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Do paintballs stain clothes? Here's what you need to know.

Woman holding clean clothes

Looking for a quick answer to the question, "Do paintballs stain clothes?" The short answer is that no, they don't stain clothes (usually). But there's more to it than just a simple "yes" or "no". In this guide, we're going to dig deeper into the nature of paintballs, the impact on your clothes, and tips to keep your vehicle clean post-game.

What is a paintball made of?

Paintballs in a man's hand

There are 2 main components to a paintball, the thin outer capsule referred to as the shell and a colorful liquid core called the fill. When it comes to paintball stains on clothing, you don’t have anything to fear from the shell - it’s harmless and won’t ruin your clothes.

The fill, on the other hand, is where you may run into problems. Paint fills very significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer and poor quality paintballs are sure to leave stains on your clothing regardless of the stain fighting promises your laundry detergent makes.

While almost all paintball parks use non-staining fills in their paint, the same cannot be said of Houston’s sporting goods stores. Academy and Wal-Mart sell paintballs that are notorious for staining everything from clothes to cars! There is a fine line between a fun game of paintball and turning your outfit and property into a stained mess.

Paintballs in a man's hand

Much like a grandma’s pie, paintball paint manufacturers keep the exact recipe of their paint fills a tightly guarded secret, so it’s difficult to know exactly which agent in the fill is the source of the problem. We do know the basic ingredients however, which are polyethylene glycol (PEG), ethylene glycol, food grade dyes, mineral oils and even calcium. Some big words there, but modern paintballs are non-toxic, food grade, water soluble and the fill is not related to real paint.

“When it comes to paintballs, the old adage that you get what you pay for rings true. Use high quality paint for a higher quality experience.”

So, will paintballs stain your clothes? No, but you should always visit a high quality park and avoid the cheap paintballs sold at Academy and Wal-Mart.

Clothing recommendations

Smiling customers standing in a circle having fun after playing paintball.

While some players wear special paintball clothes like jerseys and pants, it isn’t necessary for recreational players. Comfort is key, wear clothes you can run, jump, dive and crawl around in.

Avoid sandals or slides; close-toed shoes are a must.

Keeping the car clean after play

No matter how easy it is to clean the paint off the clothes, we all know one thing for certain: kids know how to get dirty! While we don’t find keeping the car clean to be much of a problem, here are a few pro tips to keep the car clean if you’re worried:

Smiling customers standing in a circle having fun after playing paintball.

Bring a change of clothes and get into the car clean.

Bring trash bags. Tear them open and drape them over the seats and / or on the floor like disposable seat and floor covers.

he best protection is a sheet draped over the seat then tucked in to keep it in place.

To sum it up...

Will playing paintball result in stained clothes? No, not if you choose high-quality paintballs and follow our clothing tips. So, next time you're gearing up for a thrilling paintball session, remember these pointers and enjoy the game without any worry about stains.