Paintball masks can get pretty nasty over time. Not only do they collect the paint that you’re trying to avoid, but they also accumulate bacteria, sweat, and all sorts of other yucky stuff. In this guide, we’re going to teach you how to clean paintball masks properly so that it looks and smells like new again.
Products required to clean your Paintball Mask
To clean your paintball mask, you probably don’t need much. In fact, all you need is a microfiber cloth or a paper towel, lukewarm water, and cleaning supplies at hand to get the job done.
- Micro Fibre Cloth
- Lukewarm Water
- Paintball Lens Cleaner
How to Clean Paintball Masks – Step by Step Guide
Cleaning a paintball mask may not be the most exciting task in the world, but it is definitely important if you want to keep your gear in good condition. We will walk you through the steps of how to clean paintball masks properly. To make sure that your masks stay clean and free of sweat and grime, follow these simple steps:
1. Removing and Inspecting the Lens
The first step in cleaning your paintball masks is to take out your lens and inspect it thoroughly. After removing the lens, use a microfiber cloth and carefully wipe away any excess dirt or dust.
The lens is the most important component of a paintball mask, it is also the most vulnerable and fragile. Make sure that you do it very gently so that the dust or dirt particles don’t rub against your lens and abrase it.
Also, check for any damages or crack on the lens. If there is any damage to your lens, you should consider replacing it right away. A damaged mask is no good for protection and by using it you will be putting yourself at risk.
2. Cleaning the exterior body
After you have finished examining the lens for any defects, it is time to get rid of the excess paint residue or other dirt that is on the surface of the mask. If there is quite a lot of paint, dirt, mud, or other debris on the outside, the easiest way is to use a damp cloth and wipe it off with water and soap solution.
You don’t have to wash it directly with running water to get paint off paintballs because the paintball is water soluble and should come off easily by wiping. If the paint splatters are not coming off easily with damp clothes, then you can use a low-pressure water hose to wash off the exterior of your lens.
3. Cleaning the interior body
Now that we have gotten rid of the exterior paint, we should take a look at the inside. Generally, the interior of the paintball masks is less prone to get dirty even after a rough game. So the use of water will be unnecessary. Just pick a microfibre cloth and wipe the insides of the mask to clean any dust or paint residue.
You can also use a mild cleaning agent or soap and water solution for internal cleaning. Make sure that the soap you are using is mild and doesn’t build up limescale on your lens.
4. Cleaning the Lens
Cleaning the lens is the most crucial part of cleaning your paintball masks. Never ever use direct water from a hose or tap to clean your lens. If the paint splatters are not coming off easily, use a damp microfibre cloth and dap it until it is gone.
Always use a specialized paintball lens cleaner along with a soft microfibre cloth to clean your lens. Also, never use household glass cleaner on your lens or you might end up damaging your lens or compromising its visibility.
Note: If you have a thermal lens take extra precautions when dealing with water, even a little water can get trapped inside the lens and fog it permanently. Apart from that, While cleaning, never dip your entire paintball mask in the water.
Benefits of Cleaning your Paintball Mask
There are several benefits of cleaning your paintball mask. Not only does it help the mask to last longer. But it also makes you look like a pro player that cares about their equipment. However, these are not the only benefits of cleaning your paintball mask. In fact, it was just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of other benefits of cleaning your paintball mask which are as follows.
1. Cleaning a paintball mask makes it last longer
Paintball masks are one of the most expensive paintball gear, so you definitely want to make them last as long as possible. By cleaning your paintball mask at regular intervals, you can actually make it last longer.
Most masks are made of plastics which are sensitive to the environment. Specifically, they are sensitive to UV light and sand grains. By keeping them clean you can prevent these particles from getting stuck in the mask’s pores and damaging its outer shell or inner parts.
2. Provide you with a Clear Vision
One of the most obvious benefits of cleaning your paintball mask is that it provides you with clear vision. Most of the time, paint and debris accumulate on the lens, making it prone to fogging up. This might become an obstacle to your vision. This problem can be easily prevented by regularly cleaning your mask.
