For many riders, it’s been a long and fun summer full of epic rides. Unfortunately, with all those miles and wear and tear comes a dirty, smelly helmet. You know what that means; it’s time for a good wash to get it smelling fresh and looking good for spring. This step-by-step guide will show you how to get the job done, and get it done right.
Motorcycle Helmet Cleaning
Step 1 – Remove the Visor and Any Removable Parts
before you jump right in and begin washing your helmet, you should first remove the visor, air vents, pads, liner, and any other removable parts. This will not only allow you to clean them individually for a truly detailed look, but will allow you to clean the shell and interior of your helmet much better as well. Just make sure you remember how to put them back properly.
Step 2 – Wash the Shell and Exterior Parts
The exterior of your helmet definitely protects your head, but it also showcases your style. However, it can only do so if its clean. After removing the parts in step one, you can simply give it a good rinse with warm water.
If rinsing it off still hasn’t gotten all of the bugs and debris off, try placing a warm wet towel of the helmet for about 10 minutes or so to loosen it up. After removing the towel, simply give it a good rinse to rinse off the loosened debris. Ideally, you want to get all of the dirt and gunk off without scrubbing and scratching the shell.
When the helmet is rinsed clean, use a good helmet cleaner to fully clean and polish the shell until it’s shining like new. Simply spray or wipe on the cleaner and wet a microfiber towel with warm water to wipe it off. If your helmet has a matte finish, use a neutral detergent instead of helmet cleaner in order to avoid ruining its finish.
Next, simply repeat the process with the visor and other removable parts. When cleaning the visor or face shield, make sure to only use lukewarm water and mild soap, because cleaners and solvents like window cleaner can leave it looking cloudy and ruin its structural integrity.
Step 3 – Wash the Liner and Padding
If your helmet has a removable liner and padding, you’re in luck because you can just toss them in the washing machine. When washing these interior parts, put them in a washing bag, turn the washer to the gentle setting, and choose either warm or cold water.
As far as soap goes, any mild detergent will work. Of course, the liner and pads can always be washed by hand as well. This will allow you to see just how dirty your helmet is and inspire you to wash it more often.
After washing the liner and pads, simply let them air dry, because heat from the drier will shrink them and cause them not to fit properly. While they’re drying, you can go ahead and wipe the interior of the helmet clean using a damp cloth.
If your helmet lacks a removable liner, you can dunk the entire helmet padding and all into a baby shampoo and warm water solution. Let it sit in the soap solution for approximately five minutes and begin cleaning it by massaging the soap into the pads to get out all of the accumulated dirt. When your done rinse it off and get it ready to dry.
Step 4 – Let It Dry
The fourth and final step of the helmet cleaning process is letting it dry. The ideal way to go about drying your helmet is to let it air dry outside or by placing it in front of a fan. Never use a hairdryer or apply any type of additional heat.
You may be tempted to place a few dryer sheets inside in order to give it a fresh and clean smell, but this is a big no-no. The chemicals in dryer sheets can come off and leave a residue on the inside of the helmet, potentially causing rashes, bumps, and other skin irritations.
That’s all there is to it. By following each of the steps above, you’ll end up with a sparkling clean and fresh smelling helmet ready for next year’s adventures. If you’re an avid rider, try to repeat these steps and deep clean your helmet quarterly.
That being said, washing a helmet only does so much good for so long. Even the best helmet in the world should be replaced every three to five years. So, take a look around this site and pick out another helmet to replace your current one when its time is through.