discussed in this post, paintballs are made from water-soluble dyes which are not toxic. They can be easily washed away from clothes, and you can even wash your paintball clothes with other clothes if they are pre-treated. So, go have fun and don’t worry about your clothes!

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