How to clean (and maintain) bike helmet? Help to extend it’s lifetime.
You have bought a cool, sporty headgear. That’s great!
But, do you know that your job is not finished here. Cleaning & maintaining your bike helmet is as crucial as purchasing one. Unless and until your helmet company is providing annual maintenance, you should know how to do it 🙂 .
Why do you need to clean your motorbike helmet?
- With everyday usage, the comfort layer of helmet will get dirty due to body oil & sweat. The inner foam will become unpleasant after a while and your helmet will soon become a stinking brain bucket.
- Helmet’s outer shell is meant to protect your head from elements of environments . So it will have bug guts, dust, rain spots, grimy fingerprints.
- Visor will have layers of dust. So you won’t see clearly.
How to clean your bike helmet?
Cleaning up your helmet is not entirely difficult. All you need to do is to follow some guidelines, learn the procedure and schedule your cleaning habits to get a stinking-free headgear.
In order to clean your helmet you need following materials:
- Mild soaps/Baby shampoo : Always prefer using mild soaps or baby shampoo for liner cleaning.Your helmet is made up of different layers and materials. So, using a harsh soap or solvent-based cleaner to wash up the entire helmet is not recommended. Also, it is advised that you must not use any ammonia-based cleaner on the visor. This may break down the Polycarbonate material reducing their integrity.
- Microfiber towel : Take one clean ( not necessary new ) microfibre towel to soak and wipe away your helmet.
- Big bucket : You need to keep warm water within the tub and wash your helmet. You may use sink instead of bucket.
- Cotton swab : Helmets vents are very narrow holes. You need cotton swab for cleaning vents.
Checkout excellent youtube video by RevZilla before reading the process in text @https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irLESKeERQU.
The motorcycle helmets are either available with or without a removable liner. If the liner is removable then the cleaning becomes pretty easy. Here, you just need to remove the liner & interior padding and wash them separately. The shell can be cleaned individually then. Also, if the helmet has a non-removable liner then it will take a little more time to clean.
The cleaning process is different for both. Let’s discuss
Cleaning helmets with removable liner
You can clean liner and pads separately from outer shell and visor.
For Liner & interior pads, use mild detergent as a cleaning agent. Hand wash them to rinse away any soap residue and let them air dry.
Now, cleaning the shell:
- Remove the visor and create a mix of mild soap & warm water as a washing solution
- Take a microfiber towel and soak it inside a washing solution. Lay it over the areas where bug guts are found and let it soak for several minutes. Repeat the same process for the visor.
- Gently rub with your fingertips when the bug guts get soft. Do not scrub.
- Clean out inside vents using a cotton swab and wipe away any moist residue using a towel (microfiber). Dry it using the towel.
- Then, reinstall the visor after the moisture gets removed.
Cleaning helmets with a non-removable liner:
Here, cleaning will take a little time. Use large basin inside a shower to dunk and scrub the entire helmet, because this is the only way.
- Remove visors, pads and anything you can to wash them separately.
- Fill the basin with the mix of warm water and mild detergent as a washing solution
- Put the folded towel in line with the bottom of the helmet to prevent shell scrapping while you wash the helmet
- Dunk helmet into the washing solution and allow the suds to release all the body sweat & oil. Let it soak for a few minutes
- Use your fingertips to gently rub the liner or any spots on your shell. Do it for several minutes
- Now, remove the helmet from the basin and use the shower head to clean away any soap residue. You must rinse it several times before moving on.
- Pat to remove as much moisture as possible from the helmet & liners. Use dry towel during the process.
- Clean the inside vents & joints using a cotton cloth and let them air dry.
- You can use a room fan to accelerate the drying process but no heat source like a blow dryer.
- Reinstall visor and enjoy the ride.
Phew! Cleaning a helmet without removable visor certainly takes a lot of toll on you. So, try to purchase the one with a removable visor. This is what we recommend to most riders.Read our bike helmet guide before buying to know about every aspect of it.
Few helpful helmet maintenance tips:
A few tips to keep your motorcycle helmet in tip-top condition between washings:
- Prevent body sweat from passing through the liners by wearing a bandanna (skull cap). This also helps your hair from getting wet.
- Use automotive wax coating on the helmet shell to easily remove any dirt spots in future.
- Clean or wipe away any bug guts whenever you spot one.
- Do not scrub your helmet visor.
- Let your helmet air out after bike riding. This prevents bad odour.
- Keep the helmet in a helmet bag.
- Don’t keep heavy material within helmet.