How to Clean A Paintball Gun With or Without A Squeegee – Easy Steps

Paintball is an exhilarating game to pass the time with friends, and most avid paintballers have their own guns and equipment. But, you need to make sure that you’re taking proper care of your paintball gun to keep it running smoothly. The last thing you want is your gun to get jammed or leak paint while you’re mid-game

cleaning your paintball gun
Forget about normal house cleaning supplies (for the most part). It is best to buy a cleaning kit that already includes a squeegee or swab and paintball gun oil.

To clean a paintball gun, you need a cleaning kit, a paintball gun squeegee (or swab), and gun oil. You need to disassemble your gun, clean each part to get rid of any leftover paint or dirt, and then lubricate each part to keep them working properly. Rebuild your gun and you’re ready to go!

There are certain tools and supplies that you need in order to clean your paintball gun the right way. You can’t just expect to use a wet rag and dish soap and return your gun to its normal functioning!

You can get your favorite paintball cleaning Swab from Amazon here. Or you could go even further and buy a whole paintball set (Amazon link), which is great for entry-level paintballers, and this one has jerk barrel squeegee included already (as well as hopper, tank, anti-fog mask, harness, and pods).

Tools and Supplies You Can Use

As you know, each part of the paintball gun has its own purpose. That means cleaning a paintball gun requires cleaning each individual part in order to keep the entire gun working as it should. For the most part, you’ll only need a paintball gun cleaning kit and paintball gun oil.

When it comes to cleaning the most important piece of your gun, the barrel, there are a few tools you can choose from to rid them of any lingering dirt or paint. You have the choice between a paintball gun squeegee and a paintball barrel swab. Each one can be effective in cleaning your paintball gun.

YouTube: Comparison – Paintball gun squeegee vs paintball barrel swab

Paintball Gun Cleaning Kit

By purchasing a paintball gun cleaning kit, you might not need any additional supplies to clean your gun. For the most part, they include any tool you could possibly need when it comes to cleaning and gun maintenance.

The average paintball gun cleaning kit will include needles, brushes, and bristles, but might also come with paintball gun oil, swabs, and squeegees as well.

If you get yourself a solid paintball gun cleaning kit, you’ll be able to use the kit from the initial disassembly of your gun all the way through the cleaning of the gun. 

Paintball Gun Squeegee

Just like regular squeegees, paintball gun squeegees are made of sticky and durable rubber that can easily whisk away any debris you don’t want in your gun. When your gun jams up in the middle of a game, a paintball gun squeegee can be the simplest fix, as they’re small enough to store in your pocket.

Most squeegees for paintball guns have a “pull-through” design, meaning all you have to do is pull them through the barrel of your paintball gun to get rid of dried paint and any dirt that might be blocking your barrel.

Paintball Barrel Swab

There are quite a few types of paintball barrel swabs that you can use on your gun. Though a little bulkier than a paintball gun squeegee, they practically perform the same exact task.

Most good paintball barrel swabs have a unique design.

When you insert these soft and absorbent pads into the end of the barrel, they don’t allow for the paint to be pushed further into your gun.

Instead, these swabs expand when you’re pulling them out of your paintball gun’s barrel, bringing any excess paint with it.

Paintball Gun Oil or Lubrication

All major pieces in a paintball gun need to have optimal levels of lubrication in order to fire properly. When looking to purchase oil or lubrication for your paintball gun, make sure that the product you choose was designed specifically for paintball guns.

Additional Supplies

We just discussed the major supplies that you’ll need to clean your paintball gun, but there are several other items that you might have lying around at home that can also prove useful when cleaning your gun.

You might also need:

  • Q-tips
  • A toothbrush
  • Paper towels or rags
  • Water

Most of these additional supplies are useful for cleaning out smaller areas of the gun or just keeping your work area clean. The best part about this is that you probably already have most of these items at home, so you won’t have to head to the store again!

Consider buying the following cleaning supplies from Amazon and make your life easier next time after your paintball match:

Preparing Your Gun for Cleaning

Under no circumstances should you do a full cleaning of your paintball gun without taking the necessary steps to ensure safety. The first thing you should do before cleaning your paintball gun is to de-gas the gun to prevent accidental misfire when attempting to clean.

