Paintballs are a lot of fun, but they can be a pain to remove from clothes. If you’re not careful, they can leave behind stains that are hard to get out of. But don’t worry – there are a few ways to remove paintballs from clothes quickly and easily. Keep reading to find out how!
Is Paintball Paint Washable?
Paintballs are made of gelatin shells and non-toxic paint. Gelatin is a rubbery substance, so the paintball is flexible enough to be squeezed by hand. However, they’re not completely washable like watercolor paint or acrylics. If you get your clothes wet with water before removing the paint, it’ll just smear it around. On the other hand, if you wash your clothes with paintballs on them, the water will cause the ball to expand and ruin your clothing.
- A brush (toothbrushes are good)
- A bucket of warm/hot water
- Spray bottle
- Paper towels or cloths
- Rusty razor blade
- Vinegar and baking soda (optional)
- Hand Lotion (optional)
- Cream of tartar or lemon juice (optional)
Step 1: Scrape as much paint as you can off the clothing.
If some of the paint has dried, use a toothbrush to gently scrub it. Take care not to rub the paint deeper into your clothing.
Step 2: Soak in warm water for a few hours
Fill a bucket with warm/hot water and soak the clothes overnight (or at least 4 hours). If you don’t have enough room, keep checking back to add hot water as it cools. This will make it easier to remove the paintballs.
Step 3: Gently rub the area with a cloth or paper towel
After soaking, check back on your laundry to see if they’re ready to be rinsed yet. When you think the clothes are ready, gently rub at the clothing with a moist paper towel or soft cloth (not something like steel wool that will scratch the paint). Try to avoid getting the area any wetter than it already is.
Step 4: Repeat step 3 until all of the paintballs are gone
The paper towel or cloth should be a little discolored from picking up some of the pigment of the paintballs, but not completely covered in color. If this doesn’t work after a few tries, move on to the next solution.
Step 5: Sponge-wash your clothing with dish soap and water
Fill a spray bottle with warm water and add a little bit of hand dishwashing liquid. Shake it up and spritz it down your clothing. Let it sit for several seconds, then scrub at the stains gently with a cloth.
Step 6: Sponge-wash your clothing with vinegar and water
Fill another spray bottle halfway full of white or apple cider vinegar, then fill the rest with warm water. Shake it up and spritz down your laundry. Let it sit for several seconds, then scrub at the stains gently with a cloth. If this step doesn’t work, move on to a stronger solution.
Step 7: Sponge-wash your clothing with ammonia and water
Mix a little bit of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl with some water – just enough so you can mix it into a paste. Add 1 tablespoon dish soap, 1 tsp ammonia, and 2 tablespoons warm water. Mix the ingredients until dissolved. Use a cloth to apply this mixture to your clothing in small, circular motions. If you have an old toothbrush, use that instead of the cloth.
After scrubbing, let it sit for several minutes before rinsing off with water. Rinse the area under cool running water until the soapy residue is gone.
Step 8: Sponge-wash your clothing with a hairdryer
Hold a hot hair dryer over the paintball stained area, working from the outside of the stain in towards the center. Keep it as close as you can without burning yourself and your clothes. Hold it there until all of the paintballs have come off – this may take several minutes.
Step 9: Wash your clothing
At this point, you should have removed all of the paintballs. If you still have discoloration on the fabric, run it through a wash cycle with some vinegar or lemon juice. You can either do this with your laundry before putting it in the dryer or just spot-treat your clothes after they’re done in the dryer.
Step 10: Get rid of creases with a hairdryer and a little hand lotion
Fill a spray bottle with water, then add about 5 drops of lavender or any other essential oil. Gently mist it over your clothing to get rid of the crease marks left by the paintballs.
To soften your clothes after they’ve been in the dryer, rub a little bit of hand lotion over the areas where you were holding them. This should help get rid of any lines left by your fingers.
Step 11: Wash again to remove the essential oil
Use a toothbrush to gently scrub the fabric until all traces of the essential oil are gone.
Step 12: Wash again without soap
At this point, you should be able to run your laundry through another wash cycle using regular laundry detergent. If it doesn’t come out clean after this step, keep repeating it until it does.
Step 13: Dry your clothing
Once everything is clean and looks fresh, toss it in the dryer with a few towels to absorb any moisture that might be left behind.
If you’re wearing the clothing, take it into a shower or tub and hand-wash it just like before. Make sure not to leave anything behind in the sink!
Step 14: Wear your clothes with pride!
And don’t forget to wash them next time.
As I said before, different fabrics will respond to these solutions differently. For example, rayon can be restored by using a little vinegar or baking soda. This is because the fabric isn’t actually stained itself – it’s just discolored after being in contact with another substance. Instead of coloring the fabric, washing it with vinegar or baking soda will neutralize the acid and restore its original color. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly and don’t leave any residue behind in the sink.