Paintball is a fun and refreshing activity that can be a great way to let loose some steam.
Any regular paintball enthusiast will surely know how to clean a paintball gun. After all, an unclean paintball gun is inaccurate, susceptible to debris, and malfunction; it won’t perform well.
What about cleaning the paintball mask? We also get shot on the face or head, and paint splits all over the mask.
Not cleaning the mask can lead to a messy mask prone to attach dust, debris, and grime due to the paint’s wetness.
Are you going to wear a mask full of contagious germs right over your eyes, nose, and mouth? Ew! It feels so filthy.
You may think just washing or wiping can be enough then why do we need to learn to clean the paintball mask? The reason is, some paints don’t wash off easily, and for sterilizing the face mask, you do need to learn some tricks.
With our guide, not only will you know the best way to clean paintball masks, but you will also keep your paintball mask in tip-top shape, allowing for it last a long time without any need for replacement.
After all, good masks are expensive!
Paintball is a fierce and rough activity, dodging, swerving, and the chaos of the field can leave you covered in dirt, grime, and paint.
Particularly with your mask, you will notice that after any game of paintball, it’s going to be nowhere near as shiny as it was when you first got it.
If you want a mask that demands your least effort in cleaning and remains shiny even after every wash, then give a read to our the Best Paintball Mask review.
Indeed, it will likely be covered in much the same gunk and debris as what was flying around in the field, and getting it off as soon as possible may be more important than you think.
Is Keeping Your Paintball Mask Clean Necessary?
Yes, we recommend and advocate for you to do so. It is more important a matter than just having a shiny and pretty looking mask. There are significant benefits to be had.
1. Is Necessary for adequate safety
You only get two eyes, no more; if your mask fails when you need it, you aren’t getting another one, and the risk isn’t worth it.
Having a clean mask will allow you to detect any damage, fissures, and deformities as paint and debris can easily hide them, making any imperfections challenging to spot.
If you still feel scared despite these all favors, then give a read to Can You Get Hurt Playing Paintball article because your fear is the biggest hurdle that won’t let you enjoy the game.
A clean mask will allow you to replace your lens when it is time to, allowing you to avoid potential disaster due to your lens failing you when you are on the field.
2. Helps your performance in-game
Why would your mask for paintball look new and shiny help your performance?
It’s simple; you can’t play well if you can’t see well. Even having your vision be partially blocked with paint and grime can make a huge difference. It can also increase the stress your eyes take as you attempt to focus on targets.
Having a clear vision will allow you to aim much better, as your opponents will be easier to see and glare from bright sunny days and large indoor lights will be lessened.
Be careful; if you have ever experienced a loss of vision during a paintball game, it can also happen due to fog. So, figure it out and replace that mask with the Best Anti-Fog Paintball Mask.
It will widen your field of view considerably, allowing you to catch that player trying to sneak in from just the corner of your eye.
Just think about it, is there anything you wouldn’t be better at if you could see better when doing it?
3. Extends the lifespan of your mask
It is no secret that properly cleaning and maintaining equipment allows it to last longer. Paintball masks are no exception.
Paint drying and staying on the mask for a longer duration will stain the mask and damage and weaken the material, particularly when it comes to the lens.
That is not to say that the rest of the mask needs no cleaning; parts like the vents, straps, and padding will see their lifespan shorten considerably and wear out quickly if they aren’t adequately cared for proper maintenance, i.e., cleaning.
A good quality mask should last a year and costs a good buck; seeing it need replacement long before its due is a painful thing to happen, worry not, though, because our guide should not be an issue with our guide.
So, the answer is yes, cleaning your mask is most certainly necessary and has some significant benefits. Luckily enough, it’s both easy and quick and doesn’t require any hard to get products.
You just need to know how.
When Should You Clean Your Mask?
Before we move to how to go about it, you should first know when exactly you will be cleaning your mask.
Cleaning your mask isn’t some semi-annual or once a month deep clean, which you mark the calendar. It’s based more on when you play.
In particular, we recommend that you clean your mask immediately after a game.
Yes, paintball is tiring, and you may not be feeling up to it right after getting off the field, but as tempting as it is to put it off for later, you will be so much better off doing it quickly before the paint has time to dry and harden.
Allowing the paint to sit is a common mistake that can deteriorate the lens, causing it to weaken and need replacement sooner.
Does paintball paint stain? Yes, absolutely, and the best thing you can do to avoid it happening to you is to clean your mask before the paint can dry.
Before proceeding on, let me tell you one exciting thing, you can also customize your paintball gear for your comfort, safety, or aesthetic. Want to know how? Check out our guide on How to Customize a Paintball Mask.
What do you need?
It is easy to overcomplicate things and think that you need all sorts of products and sprays to make it as clean as possible. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
We recommend using nothing but these three products as part of the best way to clean paintball masks.
- Paintball approved lens cleaner
- Microfiber Cloth
Any other cleaning products we strongly recommend against. Not only are they unnecessary, but they can also damage your lens.
Some standard cleaning products you should avoid.
- Household glass cleaners are tough on the lens, damaging and degrading the material and wearing away useful coatings like anti-fog and anti-glare.
- Cleaners like Windex, Aerosol sprays, Citrus cleaners, etc.
- Any cloth, wipe, or towel other than a microfiber cloth, while these may seem smooth, their nature is closer to that of sandpaper and can create fine scratches across the lens.
- Toilet paper, towels, rags, wet wipes, etc.
The Best Way To Clean Paintball Masks
If you know how to clean a paintball gun, this shouldn’t be much more difficult; once you know how to, with our guide, you will find this to take even less time.
