Like many others, I was first introduced to gel blasters at a local arena before finally deciding to buy my own gun. Initially, I never really paid any attention to how much of a mess I was making as I blasted gel balls at my friends.
However, it was after I got my first blaster some years ago and decided to play a quick indoor game that I came to realize that it can leave behind quite a bit of mess to clean up.
One day my neighbor’s curious child, Jake, asked if we could set up obstacles and play inside. I chuckled and replied, “Only if you’re up for some serious cleaning afterward.”
Confusion clouded Jake’s face as he questioned, “But won’t those gel beads dissolve upon impact?” Seeing his puzzled expression, I decided to explain to him the reality of playing with gel blasters.
As others may have similar concerns about the clutters created by gel blaster guns, I took it upon myself to address these questions. Finally, I decided to write this article and reveal the truth about how mess-free gel blasters really are.
So, Are Gel Blasters Messy? Here Is The Truth
Gel blasters may or may not be messy, depending on a number of factors (I will cover them in the following section). However, you may rest assured of one thing – gel blasters are far less messy than paintball and airsoft guns. This is why they are such a popular choice, especially for kids.
Now, it’s a pretty common assumption that gel blasters are completely clutter-free since the beads dissolve upon impact. While that’s how the manufacturers like to advertise the gel blasters and their ammo, let me be honest with you.
It’s true that the gel balls disintegrate upon hitting a surface, but they don’t just vanish into thin air. The hydrated gellets mostly comprise water, which quickly evaporates. However, the polymer material still leaves behind a bit of slippery gel-like residue, making a mess. The disintegration also causes a splash of fragments to scatter around.
This is the truth not only for gel blasters but also for all Orbeez guns and splatter ball guns.
How Fast Do Gel Blasters Make A Mess?
The time it takes for a gel blaster to make a mess depends on various factors, including the number of players, the rate of fire, the number of shots fired, and the environment in which it is used.
When I fire a gel blaster, the gel balls typically burst upon impact, releasing their water content. This creates small splatters or residues on surfaces. If you continuously shoot gellets using a gel blaster in a concentrated area, a mess can accumulate relatively quickly.
However, the clutter created by gel blasters is generally limited as the gel balls are small and disintegrate over time, minimizing the long-term mess.
Also Read: Are Gel Blasters Bad For The Environment?
Gel Blaster Mess: Key Influencing Factors
The amount of mess you’d create during a gelly ball game depends on the following factors. Understanding these points is crucial for a safe, enjoyable, and clean gel blasting experience. So, let’s get started.
1. Playing Indoors Vs Outdoors
This is hands down the biggest factor influencing the amount of mess that would follow your fun-filled gel blaster games. In most outdoor spaces, such as backyards or playgrounds, there’s no need for cleaning up since the gel balls won’t leave any visible clutters. The beads are biodegradable, which means they will eventually break down and dissolve into the soil.
However, get prepared to clean up afterward if you decide to play indoors. You certainly don’t want the slippery and gunky residue all over the floor, and it can be much harder to get rid of if you allow it to build up. A few friendly shots at your siblings or friends won’t do any harm, but in my experience, a full-fledged indoor gel blaster match can really cause a mess indoors.
2. Quality Of The Gellets
High-quality gel balls from the top brands break down more easily, leaving behind little to no residue. Cheaper products, on the other hand, can leave a bit more residue and thus cause more of a mess.
Hence, the type of gelly balls you use with your Orbeez gun is quite important – you’ll have less cleaning up to do if you don’t mind spending a little extra for superior gellets.
3. Type Of Water Used To Grow Gel Balls
Certain subtle factors, such as the type of water used to hydrate the beads, can influence the extent and likelihood of causing a mess too. Hard water results in more residues due to the high mineral content, causing the mineral deposits to gradually build up.
4. Amount Of Gellets Used
Of course, the mess also depends on the number of gel balls that have actually been fired. A quick indoor match with the blasters set in one-shot mode won’t cause much of a mess.
However, the same can’t be said about a series of intense matches, especially with the splatter ball guns being used in full-auto mode.
5. Effort And Time Needed To Clean Up
Lastly, the effort you put into cleaning up once you’re done playing determines how much mess is left behind. I’d always recommend cleaning up immediately while the restudies are still wet and easy to wash off. It’ll be much more difficult once they dry up.
But, Do Gel Blasters Stain Clothes?
Gel blasters aren’t supposed to stain clothes, and they usually don’t. In fact, this is one of their biggest perks over paintballs – you don’t have to worry about your clothes getting spoiled for the sake of fun.
Most gel balls, especially the branded and good-quality ones, never leave any stains on clothes or other surfaces. Speaking from my own experience, I have never encountered any instances of gel balls staining my clothes.
However, it’s worth noting that gel balls can contain colored dyes, and in some cases (e.g., inferior quality), these dyes may stain your clothing upon impact. The extent of the color transfer may depend on factors such as the quality of the gellets, the distance of the shot, and the material of the clothing.
If a gel ball does leave a stain on your clothing, it’s usually water-soluble and can be easily washed out. I highly recommend rinsing the affected area with water and then washing the clothing as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
How To Prevent Gel Blaster Mess And Splatter?
Over the years, I’ve learned a number of tricks to prevent or at least reduce the mess caused by gel ball blasters when playing at home. Let me share some with you here.
- Use Protective Coverings
I’d highly recommend putting protective coverings over furniture and other stuff that would be hard to clean. Something as simple as a sheet or a plastic cover should do the trick. As per my first-hand experience, using a drop cloth on the floor would also be a good idea to collect any splattered bits of gel balls.
This can save you a great deal of time and effort in cleaning up the mess after the game. Rather than having to clean multiple surfaces, all you have to do is remove the coverings and wash or dispose of them.
- Choose A Designated Playing Area
It’s best to play with gelly ball guns in a designated area that would be easy to clean up. Of course, this designated area should ideally be outdoors, such as your backyard. If you have to play indoors, carefully choose a playing area that won’t take too much effort to clean up afterward.
- Always Use High-Quality Gellets
It’s totally worth buying high-quality gel beads, even if they cost a bit extra (the cost difference won’t be significant anyway). Firstly, you won’t have to worry about your clothes or the surrounding surfaces getting stained. Secondly, good-quality gel balls also leave behind negligible amounts of residue, which makes them easier to clean up.
- Clean The Mess Immediately After Playing
Now, this is extremely important – don’t leave the cleanup for later. The longer you delay it, the harder it will be to remove the residues. Over time, the leftover of the polymer material tends to build up and harden. If you do end up having a buildup of residues, you may use a solution of warm water and white vinegar to clean it up.
- Play Carefully When Indoors
I understand that it’s easy to lose yourself in the thrill of an intense gel blaster party, but try to be careful to avoid making much of a mess when playing indoors. For instance, when playing indoors, me and my friends make sure to stick to semi-auto firing mode only.
You May Also Like: How Safe Are Gel Blasters?
The Final Verdict: Unveiling The Insights
Ultimately, playing with a gel blaster, Orbeez gun or splatter ball gun isn’t really that messy as long as you do it right. Even if you’re forced to play indoors and have to clean up afterward, it’s totally worth the fun.
Besides, you could still save yourself the hassle of cleaning by covering the surfaces the way I suggested earlier. As long as you’re using high-quality gellets, stains won’t be a problem, either.
So, go ahead and enjoy a safe and fun-filled session of gel blaster games with your friends.