How To Clean Your Marker
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Want to know how to clean and maintain a Paintball marker? Here are a few Tips and Tricks to keep your marker efficient and reliable….

By: Joe Apfelbaum


Whether you’ve paid a lot or a little for your paintball marker, the fact is you can definitely increase the life of your gun by following a few simple procedures by keeping it clean.  Actually, if you’re planning on playing in scenario or speedball tournaments, you’d be smart to practice cleaning your gun so you’re good at it on the go…. Just in case you have to clean your marker in the middle of a fire-fight, you should be able to clean it with your eyes closed!


Don’t tell me…. you took up paintball to get out of the house and avoid cleaning.  But a clean paintball gun means a clean mind, a professional player with a more reliable weapon and a paintball marker that will last much longer.


Jammed triggers and the dreaded barrel breaks are to blame strictly from a marker with remnants of dried paint.  That’s right, bad maintenance can ruin a day at the park.  So if you want take your game to the next level, you might want to try following a few cleaning procedures. 


What will you need?  A manual (unless you know your marker by heart) you need a squeegee, some paintball gun oil, paper towel, soapy water and maybe even some spare o-rings or parts.


  • Many paintball markers have different parts and cleaning procedures but one thing is common to all – work on your marker without the air source attached and make sure that the safety is on.
  • Cleaning your tank is also just as important.  If air comes out of the tank’s O-rings or they are cracked, they have to be replaced.  If you want to avoid replacing your O-rings every week you should lubricate them regularly with your gun oil.  
  • Some clean their gun after each use. You probably don’t have to be this meticulous about it, but there’s something to be said for keeping it clean so it’s easier to do.  Overall, a marker should be inspected after each and every game and cleaned at least (!) once a month.  You might discover paintball residue or even broken pieces in the barrel or the insides of your gun.
  • Put a squeegee through the barrel and wash the barrel with soap and water or a good gun cleaning solution and give it a good dry.  As long as your barrel is dry you won’t encounter any further troubles.  There are many different types of squeegees…. Some are a firm rod with a piece of cloth attached, some are made of a wire covered with fur (Tiger’s Tail), some are just rubber cords with a stopper that wipes the paint away.
  • Thoroughly clean the inside of the marker using whatever works for you; don’t be afraid to try new squeegees and cleaning solutions to see what you like.  Let it be Q-tips or your sister’s toothbrush, just make sure it wipes out paint and shines your weapon in all the hard to reach places.
  • There are O-rings all over your marker and you want them all lubed up. A few  drops of gun oil will do the trick.
  • Clean the hammer with a damp towel. Make sure that there is no dirt, grease or paint on it. The grip frame also tends to get dirty with dust and paint and can generally use a wipe-down.
  • Also, check that batteries are looking fresh and don’t ooze battery juice if you have an electronic trigger.
  • Finally, if you have a tactical paintball marker that might have accessories like lasers, flashlights or scopes, you’re better off to take them off, clean them individually and then put them back on.  Don’t forget to also check and clean the mounts/rails your accessory was attached to.

When your paintball gun looks spiffy and clean you can put it back together following the manufacturers guide (if you had to take it apart).  In most cases, your gun won’t get so dirty you have to take it apart every time; usually just a quick once over with a damp rag, a pull-through with the squeegee a couple times and a few drops of oil will do the trick.  Make it a point to take your marker apart to clean it more thoroughly about every 5 time or so and your gun will continue to treat you right.


It’s also a smart idea to keep a squeegee with you when you’re in the middle of a game.  You can usually wait to clean your gun in a speedball match (since these games are generally over in 10-15 minutes anyway).  But woodsball or scenario games can last much longer and sometimes a couple squeegees through your barrel can really make the difference.  You can buy lightweight, rubber squeegees that will fold up very small for $2-3 at any paintball field or store.


Remember there also other ways that can help you avoid a dirty gun. Getting a gun case is one thing that can keep your marker clean and happy.  Avoid getting your marker on the ground and keep it out of mud and rain.  We know that things can get tight on the field but in most cases, you’ve paid a pretty penny for your paintball gun and you want to keep it shooting as long as possible.  


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