How To Clean a Paintball Gun & Why it Shouldn’t Intimidate You

Paintball is a very popular sport that is enjoyed by people all around the world. If you are one of these people, you know that paintball guns are an integral part of participating in this sport.

The guns propel paintballs through the air with great accuracy and velocity, so keeping them clean is essential. Here is how to clean and maintain a paintball gun for maximum performance.

Do You Need To Clean a Paintball Gun?

Regular cleaning is a crucial part of owning a paintball gun. If the proper steps are not taken to clean your gun, you risk damaging internal components. This can lead to misfires, malfunctions, and shortened lifespan.

One common question among players is if they need to clean their marker after each use. The general consensus from paintball manufacturers is that you don’t have to clean your gun after every time you play. However, frequent cleaning will prolong the life of your marker.

How Often Do You Need To Clean a Paintball Gun?

Cleaning the gun before it’s filthy will prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your marker, making it perform better and last longer.

Different markers will need more or less frequent cleaning depending on such factors as:

  • The type of paintballs used. Oil-based paintballs require less cleaning than water-based paintballs.
  • The number of shots taken. Generally speaking, more shots means more cleaning.
  • How often do you play? If you play weekly or even daily, your gun will need to be cleaned after each use.
  • The brand of paintballs used. Higher prices often reflect quality, but high-quality paint generally requires less cleaning than lower quality paint.
  • If the bolt o-rings are worn or not properly maintained. Worn o-rings will not provide a good seal, and the marker will require more cleaning.
  • If your marker is equipped with an auto-cleaning feature, you should not have to clean the marker as often.

Do You Need To Lube/Oil Your Paintball Gun?

Yes, you need to lube your paintball gun. Lubrication is vital because it helps the marker operate smoothly and more efficiently, which will help increase performance. Lubrication is crucial before using a marker for the first time.

If you’ve purchased a high-quality paintball marker, it will usually come with the proper type of oil to lube your gun. If not, many companies sell special oils for specific markers.

Do Cleaning Pellets or Cleaning BBs Really Work?

Cleaning pellets and BBs have been marketed as the “quick and easy” way to clean your marker. However, these products are not always effective.

They don’t dissolve and can get stuck in small crevices inside the gun. This blocking of small spaces will decrease performance and damage internal components.

Pellets and BBs will not remove dried paint, dirt, or debris. They are just pieces of cotton with a solvent inside that will help dissolve some over-spray or dried paint.

How To Keep Your Paintball Marker Clean While Playing

Cleaning while playing is not the most efficient way to clean your marker, but it is better than not cleaning at all. Have some essential tools and supplies on hand for this type of cleaning.

Basic cleaners such as Gun Sav (available at most Paintball shops) or other essential cleaners will dissolve and clean the paint off. Gun wipe cloths are used to wipe down your marker after shooting it, and air, barrel, and/or co2 BBs are helpful if you use these types of propellants.

Having a wire brush with you is very useful for getting paint out of small crevices.

Do You Have To Take the Gun Apart To Clean It?

You don’t have to take your gun apart, but it is recommended. Taking your marker and cleaning it by hand is the best way to ensure that all areas are adequately cleaned.

There are many parts in a paintball gun, and it’s difficult to clean all areas without taking your gun apart. Internal mechanisms can get clogged with paint, dirt, or debris, affecting performance.

What Cleaners/Solvents Should You Use?

Some cleaners are designed specifically for certain brands of markers, so make sure you use the right cleaner to avoid damage to your gun’s internals. 

There are different styles/brands of cleaning brushes, and the right brush will depend on what type of marker you have. The most common style is a pull-through design with brass or nylon bristles.

A decent cleaner will dissolve most types of paint, oil, and dirt. They come in aerosol and liquid form sprayed on the gun or poured directly into the marker.

What Is the Best Way To Clean a Paintball Gun?

Solvents are often harsh chemicals, use them sparingly and follow directions carefully to avoid damage to your marker.

Wipe down your marker with a gun wipe cloth to remove any paint, oil, or debris. Use the proper tool to take apart your gun and remove anything inside it.

Blow any excess solvent or dirt out of the marker with air. Use compressed air when cleaning the barrel.

What Are the Basic Steps of Cleaning a Paintball Gun?

  • Unload the magazine.
  • Remove the batteries if you are using an electronic marker.
  • Disconnect any air tanks from the marker.
  • Push out any debris that is stuck inside the internal airway.
  • Brush your marker’s internals with a cleaning brush to remove dirt and loose paint.
  • If you are using an oil-based solvent, put a few drops of solvent on the internal components and use your brush to scrub it down.
  • Run a couple of clean patches through the barrel to remove any excess solvent.
  • Once all parts of your marker are clean, use compressed air to blow away excess solvent. This will help prevent anything from drying inside the marker’s body.
  • Let your gun dry overnight with all removable bolt parts removed. Ensure all excess solvent has time to evaporate before reassembling the marker.
  • Most paintballs will include a small bottle of cleaning solution with purchase. You can buy larger bottles as needed.
  • Wear safety goggles and gloves when working with solvents and lubricants to avoid injury.
  • It is recommended that you remove and clean your marker’s air system after each day of use. This will prolong the life of your regulator and increase the efficiency of your marker.
  • Do not remove rubber seals or lubricate them with oil-based solvent; instead, clean them with water-based solvent.
  • Inspect any internal springs and wear parts such as o-rings and replace them if damaged.
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