YouTUbe: How to degas and gas your paintball gun.

After your gun is de-gassed and ready to be cleaned, you need to disassemble your gun in the way that your gun’s manufacturer recommends. Only disassemble the major pieces of the gun in order to prevent improperly putting the gun back together. By disassembling the gun, you can clean each part individually.

De-gassing your Paintball Gun

By far, the most important thing that you can do when cleaning your paintball gun is to remove the air or CO2 tank that power your gun. In doing so, you can entirely avoid accidentally firing the gun while you’re trying to clean it!

Disassembling Your Paintball Gun

This is where it helps to have an owner’s manual for your gun. All guns are made differently and have different pieces, meaning it could be difficult to put your gun back together once you take it apart.

If by chance you no longer have access to your paintball gun’s owner’s manual, you could try searching for it online or seeing if another user has uploaded a YouTube video describing the disassembly and assembly of your particular gun!

YouTube: example of disassembling your paintball marker

The most important pieces that you have to pull apart at this point are the grip frame, barrel, hopper, and bolt and hammer. These are the individual pieces that you’ll be cleaning a little later on once your gun is fully disassembled.

Try to follow these tips when you’re disassembling your gun.

  • Follow your owner’s manual. Your owner’s manual will tell you exactly how your gun should be taken apart and put back together. This will always be your best reference. Make sure you’re taking into consideration any recommendations that the manufacturer makes in the manual, including how often to clean your gun and the pieces you should not be disassembling.
  • Keep a clean and uncluttered work area. You might realize after you begin taking your gun apart that there are a lot of small pieces. Try to choose a location on the floor or on a table that’s completely clean and empty. This is the best way to keep track of the pieces that are from your paintball gun and those that are not.
  • Organize your work area. Taking the gun apart is pretty easy, but putting it back together can be rather difficult if you forget which pieces go where. To make it a bit easier, you might want to organize your workspace to keep certain pieces that go together, together.

Now that you’ve properly taken your paintball gun apart, it’s time to get to the cleaning! Make sure you have all of your cleaning supplies and tools ready.

Cleaning Your Paintball Gun

This is what we’ve all been waiting for! Cleaning your paintball gun requires a lot of attention to detail, as this is the ideal time to notice any major changes to the structure and functioning of your gun. 

Using the supplies and tools that we reviewed earlier, you can individually clean each part of the gun, including the frame, barrel, and hammer and bolt. After you’ve cleaned your gun perfectly, you can lubricate each piece and then reassemble the gun to its original condition.

Cleaning the Grip Frame

cleaning paintball gun grip frame
Paintball gun grip frame. When you are disassembling your gun, do not dismantle the trigger area!

The grip frame of your paintball gun is the area in which you hold the gun and pull the trigger. Since this is an area that you’re in direct contact with every time you play a round of paintball, you want to make sure that it’s as clean as you can possibly get it.

To clean the grip frame, you can use a toothbrush, Q-tip, or any other type of small brush. Here’s a step-by-step explanation for cleaning your paintball gun’s grip frame.

  • Do not dismantle the trigger area! First and foremost, you want to make sure that you’re not disassembling any area that involves the trigger. There is absolutely no need for you to do so and it will be extremely hard for you to put back together after the fact.
  • Use a Q-Tip to get rid of any surface-level dirt. You want to try the gentle approach to cleaning your grip frame first. Using a dampened Q-Tip, you can get rid of any dirt or paint that’s resting on the surface of your grip frame.
  • Use a toothbrush to scrub hard-to-remove dirt. Depending on how often and how intensely you play paintball, you might have some dirt and paint that’s stuck in there pretty well. You could try using a bristled toothbrush to scrub away any dirt that didn’t seem to come out with your Q-Tips!

Now that your grip frame is clean, you’re done with the first step of cleaning. Let’s move on to one of the most important pieces to clean: The barrel. 

Cleaning the Barrel

The barrel of your gun is perhaps the most important part of your paintball gun! Not only does it send paintballs flying toward your opponents at crazy fast speeds, but it also can hold your performance back if it’s jammed with dirt or paint.

This is the most important part of your gun to clean!

This part of the cleaning process is where you have a little bit more freedom in which tools you used. Earlier, we mentioned that you could use a swab or a squeegee to clean the interior of your paintball gun’s barrel.

