Activities Sports & Athletics Do Paintballs Biodegrade? Are they bad for the environment? Share PINTEREST Email Print Airman 1st Class Alexis Siekert/U.S. Air Force Sports & Athletics Paintball Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By David Muhlestein David Muhlestein is a paintball and woodsball enthusiast who has been playing since the mid-1990s and has extensive knowledge of paintball equipment. our editorial process David Muhlestein Updated December 31, 2017 Paintballs are completely biodegradable and will wash away from most surfaces with water or will vanish after a rainstorm. Paintballs are gelatin capsules filled with an oil or polyethylene glycol (the base of cough syrups) and food-coloring dye mixture. Both the shells and the fill will naturally biodegrade and will not leave lasting marks on the environment. The only potential worry with paintballs is staining certain fabrics. Certain brands of paintballs will stain certain light-colored fabrics. This is dependent upon the dye used in coloring the fill and the fabric. Cheaper paints are more likely to stain white cotton or cotton/poly fabrics.