How to clean a motorcycle helmet properly?

How to clean a motorcycle helmet

Wearing a motorcycle helmet for a long time would not only make it smelly but also make it feel old before the time. Also, cleaning the helmet in the wrong way or with a wrong product may do more harm than benefit. Therefore, regular proper cleaning a helmet inside and out is very important.

Deep cleaning of a motorcycle helmet

Motorcycle helmet with a removable liner
Cleaning the liner and pads

Pull out the inner liners and all pads from the helmet

Wash them on a delicate cycle with mild laundry detergent; although they can be hand washed also

Pat them dry with a towel then let them air dry

Cleaning the shell

Remove the visor from the helmet

Soak a microfiber towel in the mixture of warm water and mild soap, lay it over any areas where bug guts are stuck on the shell the face-shield and then gently rub them loose with the washing solution and fingertips.

Remove any residual washing solution with a dry microfiber towel.

Clean the vents with moist cotton swabs

Allow the helmet to air dry without use of any heat source, like a heater or blow dryer

Reinstall visor, lightly lubricate the hinges with silicone lube.

Motorcycle helmet without a removable liner
Cleaning the helmet

Remove the visor and any pads, such as cheek pads and clean them with hand wash, or machine washing as suggested above

Fill the basin with a warm water and a mild soap and line the bottom of the basin with a folded towel to prevent the shell from scraping.

Dunk the helmet and let it soak for a few minutes.

Rub the liner with fingertips for several minutes, with special attention to any spots on the shell.

Remove the helmet from the basin and rinse it with a showerhead.

Pat the helmet dry with a dry towel, and remove as much moisture as possible from the pads and inner liners.

Wipe the vents and joints with moist cotton swabs.

Allow the helmet to air dry without the use of any heat source.

Reinstall visor, lightly lubricate the hinges with silicone lube.

Preventive measures

Wear a skullcap or bandana to prevent sweat and body oils from permeating the inner liners.

Apply an automotive wax on the external shell of glossy helmets to facilitate bug guts and grime removal in the subsequent cleaning process.

Use cleaning wipes during rides to wipe down the helmet and clean bug guts before they harden.

Never scrub the face-shield.

Do not put a motorcycle helmet directly into a bag after a day of riding as it prevents sweat from evaporating and makes odors worse. So always let the helmet air out overnight after a ride.

Do not:

Use of any petroleum distillate or solvent-based cleaner

Scrub the shell or face-shield to remove bug guts

Use fabric softener to clean the inner liner as fabric softener prevents moisture-wicking liners from working

Put the inner removable liner in the dryer

Use of glass cleaner or ammonia-based cleaner on the face-shield because ammonia reduces their integrity over time

Motorcycle helmet replacement/ retirement

Because a helmet can be damaged without any visible signs, always replace a helmet in case of;

Damage to external shell

Damage to EPS lining after multiple drops/impacts

Compressed interior lining over a period of time

Surviving from frontal impact while protecting the face

Helmet older than five years (This is subjective criteria)

Cleaning the helmet before and after every ride would not only increase the lifespan but also add-on the comfort feature.



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