Here’s a brief overview of how each of these tools can be used to clean your gun’s barrel.

  • Squeegee. When you’re using a squeegee to clean your paintball gun, you’ll notice that it’s really easy to use. All you have to do is drag the squeegee through the length of your paintball gun’s barrel. It’ll pick up any remaining dirt or paint that’s sitting in your gun’s barrel and help you to remove it from your gun.
  • Swab. These products are great because they don’t force any extra paint further down the barrel of your gun. All you have to do is insert this item into your gun’s barrel as far as it can go and then pull it back out. You’ll then see just how much paint and dirt were lodged in the barrel of your paintball gun!
cleaning paintball gun barrel
Cleaning the barrel is simple. Either use a swab or a squeegee. With a swab, you won’t push extra paint further down the barrel.

After you’ve used either of these tools to get rid of the excess dirt and paint in your paintball gun’s barrel, you should use a little bit of water and a rag to wipe your barrel down to make sure it’s perfectly clean.

Cleaning the Hammer and Bolt

The hammer and the bolt of your paintball gun are most important when you’re cocking your gun and getting ready to fire at your opponent! You need to make sure that both of these pieces are clean to guarantee a solid performance at your next match.

To clean the hammer and the bolt of your paintball gun, you’ll need a wet and a dry rag. Here’s how you should clean these pieces.

  • Wipe them down with a wet rag. This will help you to get rid of any excess residue that’s just sitting on these pieces. Try your best to get rid of as much dirt and paint as possible before drying.
  • Dry them off with a dry wag. You need to make sure that these pieces are entirely dry before reassembling the gun later on. Take care in making sure that there’s no remaining water or moisture on the hammer and bolt.
  • Check the O-rings. The O-rings are what connect to pieces of equipment and keep them from grinding against one another. Most O-rings in paintball guns last pretty long, but any worn O-rings need to be replaced immediately to preserve the integrity of your gun.

Now that the minor pieces of your paintball gun are clean and ready to go, it’s time to turn your attention toward the actual body of the gun.

Cleaning the Body

The body is usually the major focal point of the paintball gun, so you want to make sure that it’s as clean as possible before you head to your next game. This part of the gun is pretty easy to clean.

Here’s how you can clean the body of your paintball gun.

  • Wipe it down with a wet rag. To get the bulk of the paint and dirt off of the body of your paintball gun, all you really have to do is quickly wipe it down with a wet rag. Remember not to use soap and don’t overload your gun with too much water!
  • Use a Q-Tip to get hard to reach spots. You can use a Q-Tip to get rid of the dirt and paint from those hard to reach spots along the body of your paintball gun. This is pretty useful in places you cannot reach with your fingers and creases at the connection between two parts.
  • Scrub with a toothbrush. If your paintball gun truly has that much stuck-on dirt and paint, you’re going to need to be a little more aggressive in your cleaning. Try using a toothbrush or another bristled brush to get rid of hard-to-manage dirt!

At this point, your gun should be as clean as possible. Your next step is lubricating your paintball gun to make sure it works right!

Lubricating Your Paintball Gun

When you’re lubricating your paintball gun before putting it back together, you need to make sure that you’re using oil or lubrication made specifically for paintball guns.

Do not, under any circumstances, use a product that is not approved for use with paintball guns!

Here’s what you should be making sure of when you’re lubricating your paintball gun!

  • Make sure the pieces are dried first. This is super important. You can’t apply oil to any piece of your paintball gun that’s still wet. Make sure that your gun is entirely dry before this step of the process.
  • Using the right oil. We already mentioned that you should be using oil made for paintball guns, but you also want to make sure that you’re using a good product. Do your best to scour the web for the best products to keep your gun running as smoothly as possible!
  • Using the right amount of lubrication. Try your best to use the right amount of lubrication. There shouldn’t be an excess of lubrication that it’s dripping from your gun and negatively impacting your performance, but there shouldn’t be too little oil where it doesn’t even make a difference if it’s there or not.
  • Lubricate the O-rings. This is the most important part of your paintball gun that you need to be lubricating. You should be lightly coating the O-rings, being careful not to use too much oil or lubrication.

