How to Clean a Paintball Mask

How to Clean a Paintball Mask

Having a clear paintball mask lens is extremely important when playing paintball, as it directly affects your ability to see and aim accurately, while also protecting your eyes from injury. A dirty lens can obscure your vision, making it difficult to track the movements of opponents or see where paintballs are coming from. This can make it hard to react quickly and effectively during gameplay, which can put you at a disadvantage and compromise your safety.

In addition to hindering visibility, a dirty lens can also increase the risk of injury. A dirty or scratched lens can obscure your field of view and cause you to trip on branches, logs and other obstacles on the paintball field. Keeping your mask and lens clean is crucial for enjoying the game and staying safe while playing.

Use Polycarbonate Spray

When cleaning your goggles, you must use polycarbonate spray as the cleaning solution. Polycarbonate spray is specifically designed for cleaning plastic lenses, such as those found on paintball masks, while glass cleaners are intended for use on glass surfaces. There are several reasons why you should use polycarbonate spray to clean a plastic lens instead of glass cleaner:

  • Chemical composition: Polycarbonate sprays are formulated with chemicals that are safe for use on plastic surfaces, including polycarbonate and other types of plastic used in the manufacture of paintball mask lenses. Glass cleaners, on the other hand, may contain chemicals that can damage or discolor plastic lenses, leading to cloudiness or reduced visibility.
  • Abrasiveness: Glass cleaners often contain abrasive ingredients, such as ammonia or vinegar, that can scratch or etch plastic surfaces. Polycarbonate sprays, on the other hand, are designed to be gentle on plastic lenses, without causing any scratches or other damage.
  • Anti-fog properties: Many polycarbonate sprays are designed to help prevent fogging on plastic lenses, which can be especially useful during intense physical activity, like playing paintball. Glass cleaners typically do not have anti-fog properties, which can lead to visibility problems during gameplay.

Use A Microfiber Cloth

Along with the polycarbonate spray, make sure you use a microfiber cloth when whipping the mask lens. Microfiber cloths are an excellent choice for cleaning paintball goggles because they are gentle on the lens and effective at removing dirt and grime. They're made from tiny fibers that are soft and won't scratch the lens or cause any damage. Plus, they're absorbent, which makes them great for cleaning paintball goggles. The microfiber cloth can quickly soak up any dirt or grime on the lens, leaving it clean and clear. Additionally, since microfiber cloths are non-abrasive, they won't leave behind any fibers or lint that could interfere with your vision during gameplay.

Another benefit of using a microfiber cloth to clean your paintball goggles is that they're reusable and washable. You can use them multiple times before needing to replace them, which makes them a more eco-friendly option than disposable cleaning products. Since they're reusable, you'll also save money in the long run. When your microfiber cloth gets dirty, simply toss it in the washing machine, and it's good as new. However, avoid heat-drying your microfiber cloth which can create hard microplastics which could damage your goggle lens. 

Cleaning Practices to Avoid for Paintball Mask Lens’

Beginner paintball players frequently make the error of incorrectly cleaning their paintball mask lens, such as using glass cleaner and paper towels or washing dual-pane lenses under running water. These cleaning methods can cause irreversible damage to the paintball lens.

Avoid Using Glass Cleaner

Using a chemical-based glass cleaner to clean a paintball lens is problematic because paintball lenses are not made of glass. Instead, they are typically made from a polycarbonate material that can deteriorate quickly if it's cleaned with a glass cleaner. Additionally, any protective coatings, such as anti-scratch or anti-fog, can be stripped away if they come into contact with glass cleaner. If you've ever seen a paintball mask with a splotchy lens, you've likely witnessed the damage caused by glass cleaner such as vinegar or windex.

Avoid Using Paper Towel

When examined under a microscope, the surface of paper towels or toilet paper is quite rough and abrasive, making it unsuitable for cleaning lenses. If you use such rough materials to clean a paintball lens, you'll end up leaving behind many tiny scratches on the lens surface. These scratches can build up over time and eventually force you to replace the lens or risk playing with reduced visibility.

Avoid Submerging Your Lens

While it's okay to clean a paintball lens with a slightly damp microfiber cloth, it's crucial to never soak a dual-pane lens underwater. When a dual-pane lens is submerged, water can easily penetrate the space between the two lenses and ultimately ruin the lens. A dual-pane lens consists of two lenses with a thin layer of air or nitrogen between them. If water infiltrates that space, it will become trapped and impossible to remove entirely. Consequently, condensation will accumulate between the two lenses and totally impair your vision.

When To Replace Your Lens

Sometimes your lens isn't dirty, it’s just old and worn, and it may be time to get a new lens. When you find that there are scratches that continually obstruct your view of the field and are interfering with your performance, we recommend changing your lens. It’s helpful to always carry at least one extra lens with you as this sort of damage can happen in an instant and not just gradually. Players also find that sudden changes in weather can affect their visibility. For example, red lenses are excellent for high-light weather and yellow lenses are great for low-light. Having contrasting lenses on hand can help you stay prepared for quick weather changes and get a competitive edge against those who didn’t bring the correct lens. 

Here at Lone Wolf Paintball, we have curated the best selection of paintball goggles and lenses to keep you playing longer, with better vision and more protection. For a full selection of paintball masks and lenses, check out our online store. If you have any questions, please contact us and our team will be happy to help you find the right paintball gear.