Step 1- Clean the Outside
Start with aiming to remove splattered paint, mud, and debris from the outside of the mask. The best way to do this to use water with a low to medium pressure stream. Keep the pressure low to avoid accidentally damaging the mask, but this shouldn’t be a significant concern.
Paint dissolves easily in water, so simply holding the stream perpendicular to the mask should work just fine; take care to avoid spraying from the top or the bottom, however, as water may get inside the dual-pane of a thermal lens.
Using hot or warm water will speed things up, but it shouldn’t take long; after all, the gunk has been cleaned away, leave it to rest, and air dry for a few hours.
Once the mask has dried, use an approved lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth to remove any remaining bits of paint from the outside.
Step 2- Clean the Inside
The mask’s inside will generally be pretty clean, but some paint will still have gotten its way in.
The inside is a lot more sensitive, particularly with a thermal mask, and should be careful to avoid any damages; single-pane lenses are tougher but still avoid using too much force. No reason to cause easily avoidable damage
Avoid using water for the inside. There should be little paint; hence little need anyway; it’s better to apply lens cleaner and then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. The small amounts of paint will be cleaned off quickly.
Avoid using the same microfiber cloth you used in Step 1 as paint on the fabric may rub against the lens and cause scratches.
If there are places in the interior other than the lens that need cleaning, a microfiber cloth is unnecessary, and a wet sponge will do just fine.
Step 3-Inspect the lens.
It is at this point that we recommend that you carefully look over and inspect the lens.
As the lens is the most vulnerable part of a mask and protects the weakest part of your face, the eyes, it must function perfectly. Else your eyesight may be at risk.
Now that any paint or debris is out of the way, you should be able to quite clearly see any cracks, fissures, or imperfections in the lens. We recommend shining a light through it to better spot any defections.
Pay close attention to the edges as those are which crack most often.
If you find a crack, defection, fissure, or anything problematic, you have to discard the lens immediately, no matter how small. A small imperfection will blossom into a complete failure when stressed.
Trust us when we say you don’t want to be on the wrong side of that happening.
Even in cases where nothing seems wrong, try to recall if you have taken a direct hit to the lens from closer than about 35-40 feet, as the force from such a close shot will have delivered a severe toll on the structural integrity of the lens.
If in doubt, change your lens, better safe than sorry.
And with that, that’s it! You have successfully cleaned your mask for paintball and may play another day. There are some other things you should be aware of, however.
When Replacing The Lens, Deep Clean The Mask
While it isn’t necessary to clean a good quality mask more than what has been outlined, you are better off being in the habit of an occasional deep clean.
We recommend you do it when replacing the lens as it’s an excellent opportunity to get at some of the problematic areas.
You don’t have to do all too much. Just use something like a toothbrush to remove the paint from hard to get too tight spots that you couldn’t reach before.
As there is no lens present to worry about, some simple dish soap is all the cleaner you will be needing.
This has the great benefit of getting rid of the smell, which starts building up within the mask over months of hard use. When combined with a new lens, your mask will feel brand new.
Do NOT Submerge The Mask
It is okay if the mask gets wet, however entirely submerging it can have disastrous results and should be wholly avoided.
If you have a thermal mask with a dual-pane lens, water can get in between the panes and fog up the lens, rendering it entirely useless and forcing you to replace it.
The situation is better if you have a cheaper single-pane lens mask, but even then, the quality of the lens will get degraded much faster, and you will see yourself needed to get it replaced sooner.
Safely Transporting and Storing Your Mask
When being transported or stored, it is very easy to accidentally scratch or damage the delicate lens. Accordingly, this must be done carefully as there is no point cleaning it if it ends up scratched and dirty anyway.
Most masks come with a case; we highly recommend storing the mask in its case at all times; if needed, a new one can always be bought.
Worst case scenario, a pillowcase should do fine as it will achieve the aim of protecting the mask from scratches.
Try to avoid stacking things on the top of the case for your mask as it can very easily be crushed when put under pressure; paintball bags will generally feature a compartment for the mask, which should be utilized when present.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How to prevent a paintball mask from fogging up?
If you use a headband beneath the mask, it will keep your foam dry and prevent your lens from fogging up due to condensation.
You can also use either an anti-fog spray on the inside of the paintball mask or simply buy a
professional mask that comes with a dual pane or a thermal lens.
2. What can I do to remove a paintball mask lens?
There will be two grey tabs on each side working as push buttons on the inside of the mask, near the ear and either a black or a blue piece attached to them . You have to push the tabs forward and rotate the blue piece in an inward direction.
This will unlock the lens from the goggle and you will successfully have removed the lens from your paintball mask.
3. How do I clean my paintball mask?
Take the paintball mask and put it under water. Make use of your hands and lukewarm water to rinse off the paint and dirt on it.
Note: If paint has found its way on the inside of your lens, do not wipe it. Take microfiber cloth, wetter it and dab it on the paint until it’s gone.
Paintball is a fantastic game; it brings together a mix of tactical gameplay, physical prowess, and speed to get an experience that enraptures so many each year.
As great as a game it is, you will find yourself needing to regularly clean and maintain your equipment; to that extent knowing how to clean a paintball gun is of great importance to avoid debris and malfunctions.
But perhaps most important for an enjoyable experience is to clean your mask for paintball effectively.
With this guide, you no longer will wonder about the best way to clean paintball masks and will be able to enjoy the game safely.
Paintball is a fun game and brings colorful memories. What are your favorite memories of paintball?