Now that your gun is cleaned, dried, and lubricated, it’s time to get your gun back together to get you back onto the field as soon as possible!

Reassembling Your Paintball Gun

Now that your paintball gun is cleaner than it ever was, it’s time to begin putting the pieces back together. Hopefully, you followed the advice we provided above about organizing your workspace and keeping track of all the pieces you’re taking apart.

By this step, you should be only relying on your paintball gun’s owner’s manual to describe how to put your gun back together. While you’re doing so, you should also be making an active effort to inspect every piece of your gun to see that it looks and functions as it’s supposed to.

Inspecting Your Paintball Gun

Before you even start putting your paintball gun back together, you need to make sure that you’re properly inspecting each part to make sure that there’s no damage and that it looks like it should. Take a look at why inspecting your paintball gun can be so important!

  • Notice and replace damaged parts. When you inspect each piece of your paintball gun, you’re able to notice anything that looks a bit out of the ordinary. If you’re an avid paintballer, you know how each part of your gun should look. Take note of any piece that appears to be damaged and replace it as soon as possible.
  • Prevent safety issues or injury. When it comes to an item like a paintball gun, damaged or malfunctioning parts can be extreme safety issues that might lead to injury. If you see a damaged part, don’t just reassemble the gun and hope for the best. Using a gun with a broken part could backfire and actually hurt you and destroy the gun!
  • Understanding of how your gun looks and works. Inspecting your paintball gun allows you a point of reference. When you see what each piece of your paintball gun should look like, it makes the cleaning process that much easier in the future when you know what to be looking for!

Now that you’ve confirmed that everything looks and functions the way it should, it’s time to put the pieces back together. You’re going to need your owner’s manual for this next part.

Following the Owner’s Manual

As we mentioned in the previous sections, it’s extremely important that you follow the owner’s manual when taking your gun apart to properly clean it. You’re going to need that owner’s manual again to put your gun back together. Here’s a guide for using your gun’s owner’s manual.

  • Follow the manual to a T. It might look easy enough to put back together when you see the parts just sitting there on your table, but it’s important that you don’t just wing it. If by chance you put the gun back together incorrectly, you’ll have to take it apart again just to put it back together. You might as well do it right the first time.
  • Don’t skip steps. Don’t assume you know the next step that the owner’s manual is going to recommend. There are no shortcuts when it comes to putting weaponry together. Follow the steps exactly as they’re laid out by the owner’s manual and do not reorganize steps in the way you would rather do them. It doesn’t work like that.
  • Remember how you’re doing it. If this is your first time disassembling and reassembling this gun, you might want to take note of how to put it back together. In the future, you won’t have to rely so heavily on the owner’s manual and might even be able to do it from memory.

That’s it! Your gun is put back together and ready for gameplay. But, there are a few extra things that you might want to do in the future to make sure that your gun continues to run smoothly.

Maintaining Your Gun

To keep your paintball gun in top shape, there are a few guidelines you should be following. Take a look!

  • Clean your gun after every time you use it. A simple wipe down of the exterior is all you really need. That’ll help you to cut down on the long-drawn-out process of cleaning every inch of the gun that we went over earlier.
  • Store your gun in a cool, dry place. Some pieces of paintball guns are known to rust while others take some damage when they’re exposed to direct sunlight. 
  • Replace parts when you notice they’re damaged. This is the best way to prevent the entire gun from becoming destroyed. By staying up to date on parts maintenance, you can guarantee your gun will last longer!
  • Oil your gun consistently. Every time you go to play a round of paintball, you want to oil your gun beforehand. 

By staying up-to-date on maintenance when it comes to your paintball gun, you can help to prevent severe damage and dramatically extend the lifespan of your gun!


It’s great that you’ve decided to clean your paintball gun, as it’s the best way to make sure your gun works properly. When you’re cleaning a paintball gun, make sure you have a gun cleaning kit, a swab or a squeegee, and gun lubrication. Then, you’ll perform the following steps.

  • De-gas and disassemble the paintball gun as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Use your paintball cleaning kit and your swab or squeegee to clean each piece of your paintball gun.
  • Inspect your paintball gun for any damage or malfunctioning pieces.
  • Lubricate your paintball gun and then put it back together!