If you have been playing paintball for long, then you must know how important it is to keep your paintball gears clean. A dirty paintball gun is not accurate; it will leave you empty hands in the middle of the field. With that, you have to keep the other gears clean too. Yes, it’s about your paintball mask.
Investing in a good paintball mask sounds more like a plan than buying an expensive paintball brand to us, and we want to make sure your mask stays in great condition for a long time.
Why Is It Important to Keep the Paintball Mask Clean?
Keeping your paintball mask clean between matches isn’t just about making sure it’s always new and shiny. Clean paintball masks can do more than just a sleek player image.
1. It Improves Your Gaming Performance
How will a clean paintball mask improve your performance in the field? Having good vision is largely directly related to your paintball knowledge. If your goggle and lens are covered in paint or something else, even if only partially, how do you see a player attacking you from the outside? Having a clear and wide-angle view to see peripherals is very important. After all, aren’t you any better at everything when you really see what you’re doing?
2. The Safer, The Better
Clean paintball masks also work as your armor on the battlefield, as damage and deformation on the lens can be identified much easier than on dirty masks. Broken paint and other contaminants can easily cover the cracks on the lens or masks, and that’s not safe, to be honest. When the lens is covered with paint, it cannot be checked properly.
3. Cleaning Extends The Life Of Your Mask
Finally, if you regularly maintain and clean your paintball mask, it will take longer. If the paint stays dry on the mask or lens for a long time, the material may break. Other parts of the mask, such as tapes, vents, and padding, also disintegrate faster if not kept clean and properly maintained. Do you really want to invest in a paintball mask just because you can put it on quickly without thinking about its condition? That’s now how it works. In the end, you have to clean it.
So yes, cleaning a paintball mask is important, but the good news is it’s not difficult. In fact, it’s pretty quick and easy once you know how to do it. You need to learn how to clean it properly. Using the wrong products or equipment can damage the mask or lens.
Four Simple Steps to Clean a Paintball Mask
Products Needed to Clean the Mask
Before embarking on the actual process of how to clean a paintball mask, we need to discuss which products and tools you should be using. It is very important to use the right things; otherwise, you could damage the masks or the lens.
Fortunately, just these three products can help you to clean your paintball masks properly:
- Microfiber cloths
- Paintball approved lens cleaner
There is no need to complicate it with other cleaners. They are not necessary, and there is a possibility that they can damage the lens.
Step 1: Check The Lens First
When cleaning the paintball masks, you need to check the lens first. The lens is usually the most fragile and vulnerable part of the masks. And since the lens protects your eyes, it’s very important that it works properly.
Before we actually start cleaning, we subject our lens to a very quick but thorough inspection. But you don’t have to check it with a fine-toothed comb yet. We do this eventually when everything is clean, and we really find cracks or fractures.
Check for Any Deformations:
For the initial inspection of the lens, however, we keep it in the light and look for any deformations or defects that jump on us. Edges usually crack or shrink first, so we pay special attention to all edges.
What do you do when you find a crack or deformation? Discard the lens and replace it immediately. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small hairline or a deep fracture if the lens is damaged and needs to be replaced. Most lenses should last around one year if you take good care of them, and they don’t cause scratches or harmful damage. You can check our list of Top paintball masks to choose a new and better mask for yourself if need be.
Replace the Lens If You Hit It From a 15 Meter Radius:
By the way, if you hit the target directly from a radius of 15 meters, we recommend that you replace the target immediately. However, no damage to the lens is visible. The power of the approach shot is considerable and will seriously question the integrity of the target. There is no reason to bet on whether or not to take another direct hit to this extent. Be too careful and replace it.
In fact, it is always better to replace the lens too early than too late. Yes, he’s angry about spending a little extra money on a new goal. But it would be so much more if your target broke in the middle of the game when you knew it needed to be replaced and they didn’t do anything about it.
Step 2: Wipe Off The Excess Spray And Clean It From Outside
Remove Excess Spray Paint or Other Contaminants:
After checking the lens for cracks or fractures, the next step is to remove excess spray paint or other contaminants on the outside of the masks.
If there is a fair amount of paint, dirt, mud, or other debris on the outside, the easiest way to remove them is to simply rinse them with water. We use the hose in the kitchen sink, but any low-pressure water jet will work. Just make sure you don’t increase the pressure where a pressure washer is basically, otherwise you could damage the goggle or lens.
Take Caution When Washing the Masks:
Paintballs are water-soluble, so you shouldn’t need a lot of water pressure to remove the paint. Just hold a stream of water perpendicular to the masks and let it rinse. Do not spray at extreme angles from above or below, as this may cause problems with the thermal lens. How? Because there is little chance that you can get water inside the double glass lens.
Use Warm Water With Low to Medium Pressure:
The key to rinsing it with water is to use warm water with low to medium pressure. You don’t have to be too aggressive towards the water, but warm water makes it easier for the color to precipitate. If you are using water, be sure to let it air dry for a few hours before moving on to the next step.
Apply Lens Cleaner and Wipe With Micro-Fiber Cloth:
Once most of the excess paint has been removed, and the masks are dry, remove any residue with an approved lens cleaner and a microfiber cloth. Just apply a lens cleaner and then wipe it with a microfiber cloth. This should remove the remaining paint.
If you’ve already cleaned the paint with a microfiber cloth, be sure to use a new clean cloth for the last part. It may seem overwhelming to use a different cloth, but you don’t want to reapply anything you removed earlier, or you risk scratching the lens due to residue left on the cloth.
