Do Paintballs Stain?

Courtesy DangerMan’s Lair | Digital Paintball Magazine

Do Paintballs Stain Your Cloths?

Cotton over synthetics are at the most risk of staining. Paint pigment left to dry too long will stain. The stain is very faint. Like all fabrics, vinegar and a horse hair brush are you best solution.

What Is A Paintball?

Paintballs are round .68 caliber shells filled with a colored gel referred to as paint. In the early days of the sport a marking paint was used. Marking paint is designed to last. The oil based formula was dense in pigments and solids. You can imagine how difficult it was to remove the paintball hits from fabric. 

In consideration of cost and concerns over paint like substances leaving permanent stains on the environment and clothing, the fill paint has evolved into a friendlier marking material. Oil based paints are now frowned upon.

What Are Paintballs Filled With?

Ironically, paintballs are not filled with paint. A paintball is filled with a biodegradable gel. There are always changes being tested to reduced cost. There are two primary choices of fill.  

At the inception of paintball, the round paintballs were the ones used to mark cattle and trees made by the Nelson Paint Company. For their existing customer needs paint required staying power. Original paintballs used the same marking paint designed to leave a mark for years! Paint came into demand for this newly marketed game and pharmaceutical companies retrofitted their die role equipment to make paint. 

Referred to as PEG in the business. This cost more to purchase for field operators. PEG cost more to manufacture than other current options. Water-soluble. Biodegradable. Ingestible/hypoallegenic. It tastes bitter.

Oil based smells is foul. It costs less. It stains clothing easier. The rain won’t wash the glue like remnants off bunkers despite the color being washed away. 

Why Do Paintballs Stain?

Paintballs are not filled with actual paint. 

What Can You Do To Avoid Paintballs Paint Stain

The Bottom Line

To say that paintballs stain is questionable. There is a gray area. Yes, they stain if you leave the broken paintball fill to dry into your clothing. It depends on how long and what type of material it hits. Avoid wearing cottons to a paintball park is a good rule-of-thumb. 

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