3. Cleaning a paintball mask makes it smell better
We’ve all been there. There was this one time when we got a bit careless and didn’t clean out our paintball mask for some time. We were excited to play our next game, so we just picked up the gun and started playing as soon as we could. What happened next wasn’t very pleasant at all.
After a few games, we started noticing that something smelled really bad inside our masks. How do you fix this problem? How do you get rid of the smell? Well, the answer is quite simple: You clean your paintball mask! If you want to know how to clean paintball masks with ease, make sure to keep on reading until the end of this article.
4. Ensures your Personal Safety
Another reason why you should always clean your paintball mask is to ensure your personal safety. Dirt and debris from paintballs can block the air vents and reduce the breathability of your paintball masks, which prevents them from getting fresh air from outside.
How does this affect you? Well, not breathing enough air or breathing in moist and hot air can cause serious health problems. Moreover, sweat and dust can also get absorbed in the foam padding which provides an excellent breeding ground for bacteria. Since the foam padding comes directly in contact with your face, it can cause skin irritation and acne along with a number of other skin-related problems.
5. Improves your on-field performance
If you keep your mask clean, it will get rid of the funky smell and will be more comfortable for you to wear. In other words, by keeping it clean, you will also improve your on-field performance. It will help you stay focused on the game instead of getting distracted by the smell or unclear/foggy vision.
Most Paintball masks tend to fog up when they get dirty or aren’t properly taken care of. And if that happens, then all sorts of bad things could also happen. For example, You could lose track of where someone is shooting from. Or maybe even miss their entire team hiding behind a bunker or something else like that – which would be devastating in a paintball game.
How often should you clean your Paintball Mask?
Now that we’ve established all the benefits of regularly cleaning out your paintball masks it’s time for us to answer another important question: How often should you clean them? Although, the right answer differs from place to place and person to person. The general rule of thumb is that you should clean your paintball mask after every single game.
Of course, this might sound like overkill but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remember, cleaning a paintball mask is not that hard and it can actually provide you with multiple benefits which we’ve mentioned above. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is letting their dirty paintball sit overnight or for a couple of days. This will dry up the paint and it will get difficult to come off, especially from the lens.
Tips for transporting and storing your Paintball Masks
Here are some proven transportation tips you can apply in order to make your paintball masks last longer.
1. Use a proper mask cover
Whenever your paintball mask is not in use, place it in a proper mask cover. For those who don’t want to buy a dedicated mask cover, you can also use the same packaging box your paintball mask comes with. This will not only protect your masks from dust and sunlight but will help absorb some of the impacts in case of a sudden drop or blow.
2. Storing the paintball masks on top of everything
When packing your bag for paintball, make sure that you place your masks on top of everything. Although paintball masks are built to be durable and can take all sorts of impacts and hits coming your way, you still need to take some necessary caution when they are not in use. In severe cases, this can result in deformity or cracks in your paintball masks. By placing your mask on top of everything you will have peace of mind that the mask is not under stress by the weight of your other gear.
3. Make sure that the mask is covered in protection.
Even when carrying your mask in a gear bag, make sure that mask is properly covered. For this, you can use a hoodie or paintball jersey and wrap it around your paintball mask. This will further ensure that the mask is safe in case of impact.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
No matter how often you play, there will always be a chance that your paintball mask will get dirty. It’s inevitable. Keeping your mask clean is one of the most important parts of maintaining your gear. It’s also one of the easiest.
A well-maintained paintball mask will not only keep you safe while playing but will also help your game by reducing fogging and keeping paintballs out of your face. If you want to get the best results when cleaning your gear, we recommend using a solvent designed specifically for cleaning paintball equipment.
Lastly, avoid using any abrasive brush that might damage the surface of your mask. Make sure that you only wipe your lens with a soft micro-fiber cloth or else you might end up scratching or damaging the protective thermal layer of the lens.