Step 3: Don’t Forget The Core
Okay, now that the outside of the masks is clean, let’s look inside. The inside of the masks should be clean enough, as it shouldn’t get too much paint, so it should be pretty easy.
Be Careful When Cleaning the Inner Lens:
Hopefully, there won’t be much inside, if not some color. But that’s okay; if there is, you just have to be a little more careful when cleaning the inside than you were outside. The inner lens of the thermal mask is more sensitive and can be damaged if you are not careful. Just make sure you don’t use anything harsh or harmful for cleaning, and you should be fine.
Single-channel lenses are stronger and more durable than thermal lenses, but you still need to be careful with them. You don’t have to unnecessarily damage it just because you’re lazy or in a hurry.
You Can Use Water to Clean the Inside As Well:
We’ve seen some paintball players use water from the inside as well, and it’s perfectly normal for the inside to get a little wet, but we don’t spray it as we did on the outside.
Why not? Because there shouldn’t be a lot of paint or other residues inside anyway. That’s why we just use a combination of microfiber cloths and some lens cleaner, and that’s it. There’s no need to break down large balls of paint, so we think it’s just an exaggeration to use water to spray it.
Spray a Lens Cleaner And Wipe With Micro-Fiber Towel:
Then, simply spray an approved lens cleaner on the inner lens and then wipe it gently with a clean microfiber cloth. If there are other areas inside that need attention besides the lens, we usually use a wet sponge and clean it.
Step 4: Lens…Once Again
Check For Any Cracks or Scratch:
Now that the mask and lens are nice and clean, it’s time to double-check the lens, as it’s possible you missed a scratch or crack that was previously covered in paint. Now that you have your mask and lens as clean as a whistle, you shouldn’t have a problem identifying any deformation or damage.
And that’s all about cleaning the mask. Was it that hard?
But before you go, we want to focus on a few other elements to make sure you are taking care of your gear appropriately.
Things To Be Careful About When Cleaning A Paintball Mask
Never Immerse The Entire Mask In The Water
As we said earlier, the whole mask can get wet. But that doesn’t mean you should completely submerge it in water. We’re just looking for trouble.
If it’s really a cheap single channel paintball mask, you might miss it. It probably won’t “hurt” anything because the lens is so cheap anyway, but squeezing will speed it up as long as it’s useful.
However, you should definitely never get the thermal mask wet. When you do this, water may seep between the lens with the two windows and damage it.
Thoroughly Clean the Mask When Replacing the Lens
Good paintball masks from reputable paintball companies are very durable when you take care of them and cleaning them after each match is all you need to do. But it doesn’t hurt to do a little deeper cleaning from time to time.
So when should you do it deeper? We like to do this whenever we have a lens removed from the mask. Basically, every time we change the lens, we thoroughly clean the entire mask. It doesn’t really involve much more, but you can get to some cramped spaces a little easier with q tips or a toothbrush to get paint residue you haven’t reached before. Simply remove the lens, spray it with some water, and then clean some of the problem areas with a sponge or toothbrush.
Clean The Mask From Time to Time
Another reason we would like to clean thoroughly from time to time is to try to remove part of the handle from the helmet. Good paintball helmets are made from quality materials that shouldn’t break quickly, but even after a few months of playing; they can start to smell. These are all the things you need to be aware of how to clean a paintball mask.
Transporting the Mask To and From the Field Safely
After cleaning, carefully transport the mask to the paintball field. You just spent some time and effort getting clean and ready to use, don’t contaminate it or scratch the lens with improper transportation.
Use an Existing Case or Purchase a New One
It is highly recommended that you use the case that came with the mask or, if it was not included in the case, purchase a new one to protect it safely.
Use a Pillow If You Do Not Have a Case
If you really don’t want to buy a case, the pillow should work just fine. The whole purpose of the “case” is precisely to protect the lens from scratches. Be sure not to keep the mask on during storage or transportation. Most paintball bags have a separate compartment for the mask, but if not, put the mask on top of the bag, so it doesn’t break in the bag.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How Often Should You Clean the Mask?
The entire Paintball team cleans our masks after every match. And we recommend you too.
It’s better to get used to it and put it into your routine than to put it off and say, “I’ll get to that later, or maybe I’ll do it tomorrow before the game.” Because we both know you really won’t.
We know that you are tired when you come home after a long day of paintballing. However, just take 5 minutes to clean the mask, and thank you later. Trust us. In fact, there is no need to do any kind of semi-annual or annual deep cleansing, but when replacing the lens, we give our masks a bit more intense cleaning (more on that later).
2. Why Should Someone Buy a Quality Mask?
Investing in quality masks is a smart idea. You can hold up very well if you take good care of them. They are very durable and can withstand wind, rain, and snow that you might play with. If you clean the mask after every game, you don’t need to worry about further maintenance.
3. Which Products Should I Avoid When Cleaning My Mask?
Here are some common cleansers you should never use on your mask.
- Most glass and house cleaners are very harsh on the lenses and degrade the material. In addition, they remove valuable coatings such as anti-scratch, anti-reflective and anti-fog coatings.
- Windex, glass cleaners, multi-area sprays, citrus cleaners, etc.
- Any towel, cloth, or napkin with a rougher surface than microfiber cloths. These products may be smooth on the skin but are very rough on a smooth lens. Friction against the lens is essentially like the rubbing of extremely fine sandpaper against the lens, which leads to very fine scratches and makes it difficult to see through the lens.
- Paper towels, toilet paper, hand towels, or abrasive rags