So you can't have failed to notice all the rain we've been having this year! It's been cold, wet and windy everywhere and really not the best playing conditions for a game of paintball. Whilst everyone likes to get a little bit muddy sometimes, the constant barrage of rain has hit paintball sites hard because there are a lot of fairweather paintballers who do not want to play paintball in the rain even though it is possible and just as much fun as playing paintball in the dry weather. 
But what happens to your paintball equipment in the rain - is it even okay to play paintball when it is raining? Well of course it is but you must take extra care when packing away your paintball equipment, particularly your paintball marker or any electronic paintball gear to make sure it is fully clean and dry before you put it in your paintball kit bag until the next time you go out to play paintball!
Cleaning your paintball equipment doesn't just mean cleaning your paintball gun but everything that you wear to play paintball should be cleaned as well because, like most clothing, it will go mouldy and start to smell awful if you put it in your paintball gear bag before you've washed it. There are no special rules for washing paintball kit but you should read the washing instructions as some of the paintball clothing should not be put in a tumble dryer. Paintball clothing doesn't need to be hand washed or dry cleaned but it should be washed in a washing machine and then left to dry naturally on a clothes line or clothes horse. 
If you have played paintball on a very wet day then the mud and rain might have gone through your paintball jersey or paintball trousers and your paintball padding might also need cleaning. Not all paintball padding can be washed in a washing machine but should be hand-washed wherever possible. Sometimes the paintball elbow pads can be washed in a washing machine but never tumble dried. We would always recommend checking the washing instructions on your paintball elbow pads and paintball knee pads before putting them in the washing machine. 
It's not just your paintball clothing that will need to be clean and dry before you put it away until you next play paintball. Your paintball hopper is an important piece of equipment and often will have batteries inside which can be corrosive when they get wet so it's best to remove any batteries from your paintball gear before you put it away. Paintball loaders normally take AA or 9V batteries and these should be removed once the paintball hopper has been turned off. Once they are removed you can keep them in a dry box in your paintball kit bag until you next need to use them in your paintball loader. The Virtue Spire loader is one of the most popular and fastest feeding paintball loaders which takes batteries. This is a very valuable piece of kit and not something you want to get wet in between games. If your paintball loader has been used in the rain and is wet or muddy you should use a damp cloth to dry the outside of the loader and make sure there are no paintballs left inside. Sometimes rain can get into the loaders through the lid if you aren't using a paintball loader rain lid - these are available for the Virtue Spire loader and the Dye Rotor loader and are essential for keeping the rain out of your hopper if you're using a Quick Feed on your hopper. Once you have cleaned the outside of your loader, make sure there are no burst paintballs or rain inside your loader and wipe the inside with a damp cloth to remove any paintball shells or residue. Use a dry cloth afterwards to polish the inside and outside of the loader to make sure it is nice and clean and dry before you put it away. You should also clean and dry the loader feedneck to make sure this is also clean and dry and doesn't have any paintballs that have become jammed in it. Once your loader is dry you should double check you have removed the batteries and stored them somewhere safe and put it away in your kit bag. If you don't want your loader to bounce around in your kit bag then make sure you wrap it in a towel or you can invest in an Exalt Loader Case which will keep your loader secure. The Exalt loader case comes in a range of colours to match your other paintball kit and features a microfibre lining which will ensure your loader remains dry and scratch free whilst in your kit bag. The outer shell of the hopper case is solid so it will protect your loader from bumps and knocks and it has a zip closure for extra security so you know your loader won't fall out during transit. These are particularly useful if you are going abroad to play at an international paintball tournament or a big scenario paintball game. 
Cleaning your paintball marker is a lot more detailed and time consuming but follows the same guidelines as cleaning your paintball loader. First of all you should ensure the battery is removed from the paintball gun so that it doesn't corrode if there is any moisture in the paintball grip frame where the battery is housed. Once the battery is out and the marker is turned off you can set about cleaning your paintball marker. Our inhouse marker technician has prepared a few videos (click here to watch on YouTube) which are available online that show the best way to strip and clean a variety of paintball markers and we recommend watching these before attempting to do anything more than give your paintball marker an external wipe. Our technician will also guide you through the different lubricants you can and can't use on your paintball equipment as well as there being a lot of guidance in the instruction manuals that come with your paintball marker. 
We also have detailed instructions here on how to clean and look after your paintball mask. The paintball mask is your most important piece of paintball safety equipment and should always be worn when playing paintball. If you get shot in the lens while playing paintball you should always use a microfibre cloth to remove the excess paint before going to a safe space or safe zone outside of the paintball playing arena to remove your mask for a thorough clean. Most paintball masks have a removable lense which you can take out to give it a thorough clean but some paintball masks have a fixed lense that cannot be removed. To clean your paintball lense you don't have to remove it from your paintball goggles but we always recommend using a paintball mask specific microfibre cloth such as the JP lens cloth or the Infamous microfibre cleaning cloth. This should be used to remove any excess paint or shell from your lense. Once this is done you should spray the lense with a paintball lense cleaning solution and then leave this to dry before wiping off the solution and polishing your lense with a clean and dry lens cloth. It is important to always read the instructions on the paintball lens cleaning solution because it can change from one brand to another and will ensure you are cleaning your goggle lense effectively. Once you have cleaned your lens you can put it back into your goggles or wait until you have cleaned the rest of your paintball mask. A lot of paintball masks come with a paintball lense frame which features either a hard foam or a soft foam around the lens area. This can get wet with rain or sweat when you are playing so it is important to let this dry out before you try and wear your mask. The strap which holds your mask securely to your head can also become very wet but this should be allowed to dry naturally either in the fresh air or near to a radiator until it is dry. It is not possible to wash a paintball mask in the washing machine or to dry it in a tumble drier. 
Once you have finished cleaning all of your paintball equipment you should make sure it is fully dry before packing it away again in your paintball gear bag. You should always wash and dry your lens cloths and any other cloths you have used to clean your paintball gear and then they are ready for the next time you need to clean your paintballing equipment after you have been to a paintball tournament or big scenario paintball games
Here's some other blogs you may be interested in:
1. The UK's Biggest Paintball Events in 2024


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