Hi. I’m Freddy, an old-school paintballer who knows a few things about maintaining paintball gear properly.
Here’s my step by step guide on how to clean a paintball lens.
The Best Way to Clean Your Paintball Mask
Something that is often forgotten in this sport is good paintball tips, especially how to clean paintball gear. A clean mask is the most important piece of equipment, and you should take great care when cleaning paint off your paintball mask.
Follow the cleaning instructions from the manufacturer.
Often the manufacturer will include cleaning instructions in the box when they sell the mask to you. Look for the old box the paintball came in and see if there is any instruction manual or information on the box itself. If you can’t find it, you can search online for the specific mask model and instruction manual or send them an email asking for cleaning instructions.
Remove the lens from the mask.
Before you start cleaning anything, it’s best to remove the lens from the mask. Do it now if you have a paintball mask where the lens is detachable.
The advantage of disassembling the mask is that you can clean the lens by itself, making it less likely to scratch.
If you don’t detach the lens, it will be harder to clean any dirt stuck in the corners and edges where the lens attaches to the mask. Also, since it is solid plastic, you don’t have to be as careful with the other parts.
Rinse with warm water
The best way to start is to rinse the mask with warm water. The water should be warm, not boiling since that can ruin the lens and coating.
Rinsing is the best way to loosen up the dirt, sweat, and debris. You want to remove any hard particles before you start rubbing so you don’t scratch the lens.
Be careful with stains.
If the stains or debris are tough, you may want to try to splatter it with water at low pressure. For example:
- Rinse it under running water from the sink.
- Use a water gun.
- Use a water bottle that has a small needle hole in the cap and squeeze it.
Use Mild Soap if Needed
Mild soap is foamy and bubbly and helps to clean away dirt without scratching.
Don’t Use Cleaners with Harsh Chemicals
Harsh chemicals can dissolve the coating or damage the lens.
Never Use Glass Cleaner on a Coated Lens
Be careful. Glass cleaners can ruin your lens.
You have probably seen those glass cleaners sold in stores used for glasses or the chemicals used for cleaning windows and mirrors. Please don’t use them since the chemicals are too strong and can dissolve or ruin the coating and cause stains, marks, or scratches.
Rub in circular motions. Don’t scratch
You don’t want to scratch any part of the mask since that can cause scratches. Scratches will worsen the goggle’s visibility and make it easier to fog up.
The best way to clean is to rub very gently in circular motions.
Use a microfiber cloth.
You can use a microfiber cloth, soft cloth, a soft towel, or a paper towel with warm water and mild soap.
Don’t use abrasive material.
If you use a sponge, make sure it’s not abrasive. Many people make this mistake and clean with abrasive sponges that are green on one side or sponges meant for iron skillets and pots.
Here’s a fun fact: abrasive sponges cause millions of dollars of damage worldwide yearly because people are clueless that abrasive sponges cause microscopic tears and scratches all around the house.
Be extra careful with coated paintball goggles.
Coated goggles have many advantages: they can perform better under certain weather conditions and may have anti-fog properties like thermal lenses. The downside is they get easily scratched, and it’s hard to see through them once that happens. You may have to change your coated lens more often than a clear lens.
Consider cleaning the mask after a paintball session.
Even if you didn’t get shot with paint on the mask, there might be fingerprints or dirt on the lens, which may cause it to fog up next time you play. Ensure it is clean, but be careful not to clean it too often or too much, so you don’t wear, tear or scratch it with too much cleaning and rubbing.
Storing your paintball mask
I recommend storing your paintball mask in a box or a protective bag when you are not using it. It will be less likely to scratch when packing and unpacking your gear, giving it a protective layer against other abrasive hard material like your paintball gun, air tank, and hopper.
If you take long breaks between games, a paintball mask may collect dust and debris from the environment, so you may have to clean it again before using it. It’s better to store it correctly every time you play and keep it clean and ready for the next game.
Store your paintball mask properly, and it’s more likely to last longer.
Conclusion: Care and Maintain your Paintball Mask
A paintball mask is the number one crucial piece of safety equipment when playing paintball (Read more about it here). Keep your goggle clean to prevent fogging, damage or cracks.
Proper care involves:
- wipe, spray and clean your goggle with warm water and mild foam soap when it gets dirty
- avoid using harsh chemicals or solvents on your lens as they can damage it.
- inspect your paintball mask regularly for cracks or tears
- replace damaged parts when necessary.
I hope you like my recommendations.