Motorcycle Helmet 101: How to Clean Your Motorcycle Helmet
Your helmet is one of the most valuable pieces of equipment you shouldn’t leave behind whenever you take your bike for a spin. After all, aside from protecting your head in case of a crash, it also does a great job in keeping excessive sun glare, rain, mud, debris and all those pesky bugs off your face. Needless to say, life on the road would be extremely difficult without it but are you taking good care of it? If you don’t know how to clean a motorcycle helmet or are not sure if you’re doing it right, here’s a guide that can help you keep your helmet clean as a whistle!
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet: The Right Way to Do It
Since your helmet is your perpetual riding buddy, it will definitely take a lot of beating from all the time you spend on the road. Keep in mind that the more you ride, the more you expose it to the elements so don’t be surprised if a film of grime has formed on the surface or if it starts to smell. Hey, even the most expensive top-of-the-line helmet will become grimy and smelly if not maintained properly!
To prevent it from turning into a grimy, smelly and scratched up heap of mess, you need to learn how to clean a motorcycle helmet both inside and out. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it right.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 1 - Gather everything you need.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start working on your helmet. Basically, you’ll need clean microfiber rags, a toothbrush with soft bristles (for cleaning hard to reach nooks and crannies), baby shampoo, warm water and an air compressor (for cleaning motorcycle helmet air vents). Aside from ensuring that your helmet will come out squeaky clean, having these cleaning items on hand will help save a lot of your precious time.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 2 - Remove all external and internal accessories.
This seems to be a no-brainer but you’ll be surprised to know that many riders often overlook the obvious and suffer the consequences in the end. Don’t be one of them. Well, if you know how to clean a motorcycle helmet, you don’t have to worry about ruining it, right?
Now that you have all the necessary cleaning materials, you need to remove all internal and external accessories (e.g. microphone, batteries, Bluetooth communicator units, antenna, visor, breath guard, etc.). Make sure you remove the internal liner and cheek pads as well. Since different manufacturers use different methods to attach the liner and pads to the helmet (some use snaps while others use hook and loop materials, Velcro and/or magnets), check your owner’s manual before you start disassembling your helmet. Keep this in mind so you won’t have any problem putting them back together.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 3 - Prep the outer shell.
Soak the microfiber rag in warm water and drape it over the helmet for several minutes to help loosen up caked dirt, dried out bug guts and every bit of unspeakable gunk that have accumulated on the surface of the helmet. Do the same for the visor. If you skip this step, you’ll need to exert more effort in cleaning your helmet and increase the risk of leaving ugly scratches in the finish.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 4 - Wash the interior lining.
If you think the surface of your helmet is dirty enough, wait until you get to the interior of your helmet. Since the liner and pads are in direct contact with your skin, they will naturally soak up all the sweat and oil produced by your skin.
To wash out the gunk from the pads and the lining, dunk them in a tub or bucket filled with warm water (you may also use the sink if you want), put in some baby shampoo, and gently massage each part until the last traces of grime comes out. Rinse out all the shampoo thoroughly, pat with a dry towel to remove the remaining moisture and let them air dry.
Additional tips on :
- Do not use a petroleum-based cleaning agent in washing your helmet’s liner and pads. Baby shampoo is highly recommended since it is formulated to gently wash away sweat and oil. You can also use any mild household detergent or antibacterial detergent.
- For machine wash, put the liner and cheek pads into a washing bag and use the delicate setting on your washing machine.
- Do not put the liner and pads in the dryer since heat will cause them to shrink.
- Allow the pads and liner to dry thoroughly to avoid nasty odors. You can set it in front of a fan to help it dry faster.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 5 - Start working on the exterior.
Now that it has done its part, remove the wet microfiber rag that you have draped over the helmet. Gently wipe down the helmet using a new, clean, wet microfiber cloth to remove any remaining traces of dirt.
- For the most part, you only need warm water and a wet microfiber cloth in cleaning the exterior of your motorcycle helmet. Be careful when using certain cleaning solutions since they can cause considerable damage on the exterior of your helmet.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush in cleaning hard to reach nooks and crannies.
- Use an air compressor to dislodge debris in the vents.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 6 - Wipe the face shield clean.
Most face shields have a protective coating that can easily get damaged so don’t use anything but warm water and a clean, wet microfiber cloth in wiping it clean.
How to Clean a Motorcycle Helmet Step 7 - Start reassembling your helmet.
Now that everything’s squeaky clean, you can start putting back your helmet together. Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to clean a motorcycle helmet without ruining it!